Let’s face it, it is never fun to make repeated trips to the gas station, especially when it is really cold outside.
So what would help is to have a fuel-efficient car, which will not only reduce the number of times you’ll visit your local gas bar, but also will be kinder to your bank account and the environment.
I recently tested two vehicles that managed to average less than 7.0-liters/100km, and they are as follows:
This vehicle has been in the market for a few years already but is still not a common sight.
The problem the Mazda2 has is that it is priced too close to the bigger, more powerful Mazda3, and most people who go shopping for the 2, end up buying the 3.
That is not a problem for Mazda dealers, because they are happy as long as the customer buys one of their cars. However, I think people are missing out. The Mazda2 might be small and it might only have a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces just 100-hp and 98-lb/ft of torque, but the way this car translates its power on the road is quite amazing.
Everyone who was in my tester commented how quick this little car is, and on any road, city or highway, it never felt underpowered. It is fun to drive also. The chassis is just excellent, hence the ride quality and handling is better than any sub-compact in the market.
I also love its 5-speed manual gearbox. It shifts smoothly and enjoys being used. A 4-speed automatic is also offered, for those who rather not bother with rowing their own gears.
The Mazda2 might be getting on in years but it is still a wonderful car. With prices starting at just $14,450; it is not expensive to buy, and with my weeks worth of driving averaging just 6.6-liters/100km, it certainly is not expensive to run.
Want a vehicle that is even more economical and bigger?
Well, you will need to spend quite a bit more money, but the solution can be found in the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid.
The ILX, which replaced the aging CSX model in Acura’s line-up has become an instant hit. Not only is it an attractive four-door sedan, it is also well equipped, with most of all the modern conveniences (like: navigation, back-up camera, clever infotainment system, etc) can be found in it.
There are three engines on offer, from mild to sporty, but the one I want to concentrate on today is the fuel-sipping hybrid version.
The ILX Hybrid has a 1.5-liter, i-VTEC, four-cylinder motor that produces 111-hp and 127-lb/ft of torque. Power is fed to the front wheels via a CVT automatic gearbox with steering-wheel mounted pedal shifters.
On paper, this vehicle would appear to be deathly slow, but in reality, it is quite different. I was amazed how quick this vehicle is in the real world, and hence is fun to drive. However, having fun would hurt the fuel-economy, so for the most part, I would switch on its “ECON” setting and just cruise around. This allows its gas and electric motor to work seamlessly with each other and the end result is truly fantastic economy numbers. Even in frigid cold weather, the 2013 ILX Hybrid averaged just 6.2-liters/100km. For a real-world figure, that is pretty awesome.
The ILX Hybrid is on sale currently, with prices starting from $34,990. That is certainly not cheap, but it is competitively priced against its rivals.