Miles of Smiles Per Gallon

2015-mitsubishi-mirage

When gas prices hit or exceed $4 per gallon, the cost to fill up my Audi Q7 gets scarily close to $100. I drive to conserve fuel by accelerating slowly, cruising on the highway at about 60-65 miles per hour, and not letting the engine run to warm up the car in the driveway.

At my local Costco this weekend, I pulled up and saw what I thought was a price of $3.94 on the pump’s display. Closer inspection showed a price of $3.44, and I nearly jumped for joy. Fifty cents per gallon, at about 18 gallons, saved a good nine dollars and made me a happy dude.

Gas prices are falling across the country, which is great news for all of us. If you want to save even more at the pump, while driving a brand new car, check this out:

The most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car in the United States has been announced.

The Detroit News says:

Mitsubishi’s 2015 Mirage compact, five-door hatchback is rated by the federal government at 40 miles per gallon in combined city/highway travel. Specifically, the five-seat Mirage with good-sized cargo room of 17.2 cubic feet behind the seats earned a city rating of 37 mpg, while the highway rating is 44 mpg.

These numbers are higher than the mileage ratings for many smaller-size cars that have just two seats, such as the smart fortwo and the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

The Mirage, with a 74-hp, 1.2-liter, double overhead cam 3-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission retails for just below $15,000. With a 9.2-gallon fuel tank, filling up will cost less than $40, even at $4 per gallon.

The car weighs a scant 2,000 pounds, but fill it with friends and gear and don’t expect to do any passing on the highway.

Think you can do better by buying used? Maybe. The average price of a used car in the U.S. is over $17,000, and none can provide the kind of fuel economy and modern safety equipment offered by the Mirage. The Mirage includes electronic stability control, antilock brakes, front and side airbags, and a driver’s knee airbag.

The Mirage was all new for 2014, so it’ll be another year or so before the used ones begin to hit the market in decent numbers. Maybe by then I’ll be ready to trade in the Q7.

What car would you buy to maximize fuel efficiency? 

-tgriffith

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Audi Q7
Used Mitsubishi Mirage
Used smart fortwo
Used Mazda MX-5 Miata

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