Are you looking for a new car or truck? One item you should definitely consider is MPG – miles per gallon – how much you gonna spend on gas? That’s especially true if you live on the west coast as I do where gas prices are high. But that’s relative. Gas prices are higher in Hawaii, Europe, etc.
The best option, I think is to go with an electric car. I just plug in my Leaf at night and forget about it. My drive into town is at least 15 miles, 30 round trip. That’s about half my range. Though due to hills and high speed roads, I use 50-60 miles. That’s still less than the 80 to 110 I start with. No problem. If I had a Tesla and if there were super-charging stations where I live, there would definitely be no problem.
But what if you want an SUV – there are electric options for those. Trucks will have electric options soon. Electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain and you won’t be paying for gas. If you’re interested, read my book – Select Your Electric Car.
OK, now that I’ve got the marketing over with, what was your question? Oh yes, what’s the minimum mpg I should be looking for in a car? Electric Vehicles aside, I’d say 50mpg for a small car. I’ve got another book 43 Miles Per Gallon that tells you how to increase that mpg even further. My Toyota Echo is rated at 35mpg, but I can get 43mpg from it. Ahem, as I was saying, 50mpg limits you basically to hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electrics. In my opinion, if you’re going to go with a plug-in hybrid, you might as well go all electric. That little bit of gas isn’t going to save your ___.
So, what cars, suvs, and trucks are available to me, other than electric and plug-in hybrids? FuelEconomy.gov says: Small Cars: Hyundai Ioniq Blue, Hyunday Ioniq, and your can probably tweak a Prius c to get that good of mileage. Sedans: Toyota Prius Eco, Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Prius AWD, and I’m betting you can get 50mpg out of these: Honda Insight Touring, Honda Accord Hybrid, Chevy Malibu Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid. Wagons: Kia Niro FE, Kira Niro with a lighter foot on the pedal. And I didn’t include fuel cell vehicles as you probably can’t buy those unless you live in California.
That’s a good list of cars, those the Chevy’s may be discontinued next year. No SUVs or trucks on the list however. If you want an SUV with good mpg, you’ll have to go electric. The Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid AWD is supposed to get 90MPGe, but the gas engine will only get you 35mpg. Once you’ve used your battery reserves which is only 17 miles at best, you’re dependent on the gas engine until you recharge your electric battery – either by braking or by plugging in. If you want a truck, you’ll have to wait on Tesla or one of its competitors. Tesla is trying to produce pickups this year – better get on the list.