Fuel prices are part of the total cost of vehicle ownership, so fuel conservation should be an important factor when choosing a new car. Consider whether the car, truck or SUV under consideration is bigger and heavier than necessary. Compare the Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy labels on the vehicles considered.
Some options that may impact fuel use:
- Vehicles equipped with four-wheel drive may use more gasoline than other vehicles, especially if the four-wheel-drive system is engaged during routine driving.
- A vehicle with an automatic transmission may use more gasoline than one with a manual transmission.
- The choice of a smaller engine usually means better gas mileage.
- Some trucks, vans and SUVs come in several sizes and configurations. Models with a shorter bed, abbreviated cargo area or smaller cab are lighter and generally consume less fuel.
- A light exterior color, light interior cloth seats and tinted windows can reduce heat buildup and reduce the need for air conditioning.
- Cruise control may be a fuel-saving option if you drive a lot on open roads. Maintaining a steady speed conserves fuel.