February 7, 2011

Meanwhile in Europe: 70-mpg Fiat 500

James Martin reviews the Fiat 500 in the Daily Mail (U.K.):

It’s rare for something that makes you grin to be cheap to run as well. Normally it’s a trade-off. But that’s going to change this year, starting with this little 70mpg marvel.

There’s now a Corsa that manages nearly 80mpg. Then in March there’ll be the smart new Ford Focus, the eco version of which does 75mpg, and in the autumn VW is launching a little car called the Up!, which I hear might eventually do 100mpg (using a two-cylinder engine like the Fiat).

Then we’ll see the hybrids, such as the plug-in Vauxhall Ampera due next winter, which will do 175mpg – although with those you’re paying a premium for the new technology.

Also, Eric Peters writes in the U.S.:

The new Mini Cooper Countryman can get 63 MPGs on the highway – just not on our highways.

Like so many other high-mileage, diesel-powered vehicles, it’s not available in the United States. Instead we get gas-electric turkeys like the Toyota Prius hybrid – which maxes out at 48 MPGs on the highway.

[The current Mini Cooper diesel gets 74 mpg.]