It seems that Popular Mechanics is nearly as interested in fuel efficiency as we are these days. To wit, the online mag has grabbed the keys to three of the latest fuel-sippers on the market in order to wring them out. The goal? Not performance, but fuel efficiency. While the Jetta TDI and the Prius are clearly the headline bearers, we shouldn't forget the lowly Chevy Cobalt XFE. This is the model that General Motors was able to massage EPA ratings of 25 miles per gallon city and 35 highway from
Chevrolet apparently has a hit on its hands in the form of the new XFE model of its Cobalt compact car. Relatively easy tricks such as revised gearing, low rolling-resistance tires and some computer reprogramming was enough to boost the XFE to 36 miles per gallon on the highway, up from the standard model's 33 mpg. GM says it took just eighteen months to make this new version a reality, and rumors indicate there could be more XFEs on the way.
Back in April, we applauded General Motors and its decision to eke some more fuel economy from its high-volume compact car, the Chevrolet Cobalt. Along with the 9-percent increase in fuel mileage, the new model got a shiny new XFE (eXtra Fuel Economy) badge in the process. Pontiac is now offering an XFE version of the G5, which shares most major components with the Cobalt. We're happy to report that next year's Cobalt and G5 XFE manage to gain yet another mile per gallon on the highway, up to th