• Aug 12th 2009 at 8:59AM
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Click above to watch the video after the jump

Fuel efficiency has finally moved to the forefront of many consumers' minds after 2008's record fuel price spike and demand is higher than ever for miser-mobiles. Several vehicles have benefited from the green car movement, and the Inside Line crew corralled three hybrids, a diesel and a supersized go-kart in the ultimate test of fuel economy prowess.

The Toyota Prius, Mini Cooper, Honda Insight, Ford Fusion and VW Jetta TDI were assembled to compete for the best fuel economy in city, highway and back road driving. IL also measured the cost to fuel each vehicle and the amount of CO2 each emitted during the test. The five vehicles were prepped to do battle, but ultimately it wasn't much of a fight.

The Toyota Prius won every conceivable category by a significant margin with amazingly similar fuel economy between 47 and 48 mpg in all driving tests. The Prius also took on all comers in regards to carbon emissions as the symbol of green motoring spewed .08 fewer pounds of pollutants during the test than the second place Honda Insight. Hit the jump to watch the video.

[Source: Inside Line]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Greenhouse gas" total BS. CO2 is a product of climate change - not the other way around. Climate change is a natural occurrence shown scientifically to be caused by changes in the sun like sunspots. "Green people" buying NEW cars are doing more harm than good. This green BS is just a marketing ploy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        because you are a scientist, right?
      • 6 Years Ago
      While in sure many publications love Toyota, and toyota has had it's own wrongs, again, why is that justification? Every company does their share of unsavory activity. That's corporate life. Toyota does make good cars. So do many other companies. I'm a car enthusiast, and I love just good cars, not brand specific. Why can't we all just love good cars? Hating a name is pretty... Lame. Especially as a reaction to other magazines. That's being a media drone to media. Just have your own opinions for your own reasons.

      I see autoblog just posted about the whole 230mpg thing like it's something that's acceptable. If Toyota overrated their mpg rating by just 2-3 you'd all be flaming mad. 230mpg? Please. That's just good deceptive marketing. You should all be upset about that. Not that the prius won a comparison test.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They should have included the Fit,Yaris and Versa. Also perhaps the Civic Hybrid.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Shhhh... no one wants you to point out that these cars get within 8mpg for $10,000 less.

        But yea, definitely seems like someone is lining Inside Line's pockets for results. How do you compare a Fusion Hyrbid to a Prius to a Jetta TDI? Fusion vs Jetta? OK. Prius vs Insight? OK.

        While we're at it, why don't we put a hybrid Tahoe in there and talk about how TERRIBLE it is cuz it only get 22mpg highway? Nevermind the fact that it can tow 6000lb and seat 7 people comfortably with all your camping stuff and a pop up trailer behind you.

        These are different segmented cars. You should compare the Fusion to the hybrid Camry, correct? Or the Jetta to the Civic Hybrid? Or the Mini too.... ok one of these things is not like the other.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Right. According to Edmunds' own "True Cost to Own" rating, the Fit, Yaris and Versa are all $6000 to $8000 cheaper than the Prius over 5 years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        MPG isn't the only thing you get with the Prius. The Prius offers the most tech-goodies in ANY car under $30k, and 99% of cars under $40K. No car (besides the HHHS250hHHH) will park itself, has a solar powered roof, and whatever other goodies the Prius has.

        No I don't have one, but if I did I'd be damn smug too.

        I'm smug with my 3-series Bimmer.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Prius - I'm not buying a car to pretend I am saving the world. (I feel this way after talking to Prius owners and reading many, many ridiculous bumper stickers.)
      Insight - Looks like the prius.
      Jetta TDI- Don't like the design, love the diesel.
      Cooper - Like the design, cousin has the S and it is FUN. Way to small for my family.
      Fusion - I have an '08 4cly 5 speed and love it. Looks better than the rest, more roomy, fun to drive (but not as much as a Cooper S).

