MPG-o-Matic Volvo C30 Review Summary:The Volvo C30 is a distinctively styled three-door hatchback that competes with the Audi A3, Mazda Speed 3, Mini Cooper S, Subaru WRX, Volkswagen GTI, and R32.
The EPA gas mileage estimates for the 2008 Volvo C30 come in at 19 city / 27 highway, when equipped with the automatic transmission. Over a number of days of driving, we found those estimates to be a tad low, as we achieved 27.5 miles per gallon in combined driving in twenty to thirty degree weather. Continue reading →
The Volvo V50 is a station wagon that’s well worth a look for sport-loving families … especially those that enjoy those treks to the mountains in the winter time. The V50′s gas mileage figures are very respectable, even more so when equipped with all wheel drive (AWD). As an alternative to the ubiquitous gas guzzling SUV, the V50 has plenty to offer.
Volvo V50s sold in America are fitted with either naturally-aspirated or turbocharged five cylinder engines. The 2.4i’s engine puts out 168 horsepower (HP) and 170 foot pounds of torque, while the turbo in the T5 and T5 AWD puts out 227 HP and 236 foot pounds of torque. All models are fitted with a five-speed Geartronic transmission.
The V50 is not currently available with a diesel engine in the USA. Abroad, however, the V50 is fitted with a range of highly economical common rail direct injection diesel power plants. As a point of comparison, lets salivate over the specifications and fuel consumption statistics for the manual transmission-equipped diesels currently available in the V50 in the United Kingdom:
1.6 liter four cylinder – 109 HP / 240 foot pounds of torque. 44.8 urban / 65.7 extra urban British miles per gallon (approximately 37.3 city / 54.7 highway in US miles per gallon)
2.0 liter four cylinder – 136 HP / 320 foot pounds of torque. 37.2 urban / 58.9 extra urban British miles per gallon (approximately 31 city / 49 highway in US miles per gallon)
2.4 liter five cylinder – 180 HP / 350 foot pounds of torque. 34 urban / 55.4 extra urban British miles per gallon (approximately 28.3 city / 46.1 highway in US miles per gallon)
Need a four wheel drive with the best gas mileage? Get ready to downsize. None of the best gas mileage four wheel drives (4WDs) are jumbo-sized sport utility vehicles (SUVs).
Simply put, the aerodynamics and vehicle weight of the bulkiest SUVs cause gas mileage to suffer, leading to many a painful transaction at the pump. The trick is to get small(er), lighter, and more slippery. Credit Subaru for getting the ball rolling with popularizing economical 4WD drive passenger cars in the early days. Since 1997, every vehicle Subaru’s offered in America has been all wheel drive.
These days, it’s not just Subaru. There are plenty of four wheel drive choices that are neither truck nor SUV. And forget the notion of pint-sized economy cars. You’ll find a generous helping of 4WD luxury from manufacturers including Audi, Volvo, Cadillac, and Lexus … in fact, you’ll find many of their offerings in the 2008 list of best gas mileage four wheel drives.
Purists will gladly share that there’s a difference between four wheel drive and all wheel drive (AWD). And surely there is … but for a great many folks, it comes down to two simple questions: will it go in the snow and will I go broke feeding it?
At the other end of the spectrum, the little Suzuki SX4 delivers plenty of bang for the buck, by combining the best four wheel drive gas mileage with a low sticker price (for those who don’t just think miles per gallon … but miles per dollar.)
Along with its corporate cousins, the Ford Escape Hybrid proves the exception to the rule as the highest all around mile per gallon (MPG) four wheel drive vehicle. If you can’t get a great deal on an Escape Hybrid at your local Ford dealer, take a look at the Mercury Mariner Hybrid. And if you happen to live in Southern California, the Mazda Tribute Hybrid HEV might be an option … as long as you’re able to snag one of the 350 Tribute HEVs built for this test market.)