With unrest in the Middle East prompting predictions of $4-5/gallon gas in the U.S., buyers will be looking for that 40-mpg number, and automotive marketers will try to deliver it. Of course, electric cars, plug-in extended range electrics, and many diesels and hybrids easily crest the magic number.
Today, 40 mpg isn't entirely dependent on size. Two C-segment cars are on this list, versus one each in the A- and B-segments. For the 2010 model year, only one car reached 40 mpg highway without hybrid or diesel power, the A-segment Smart ForTwo.
Soon there'll be six such models in the 40-mpg Club. Ford says its 2.0-liter 2012 Focus SE with SFE package achieves at least 40 mpg highway, whether equipped with the six-speed manual or Powershift auto-manual transmission, though EPA figures for '12 models were not published in time for this report. Similarly, Honda says its all-new 2012 Civic HF will, like the '12 Civic Hybrid, breach 40-mpg highway. The '11 Fit manages only 28/35 mpg with the five-speed automatic (27/33 with the manual). The '12 Fiat 500, an A-segment car, gets 30/38 mpg for the manual, and 27/34 mpg for the automatic.
The first automaker that can attain 40-mpg-plus from a midsize sedan could rule the U.S. market. Volkswagen will do it with the 2012 Passat, though only with the diesel, which it says will achieve 43-mpg highway. The diesel engine will be imported to the U.S. for the Tennessee-assembled Passat, creating a high "transfer cost," so expect the Passat diesel to cost quite a bit more than the $20,000 base price. If you want to reach 40 mpg highway with a conventional gas engine, here are 2011 model year choices:
1)what is asinine is that many of these new car sales, be it 40 mpg or 30+, will result in focus on JUST fuel economy. many of the consumers that will start to migrate and purchase such vehicles really wont be able to keep up w/ the payments and extra insurance coverage.
2)there are already COUNTLESS used cars that are already in the "40 mpg club." we know, here at GS, just about any 4 cyl vehicle w/ a 5 speed manual tranny can already achieve 40. and, of course, some autos can as well, with some effort!
3)this is the classic American consumer treating the symptom rather than the cause. a quick fix, requiring less effort and determination, seems to be just what's needed...and then buyers remorse sets in when the monthly payments and debt outweigh the gains in FE.
there are already COUNTLESS used cars that are already in the "40 mpg club." we know, here at GS, just about any 4 cyl vehicle w/ a 5 speed manual tranny can already achieve 40. and, of course, some autos can as well, with some effort!
Of course we need to consider that these cars also will return "better than EPA" mpg when driven to maximize fuel economy. And yet your point is well taken. I believe most GasSavers are serving many masters, one's pocketbook, the environment, geopolitical concerns, real-life transportation needs, bragging rights and the like. One would do well to address all such concerns in deciding upon a vehicle purchase. It is indeed difficult to justify a new car purchase to offset rising fuel costs.
I don't expect most owners of 25mpg paid-off cars to buy just because they can get a 40mpg car...they'll buy the 40mpg car instead of a 30mpg car that they were going to buy for the same price.
Anyway, why complain? Let people buy the cars. If they don't then there will be no 40mpg rated used cars for us in the future.
your point is well taken. my point is that the average earner of $30 to $40k (i imagine) thinks he/she can afford a new car when the price of said vehicle is out of the 15% of income recommendations. that would include payment, fuel, and insurance.