      These are my OPINIONS.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This comparison is just wrong. They have tiny 2dr/2st cars in with mid size 4dr sedans. The Fusion may not match the fuel economy of the Prius, but the car it should be compared against is the Camry and Altima hybrids.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So what would you compare the Prius against? Nothing?

        I mean the Insight is smaller, cheaper, significantly lighter. It doesn't belong. The Fusion, too big. The mini, too small. The Jetta? Not a hybrid, not gas powered.

        If you limit to testing virtually identical cars and getting virtually identical results you learn nothing.

        Ideally you would test every car on the market under identical conditions then at a glance you would know what every car does.

        Again I think this was a very good tests, having less cars wouldn't somehow make it better and adding more would only make it better.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Your logic makes no sense at all!

        Why don't we throw in a John Deere tractor and a transport truck too, that way we can compare them too. I wouldn't be surprised if the prius still won.

        You can't compare apples to oranges... obviously the smaller, lighter car will be better in fuel economy. Nobody needs a test to prove that to them... (except you apparently...)

        A fair test would include only cars from the same segment... Nobody in their right mind would cross shop a prius with a ford fusion hybrid. NOBODY...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Snarky Prius owners unite! Like they need any more reason to feel better than the rest of us....
        • 6 Years Ago
        :) The 2nd gen smug cloud is brewing......
        • 6 Years Ago
        What great city will fall next from a smug storm? Perhaps Seattle?
        • 6 Years Ago
        That would be third gen.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Good call, I forgot about the even uglier first gen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      the unfortunate part is that if everyone in north america decided to drive prius, it would be worse for the enviroment than the same number of people deciding to drive hummers. (not suggesting a hummer is a great option for those of you who love to post stupid comments)

      The government should post some kind of environmental impact rating with an average "fuel" cost (electric, gas or otherwise). MPG is almost on its way out with all the electric and hybrid options. Yes this would absolutely kill prius sales in the U.S. but basically thats what we should all want. The more prius' purchased the more pollution cased by shipping the nickle and the cars allover the world. (check out john stewarts take on youtube, its funny and true).
      The average NEW car could drive accross america non stop and pollute less than you painting your living room. so we need to look at how these cars are produced and shipped.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's been a year or so since you've been on the internet right? Because that whole Prius being worse for the environment than the Hummer crap has been known to be false for quite a while.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think your missing the point...the prius is horrible for the environment, the only reason people buy these cars is for the environment. Any car not built in north america does huge damage to the environment because of shipping (which is far worse problem than all the cars on the road in north america). im all for import cars built here, but i think it idiocy to bring these cars in from oversees especially "enviromentally friendly cars"
        • 6 Years Ago

        Im saying ANYTHING produced on this continent is MUCH better than shipped good. Im also pointing out that its stupid to buy a prius when a corolla is actually better for the enviroment. I went to the Canadian automotive institute - Same as your Northwood degree - and I have actually seen FACTS and figures. so far all you have said is "no your wrong" but back up absolutely nothing.

        as far as your argument that you were talking about c02 - i didnt know you were picky about the pollutants you breath in every day. My argument isnt with the prius (although its a horrible piece) its with the way we actually rate the gas mileage in terms of being an ""enviromentally friendly" car. If they built the prius here it would be a great option.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Go read my post. Here is what I said exactly.
        "Shipping by sea adds a minuscule amount to the energy of building a car"

        To which you answered I was wrong because Ships produce large amounts of pollution. Which is not the same thing. I agree ships produce outsized amounts of pollution and it should be cleaned up because we get EVERYTHING by ship. But that isn't a reason to single out cars you don't like because they come on a ship.

        Unless you can put some numbers on the per car loading of that pollution, we are both just guessing.

        I also bet a typical city transit bus puts out 100 times as much particulate matter as typical small car. Does that mean we should stop people from traveling on buses? Not really, but we should be cleaning up bus emissions.

        You are just looking for excuses to hate on the Prius. When everything from your rug, to your toaster, to your computer and probably 70% of the parts in your car came on a ship.

