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How to Identify the Best Cars for MPG

An increasing number of drivers are now prioritising fuel economy when it comes to choosing a car. Fuel prices have been rather turbulent recently, but nonetheless the cost is still high. For the eco-warriors among us, higher MPG (Miles Per Gallon) cars will cause less damage to our environment. Less fuel is needed to make the same journey, resulting in a reduced contribution to air pollution and global warming. For the penny-pinches and money conscious, the monthly fuel bills can be greatly reduced. In some cases fuel costs could be shrunk by more than half simply by choosing the right car for MPG.

Wading through the manufacturer’s claimed figures is one way to compare MPG of different cars. But this can be a lot of work when you don’t know which cars you should be looking at. For this reason it’s highly beneficial to learn the key aspects, allowing you to quickly identify the best cars for MPG.

Car Size/Weight

The simplest thing to consider is the size and weight of the car. Generally speaking, smaller and lighter cars will be the best for economy, so long as the other factors are considered. It goes without saying that large 4X4 transporters will guzzle more fuel than compact hatchbacks. For bigger and heavier cars, they must use much more power to propel them, for this they often rely on bigger engines. For this reason if you want to keep fuel costs down you should select the smallest car that still serves your purpose.

Engine Size and Type

Engine size is the next main factor to consider. Larger engines output more raw power than smaller ones. Performance cars need more power for fast acceleration and top speed so a bigger engine is more desirable. But when it comes to economy you will likely grind your teeth at the sight of the fuel gauge. Engines sizes around 1-litre are going to very efficient compared to larger sizes of 2-litre and bigger.

Petrol and diesel engines offer different power characteristics. Diesel engines are considered to a more economic choice, especially for long journeys. Over the years diesel engines have refined extensively, most now use turbo chargers to boost performance to match their petrol counterparts. But still diesel engines can be much more sparing on fuel so long as you are driving them sensibly!

Age of Car

Modern cars will offer superior fuel economy over their predecessors. Engine and drivetrain technology is always advancing, especially over the last few decades. Nowadays companies even realise special “eco” models that focus more intensely on providing the highest MPG for owners. Control over fuel management has become far more accurate in modern engines. The newest engines will now far outperform their older versions in both performance and economy.

Hybrid/Electric Cars

You may have noticed a number of car manufacturers adding hybrid models to their ranges. Hybrid cars combine a conventional fuel engine with powerful electric motors and clever charging systems. As a result the car can utilise both electricity and fuel as a source of drive. The car will use the electric motors whenever possible, saving the need to burn fuel. When more power is needed the conventional engine automatically start and provide power.

Full electric models are also making their way into the market. These can be a great option for those who can utilise their range and have charging stations available to use. However, for most they are currently not a viable option as the infrastructure for charging isn’t good enough yet.

Driving Tips  06/03/2015 09:33:19

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