Hybrids reign supreme over fuel economy list

Posted: 21 October 2005

A fuel economy ranking of 2006 vehicles issued Wednesday by the federal government puts the two hybrid-electric cars far and away out in front. The gas-electric hybrids by Honda and Toyota are nearly twice as fuel efficient as the rest in the top 10, whether diesel or gas.

Honda Insight: Photo Honda
Honda Insight: Photo Honda
The fuel miserly Honda Insight tops the ranking with 66 highway miles to the gallon. (Photo courtesy Honda)
Hybrid 4 wheel drives get half the fuel efficiency of the lighter cars, placing them among the lower ranks, below the diesels. Only one conventional gasoline-fueled vehicle made the 2006 top-ten list - the Toyota Corolla with manual transmission.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have released the 2006 Fuel Economy Guide to help consumers make informed choices when purchasing new vehicles.

Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said, "In January, consumers can take advantage of tax credits worth thousands of dollars by purchasing a hybrid, electric, or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle."

The top 10 fuel economy leaders are:

  • Honda Insight - (hybrid-electric, manual) - 60 city/66 highway
  • Toyota Prius - (hybrid-electric) - 60/51
  • Volkswagen New Beetle and Golf - (diesel, manual) - 37/44
  • Volkswagen Jetta (diesel, manual) - 36/41
  • Ford Escape Hybrid FWD - 36/31
  • Volkswagen New Beetle and Jetta (diesel, automatic) - 35/42
  • Volkswagen Golf (diesel, automatic) - 33/44
  • Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD - 33/29
  • Mazda Tribute Hybrid 4WD - 33/29
  • Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD - 33/29
  • Lexus RX 400H 2WD - 33/28
  • Highlander Hybrid 2WD - 33/28
  • Toyota Corolla (manual) - 32/41
"We know that when consumers are provided the information they need to make informed, educated decisions they choose products that will both save them money and help protect our shared environment," said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson.

"This year's fleet offers a wider variety of cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles for car buyers to select from," said Johnson, encouraging more Americans to heed President [George W.] Bush's call to reduce the demand on the nation's energy supply."

President Bush has called upon Americans to conserve gasoline in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita that damaged the Gulf Coast petroleuml infrastructure.

The 2006 Toyota Prius hybrid
The 2006 Toyota Prius hybrid
The popular Toyota Prius hybrid small family car is one of the best in the British government's CO2 ranking - it emits only 104g/km.
Bodman said the Bush administration is working with car manufacturers through the FreedomCar initiative "to develop next generation technology that will bring more fuel efficient vehicles to market."

Fuel economy estimates, which appear on the window stickers of all new cars and light trucks prior to sale, are determined by tests conducted by manufacturers and EPA according to EPA specifications.

The EPA announced plans to "propose updates to the methods used to determine the sticker fuel economy" by the end of the year.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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