Group 3 -- E.A.T Sour Fries -- Anthony, Eric, Tessa, Justin, Tarek

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Fuel Efficiency

Anthony Gagliardi
Eric Martin
Justin Quan
Tarek Mohajer
Tessa Larsen


As of late, gas has become more of an issue in our world. Certain companies have taken the responsibility to become more efficient with their gas usage. Though there are different types of cars (such as trucks, jeeps, convertables, hybrids, ect.) each should have the priority of having a good fuel economy. Our group will investigate the most efficient of these car types.

What is Efficiency?

gas is expensive! defines Efficiency as accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort. We agree with this statement but we are looking for a couple other specifications for our idea of efficiency.
For our project we had gone by a few specific criteria in order to help distinguish efficiency from other cars. This includes:
-Miles per gallon (Highway and city)
-People capacity

Everyday Cars

There are many options out there for a buyer looking for a fuel efficient regular gasoline car and many attributes must be taken into effect when thinking about purchasing an automobile. Factors such as passenger capacity, trunk space, price, and more importantly gas mileage must be taken into account. There have been many studies on the most fuel efficient cars of today and below is a list of some of the best ones out there:

Chevrolet Logo

Starting with the American made Chevrolet, the Impala proved to be the most fuel efficient Full to Mid Sized car of those Manufactured in North America. Starting at $26,395 and weighing only 1613kg it can reach up to 25 mi/gal (miles per gallon) in the city and 40 mi/gal on the highway. An even more fuel efficient car than the Impala is the Chevrolet Aveo, starting at just $13,770 and weighing 1148kg this car can reach a whopping 32 mi/gal in the city and 49 mi/gal on the highway. Although the Aveo is a much cheaper and more fuel efficient alternative to the Impala it is a compact car, so the buyer has to take into account the size they are looking for.

Next is the Asian made Honda Accord Sedan, a full size car at 1621kg that gets up to 30 mi/gal in the city and 44 mi/gal on the highway. The Accord Sedan starts at a reasonable $25,090 and is comparable to its counterpart the Honda Accord Coupe. The Coupe is slightly more expensive, starting at $27,990 with the same gas mileage as the Sedan except that the Coupe is a compact car compared to full size. An even more fuel efficient car is made by Toyota and is a cheaper alternative to Honda Accord. The Toyota Corolla has a gas mileage of 40 mi/gal in the city and 53 mi/gal on the highway, much higher compared to the Accord. It also starts at a lower price of $14,835 and weighs significantly less at 1145kg. The Corolla is also a compact car like the Accord Coupe.

The Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec

The German made Volkswagen proved to be the most fuel efficient of European cars. The Passat is the most fuel efficient mid size car produced by VW, reaching up to 28 mi/gal for the city and 42 mi/gal on the highway and weighing in at 1454kg. The Passat starts at $27,475 and can be customized to the buyers specifications, within limitations of course. The most fuel efficient compact car produced by VW is a four way tie between the Jetta, the Rabbit, City Golf and the GTI. Each of these cars has a 30 mi/gal city and 41 mi/gal highway gas mileage although the price and look of each vehicle is moderately different. The Jetta starts at $21,975, the Rabbit $19,975, City Golf $15,300 and the GTI at $27,975. The style of each model can be viewed at the Volkswagen website.

Some people are looking for a higher end car with fuel efficiency, and the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec(Turbo) is just that. Mercedes-Benz is known for their fine German engineering and this car does not fall short of any previous expectations. With 31 mi/gal in the city and 46 mi/gal on the highway the E320 is highly efficient and at the more affordable end of the higher priced cars, starting at $68,100.


The H2 Hummer

2005 Hummer H2

This SUV is truly one of a kind. A bad ass, off road vehicle that can handle anything, even drives through over 2 feet of water like nothing. One thing you won't find about the H2 is its fuel rating, a lousy average of 8-12 MPG, 3-5 KM/L. A great vehicle for the bumpy roads, but not for the bumpy economy. That is why the production of H2 Hummers has been halted across North America. Only the H3 will be produced, which is less of a gas guzzler. The H2 weights 2909KG on average, and is equipped with dual airbags for the front passengers. Mostly sits five people, but other versions are available for a total of seven passengers.

