Electric cars and hybrids aren’t the only cars that can help you pass the gas pump more often. Auto companies are boosting miles per gallon with smaller but still powerful gasoline engines.
And check out the cost: If you need better gas mileage but can’t afford a pricey hybrid, new cars with smaller, high-mpg gasoline engines often are less expensive as well.
To boost gas mileage while maintaining performance, auto companies are using a variety of technologies to update their gasoline engines:
- Turbocharging lets a four-cylinder engine power a car like a V-6, but only when needed. When you hit the accelerator, the turbocharger forces more air into the cylinders, boosting power.
- Gasoline direct injection controls the timing and amount of fuel injected into the cylinders, facilitating gains in both power and mileage.
- Variable valve timing aids getting air in and exhaust gases out of the engine at all driving speeds.
- The idle stop feature shuts off the engine if you stop for a traffic light, then restarts it when you push the accelerator.
Here is a selection of small and midsize models that can save you money at the gas pump:
- 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, rated at 24 mpg in city driving, 36 mpg highway
- 2011 Ford Fiesta, rated at 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway
- 2011 Honda Civic, rated at 29 mpg city, 41 mpg highway
- 2011 Hyundai Sonata, rated at 22 mpg city, 34 mpg highway
- 2011 Honda Accord, rated at 23 mpg city, 34 mpg highway
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Copyright 2011 CUNA Inc.