        Clean up shipping absolutely. Saying the Prius is bad because it came on a ship: Silly.

        • 6 Years Ago

        Your absolutely right. I've done an extensive report for a class and it is actually less damaging to the environment to buy a regular petrol car built on an assembly line then it is to buy a Prius. The metals needed for the batteries must be mined, and there are few to no restrictions on off-road heavy equipment when it comes to emissions. The shipping, despite some uninformed people saying otherwise, does produce quite a bit of pollution as well, same can be said for non-locally grown/produced food at your grocery store. People are ignorant and simply don't all this into account. They see the Prius gets almost 50 mpg and assume it's the messiah of the fuel sippers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "the 15 largest ships in the world emit as much nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide as the world's 760 million cars." - autoblog

        read up guys

        • 6 Years Ago
        In terms of pollutants: Ships should be cleaned up, the use the crappiest fuel imaginable. All cars are very clean in comparison, the have extensive pollution control and burn clean fuels.

        But I was talking about energy/CO2 load which is small. Plus practically every manufactured good in this country comes by ship, how much of that shipping load belongs to an individual Prius? Miniscule.

        Shipping should be cleaned up, because it isn't going to stop.

        Using shipping as an excuse to slag the Prius is just phoney BS unless you are avoiding everything that came over by ship, which is practically everything. Unless you are living in a log cabin that you built in the woods with a stone axe you are being a hypocrite.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Really? Because Jeremy Clarkson told us the Prius uses more gas than a BMW M3.
        • 6 Years Ago
        i was just wondering the same thing. especially with the jetta tdi coming in as the green car of the year... seems someone's getting paid to rub toyota's back
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually homunclus,

        It's very real world. Ever see some dipsh!t driving a Prius at 90+ mph down the highway, I have, it's not an uncommon sight where I live. These JOs buy this thing to look all green and then drive them like they stole them, destroying the only thing they're good at, which is easy driving and getting good fuel economy. I usually just laugh at the hypocrisy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        the fuel economy of all cars goes to crap when you drive them to the limit, which was what clarkson did to test the prius vs the m3. his test had zero real world value.

        of course i'd rather take the m3 anyway, but clarkson's test was crap bordering on dishonest.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, he didn't. He said what you drive isn't nearly as important as HOW you drive.

        If you're going to quote someone, at least get the quote right.

        • 6 Years Ago
        That show from topgear was so stupid, if you put a M3 at max-speed, and a Veyron
        has to follow it, the Veyron will probably consume less then the M3, what's the point about that???
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sarcasm is lost on some people.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No hybrids, either diesel or full electric.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Prius is also - in the real world - surprisingly comfortable for its size. You can fit 4 full-size adults into it about 98% as comfortably as you can fit the same adults into a Fusion, and it has a pretty sizable, usable trunk as well. Of course, that's based on actually getting my 6' tall self into the back of each vehicle and going places, not on EPA size guidelines. Its not an unreasonable cross-shop at all.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No way. I've spent some time in the backseat of both a Prius and Fusion. I couldn't wait to get out of the Prius, the ride was awful back there. The Fusion felt like a typical midsize car, ie: I could spend a few hours back there, but for a long road trip, it'd get old.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If you read the article that went along with this test, it's pretty clear that they really weren't comparing them to declare a winner like in a traditional comparison test. The video -- as is often the case -- wasn't as clear about that. They were just getting a variety of fuel-efficient cars together to see how they did in the real world versus the EPA numbers.

      Here is the actual article.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I honestly can't figure out why the autoblog readership, and sometimes autoblog itself, is so biased against Toyota. Everything somehow becomes ammo against the company, from the smallest recall of an unimportant piece of plastic, to one of their cars being rated higher than another. Why is that such a bad thing? So many haters for no real reason. I've always come to autoblog for automotive news, but seeing some of the ridiculously critical posts and the ignorant comments really makes me come less and less.

      Have you all driven a Prius to be so shocked that it won so many things? It's a pretty nice car. Yes, I've driven it.
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