Kenyon Sandy from New Jersey writes:
What ever happened to the high mileage Hondas of just a few years ago? The special engines that delivered around 38 city and 52 highway. They were not hybrids and were very peppy. All of the sudden we’re supposed to get excited about a car that gets 40 MPG? I don’t think so.
Now, compare that to the modern-day Civic sedan, which is bigger, has heavy bits like A/C, antilock brakes, side airbags, power windows, etc. as standard, and goes 0-60 in around 8 secs for the manual and 9.5 for the automatic. Considering all that, 30 city/40 highway really is pretty darn good, don't you think?As for the turbodiesel VWs: Some time in the last couple of years VW added catalytic converters, which are supposed to shave off a couple of MPG. I drove last year's Jetta TDI and an '05 Civic Hybrid back to back and averaged 46 MPG in both. If you ask me, diesel is the way to go. It has much more economy and performance potential than hybrids. Thanks for the email, Kenyon.-- Aaron Gold