We've said again and again that there is no one solution that is best for everyone when it comes to fuel consumption. Depending on your needs, wants and budget, different solutions may suit you better than your neighbor. The crew over at Edmunds recently did a fuel consumption comparison test that demonstrated once again different strokes work for different folks. The team pitted a 2005 Jetta TDI against a Prius, Smart ForTwo and Ford Focus. Each is different and, based on their technology and pricing, has a different appeal. They tested all four in city and highway driving as well as some back road running. As expected, the Jetta came out on top on the highway, and the Prius around town. The Jetta also won the back road test. The Jetta's two wins weren't by a large enough margin to overcome the Prius' 52.4 to 32.6 mpg victory around town. The overall average for the Prius came to 47.7mpg while the Jetta managed 43.8mpg. Even the Focus managed a respectable 33.3mpg. While this obviously doesn't compete directly with a Prius, consider this: a Prius costs $7-8,000 more than a Focus. If you drive the average 12,000 miles a year it will consume about 251 gallons of fuel. If however, like my wife, you don't drive as much and only accumulate 8,000 miles a year, the Focus would only consume 240 gallons. In that case the significantly less expensive but still reasonably efficient Focus might be the better choice for your budget. So, when you make your buying decision don't just go the fashionable choice, consider all your needs and pick wisely.
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