Fuel Efficient Cars
Fuel efficiency is the efficiency of the process that converts fuel into the kinetic energy needed to drive your car. When you refer to cars a fuel efficient car is one that for its class, engine size and weight consumes the least fuel to cover a common distance. In Canada and Europe it is the liters per 100 kilometers, in the USA, and UK it is miles per gallon and in Asian countries it is kilometers per liter.
For cars you must consider for comparison, the engine properties, its weight, and its shape (this affects the body drag that each car has). Fuel economy of cars has taken a toss in recent years with people opting to go in for heavier and bigger cars, which even with their fuel efficient engines still require more fuel to cover a similar distance as compared to an economy model of a car.
Hybrid cars are a different breed as they use different sources of power, during their running and hence cannot really be considered for comparison, though in the over all impact on the environment and use of resources they may come up on top in running costs.
So how do you decide whether your car can be classed as fuel efficient?
Is your car a four cylinders or V6 or V8? A four cylinder car, properly maintained and driven will have all the necessary power that you require to pass traffic and merge with it. These are the time that having the power is vital. A four cylinder car will be much more fuel efficient than a V6 or V8, which have more powerful engines. But is it power that you really need for your daily commute? With the present price of oil being so uncertain we really need to reconsider our penchant for more powerful cars and opt for those that will simply get you to where you want to go.
A car with automatic transmission may be much easier to drive, but is far less fuel efficient than a car with manual transmission. So if you are quite used to driving and changing gears go for the fuel efficient car with manual transmission. After all that is the type of car that you probably learnt driving on and have the necessary skills to continue to do so. A car with automatic transmission also cost almost a 1000 dollars more than one with manual transmission, and if an automatic drive has maintenance problems, it could cost you quite a bit to put it back on the road again.
Hybrid cars are the most fuel efficient cars, because the source of power is changed from engine to batteries during the running and therefore consume less fuel. The high cost of such cars however makes a mockery of any savings that you may make from the fuel efficiency.
Diesel cars are fuel efficient cars. Electric and natural gas cars can also be considered fuel efficient as they need no fuel.
An all wheel drive car is more fuel efficient than a 4 wheel drive, which however has far more power and is more suitable if you are driving on rough terrain.