Sure it's ugly. I agree. But for gas mileage, you can't beat it. The Toyota Echo that is.
Too often when 'gas mileage' gets mentioned in a conversation, incredible numbers get thrown around, usually by people driving monstrous gas guzzlers. "I get 40 miles to the gallon in my Cadillac Escalade." Another good one is: "This minivan of mine, I easily get 600 km out of a tank." Well, yeah, too bad your tank can hold 50 gallons, oops, 225 litres.
And so, to set the record straight, to throw out the gauntlet, here are the stats for the Echo. It was born in the year 2000, has standard transmission, and lacks airconditioning (unless you wanna count the open windows). Engine size is 1.5 litres.
On my last tank, which started at km 7435 and lasted to km 8143, it consumed 35.51 l of gasoline, standard unleaded (octane level 87). That's 708 km, of mostly highway driving, but some stop-and-go as well.
Here we go with the calculations:
First, the official Canadian version: 35.51/(708/100) = 5.0155 litres per 100 km
Next, the old Canadian version 440 miles/7.81 Imperial gallons = 56.34 miles per Imp gallon. Woohoo!
For our US friends 440 miles/9.38 US gallons = 46.91 miles per US gallon.
Now the old European way (don't know how they currently do it over there): 708/35.51 = 19.94 km per litre.
Not bad eh? With gas mileage like that, who needs hybrids?
My first car, a 1968 Dodge Monaco, with an 8 cylinder 383 cubic inch engine (that's 6.3 litres folks) got something like 18 miles to the gallon. Thank God they don't make 'em like that anymore!
Update 2006/06/22: On my next tank, I got 56.5 miles per (Imperial) gallon or 4.9905 litres per 100 km! I am below the magic 5.0 level!