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Highest gas mileage? List shows today's cars can't match old ones

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Highest gas mileage? List shows today's cars can't match old ones

08:33 AM

It was only a couple 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-mile-per-gallon cars. Well, it isn't.

The surprise comes from the list that the 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 effciency from conventional engines, the list underscores how little progress we've actually made toward weaning ourselves off oil.

No wonder that hypermilers like Louis Hudgin of Gilbert, Ariz., pictured above with his decade-old Honda Insight hybrid, 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 mpg's out of every gallon of gas as Hudgin's dones. Hudgin was routinely getting more than 100 mpgs.

Granted, a lot of those high mpg 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.

Here's what EPA's fueleconomy.gov website lists as the top 10 most fuel-efficient cars of the past 25 years:

1. 2000 Honda Insight: 49/61/53 mpg city/highway/combined

2. 2010 Toyota Prius: 51/48/50 mpg city/highway/combined

3. 1986 Chevy Sprint: 44/53/48 mpg city/highway/combined

4. 1990-1994 Geo Metro: 43/52/47 mpg city/highway/combined

5. 1986-1987 Honda Civic CR-X: 42/51/46 mpg city/highway/combined

6. 1994-1995 Honda Civic HB: 39/50/43 mpg city/highway/combined

7. 2006-2010 Honda Civic Hybrid: 40/45/42 mpg city/highway/combined

8. 1985 Pontiac Firefly: 39/47/42 mpg city/highway/combined

9. 1985 Suzuki SA310: 39/47/42 mpg city/highway/combined

10. 2010 Honda Insight: 40/43/41 mpg city/highway/combined

--Chris Woodyard/Drive On and David Thomas/Cars.com's Kicking Tires

link:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/06/highest-gas-mileage-list-shows-todays-cars-cant-match-old-ones/1

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Those old cars were 500-1000lbs lighter than today's cars and lacked the safety features and interior content expected of a modern car. The list is just petrol cars, looks like they left out the diesels...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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If you want cars to have high MPG ratings the Industry can & has made them.

If you want cars to have high safety ratings the Industry can & has made them.

If you want cars to have low emission ratings the Industry can & has made them.

If you want your cake & eat it too well you have to pay the piper in fuel consumption. This is of course gas vs. gas not vs. diesel that would be the only shot term solution within reason while the Industry works toward the next great step.

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