Highest-mileage list has surprises
It was only a couple of years ago that gasoline prices peaked at more
than $4 a gallon. Even though prices receded, few doubt that high-priced
gas could eventually be with us again. In light of that, you'd think
that the landscape would be filled today with 40-m.p.g. cars. Well, it
The surprise comes from a list the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
put together of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the past 25 years.
Few are from today. Most are from many years ago. For all the talk today
about hybrids, electrics and greater fuel efficiency from conventional
engines, the list underscores how little progress we've made toward
weaning ourselves off oil.
No wonder that hyper-milers like Louis Hudgin of Gilbert, Ariz., were
driving old cars like Hudgin's 2001 Honda Insight when we interviewed
them a couple years ago.
Modern cars didn't get as much mileage as the older ones, a big problem
for those who squeeze as many miles out of every gallon of gas as Hudgin
Hudgin was routinely getting more than 100 m.p.g.
Granted, a lot of those high m.p.g. cars of yore were pretty lousy. In
the past, it was uninspiring cars like the Geo Metro and Chevy Sprint
leading the gas mileage race, making a 2010 Toyota Prius look like a
luxury car in comparison.
Most fuel-efficient cars of the past 25 years
2000 Honda Insight ... 49/61/53
2010 Toyota Prius ... 51/48/50
1986 Chevy Sprint ... 44/53/48
1990-94 Geo Metro ... 43/52/47
Civic CR-X ... 42/51/46
Civic HB ... 39/50/43
Civic hybrid ... 40/45/42
1985 Pontiac Firefly ... 39/47/42
1985 Suzuki SA310 ... 39/47/42
2010 Honda Insight ... 40/43/41
Mileage figures are city/highway/combined
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