6 common car-shopping mistakes

Drivers won't trade extras for fuel  

q_v2.gifDear Terry,
Why is it that in all of these articles about fuel-efficient vehicles, no one ever points out the fact that we have had cars in the past with better fuel economy than those you list in the seven sippers article?

I have a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Supercharged. It is a full-size car with numerous luxury items -- head-up display, automatic dual-zone climate control, heated six-way adjustable driver seat, sun roof, electric everything, to name a few.

I regularly get 30 to 33 miles per gallon on the highway and 20 to 25 mpg in the city with a car that does not require a compromise on performance.

Heck, a '90s Geo Metro got 40 to 45 mpg easily. Why is this 40 to 45 mpg line being referred to as a "never before heard of" amount?
-- Travis

a_v2.gifDear Travis,
You must have the lightest foot on the gas pedal of anyone I know. Even the Environmental Protection Agency -- which recently had to revise its fuel mileage numbers because the old ones were way too generous -- rated your 1998 GXP at 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway.

And while a 1994 Geo Metro was EPA rated at 46 mpg city/49 mpg highway, most buyers today wouldn't put up with its three-cylinder engine and total lack of amenities.


So while it's true that there have been cars in the past (such as the original VW Beetle) that got great fuel mileage, the modern world wants vehicles that don't skimp on the extras and still deliver good mileage.

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