With fuel prices soaring, the race for the most economical car is on. 2014 has seen the introduction of many hybrid and electric cars.
Where the Prius previously dominated the market, it now has stiff competition. 2014 has been the year where many typically hatchbacks have seen the inclusion of hybrid engines. There is now more choice in the electric car range. It is no longer a niche market.
As the quest for alternative fuels rages on, cars are already beginning to adapt. The future is already here. Electric cars can now be as powerful and impressive as their petrol cousins. That has opened up the market significantly. We are only at the start of this new car boom. If 2014 was the testing ground, 2015 will really see big changes.
The last five years has been the most difficult economic period in recent history. This has meant that the quest for fuel economy is not just rooted in the environment. There is a consumer demand for better fuel consumption. We simply cannot keep spending so much at the pump as we have been. If you are looking to buy a new car, make sure you are getting good fuel economy.
Electric cars are just the start of this revolution. On this list are some of the best new hybrid cars. Amongst them are the best fuel consumers in the traditional engine range.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the original hybrid. The Prius is still amongst the best. However, it is no longer the leader of the field. It falls short of the impressive BMW i3 and two of the VW hybrids in terms of economic value. It is still one of the very cheapest electric cars on the market though. It is also more spacious than any other hybrid hatchback and quiet as a mouse. It is exempt from London’s congestion charge too. On the downside, its large batter makes for a bumpy ride. When it comes to greener living, the Prius is still the first car people turn to.
BMW i3 hatchback
The BMW is the clear leader when it comes to road-worthy electric cars. Its hybrid engine has a 200 mile range, far out-reaching the nearest competitors. The wheels are turned by a powerful electric motor, while a petrol engine keeps the battery charged. The entire car can be recharged from your home power supply. It is the most economic car on the road right now and is competitively priced. You don’t sacrifice on performance either. It has a fast acceleration and comes with all the BMW quality you would expect.
VW Ampera Hatchback
Hot on the heels of the magnificent BMW is the VW Ampera. Built with a similar engine to the BMW, it is powered by an electric engine and kept going by a petrol hybrid. It is a spacious four-seater and doesn’t compromise the family necessities. It’s a great hatchback at heart. It has a futuristic look and zippy top speeds.
The new electric Golf is quite a triumph. You wouldn’t tell it apart from its classic petrol alternative so it retains all the Golf status. You could even race the two and you’d barely notice the difference. The electric Golf is a solid competitor in the performance department. Of course it doesn’t quite match on top speed but it’s not far behind. The electric Golf is fully chargeable from home in three hours too.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SUV
This is, by far and away, the most economical SUV on the market. It’s the best hybrid SUV you’ll find right now. You will compromise on seating, the Outlander only squeezes in five seats, rather than seven. On the other hand, it retains a brilliant four-wheel drive system and performs better than its competitors. It still has a ton of boot space making it the ideal family car. Plus, it’ll still handle the adventurous country roads at a weekend.
Peugeot 308 hatchback
The Peugeot 308 is the most economical car with a traditional engine. Its diesel engine is the most efficient non-hybrid that money can buy. If you’re still not convinced by the electric revolution, then the Peugeot is the car you want. Peugeot shaved some serious weight off its predecessor to achieve this economic powerhouse. It also has a sophisticated engine that treats its own exhaust fumes. This means that it has a tiny CO2 emissions output. So low, in fact, that it sits among the hybrids in the lowest road-tax bracket. In some countries, it is exempt entirely from road tax.
Porsche Panamera hatchback
Yes, a Porsche made it onto a list of economically efficient cars. In fact, their hybrid engines are very sophisticated. The Panamera comes with a V6 petrol engine to complement the electric motor. This means you can get some serious power out of it, while saving on money and car fumes. Porsche are leading the way in the battle for power and emissions balance. Hopefully other supercars will follow in their wake.
Ford Fiesta hatchback
The reliable and affordable Fiesta is consistently fuel efficient. It deserves its place amongst 2014’s fuel efficient cars. Although it is comparatively slow and a little noisey, it has many benefits. It is the perfect car around town. You won’t find better fuel economy for a cheaper price.
This budget car is the cheapest on the list. It offers decent fuel economy for a very low price. You’ll compromise on ride quality, space and noise. Especially when comparing it with its competitors at Ford and VW. However, it is significantly cheaper.
It is important to note that the stated fuel economy does not always translate to real life situations. Recently Kia and Hyundai have been in the news for faking their fuel economy stats. Reports also show that Ford and VW cars don’t always run as efficiently as they claim. However, even if you don’t take it at face value, the cars on this list are still the best out there. In the quest for good fuel economy, these are your winners.
Main image by M 93.