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2008 Toyota Prius Number One in Fuel Economy; Under Fire for Stance on 32 MPG

2008 Toyota Prius Number One in Fuel Economy; Under Fire for Stance on 32 MPG

2008 Toyota Prius gets 48 mpg in city: best of breed.

November 5, 2007 —

With oil prices setting new high jump records and the gas gauge on our cars stuck on “fill me,” hybrid gas-electric cars are looking very attractive to consumers. Savings on car gas is a major part of national neurosis these days. If we can save money while in the cockpit of an environmentally forward and euro-electric looking vehicle, then the 2008 Toyota Prius is considered the top performer for car buyers to be checking out. The Environmental Protection Agency’s yearly Fuel Economy Guide,  produced along with the Department of Energy, put the 2008 Toyoto Prius hybrid at the head of the class for fuel effectiveness: 48 mpg for city driving and 45 mpg on highways.

In a field that is getting more crowded with hybrids, the Japanese car makers again swept the top three positions. The Honda Civic Hybrid, which earns 40 mpg in the city and 45 on the highway, and the Nissan Altima Hybrid, 35 city and 33 highway, came in second and third respectively.

Compared with the Toyota Prius, the lineup of luxury vehicles in the Fuel Economy Guide might as well be Model Ts: super luxury cars like Ferrari are getting about 10 mpg in the city. Audi and Mercedes Benz station wagons clock in the mid-teens combined mpg.

While this ranking is good news for Toyota, the firm is under fire for supporting a federal fuel economy law mandating cars meet a 32 mpg average by 2022 rather than supporting another economy law mandating a 35 mpg average by 2020—this one supported by environmental groups.  In addition, Toyota's vehicle lineup has shifted larger vehicles, including gas-guzzline full-size pickup trucks.

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