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Back in 2005, when gasoline cost $1 Canadian per liter and it was already considered expensive, Canadian Driver inaugurated the 50-liter challenge. This event highlights the fuel-saving benefits of driving a compact car, and tries to promote an efficient driving style. But why choose 50 liters (13.21 gallons U. S.)? Even though 50 liters isn't a complete fill-up, most of the cars in the test have a 50-liter tank and this amount would give a fair level of comparison between the contestants.

NADAguides, a website that offers car prices and specifications for customers, has announced that compacts are stirring more interest in the U.S. of A than before. According to their figures, consumer interest in the compact segment increased by 96 percent between January and March 2008. This number is based on searches Americans are doing for compact cars.