What cars are featured on hi-mpg.org?

We feature cars going back as much as 15 years ago that exhibit high style and driving fun in addition to returning good gas mileage. A unique element of hi-mpg.org is we focus strictly on cars which we think are very cool. For example, whereas a 2000 Audi TT is featured on this site, a bland 2011 Toyota Corolla isn’t—even though the latter gets better gas mileage.

What is a Hot Green Machine?

A Hot Green Machine is a vehicle we think is really cool (or “hot”) that achieves good gas mileage. Currently, we define “good gas mileage” as 30 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway, although we may adjust that standard in the future to be more stringent.

Why is 30 MPG the minimum standard to be featured as a Hot Green Machine on hi-mpg.org? Shouldn’t it be higher?

Hi-mpg.org was founded in 2004, when 30 mpg really was considered excellent gas mileage. Nowadays, 30 mpg is becoming commonplace enough that even new vehicles like the 300+ horsepower Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro (V6 models) can achieve it on the highway.

Nevertheless, many Americans are still driving older or larger vehicles that are only getting 20 MPG. For these folks, 30 mpg represents a whopping 50% improvement in efficiency. And of course, we also feature plenty of vehicles that get in excess of 35 and even 40 mpg on hi-mpg.org.

Different trim levels of a particular model often results in different gas mileage ratings. The gas mileage estimates listed on hi-mpg.org refers to what trim level?

The city/highway gas mileage estimates prominently listed in posts about hi-mpg.org vehicles correspond to the most fuel-miserly trim level. This is usually the base engine with manual transmission—which not only saves the most amount of gas, but has the lowest entry price and is often the most fun to drive (due to enhanced driver involvement as a result of having to row a gear lever).

Why are some feature cars listed with an MPG rating as “old EPA test cycle” and “new EPA test cycle?” Shouldn’t you just be citing just the new EPA gas mileage estimates?

For model year 2008 and onwards, the Environmental Protection Agency has been using a new testing methodology that results in more conservative gas mileage estimates due to assuming that drivers accelerate quicker and spend more time idling.

Here at hi-mpg.org, we cite the old EPA estimates for pre-2008 cars and trucks and new EPA estimates for post-2007 vehicles. Basically, we cite whatever was listed on the official window sticker at the time of original sale. We do this for two reasons: 1) we think the official window sticker gives the car owner legitimate claim to achieving the gas mileage estimates that the EPA originally provided, and 2) we have almost always achieved better gas mileage than even the old (less conservative) EPA standard. In other words, we feel that the old EPA test methodology was realistic enough, contrary to what many (generally more lead-footed) “car experts” have claimed.