The following story has been revised to include the Ford Fusion Hybrid in the Top 10 list.
If recent weeks are any indication, many American motorists are rethinking what to drive. Last month’s sales numbers saw a spike in demand for small cars and hybrids (though there was also a bump in demand for pickups and bigger SUVs, despite rising fuel prices).
While there’s a law of diminishing returns, increasing your fuel economy from, say, 20 to 30 mpg can add up to savings of hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year, no wonder why so many motorists are thinking about downsizing or at least opting for alternative powertrains.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to switch to a battery car or hybrid to achieve big improvements in your fuel economy. Nor do you need to swap that family van for a minicar.
True, vehicles relying on at least some form of battery power – whether hybrids, plug-ins or pure battery-electric vehicles – top the latest mileage charts, the latest crop of internal combustion engines are yielding respectable numbers – often at substantially lower sticker prices.