Energy Expert Lou Ann Hammond joins Richard in studio to analyze the latest fuel efficient vehicles.
Fuel-Efficient vehicles by segment
Fuel-efficiency isn’t just for small cars. It applies to all segments of vehicles, from the smallest all-electric to the largest pickup. Just because a vehicle is small and gets 40 miles per gallon doesn’t mean it’s right for a family of five with a dog. That family will still need a car to fit it’s needs.
2013 Ford Focus Electric Vehicle
Many of the alternative powered cars sold have an added value; the coveted high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane that allows you to drive in the least congested lane on the highway.
Ford Focus EV California owners will plunk down $39,995, but will be able to receive up to $10,000 in tax credit’s between the Golden States new $2,500 rebate and the eligible $7,500 federal tax incentive
When you charge your Focus with electricity it will cost between $1 and $2“ which gives you 76 miles of driving range. If your gasoline vehicle gets a 38 miles per gallon at $4.50 per gallon, the cost to drive that same 76 miles is $9.00. Driving 15,000 miles on electricity would cost around $400, while driving 15,000 miles on gasoline would cost about $1,800.
What to do with the $10,000 tax credit?
SunPower is offering Ford Focus EV owners a 2.5 kilowatt rooftop solar system for $10,000, or less, after federal tax credit’s.
Hyundai Accent (MSRP:$12,545) or Kia Rio (MSRP:$13,400)
Not only do you get great gas mileage you get a Ward’s Autos 10 best engine if you buy the Accent or the Rio. The 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder engine with gasoline direct injection was named one of “2012 10 Best Engines” by Wards Automotive. Both cars get 30 city/40 highway miles per gallon, whether it is an automatic or manual.
Chevrolet Cruze Eco (MSRP:$19,325)
There is only one variant of the Chevy Cruze that gets 28 city/42 highway miles per gallon. The 42 miles per gallon on the highway beats out Hyundai, Kia, and Honda, but it will also cost more for the car.
Nissan Altima (MSRP:$21,500)
The 2013 Nissan Altima was just unveiled at the New York International Auto Show. The 2.5-liter 16-valve 4-cylinder rated at 182 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque engine gets 27 city/38 mpg miles per gallon
Small Crossovers – CUV
2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport (MSRP:$20,695) Touring (MSRP:$23,895) or Grand Touring
2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine is rated at 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque mated to the SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual (Standard on Sport) or SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed Sport automatic (Available on Sport, Standard on Touring and Grand Touring).
The 6-speed manual gets 26 city/35 highway miles per gallon
The 6-speed Automatic transmission comes in front-wheel drive and gets 26 city/32 highway, or the all-wheel drive EPA estimate is 25 city/31 highway miles per gallon.
Medium Crossover CUV
Chevy Equinox LS Front-Wheel Drive (MSRP: $23,530)
All-Wheel Drive (MSRP: $25,280) or GMC Terrain (MSRP: $25,560)
The Equinox’s standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine gets 182 horsepower @ 6700 rpm and 172 lb.-ft of torque @ 4900 rpm.
The 2.4-liter achieves an EPA-estimated 22 city/32 highway (front-wheel drive) or 20 city/29 highway (all-wheel drive).