It seems as though energy savings and fuel conservation are not just trends, but will be a way of life for decades to come. The reduction of one’s carbon footprint is held in high esteem and driving in an environmentally responsible manner has taken a high priority. You need look no farther than your local car dealership to find proof; every new carmaker offers a plug-in electric, fuel/electric hybrid, or clean diesel solution to the resource robbing effects of the gasoline powered combustion engine. Initially, electric and hybrid electric vehicle technology was terribly expensive and it seemed as though their inconveniences would far outweigh the benefits; not so much anymore. Now, with the growing popularity of clean diesel powered cars and light trucks, it is difficult to purchase one that makes economical sense but they are available. Here are five energy saving autos, that won’t give you “sticker shock.”
The first three entries are brand new diesel powered cars for under $25K. With these outstanding fuel economy numbers, and low sticker prices, consumers whose routine includes a lengthy daily commute can really save some dough.
Finally, an American made diesel car with some back-bone; this clean burning turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel produces an astounding 264 lb.-ft. of torque and 151-horsepower. It also accomplishes 0-60 mph in 8.6-seconfs, that’s faster than the Volkswagens; and fuel economy is slightly better at 27 mpg city/46 mpg highway. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is just $24,993 and a six-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Everybody loves a Beetle. This surprisingly spacious “Bug” is no joke when it comes to fuel economy. This German import is estimated at 28 mpg city/41mpg highway and is available with your choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Beetle is also equipped with a turbocharged, direct injected, diesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine which makes 140-horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. MSRP for the Diesel Bug is $24,993. It is also available as a convertible.
American consumers recognize the reliability and quality of this particular Volkswagen, but often imagine that it is overpriced. Not so; with an MSRP of just $24,015 it is the lowest priced diesel available in the U.S. The Jetta is a great looking four-door sedan with a 2.0-liter turbocharged TDI diesel. A manual six-speed gearbox is standard with a six-speed automatic available as an option. It puts out 140-horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque and has an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway.
Our next category of economical autos is the hybrid gasoline/electric vehicle group. Don’t believe the hype; they are not all overpriced.
Wow! Talk about fuel efficient. This sporty little coupe puts up some extraordinary fuel economy numbers of 44 mpg city/44 mpg highway. Power comes from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor, together they combine for 110-horsepower and 127 lb.-ft. of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard for an MSRP of $23,612.
This hybrid vehicle looks and drives like a sports car. The 1.5-liter gasoline engine and electric motor combine to manufacture 130-horsepower and 140 lb.-ft. of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard equipment and the MSRP is just $20,765. Despite its great appearance and sporty driving performance the CR-Z has a fuel efficiency rating of 31 mpg city/38 mpg highway.