Toyota Highlander

2008 Toyota Highlander

The Toyota High Lander is a family size SUV. More fuel friendly than most SUV's, it has a stunning 8-9KM/L fuel rating (17/23 mpg city/highway) and is not a gas guzzler. With one of the best safety class ratings, this SUV has airbags for every passenger. For those in the back, side and near air bags are used to ensure their safety. Also equipped with state of the art traction and stability control, to make sure the bumpy road is a nice one.

2008 Dodge Nitro

2008 Dodge Nitro

Here show is the newest Jeep that Dodge has introduced. Having the same capabilities as past models, the Nitro hit the market as one of Dodge’s most fuel efficient Jeep’s ever. With a 4.0 V6 engine, this jeep can get on average 100km/9L, or around 22 mpg on highway, and 100km/13L or around 16 mpg in city. For the average gas price in Calgary at the moment, the Nitro can drive 100km for 10 DOLLARS! The main reason Dodge introduced the Nitro is because consumer demand has fallen for “gas guzzling” vehicles, and a key factor these days in buying a new car is fuel efficiency.
Apart from the great milage, the Dodge Nitro has received the US GOVERNMENT HIGHEST CLASS SAFETY FOR FRONT AND SIDE IMPACT CRASH TEST RATING. Fully equipped with an airbag for every passenger to ensure a safe ride, even has side airbags. With comfortable seating for five, 5 star safety, and great milage, this jeep has become very popular in today’s markets.

2008 Chrystler Town and Country

Chrystler Town and Country

ROAD TRIP !!!!, 5 Star safety rating, over head screens, rear view camera, 8.5L/100KM (32 mpg) on the highway! WHY NOT! It also has an in city mpg of 21. Seat 7, or simply 5 by folding the rear seats into the ground to make more room available for the cargo. Hands full? With the push of a button, open any door you please. Now this van is built for the busy family. Got stains or messy kids? The fabric can repel any stain/odour, and is anti-static.


Many people choose to buy trucks. Although trucks are generally less efficient than other vehicles, if you want to choose a truck there are numerous fuel efficient options. Some of the better choices for consumers are the Honda Ridgeline, Toyota’s Tundra and Tacoma, The Sierra from GMC and the Ford F-150.

Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline was first introduced by Honda in 2006. Honda is well known for producing fuel efficient cars and now they brought the same technology packed into their cars to the 2009 Ridgeline. Compared to the other top pickup trucks, the Ridgeline is near the top of the list. With 20 miles per gallon (mpg) highway and 15 mpg city, the Ridgeline is a very efficient highway truck and above most when it comes to city driving. The Ridgeline seats five. But these features come with a high cost. Starting at $34 490, the Ridgeline costs an extra $10 000 compared to the other top 5 vehicles. The Ridgeline tips the scales at 2 000 kg which is near the average truck size, but its extra weight compared to the Tacoma may explain its lower city mpg.

Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma was introduced by Toyota in 1995. Over the last couple years, the Toyota brand has become much more popular and Toyota is now the world’s largest automaker. The 2009 Tacoma is well ahead of the pack. It boasts 21 mpg highway and 17 mpg city, both highest compared to the other top pickup trucks. The Tacoma only seats up to 4 which explains why it has a higher mpg compared to trucks which can seat 5. Surprisingly, the Tacoma is also the cheapest of the top 5, costing $20 215, $3 000 cheaper than the Sierra. The Tacoma is the lightest of the group weighing 1 800 kg, another reason it has the highest fuel efficiency. This is clearly a great choice.

Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra

Next, we look at the Toyota Tundra, first built in 2000. The 2008 Tundra is not as outstanding as its cousin, the Tacoma. Its 18 mpg highway is the lowest highway fuel efficiency of the other top 5, tied with the Ford F-150 and its 14 mpg city is quite low again tied with the F-150 as well as the GMC Sierra. The Tundra can seat 5, better than the Tacoma and the same as the Ridgeline. Like the Tacoma, the Tundra is a well priced pickup truck, selling for $23 825. The Tundra is a heavy truck, weighing 2300 kg. The Tundra is a nice truck, but if you want to go with a Toyota, choose the Tacoma.

