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“Eco” Models Aren’t Worth the Money, Finds Consumer Reports.

The Toyota Prius C “fuel efficient, but not a deal.”

by on May.31, 2012

Despite great mileage, Consumer Reports pans the new Toyota Prius C.

Hoping to squeeze every last mile out of a gallon of gas?  Automakers have been launching a flood of new “eco” models designed to do just that.  But a new report warns that the minimal extra mileage isn’t worth the hefty price tag – which in some cases would require as much as 38 years of driving to recover in terms of lower fuel costs.

The new study by Consumer Reports raises questions about a variety of conventionally powered Eco models, such as Ford Focus SFE, Chevrolet Cruze Eco and Honda Civic HF. But it was also skeptical of the benefits promised by some hybrid models, such as the new Toyota Prius C which, it declares, “is fuel efficient, but not a deal.”

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The problem is that the savings are offset by hefty initial premiums averaging between $500 and $800 above standard models.  But in some cases, the savings on fuel may be as little as $20 per year.  And, in some cases, consumers wind up sacrificing further in terms of cheaper interiors and poor road dynamics.

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Chevrolet Cruze Eco To Top 40 MPG

Should give Chevy compact segment leadership.

by on Nov.12, 2010

With a manual gearbox the 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco hits 42 mpg, 2 better than forecast.

Chevrolet believes it has rolled out a secret weapon that could get it noticed in a segment of the market long overwhelmingly dominated by import rivals such as Honda and Toyota.

The U.S. maker’s new Cruze Eco model, equipped with a manual transmission, has been rated at 42 miles per gallon by the Environmental Protection Agency, giving the 2011 Chevy a solid lead over the 35 mpg Toyota Corolla and 34 mpg Honda Civic – as well as competing compacts from Ford, Hyundai and other manufacturers.

Chevrolet is hoping to make major inroads in the compact passenger car segment with the so far well-reviews Cruze. (For TheDetroitBureau.com’s review of the 2011 Chevy Cruze, Click Here.) The new model replaces the old Cobalt and other lackluster offerings before it that had cost General Motors dominance in the critical compact niche.

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Cruze has been praised for a variety of attributes, including both its exterior and interior design and refinement, and for its ride and handling.  But at a time when fuel prices are nudging $3.00 a gallon in much of the country – and nearing $4.00 in parts of California – fuel economy is rapidly rising on the list of consumer demands.

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