Great MPG Cars Head to Head
Washington DC May 29, 2008; The AIADA newsletter reported that test drivers at automotive information Web site Edmunds.com wanted to find out what kind of "fuel-efficient car" really got the best mileage. To do so, they pitted a hybrid, a diesel, a compact, and a really tiny mini-compact against one another on a road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
Obviously, the life of a test driver is a very difficult one indeed. They put the cars through three real-world driving tests along the way, including: back road driving (334 miles of 50-65 mile-per-hour driving on roads through Death Valley), city driving (133 miles of stop-and-go driving in Las Vegas), and highway cruising (209 miles of Interstate at 75 mph).
They then combined the results of those tests to determine the overall winner. The cars they selected were the Ford Focus, the Smart ForTwo, the Toyota Prius (all 2008 models), and a 2005 Volkswagen Jetta TDI.
In the end, one car really was the real fuel economy king.