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Sure, gasoline prices have sagged in many parts of the country given the ongoing flaccid price of oil and stronger CDN dollar, but gas still isn’t cheap. Just ask drivers in Vancouver, where the average price per litre is $1.39, according to gasbuddy.com. In Montreal the average price is $1.11 although in Saskatoon, it’s 92.3. Still, regardless of geography, no one wants to throw money away on fuel.
So if gasoline parsimony is your priority, these are the top 2017 vehicles (not including plug-ins and electrics) that scored best in their respective class.
Minicompact: Fiat 500 hatchback
A 1.4-litre, 4 cylinder engine paired to a 5-speed manual might only produce 101 horsepower, but it returns 7.7 L/100 km city and 6.1 highway for a combined, miserly use of 7.0. That should equate to about $1,300 a year (based on 20,000 kilometres of driving) in fuel for a car that starts at just under $20,000.
Subcompact: Ford Fiesta SFE
A 1.0L, three-cylinder turbo engine coupled to a five-speed manual in the “Super Fuel Efficient” SFE Fiesta returns 123 hp and a combined fuel consumption of 6.8 L/100 km, demanding $1,265 for petrol every year for a car that costs a little more than $16,500 to start.
Compact: Toyota Prius C
Toyota’s 1.5L, four-cylinder gas engine works to power an electric motor to help return combined fuel economy of 5.1 L/100 km for an average annual gas outlay of $949, and no additional cost for electricity. Total horsepower is 99 for the $22,000 car.
Full size: Hyundai Ioniq Blue
Hyundai’s 1.6L direct-injected four-cylinder engine combined with electric motor nets 139 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. Coupled to a six-speed automated manual, fuel economy registers with a Prius-topping average of 4.1 L/100 km — and the best of the list, with the cheapest annual cost of $763 on top of the $24,299 base purchase price.
Wagon, small: Kia Niro FE
Kia’s 1.6L GDI four-cylinder works in conjunction with a 43-hp tractive motor to produce 146 hp delivered through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The result is average combined fuel economy of 4.7 L/100 km and fuel bill every year of $874 for the $25,000 hybrid.
Wagon midsize: Toyota Prius V
Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, built around an Atkinson-cycle, 1.8L four-cylinder and high-torque electric motor, delivers 136 net horsepower and shifts between gas engine, electric motor or a combination of the two for a combined economy of 5.8 L/100 km. Expect $1,079 in annual gas costs on top of the $29,000 vehicle.
Pickup truck small: Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon diesel
The 2.8L, four-cylinder diesel in the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon might produce just 181 hp, but more importantly it delivers 369 lb.-ft. of torque through a six-speed automatic, returning impressive highway economy of 7.9 L/100 km, 10.8 city or 9.5 combined.
That should add $1,938 in fuel expenses on top of the $4,500 for the diesel option on the $22,000-to-start truck.
Pickup full size: Ford F-150 2WD
Ford’s turbocharged 2.7L V6 pairs with a six-speed automatic with selectshift to register 12.2 L/100 km city and 9.3 highway for a combined average of 10.9, or $2,027 per year. Prices range dramatically depending on how the truck is configured, but start at just over $25,600 before discounts.
SUV small: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD
Toyota’s popular RAV4 is one of two AWD models to make the list and does so via a 2.5L, four-cylinder hybrid and continuously variable transmission to deliver 194 net horsepower that should see drivers enjoying an average 7.3 L/100 km and a thrifty $1,358 per year on gas, though the hybrid costs $34,500 to start.
SUV midsize: Lexus RX 450h AWD
A 3.5L six-cylinder hybrid, the Lexus RX 450h uses a continuously variable transmission to help it achieve a combined average of 7.9 L/100 km that will consume $1,722 of the annual gas budget after an initial outlay of at least $70,000.
SUV large: Chevrolet Tahoe FFV
Chevy’s full-size SUV, which can run on gas or E85 ethanol, registered 15.1 city and 10.4 highway under gasoline power from its 355-hp, 5.3L V8, recording a 13 L/100 km combined average, which would equal $2,418 per year on the $52,000 rig.
Mazda’s six-passenger van scores a combined fuel use of 9.6 L/100 km from a 157-hp, 2.5L, four cylinder with a five-speed automatic and select shift. The yearly fuel bill should be $1,786 on the $22,000 vehicle.
(Figures are based on figures from Natural Resources Canada, which calculates the city, highway and combined fuel economy of all makes and models sold in Canada. Average annual fuel use assumes $0.98/L for regular gasoline, $1.02/L for diesel fuel, and a driving distance of 20,000 kilometres per year reflecting 55 per cent city driving and 45 per cent highway. See http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/fcr-rcf/public/index-e.cfm for other vehicles.)
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