If you are looking for the best fuel economy for your car, the best thing you can do is buy a fuel efficient vehicle. Sure, there are ways to increase the fuel efficiency of your car. However, it is much easier to just buy a more fuel efficient vehicle. It would help to know where to look for this information, and then which cars have better ratings than others in their class or even not in the same class.
Step 1: Research
First thing is first, research. You should be researching two different things here. First, you should figure out what type of car you want. No specifics are needed yet, but just the type of car, like a SUV, car, truck, etc. You can then also research the average ratings for each class of vehicles so that you can compare what is normal and what is worse (or better). To research the ratings for cars, check out FuelEconomy.gov for more information.
Step 2: Check Out the Best
You may not know what you want exactly, but you do know that you want a fuel efficient car. It is always a good idea to start at the top and work your way down. So here are some of the best cars in each class.
- Best fuel economy cars: For regular size cars, the Toyota Prius would be the tops in its class. The Prius is a hybrid and has been leading the fuel efficiency push now for years. It gets 51 miles per gallon on the highway and 48 miles per gallon in the city.
- Best fuel economy SUV: The two top SUVs in this class are both brand new, and they are the Ford Escape and Lexus RX 450. Both of these are hybrids, and produce great gas mileage. The Escape gets 34 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway. The Lexus RX gets a combined 30 miles per gallon. It does cost about $15,000 more than the Escape though at $45,000.
- Best fuel economy truck: The Toyota Tacoma and the Ford Ranger create a tie at the top. Both get about 25 miles per gallon on the highway, and 19 miles per gallon in the city.
Step 3: Test Drive & Select
The next steps are to do what you normally would do, take a test drive, and then select your vehicle, sign on the dotted line, and you have bought yourself a fuel efficient car.
How to Keep it Efficient
Your car will have the stated numbers when you first buy it, but from there, the mileage ratings can fall. There are some things that you can do to make sure your car is getting the most fuel economy that you paid for.
- Check your tires for proper pressure.
- Have a mechanic check out the fuel injection system and air filters for leaks and clogs.
- Use cruise control to limit acceleration.
- Turn off your air conditioner while driving.
- Plan your trips around peak traffic times.
- Don't idle your car, shut off your engine when you are not in motion.