(NC)—Breakthroughs in design and technology have taken a lot of the guess work out of buying a fuel-efficient vehicle these days. Yet there are many factors that can influence your decision including size, price, operating costs, comfort, design, image, fuel efficiency and environmental impact.
Since fuel is one of the most expensive aspects of owning a vehicle, checking fuel efficiency should be job one when shopping around. A good place to start is the annual Fuel Consumption Guide produced by Natural Resources Canada. The guide contains fuel ratings for every make and model in their class so you can compare apples to apples.
Vehicles in the guide range from those with low fuel consumption (for example, 3.7 L/100 km city-driving for a mid-sized hybrid) to vehicles with high fuel costs (27.9 L/100 km city-driving for a large van). Although these vehicles serve different purposes, they do illustrate the wide variation of new vehicles available to Canadians. At today’s fuel prices of about $1.20/L, this consumption equates to a fuel cost ranging from $900 to $6,700 per year, with CO2 emissions of 1.7 to 12.8 tons over 20,000 km.
Taking the time to assess your vehicle needs is an important step in choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle. Once you’ve determined your needs, check out NRCan’s online fuel consumption database—it’s a great way to help you identify your most fuel-efficient vehicle options. You can find the guide and the database at www.vehicles.gc.ca.