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President George Bush may look to Congress for authority to alter the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) requirements for passenger cars, as part of the White House's latest bid to gain some political traction on the issue of rapidly spiraling energy costs. An arcane attribute of existing CAFE regulations has already allowed Bush to increase CAFE standards for light trucks and to implement a multi-tier standard that takes vehicle size into account. However, apparently making similar changes to the existing 27.5 MPG requirement for cars may require new legislation.

It's likely that any changes to the CAFE standard would take at least two years to take effect, since manufacturers would be given a minimum of 18 months to adapt their line-ups. Of course, since the required consumption bogey would likely be established by vehicle size, it's yet unclear whether this would result in a meaningful increase in the average fuel economy of passenger cars, as a manufacturer could simply produce larger vehicles if consumer demand doesn't drive an increase in efficiency.

[Source: MSNBC.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ryan, maybe if you equip a Mazda 3 with a 48 lane bowling alley the price will approach $30K, but I went to Edmunds and their TMV (True Market Value) which runs high, is just under $20.5K for a 5 door top of the line Mazda 3 with most of the equipment needed.

      That included the moon roof with a bose sound system, and A/T. I didn't add some of the other stuff because the car comes well equipped anyway. No navigation system, either (probably $1500+ for NAV after haggling).

      Still, a Mazda 3, 5 door (the 4 door would be cheaper) can be purchased in the low $20s well equipped.

      Retail sticker prices mean nothing--check out Edmunds for numbers that are closer to transaction prices.

      When I bought my '04 Accord in Aug., '03, I paid about $1,000 less than Edmunds' TMV which was a decent deal at the time. The Mazda 3 can probably be purchased for under the TMV, too.

      I think the Mazda 3 is a slick machine and given its specs, my guess is that it's a better car than the Mazda 6 (4 cylinder) which I tested in '03 and didn't like because it was too sluggish on initial acceleration and had a crappy A/T from Ford.

      The newer Mazdas have been improved, I think, but the Mazda 3 is a more appealing car that wasn't available when I was in the market.

      My previous car was a '91 Mazda Protegé „X and it was an excellent car. No surprise that the Mazda 3 gets rave reviews from just about everybody.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's important to note that regulations on passenger cars won't effect the worst offenders. A Hummer or an Excursion, for example, is exempt because it is too heavy.

      • 8 Years Ago
      A Mazda 3 for $30,000? You're talking Canadian dollars, right?

      You can buy a nearly top of the line Honda Accord for about $23K (pre-tax, etc.) in the U.S. Maybe even less than that with the competition that exists in the mid-sized sedan class.

      And if your deal is good, that'll be an Accord EX-L with leather and everything else except V6 and Nav. The 4 cyl is fast enough and gas mileage has averaged about 24 to 25 in my '04 Accord in mixed freeway and city driving--over 33 mpg in highway driving only.

      The Mazda 3 is a great car, but not in the same league as the Accord. I can't see spending anywhere close to $30K in U.S. dollars for one.
      • 8 Years Ago
      " A Mazda 3 for $30,000? You're talking Canadian dollars, right?"

      -Just go to the friggen website, all I'm saying is that's what is almost tops out at (http://www.mazda3.com)
      • 8 Years Ago
      #5 - Yes, consumers are buying them, but consumers are also buying many gas-guzzling SUV's, too, and a great deal of them aren't out necessity. I don't think Bush trying to enforce higher standards will help the consumer. If he gets the power to raise the standards, I don't see why car manufacturers won't raise prices and then say "the government is making us spend more money on R&D, so we have to raise prices to make a profit still."
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, all of a sudden Bush wants better fuel economy standards.We should have forced the auto makers to improve mileage every year for the last twenty years.Look at all the monster passenger vehicles on the road today, it's a joke. You can't even buy a fuel effecient VW diesel in five states in the US because of all the insane EPA regulations we have to live by.We get the government we deserve, incapable of making the TOUGH decesions that need to be made.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You might be interested to know that gas in Vancouver is $1.175 CAD per litre. That works out to $3.99 per U.S. gallon.
      There is no shortage of drivers buying gas, but the gas station owners are complaining.
      You see, people are purchasing $5 and $10 at a time , hoping the price will drop tomorrow. -keith
      • 8 Years Ago
      "In an attempt to look forceful and powerful, I'll wrinkle my brow and point at them. That"ll make them assume I can think and am concerned.

      God, can't I leave, get back on AF One and secretly have some blow and a drink, then call my oil buddies and have them send my royalty check, these folks are actually asking me questions I have no idea about, if they catch on to that, they'll know I don't know much about anything"

      "OK brain, kick in, that'sssssss it, point some more"
      • 8 Years Ago
      What the rest of the world fails to understand is why do Americans need to buy so many farm vehicles? All these SUV's and pickup's drive like crap and for some bizarre reason people buy them but at least they're expressing their freedom....

      If cars actually sold as a decent percentage in the US then that would address the problem more than any other initiative.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i believe that i'm split on this issue...while i'm all for better fuel economy, i don't believe that government should have the authority to tell auto manufacturers how to do their job. the market should be consumer-driven: ie, if consumers want more fuel efficient cars, they can buy them. there are plenty of choices on the market for autos that get 30-40mpg, and there are a few diesels that approach 50. oh, what's that, your favorite car only comes in a 20mpg v6 when you want your v6 to be at 35mpg? tough, it's not worth the auto maker's money to invest in that just yet. but if enough of you want it, you will let your voice be heard, and the auto makers will have to comply if they want to stay competitive.

      america is supposed to be people-driven, not government-controlled. how much longer before the rest of society sees it and unifies itself to meet its goals?
      • 8 Years Ago
      All I know is that government intervention in any open market system is rarely beneficial.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Bush is an idiot, and his failed policies reflect that.
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