GMC Sierra

The GMC Sierra

The GMC Sierra hit the market in 2001. The 2009 model, called the 2009 GMC Sierra 1500, gets 20 mpg on the highway and 14 mpg in the city, which is respectable. It seems to be in the middle of the pack with respect to the highway, and at the bottom for city driving. The best thing going for the Sierra is its seating capacity of 6 which is the most you would expect to see in a pickup truck. This partially explains the lower fuel efficiency and if you value being able to fit more people in your truck, this may entice you to buy the Sierra. With a price tag of $23 540 the Sierra is competitively priced. The heaviest of the top 5 trucks, the Sierra weighs in at 2 500 kg. If you want to fit more people, choose this truck but if you want to save money on gas, choose one more fuel efficient.

Ford F-150

The Ford F-150

Lastly, there is the Ford F-150 first built in 1948. Ford definitely has had a lot of time to build this model, but it is lacking compared to the other top 5 vehicles. With 18 mpg highway and 14 mpg city, the Ford is the lowest in both of these categories. To keep it in perspective, the Toyota Tacoma achieves almost as high mpg driving in the city as the F-150 does on the highway-quite a harsh statistic. Another drawback is the F-150 seats only 3 people, something that can be bypassed by upgrading to the F-250 or F-350. At $25 200, the price is similar to the others besides the high priced Ridgeline. The F-150 weighs in at 2 200 kg, near the middle of the top 5.

Sports Car Gas Efficiency

The Lotus Elise

The Lotus Elise

The Lotus Elise is one very interesting car. Sure it may look like a scary bug at first glance, and not to mention the interesting name to boot, but this is one of the more efficient sports cars around. It has a miles-per-gallon ratio coming in at about 27 mpg for highway driving and 21 mpg for city driving. One of the more unique attributes about the Elise that make it efficient compared to its competitors is its ultra light weight. As quoted by the founder of Lotus, Colin Chapman, "Weight is the enemy of performance," and as in the case of many cars, weight is the enemy of fuel efficiency. The Elise also runs off of regular fuel, not the more expensive performance fuels, which help in maintaining a wide appeal for customers. It only has a seating capacity of 2 so that may turn away a few people. Sitting at about $46,000 this sports car is a great find for someone looking to save a bit in the gas department, as well as to those trying to scare off some of the other “prettier” cars.

BMW 135

BMW 135 Coupe Information

Looking for a snazzy car? Well BMW’s never fail to give what the people want. An upper class, gorgeous looking car, everything seems perfect on the outside, but on the inside it’s a slightly different story. At a price that ranges from $35,000-$47,000 (depending on add-ons and if you want it to be a convertible) certain aspects may turn you away. It weighs a fairly massive amount at 3,400 pounds which can really hamper the gas efficiency. This car isn’t exactly the greatest on fuel efficiency either with an 18 mpg in city and 26 mpg on the highway, but unlike the majority of sports cars, this is a 4 seater which gives it a slight advantage. In the end, this car is more for someone looking to impress the ladies...but then again most sports cars are made with that in mind.

The Porsche Cayman

2008 Porsche Cayman Information

Ah yes, the Porsche, what’s there not to love about a car that can make a grown man drool. This Porsche Cayman comes with a respectable mpg of 20 in the city and 29 on the highway. If you like being in control and get a fancy from having many horses pulling you along (245 to be exact), then this car will definitely not disappoint. Coming in at about $50,000 (and that’s a generous price compared to when its fully equipped), this may hurt your wallet quite a bit. Overall this car is fairly efficient, though if you’re trying to save money through efficiency or just save money overall, the $50,000 starting price would have something else in mind.

2008 Corvette

2008 Chevrolet Corvette

Of course a sports car list isn't complete without the almighty Corvette. This is one style of car that has stood the test of time, but has it become a competitor in efficiency for the recent years? the answer is...not really. This flat backed beast has a dismal city mpg of 16 but slightly makes up in the 26 mpg on the highway. With a price-tag of $71,000 it really makes you wonder if its worth all the extra money that will be spent on the ever changing price of gas as well. The 2 seater Corvette is also really heaving, weighing in at around 3200 lbs. In terms of efficiency this is the worst out of the 4 reviewed sports cars, which is fairly surprising seeing as this style of car has been out for much longer than any other. Shame on you Corvette...shame on you.

Looking at these 4 different sports cars, it is obvious which dont have the worst efficiency rating. As seen, the lighter cars happen to pull off a better mpg and have an overall better fuel economy. A car like the Corvette has city mpg that is worse than some trucks, which is all together unacceptable. Sure sports cars are all about performance and looks, but in a world that is being thrown high gas prices, this style of car better kick into gear something more gas friendly.

