Aerodynamics are key to electric vehicle (EV) efficiency and driving range. The basic principle is simple; the lower the coefficient of drag (cD), the further you can travel per charge. The slickest cars follow nature. A bird that’s shaped like a brick cannot fly. Unfortunately, electric vehicle aerodynamics have taken a back seat to the whims of the market. In the quarter century since the introduction of the General Motors EV1, it’s 0.19 cD remains unrivaled.
Deciding which cheap new car to purchase can be a daunting task. It’s crucial to take your time, do your research, and look at the big picture. While we are largely focused on fuel economy here at MPGomatic, your purchase decision will include a range of considerations. The process can be highly emotional. The car you like best, might not make the most financial sense, for any number of reasons. If the car you fall in love with turns into a money pit, the honeymoon won’t last long.
Kelly Blue Book (KBB) crunched the numbers to determine 2018’s least expensive new cars “based on a full buy-drive-sell ownership cycle” (not just the purchased price). While some folks are most concerned with the monthly payment, the most important factors in KBB’s calculations include initial cost, finance rates, and five-year depreciation, as well as fuel costs. These are KBB’s picks’ not our favorites.
All of the vehicles on the list use conventional gasoline engines. Some worthy compacts and subcompacts oddly didn’t land on the list (including the Corolla, Yaris, Civic, Mazda3, Focus, and Fiesta) and there are no hybrid or diesel models due to the higher sticker prices. It comes as no surprise that all of the vehicles are front-wheel-drive. We’ll run through the list by order of fuel economy and include KBB’s listing order at the end of the article.
Turbocharging allows a small displacement engine to achieve significantly higher levels of horsepower (HP) and torque on demand, while delivering more miles per gallon (MPG) in light-load conditions. Once thought of purely from a performance perspective, forced induction technology has become a cornerstone of the march to higher fuel efficiency. You can have your cake and eat it too.
The top 15 list of highest combined MPG 2015 vehicles includes a mix of diesel and gasoline powered models, with the VW Jetta Hybrid taking the top spot. The Jetta Hybrid’s superior city fuel efficiency provides a significant advantage in tough traffic.
MPG-o-Matic 2012 Kia Rio Five Door Review Summary: If there’s one word to describe the 2012 Kia Rio 5-door, it’s “value.” In the old days, folks referred to inexpensive fuel-efficient hatchbacks as “economy cars,” and they were spartan and rarely attractive affairs. The Rio turns that notion on its head with an abundance of style and features at a base price starting under $14,000.
The Rio is equipped with a direct-injected DOHC CVVT 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 138 horsepower (HP) and 123 foot pounds of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is only available in the base LX model. A six-speed automatic with overdrive is optional in the LX and standard in both the EX and SX. The automatic transmission features a manual shift mode.
MPG-o-Matic 2011 Kia Sorento SX Review Summary:
The top-of-the-line 2011 Kia Sorento SX delivers a remarkable amount of bang for the buck. Competitors in the three-row crossover segment may have a tough time matching the Sportage SX feature-for-feature, without enduring the sticker bloat of option packages.