In a few months my oldest child will be celebrating his 15th birthday. He is taking it in stride. I, on the other hand, am frenetic… in an uneasy way. My first born… my baby… is nearly a man! *sigh* It seems like only yesterday that he was begging me to drive him to kindergarten. He never liked riding the school bus. But now as he asserts his “pre-man” self-sufficiency… he would not dare ask me to drive him to school. I kinda miss the days when he was so dependent on me.
But I am coming to the realization that my son is growing up and although his is my baby he is not a baby. I’ll have to trust in myself and be confident that I have instilled in him the values that’ll need to be a good, reponsible adult. He’s a good kid and even though I wish he can a baby forever, he can’t.
Anyway, enough of my parental introspection…
The thing is, now that he’ll be old enough to drive… I’ve been thrust into the market for a new vehicle. I bought my last vehicle about 3 years ago. But things have changed so much since then – by “things” I mean gas prices. My focus in buying a new vehicle for my son is first – safety and second – fuel efficiency.
Focusing about fuel efficiency is new territory for me. I never really thought much about it before when purchasing a vehicle. The only rule I had was no gas guzzling SUV’s. Though now, with the high gas prices, nearly every vehicle is a gas guzzler. But what can I do? The kid needs his own car.
So now I must learn about the fuel efficient car options that are available.
There is no standard definition of a fuel efficient car. Basically what is means is that if car A gets less MPG than car B, then car B is more fuel efficient.
So I compared the MPG for some medium and large sized vehicles. These are the ones I like most:
Toyota Prius Hybrid – 48/45 MPG – $21,500
Nissan Altima Hybrid – 35/33 MPG – $25,480
Mercury Mariner Hybrid – 34/30 MPG – $28,150
Mazda Tribute Hybrid – 34/30 MPG – $25,485
Ford Escape Hybrid – 34/30 MPG – $27,445
Toyota Camry Hybrid – 33/34 MPG – $25,200
Saturn VUE Hybrid – 25/32 MPG – $25,645
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid – 24/32 MPG – $23,640
Saturn Aura Hybrid – 24/32 MPG – $23,900
Pontiac G6 – 22/30 MPG – $18,765
Hyundai Sonata – 21/31 MPG – $17,670
Dodge Avenger – 21/30 MPG – $19,640
Wow, pretty long list… I’ll have to work on ratcheting this down to only two or three.
Although most of the cars that made my list are hybrids, there are other things that I’ll look for when considering fuel efficiency.
Manual transmissions are more fuel efficient than automatics.
The smaller 4 cylinder engines have better MPG when compared to 6 or 8 cylinder engines.
And although diesel fuel is more expensive than regular octane gas, diesel powered engines are more fuel efficient.
There are many fuel efficient options to choose from and many other things to consider when purchasing a car for a teenage boy. Lucky I still have a year to figure it all out.
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