04 February 2008

Nobody needs a car that does 10-15mpg

That's what the former chairman of Shell Oil, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, says, in urging the European Union to ban the sale of cars that get less than 35 mpg. Meanwhile, late last year the US passed a law requiring that the average fuel economy of all cars sold by any automaker average 35 mpg. By 2020.

According to the EPA, there are only two cars -- the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid -- that can be expected to get more than 35 mpg.

The remaining cars on the top-ten list:
Nissan Altima Hybrid
Ford Escape Hybrid FWD/Mazda Tribute Hybrid 2WD/Mercury Mariner Hybrid FWD
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Toyota Yaris (manual)
Toyota Yaris (automatic)
Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD / Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD / Mazda Tribute Hybrid 4WD
Toyota Corolla (manual)
Honda Fit (manual)

(The EPA estimates 28 mpg city, 34 highway for the Fit, but I've been getting 38 overall in my 2007 model, in mostly highway driving. I do try to be gentle on the accelerator and the brake.)

Compare the UK, where you can buy three different cars that get nearly 60 mpg (70 mpg in imperial gallons), and dozens -- including several made by FORD -- that average better than 35 miles per gallon. (The comparable figure for imperial gallons is 42 mpg.) You can search cars sold in the UK by fuel economy here and in the US here.