Smart Cars/Hybrids/Electric Cars

The Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius

The 2009 Toyota Prius has a dynamic style, and spacious interior. The Prius hybrid system provides a net power of 110 Hp with its 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder, 16 valve engine. This four door, five passenger car can run on both electric and gasoline providing 71 MPG in the city and 67 MPG on the highway. This makes this car an ideal car for everyday drivers who would like to reduce their annual fuel consumption their cars. The Prius starting price is $27,400.

Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota Camry Hybrid

The 2009 Toyota Camry has a 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder gasoline with battery power electric motor for 187 Hp. This hybrid comes in a 4 door with 5 passenger capacity. The newly designed hybrid has a fuel economy of 50 MPG in the city and 50 MPG on the highway. The new Camry design separates itself from the old model giving it a nicer and sleek look which may be appealing to families in need of a nice car which is also good on fuel. The base model pricing of the Camry is at $30,660.

Honda Civic Hybrid

Honda Civic Hybrid

The 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid is Canada’s most affordable hybrid. The Civic Hybrid is fuel efficient and has low emissions which make it more environmentally friendly compared to the civic coupe and sedan. The Civic Hybrid has a 1.3 liter, 4 cylinder engine pushing 110 HP. The Hybrid engine has achieved 40 MPG in the city and 45 MPG on the highway. Although the Civic Hybrid does not compare to the Civic SI model which s pulling 197 HP, the Civic hybrid is still fun to drive and has lower duel consumption compared the Civic Si which has 21 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. The Civic Hybrid is starting at $26,350.

The Nissan Altima Hybrid

The Nissan Altima Hybrid

Although the Altima Hybrid is not as stylish as the Altima coupe, the hybrid provides a gas/electric engine which the coupe does not. The Altima hybrid has a 2.5-litre DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder which provides 158 HP at 5,200 RPM. On the road, the Altima Hybrid gives 50 MPG in the city and 48 MPG on the highway. The Altima is starting at $32, 298.

Car Comparison (Best of the Categories) and Overall Conclusion

Toyota Corolla MPG City/Highway-40/53
Chrystler Country and Town MPG City/Highway-21/32
Toyota Tacoma MPG City/Highway-17/21
Porsche Cayman MPG City/Highway-20/29
Toyota Prius MPG City/Highway-71/67

Starting with the casual cars, these are pretty reliable in terms of efficiency. Some don't pull off the large mpg's but still manage to stay in a reasonable range. You cant go wrong with one of these.

Average MPG for a Standard Car since 1949-2005

Moving on to the mid weight vehicles such as vans, SUV's and hummers, its a slightly spread fuel economy. The worst rated efficiency comes with the hummer, giving its bad boy appearance a shallow and depressing personality. The SUV's tend to not be the most efficient, but still pull off decent numbers. Minivans shine in this area, giving a decent mpg for a larger vehicle. I guess strapping the kids to the backseat and going on excruciatingly long road trips wont be as much of a cash stealer than a good chunk of other cars.

The one category that wasn't a surprise were the trucks. These cars definitely guzzle all the gas that comes their way, but not without the benefit of their super strength. Though trucks arent fuel efficient at all, they do their heavy lifting jobs well and not much can be done to stop its gas hungry ways.

Sports cars were slightly surprising due to their alarmingly low mpg. Take for example the Corvette. This car had numbers that could have been compared with a truck. Because of their high cost and low efficiency, these types of cars should only be taken into account when your wallet is loaded.

Though the casual cars can pull off a good mpg and be quite efficient, its very obvious that the hybrids and electric cars shine in their fuel efficiency. These types of cars will probably become more of a commercial hit as the price of gas rises and fuel economy is more of a factor. As shown above with the best of each category and car researched, the Prius is ahead of the next most efficient car by a large margin. With gas prices rising, there will be a lot of money saved with a car like this. In conclusion, though there are some hybrids that are comparable to everyday cars, certain hybrids or electric cars take a large lead in efficiency, doing a very good job in lessening its gas usage.

Websites Used

Anthony's Websites Used

Tarek's Websites Used

Tessa's Websites Used

Justin's Websites Used

Eric's Websites Used