Japanese automakers focus on fuel-efficient subcompact cars

2011 Nissan Micra/March – Click above for high-res image gallery

The drive to develop fuel-sipping subcompact cars has taken over in Japan, according to a report released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). JAMA declares that "a fascinating new form of competition seems to be brewing" claiming that "the trend towards ever better fuel economy is set, and these latest fuel-sipping offerings in Japan show how fast the technology is moving."

JAMA's report explains that Japanese automakers have targeted matching the fuel efficiency of the Toyota Prius, the "king of the hill" in terms of miles per gallon with a rating of 89 mpg in Japan's 10-15 test cycle. Of course, the Prius is a compact hybrid vehicle, but that hasn't deterred Japan's automakers from striving to develop gasoline-fueled subcompacts that come close to matching the Prius' fuel-sipping abilities.

For example, the non-hybrid Honda Fit posts a fuel efficiency rating of 58 mpg and the Nissan Micra/March returns 61 mpg in Japan's 10-15 test cycle. The Daihatsu Move, with its 0.66-liter engine, boasts an even more impressive 64 mpg rating. However, Mazda, with the introduction of its SkyActiv-G-equipped Demio (Mazda2) scheduled for later this year, will likely claim first place in Japan's subcompact, gasoline-fed, fuel efficiency wars with a rating of 71 mpg.

As JAMA's report concludes, "the competition is quickening" and Japan's subcompact cars continue to "set extraordinary new standards for fuel efficiency." This is a fight we can get behind.

View 10 Photos

[Source: Ward's Auto – sub. req.]

Share This Photo X