Seventeen Cars That Defy Logic, Get 40 MPG

2012 Scion xD

“Only in politics do people root for bad news and they greet bad news so enthusiastically. You pay more, and they’re licking their chops.”

That awkwardly worded quote was said by President Obama yesterday, in a scathing speech decrying Republicans as rooting for bad news and promising a return to $2 gas if elected.

Of course, being the educated and intellectual group we all are, we know darn well that a new president can’t step into office, drill for new oil and lower gas prices to two bucks a gallon. We are aware of the immense complexities that go into gas prices and the hundreds of factors that lead to more-expensive gas. The one thing we can all do to demand lower prices is decrease our use of the stuff.

Not driving your F-250 to and from the grocery store to buy a six-pack is a good place to start. For those in the market for a new car, buying one that has been shown to get at least 40 mpg on the highway works, too.

Consumer Reports released a list of cars that hit 40 mpg or more in its highway testing. The list is impressive, because it features 17 fairly inexpensive cars officially rated below the magical 40-mpg mark that achieve it in real-world testing.

Keep in mind, this was a 65-mph test on undisclosed roads. It very well could have been on I-80 through Nebraska rather than I-90 through the Washington Cascades. Still, though, at least we know 40 mpg is possible.

40-mpg cars

Only three hybrids and one diesel made the list. The rest were good, old-fashioned internal combustion gas sippers. They are all reasonably priced cars you can buy today to do what the government can’t: start decreasing this country’s oil consumption and begin a trend of falling gas prices.

Of course, keeping domestically-sourced oil within our borders might help too, but hey, we can only control so much, right?


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  1. And with the exception of the Camry and Fusion all are sardine cans. Why no Prii ?? I’ll take the F-250 for my beer run. Also the CR test figures makes them a candidate to join the EPA in dreaming up those numbers and that’s what they are…….. in your dreams that you’ll ever get those numbers. C&D’s recent test of the Subie Impreza’s claimed 28 mpg resulted in a real world 22mpg. Here in Wild Wonderful WV that number would be even lower. Bah, humbug!!

  2. The problem with this kind of list is that most of us don’t drive primarily highway miles. With most Americans living in urban and suburban areas, I’d say city and mixed driving ratings are more important. Also, with about 1/3rd of the vehicles listed being manual transmission models, you eliminate a substantial majority of buyers who don’t want, can’t drive, and will not buy a car with manual transmission. What I’d rather see is a list of the best and worst city mileage ratings, especially smaller cars that should get much better city mileage than they actually do.

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