Five Alternatives to Electrified Cars that Can Do Over 35 MPG

Four alternatives to EVs 1 photo
Photo: Image edited by autoevolution
This week's big news for BMW fans was the EPA rating for the i8. According to the Germans, the car will do 134 mpg (2.1 l/100 km) on the combined cycle, in EU tests. However, the Americans are a bit more realistic and their rating is nowhere near what the company claims.
According to them, the i8 will only do 28 mpg (8.4 l/100 km) which is not just low, it’s downright disappointing for most of us. Sure, it’s still better than most of its rivals that can brag with similar performances on the road but it’s a bittersweet piece of news.

Since we saw that the expensive plug-in hybrid will do only this much, we though some much cheaper alternatives would be in order. Sure, we had to dig up some diesel engines but it was all in the sake of searching for the best EPA ratings.

So, after many debates we came up with 5 cars that will return better fuel efficiency, even though they don’t look as good as the i8 or don’t have the same 0-62 mph sprint times. It’s all about sipping fuel people.

At number 5 we found the Toyota Corolla Eco, a car that uses a prehistoric CVT, low-rolling resistance tires, underbody aero panels, and a new version of Toyota’s 1.8-liter four with Valvematic continuously variable intake-valve lift and phasing that bumps output by 8 horsepower to 140 compared to the normal car. Thanks to all those efforts, the car was rated at a combined 35 mpg (6.7 l/100 km) by the EPA, a pretty good result.

Number four goes to Honda’s Civic HF, a car that borrows tech from the hybrid model just to boost its mileage. The Japanese managed to exactly what they set out to achieve, the HF being rated at 35 mpg (6.7 l/100 km) by the EPA.

In the number three position comes the old smart fortwo. We would’ve used the new one but the EPA didn’t get a chance to test it yet. The old one is a car for the city and it’s rather easy to use. It has a 3-cylinder 1-liter engine making 70 HP and 68 lb-ft (92 Nm) of torque hooked up to a rather uncomfortable automatic gearbox but it does return 36 mpg (6.5 l/100 km).

Number two on our ad-hoc list goes to the Ford Fiesta SFE EcoBoost that uses the award-winning Ford 1-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder motor capable of carrying the small and light car to an unbelievable combined rating of 37 mpg (6.3 l/100 km).

Last, but certainly not least, we have the BMW 328d Sedan. We know you can have the Sport Wagon in here as well but that model, with xDrive is a bit heavier and therefore has to concede a couple of miles on its mpg estimate. The Sedan, on the other hand, is 100 kilos (220 lbs) lighter and therefore was rated by the EPA at an amazing 37 mpg (6.3 l/100 km). Considering just how much bigger and more practical than a Fiesta it is, we gave it the number one spot, even though costs a lot more to buy.

Sure, this ranking is done using the EPA estimates, but you might have a thing or two to say about their results as well. Maybe on a number of trips you managed to get even better results. Let us know if you think other cars should also make it on this list.
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