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Small Vehicles

We spend a good bit of time testing small vehicles here at MPGomatic, for one basic reason. Small vehicles represent not just the present, but the future of transportation for most parts of the world. In Europe, where fuel prices are astronomical, small cars rule the roost. But in here in America, the popularity of small vehicles has had its fits and starts, as well as its Fits and Smarts (if you’ll pardon the pun). We’ve been able to live life large out on the road, due to the relatively inexpensive cost of gasoline. The SUV phenomena was a direct result of our nation’s lack of a coherent energy policy.

Our legislators recently set the goal of a national fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020. This was not a lofty or ambitious goal. In fact, it’s achievable today … should we choose to express a preference to buy a small vehicle. The automakers are in a pickle: they need to sell what the public will buy. Our perceptions need to change. Folks have to look at small vehicles as a desirable purchase, rather then a compromise.

We’ve test driven some fantastic small vehicles over the past year. While our absolute favorites – the MINI Cooper D and BMW 123d – are diesel-powered European models that have not yet been imported to America, the trend is clear. All of the German automakers are now marketing highly fuel-efficient clean diesels in the United States, and we’ll be reviewing each and every one, as schedules permit.

Small Vehicle Reviews

Chevy Aveo5

Chevy Aveo5

GM’s entry-level small car offers fuel efficiency and a low sticker price.

Ford Focus

Ford Focus

An efficient four-cylinder engine and Microsoft Sync audio system make the Focus a popular choice.

Honda Civic Hybrid

Honda Civic Hybrid

Honda’s low-key, high-MPG hybrid delivers excellent fuel economy in a well-rounded package.

Mazda3

Mazda3

The fun-to-drive Mazda3 easily exceeds the official estimates when driven sensibly.

Mini Cooper Clubman

MINI Cooper Clubman

The ever-so-slightly larger Mini Cooper Clubman handles like a dream and gets great mileage.

Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima Hybrid

While it’s not exactly a small vehicle, the Nissan Altima Hybrid is the sportiest of the hybrids.

Nissan Versa

Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa isn’t just a highly affordable fuel-efficient vehicle, it has a quite a roomy interior, to boot.

Pontiac G5

Pontiac G5 XFE

Think American cars can’t deliver the MPGs? Think again. The Pontiac G5 XFE’s highway MPGs top the charts.

Saturn Astra

Saturn Astra

The Saturn Astra could sell like hotcakes here in America, as it does in Europe … if GM made one simple change.

Scion xD

Scion xD

The Scion xD scoots about with style. Consider it a canvas just waiting for customization.

Suzuki SX4 Crossover

Suzuki SX4 Crossover

The AWD Suzuki SX4 Crossover isn’t just the least expensive AWD in America, it’s packed with features.

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla is the perennial choice for mileage conscious commuters.

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius

The space-age Toyota Prius hybrid achieves remarkable gas mileage when driven sensibly.

Toyota Yaris 4-door

Toyota Yaris

Real world MPG results on the Yaris are so good, there must be a conspiracy to cover them up.

VW EOS convertible

Volkswagen EOS

The convertible VW EOS is like nothing else on the road.

Volvo C30

Volvo C30

A rare sight on the streets, the Volvo C30 is one of our favorite small vehicles.

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