Japanese hybrids have best fuel economy, government report says

Friday, October 24th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Honda and Toyota are producing the vehicles with the highest fuel economy, including gas-electric hybrids that get up to 60 miles per gallon in city traffic, according to an annual report released Thursday.

The report by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy compares the fuel economy of 2004 vehicles based on information from automakers. The vehicle with the lowest fuel economy _ the Lamborghini L-147 _ got 9 mpg.

The two-seat Honda Insight was rated highest, at 60 mpg in the city. The report listed the Toyota Prius second, at 59 mpg, but Toyota Motor Co. said Thursday that the Prius, a mid-size sedan, also gets 60 mpg.

A diesel version of Volkswagen's New Beetle had the highest fuel economy among subcompact cars, at 38 mpg. Among large cars, the Chevrolet Malibu had the highest fuel economy at 22 mpg.

Among mid-size station wagons, the Ford Focus had the highest fuel economy at 26 mpg. The Toyota RAV4 had the highest fuel economy among sport utility vehicles at 24 mpg.

The 11 vehicles with the lowest fuel economy were all exotic sports cars or sedans manufactured by Lamborghini, Bentley, Ferrari and Maserati. The Ford F150 pickup was 12th on the list of vehicles with the lowest fuel economy, at 12 mpg in the city.

Acting EPA Administrator Marianne Horinko said the report is meant to help drivers make the most fuel-efficient choices.

Dan Becker, a spokesman for the Sierra Club, said the report is incomplete because it doesn't collect figures on some of the largest vehicles on the road. General Motors Corp.'s Hummer H2, for example, weighs 8,600 pounds, which is 100 pounds over the limit for vehicles included in the report.