Many Trading in Gas Guzzlers for Better Fuel Efficiency

By dancurranjr On August 24th, 2008

Belinda Lafferty of Monticello has joined the many drivers who are buying smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles because of the high price of gasoline.”I was on this almost two years ago when I got rid of my Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited for a brand new Toyota Yaris-S, which gets about 40 miles per gallon,” she said earlier this week.

“I commute from Monticello to Lafayette five days a week, so this has been a great investment for me. I will never go back.”Lafferty participated in an informal reader survey that asked people if they have bought a more fuel-efficient vehicle or are thinking about buying one.

Going For Groceries!

Going For Groceries!

In June, overall car sales in the United States fell 18.3 percent, according to Autodata Corp. — the worst June in 17 years.However, sales of the smaller, fuel-efficient models were up for GM, Ford, Honda and Toyota. Kia reported a 7.6 percent increase in June, according to Autodata Corp.

Consumer Reports magazine tested and rated smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles in June. The Toyota Prius base hybrid model the magazine’s staff tested led in overall miles per gallon with 44.The U.S. Department of Energy’s fuel efficiency site,, rates the Prius hybrid at 48 miles per gallon in the city and 45 miles per gallon on the highway.

Consumer Reports also gave high ratings to models offered by Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Mini Cooper and Mazda.Nate Barrett of Twin City Dodge Chrysler said people visit his showroom and start asking about gas mileage first.

“It is on people’s minds,” he said. “Even as gas comes down, people don’t feel it will get significantly lower.”They ask what our best offering is for fuel efficiency and ask about how they can maximize their gas mileage.”He said Chrysler and Dodge offer several cars that get at least 30 mpg on the highway. He said the 2009 models will include two hybrid SUVs — a Dodge Durango and a Chrysler Aspen.

Caterpillar engineer Robert Fultz said he has checked out two hybrids — a Toyota Prius and a Honda Civic. He is seriously considering buying one of them.He drives a full-size Toyota Tundra pickup, and his wife drives a Mazda minivan. They have two children.

“The technology behind the hybrid vehicles is phenomenal, and not many other cars can compete yet,” he said.”It is a real interesting time in the automotive world. People are moving away from the internal combustion engine and getting in tune with electric and hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles.”

David Hucks of Newtown said he recently traded a Ford F150 pickup truck for a Toyota Camry.”I have driven a truck for over 20 years, but no more,” he said.”Now I’m just looking for a junky truck to haul stuff around for my property, but driving a nice truck on a daily basis is in the past.”

Romney resident Butch Corbin said he is not buying a new, smaller car.

However, he is fixing up a 1990 Toyota truck to commute to work, instead of a gas-guzzling minivan. He estimated that he saves about $120 to $140 per month.”When gas hit the highs it did this summer, my old, beat-up, rusty truck started to look pretty good,” he said. “See, it gets much better gas mileage than the minivan — 35 mpg versus 20 mpg.

“Needless to say, the old truck has been cleaned up, new brakes, new shocks, tuned up, and it now gets driven daily, while the minivan goes for a spin once or twice a month.”John Taylor of Oxford said he traded his Z06 Corvette in on a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt.

“I don’t really want to drive it much myself, but as it gets an average of 29 mpg, it’s great for my daughter. The Z06 did get 30 down the highway, by the way,” he said.Lafayette’s Jimmy and Tish Golmicz said they traded in a 2006 Ford Expedition SUV for a 2008 Escape Hybrid. They said they now get 28 miles per gallon, instead of 12 miles per gallon.

“Although I miss the luxury of the Expedition, I love being able to pass a gas station,” she said.”In May, we also traded in my husband’s (Ford) E-250 work van, and he now drives a Ford Focus. He went from getting 9 mpg to getting 36 mpg.”

Source: JC Online

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