The Federal Government and other private companies test the full line of new cars every year and provide average fuel ratings to help the consumer know which car will cost them more at the pump.
In the past few years we have seen Fuel Prices go up and down but the fact is fuel costs will always continue to rise. This is because Oil is a limited resource and although there has been a lot of Hype about Bio Diesel and Ethanol these products can never be produced at a high enough volume to replace petroleum.
We could plant the whole surface of the earth with Corn or Soybeans to produce alternative fuels and we would still not have enough to serve even America’s needs.
For this reason we really need to start moving away from petroleum as fast as we can and use electric plugins and Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles. This will also mean a great change in how we live. People will no longer be able to commute an hour and a half to work and light rail running on electric will need to expand into rural and suburban areas. In the next 100 years the world will definitely see a large change.
Another alarming problem will be how we produce and move food. From the fuel tractors in our fields need to herbicides, pesticides and energy used for storage producing enough fuel to cover the expanding population will be close to impossible.
In all honesty we really need laws that restrict the production and use of vehicles that use more fuel then needed to transport people efficiently. This means no more driving the SUV or Truck to work unless you use them as a tool in your work.
Even with today’s technology replacing half of our current fleet with compact and midsized vehicles can reduce our overall use of petroleum by 30% or more. And although importing oil is costly America should probably reserve its oil on the Mainland for when we really need it 100 years from now.
Anyway many of these things you have heard before and driving down the street you probably see a 50% ratio of cars to SUV and Trucks and this is unfortunate but you can choose to conserve not only to reduce our dependence on oil but also to reduce your out of pocket costs.
You should review new and used vehicles when you are selecting one to purchase www.fueleconomy.gov will give you basic guides of fuel use for your vehicle and there are a number of other sites out there that can also help.
When looking at these tests you should understand what conditions they were tested.Most government test have the vehicle run on a dynamometer type treadmill for a few hours and they do not reflect average use. They are however good for direct comparisons of different models.
Companies like Road and Track usually get a early release model and test it in the field for a number of weeks. This is a good rating because they often change different things like loads of passengers and materials to test the real world conditions you will place the vehicle in.
Manufacturer’s Ratings are also important but since they may not be independent you can not always use them for different brands of vehicles.
For the most part if you are looking for a fuel efficient vehicle you are in the 4 cylinder engine and mid to compact size. However some makers like BMW will push their 4cyls to get high horse power and use just as much gas as a 6 or 8 cyl car. For practical purposes you do not need more then 50 horsepower for every 1,000 pounds of vehicle weight unless you are hauling loads.
Anyway make your choices with understanding. What you buy today for pure enjoyment may leave everyone walking tomorrow. If we can all get that through our heads we won’t end up with $30,000 house size SUVs in our driveways that we can’t afford to drive or sell.