Top 5 Gas-Efficient Cars

Remember the “good-old days” of paying $1.09 for gas? Those times are dead and buried, but if you’re willing to upgrade your transportation, you will find that stopping by the gas station won’t break your bank. Here is an overview of the top 5 gas-efficient cars.

5. 2006 Volkswagen Golf

This sporty little vehicle gets 30-44 MPG on the highway, and 24-37 MPG in the city. Available in 100- and 115-horsepower engines, the 2006 Golf has a versatile hatchback body and a choice of gasoline or diesel power, not to mention a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. It offers side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain-type airbags and antilock brakes. It has been described as “surprisingly quiet and brisk” and “fun to drive,” according to Jim Flammang of www.cars.com. MSRP ranges from $16,030 to $19,580.

4. 2006 Volkswagen Jetta

The GLI is the liveliest of the Jetta family, and it boasts a comprehensive array of standard safety features. This vehicle gets 32 MPG on the highway, and 23 MPG in the city. Equipped with six airbags (front, side, and full-length curtain,) the GLI has an electronic stability-control system that comes standard. Although not as sporty as the Golf, this 20-valve, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder gasoline engine produces 150-horsepower and 170-lb-ft of torque, a nice improvement over the 2.0-liter/115-horse I-4 that had long provided the base muscle of the previous Jetta models. MSRP ranges from $21,702 to $23,590.

3. 2006 Toyota Prius

Hybrid cars seem to be “the new black” when it comes to the ultimate accessory: your vehicle. This gas-engine combines with an emissions-free electric motor to achieve up to 650 miles between fill-ups. The Prius has an aluminum double overhead cam (DOHC) 16-valve VVT-I 4 cylinder gas engine, along with a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor to produce efficient gas mileage (51 on the highway, 60 in the city, 55 combined.) A fun accessory on this vehicle is the Auto-Dimming Mirror, which senses headlight glare and automatically dims the mirror to diminish eyestrain. XM Satellite radio became available in this model in April 2006. MSRP ranges from $20,006 to $21,725.

2. 2006 Honda Civic

You can’t have a “best of” list without including the Honda Civic. If you’re looking for leg room, refinement, and value, look no further than the Honda DX Sedan. The 5-speed manual and 5-speed automatic transmission both get 30 MPG in the city, but the 5-speed automatic gets 40 MPG on the highway, slightly above the 38 MPG obtainable in the 5-speed manual transmission. The DX also offers anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD) and a 1.8-liter, 140-horsepower engine. Airbags on the DX model include dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, and front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS.) Side curtain airbags are also standard. MSRP ranges from $13,327 to $14,560.

1. 2006 Honda Insight

It’s almost obscene to get 66 MPG on the highway, and 60 MPG in the city. But that’s exactly what the Honda Insight MT offers. Proud to be the original hybrid (the first one was introduced in 2000,) Honda remains at the “top of the heap” when it comes to fuel efficiency. Boasting a sporty, fun-to-drive experience, the Insight is especially convenient, as you never have to plug it in. This 2-door, 2-passenger coupe is equipped with a 1.0-liter, I-3, 73-horsepower hybrid engine and a standard 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive. Its exotic aluminum construction makes it the car of choice for those interested in a sleek aerodynamic design. In government crash testing, the Honda Insight received a 4-star rating (out of a possible 5 stars) for frontal and side-impact safety. And although its light design makes it highly susceptible to crosswinds, the car’s small dimensions and accurate steering make it a snap in negotiating crowded avenues. MSRP ranges from $18,057 to $19,330.

With the soaring prices of gas lately, your wallet is definitely paying the price. Gone are the days of putting a $20 in the tank and cruising on it for a few weeks. On average, for a 15-gallon fuel tank, you can expect to pay upwards of $35-$40 just to fill up! Doing a little research when you’re ready to trade in your “gas-guzzler” could definitely pay off in the long run. With more and more fuel-efficient cars emerging every year, the time has finally come to out-smart the gas pump. Now, when you pull into a gas station, you can just ask for directions.

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