Does good fuel mileage necessarily equal poor performance? Must low emission regulations put an end to driving enjoyment? No, of course not. The days of fuel-sipping penalty boxes are long gone, as even today's crop of hybrid vehicles can be fun to drive if you just love the act of eking every mile out of each drop of fuel. But, what about real options for the enthusiast who would rather sacrifice a few miles per gallon in the name of driving fun? AutoWeek put together a list of four cylinder vehicles which return decent fuel mileage numbers and can be bought for a reasonable sum.
The top few picks from the weekly mag aren't going to win any mpg awards, but nobody is going to argue with the performance credentials of the Subaru WRX STi, Mitsubishi Evolution, Mazdaspeed 3 or Caliber SRT-4. The Chevrolet Cobalt SS manages to attain EPA figures of 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Its 2.0 liter turbocharged Ecotec engine is a sweetheart, too. Moving down the list, we see the Mini Cooper return even better figures at 28 city and 37 highway. We've driven the Cooper and the Clubman, and you can bet they are fun to drive. Click here to read the full list of fun, frugal four-bangers.