Tesla is pressuring new car dealers with its direct to customers sales model. Now, several regional start-ups are challenging how used cars are sold. If they are successful, traditional used car dealers could be feeling the heat soon, too. The new companies have catchy names like Beepi, Shift, Carvana, and Vroom.
If you’re an avid reader of Gas 2, then you already know that the highest MPG car that’s not a hybrid is the Mitsubishi Mirage CVT … or, is it? The trouble with any claims of biggest, fastest, or bestest is that there’s almost always an asterisk involved. In the case of the Mitsubishi, it’s that there are a number of cars sold globally that, either because they don’t pass US emissions or safety standards, aren’t sold here.
So, how do the cars in- say- the UK stack up to the little Mirage? How do they stack up to their own EU-market hybrids? Here’s the 5 most fuel efficient cars that aren’t hybrids- for Europe and the UK. Enjoy!
Small cars will typically burn less fuel than larger cars so it’s no surprise that the Fiat 500 rates as one of the greenest petrol cars on the market today. While the fuel consumption is very low (achieving over 70 mpg with the smallest Fiat engines), the engine is a good deal more powerful than it was in the original Fiat 500s.
Second-hand Fiat 500 cars represent great value for money in the UK, and a step towards a cleaner environment.
Renault Clio dCi 90 Eco
This one will really hurt the American readers, because the sharp-handling, sharp-looking Renault Clio is one of the most popular cars on the road- and not without good reason! The Clio is and has always been an affordable vehicle, and the French cars’ low running costs allow the economy to continue.
As well as achieving very low fuel consumption, the Clio’s extra-clean engines mean its emissions come in at about 80g/km. That’s good enough to put you well within the UK’s greenest tax bracket.
In addition to an efficient engine, what makes a car economical is a reduction in inertia. This is where the tiny Smart ForTwo- a perennial favorite of the Gas 2 staff– comes in. If you don’t need to cart round a lot of people or luggage, just needing to get from A to B, the Smart ForTwo is the perfect option.
Another Gas 2 favorite, Ford’s newest Fiesta model is another one of the most popular cars in the UK. As with the others on this list, it offers fantastically low emissions without using a hybrid engine. This Ecoboost technology ensures that you get great performance at the same time as saving the environment.
If you’re looking for something a little less common which still ticks the eco-friendly box, it could be worth looking into a Kia. The Rio offers over 80mpg without compromising on the power from its 1.1-litre engine.
Content partially sponsored by VCars, UK.
Need another reason to buy a hybrid? Here’s one – the Dekra Used Car Report (which focuses on green vehicles) announced this year that the Toyota Prius was the compact vehicle with the fewest problems.
Hybrids – Complicated AND Dependable
Hybrid vehicles are a daunting prospect for many car buyers – the general impression is that they’re really complicated, which leads to a fear of many expensive trips to the shop or the dealer to get something fixed. Dekra shows that it just isn’t true; the Prius was easily at the top of their quality section as the compact car with the fewest defects showing up between 30,000 and 60,000 miles.
Dekra’s method of rating cars is their defect index, which subtracts the percentage of vehicles with “significant deficiencies” from the percentage of vehicles with no relevant defects. In other words, the higher the number, the better. When the Toyota Prius was evaluated, 90% of the vehicles had no significant problems, while 2.5% had serious issues, giving it a defect index of 87.5%.
Apparently Toyota Makes Reliable Small Cars
Toyota actually did quite well across the board in Dekra’s report, with the Auris (also available as a hybrid) taking second place for quality in the compact car section, and the Yaris firmly taking top place among the small cars. Toyota, one might speculate, is not surprised by this news at all, as its on internal statistics show the Prius as having the fewest maintenance costs of any car it is currently selling.
Think about that for a moment – of all the cars Toyota has under warranty, the one that costs them the least is the Prius. Complex or not, that sounds pretty reliable to me. The competition needs to step it up a notch.
While conducting its research, Dekra evaluated 15 million general inspections of 230 models from the past two years (that’s an average of over 65,000 cars of each model type). They evaluated typical used-car defects only, which is to say if the car was screwed up from not being properly maintained, the owner had it coming and those problems didn’t count (worn-out tires not caused by engineering defects, for instance).
Ready for a Prius – or at least ready to embrace the knowledge that hybrids are as dependable as any other car? Let us know in the comments, below.
Source: Gruene Autos | Image: Toyota.