Automakers have been following several strategies to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations for 2025, which requires cars and light trucks to achieve 54.5 mpg highway. While all automakers are working to raise the average fuel economy of their cars, some are releasing special, fuel-efficient variations of their standard models in a similar fashion to high performance models in a model lineup.
The Chevrolet Cruze ECO is the fuel efficient leader of the Chevy Cruze lineup, and gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg city, 42 highway mpg with manual transmission and 26 mpg city, 39 mpg highway with automatic transmission. Ford's fuel efficient offering is the Ford Focus SFE (28 mpg city, 40 mpg highway) while Honda sells the Civic HF (29 mpg city, 41 mpg highway). According to the Los Angeles Times, Consumer Reports analyzed the costs of the three compact sedans versus their fuel economy and found the saving s to be insubstantial. The consumer resource reports that the Ford Focus SFE saved its owner only $145 a year while the Honda Civic HF saved only $135. The Chevrolet Cruze ECO was the worse, saving $20 in fuel costs a year.The full article can be found below. Our take? CR's analysis reminds us of those comparisons made on hybrids and their non-hybrid counterparts and which also make similar claims. Unfortunately, many of those comparisons are apples to oranges, not taking into account the greater number of standard features often packed in hybrid vehicles. Often the comparisons are made of the more feature-rich hybrid vehicle versus the base model of the lineup. We would need a true feature-to-feature match between, for example, the standard Chevrolet Cruze versus the ECO model to if higher mpg is worth the higher price tag. via Los Angeles Times