10 Gas-Guzzling New ICE Cars That Are Really Fun To Drive


Switching to a full hybrid, plug-in hybrid or an electric vehicle is a logical antidote to crippling gas prices. But what if you want to stick with the old-fashioned ICE power of gold?

Maybe you don’t like the often artificial, non-linear brake pedal feel that hybrids deliver, or the effect the mass of a huge battery pack has on stopping and cornering. Or maybe you just want to enjoy the purity of a no-nonsense internal combustion powertrain before the government rips it from your cold, dead hands. Whatever the reason, let’s assume you want a more traditional powertrain, but you still don’t want your credit card melting away from overuse at your local gas station.

We’ve compiled a list of cars that are fun to drive and don’t need to be plugged in to impress the EPA’s fuel efficiency testers. Also, the fantastic efficiency numbers of most hybrids crumble to dust anyway on a long journey where initial EV range is quickly depleted and you’re lugging around a dead weight of battery cells.

Also Read: Goldman Sachs says fuel prices at the pump are about to get a whole lot worse

All of the cars here can do at least 25 mpg on the combined cycle and 30 mpg on a freeway run, according to the EPA. Some will even top 40mpg when cruising, and while that’s hardly record-breaking efficiency because there are more fuel-efficient cars out there, our 12 were chosen because they’re fun too. Of course, considering depreciation and the cost of changing cars, it might be cheaper not to change cars at all. So, before you spend $20,000, do your sums to save $10 a week off your gas bill.

Volkswagen GTI – 28 MPG Estate (25/34, City/Highway)

The Volkswagen Golf GTI, or just GTI in the US, takes a bit of flak at times because it’s not as hardcore as its hot hatch rival. But since it focuses on both ease of use and helping you get your kicks down a back road, it’s a real ally for those of us who hate stopping to refuel.

The EPA rates the 241 hp (244 hp) GTI at up to 28 mpg on the combined cycle and up to 34 mpg when cruising on the highway when equipped with the optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. And unlike some other cars, you don’t get hammered by opting for a stick: the only difference is the city rating, which ranges from 25mpg to 24mpg.

Even the 315PS (319hp) Golf R isn’t too bad for the juice, despite being a lot more transmission sensitive. The DSG-equipped R’s combined figure of 26mpg drops to just 23mpg when you switch on the six-speed manual.

Mazda MX-5 – 29 MPG Estate (26/34, City/Highway)

Weighing as much as a leaf on a keto diet isn’t just great for handling. It’s also useful when it comes to getting decent mileage out of a gallon of gas, as evidenced by the 2,345 lb (1,064 kg) Mazda MX-5. Without the benefit of a turbo to boost the efficiency of its 181 hp (184 hp), 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder, the Miata needs 29 miles from a gallon on the combined cycle and 26/34 mpg city/highway.

Mazda also offers an automatic MX-5, but the 1mpg gain is negligible and gives you absolutely no legitimate excuses when someone asks you why the heck you bought a two-pedal MX-5.

Alfa Romeo Giulia – 27 MPG station wagon (24/33, city/highway)

Sure, we’d all rather see a Quadrifoglio in the driveway than a regular Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan, but even if someone else funds the $37,000 price difference, the hot’s 20-mpg economy means it tends to end up spending more time parked could spend on the driveway as the four-banger.

It’s automatic or nothing when it comes to four-cylinder Giulias, and paired with the base front-wheel drive transmission setup, the result is a decent 27mpg on the combined cycle for a no-frills $43,350 car, which might give you a practical touring range of 413 miles (665 km).

Mini Cooper S – 31 MPG Estate (28/38, City/Highway)

The original 1959 Mini was an attempt by British BMC to build a “real” car that was frugal enough to distract people from mileage mutants like the Isetta and Heinkel Bubble cars that were growing in popularity at the time. And 63 years and 726 kg later, the current keeper of the mini flame is just as economical.

A base Mini Cooper with the 134 hp 1.5-liter triple is good for a combined 32 mpg in automatic guise and 31 mpg as manual, the EPA says. Not bad, but an automatic Cooper S gives you 55 hp (56 hp) more power, still delivers 31 mpg combined and matches the Cooper’s 38 mpg highway number. Even the 228hp (231hp) JCW hardtop returns 29mpg overall. These things hate gas stations.

Hyundai Elantra N – 25 MPG combined (22/31, city/highway)

Related: Is the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N the Affordable Sport Sedan You Should Buy?

A combined figure of 25mpg won’t help get the Hyundai Elantra N onto Greta Thunberg’s company car list, assuming she makes the effort to learn how to drive when she’s old enough. But it’s not bad considering how fun it is to toss the Elantra around, and on the plus side that’s for a car mated to a six-speed manual. The automatic version is only rated at 23mpg, just like the car-only Kona N, meaning the Elantra is Hyundai’s least expensive N car, at least until the Ioniq 5 N arrives.

Audi S3 – 27 MPG station wagon (23/32, city/highway)

The appearance of the Volkswagen GTI earlier in this list already reminded us how fuel efficient VW Group’s turbocharged engines are, and nothing changes when you drop them behind a four-ring grille. In fact, the 27-mpg Audi S3 sedan is marginally more fuel-efficient than its closest mechanical rival, the 26-mpg Golf R hatch, overall, although the Golf evens out the highway score, taking a 33-mpg rating to the 32 -MPG of the S3 gets.

And, as you’d expect, things only get greener the further you drive down the range, no doubt due in part to the use of 48V mild-hybrid technology. The EPA says a standard 201 hp (204 hp) 2.0-liter turbocharged A3 without Quattro all-wheel drive will go 32 miles on a gallon of gasoline on the combined cycle and an impressive 38 miles on the freeway.

Honda Civic Si – 31 MPG Estate (27/37, City/Highway)

We don’t yet know the exact specs of the upcoming Civic Type R or how far it will go on a gallon, but we’re hoping it will take a leaf out of the 2022 Civic Si’s book. That’s because the 200PS (203hp), 1.5-litre, turbocharged Si sedan is rated at 31mpg overall, despite a mandatory manual transmission, making it one of the most fuel-efficient high-performance cars.

But obviously not the most economical Civic. That honor goes to the 4-door Civic sedan, fitted with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and CVT transmission that returns a combined 36mpg and a ‘Which side is the filler on again? It’s been so long.” 42 mpg highway number.

Acura Integra – 33 MPG combined (30/37, city/highway)

So you like the idea of ​​the Civic Si, but not the idea of ​​rowing your dues or having to sneak your left leg through city traffic for two hours every morning on your way to the office. Or maybe you want a hatchback/liftback and the fact that the Si is only available as a sedan baffles you. Either way, the 2023 Acura Integra has you covered.

Both cars use the same front-wheel drive chassis and the 200 hp (203 hp) 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. But only the Acura lets you choose between a manual and an automatic transmission. Normally we’d say go manual, especially as only the three-pedal car comes with an LSD, although in this case there are a few reasons you might not.

First, the automatic transmission, which is technically a CVT, is significantly less gas-guzzling, attracting a combined/city/highway rating of 33/30/37, versus 30/26/36 for the manual. And secondly, in order to unlock the manual option, you have to splurge on an expensive top-trim car with the A-Spec package.

BMW 230i – 29 MPG station wagon (26/35, city/highway)

The most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car BMW sells in North America, it’s arguably among the cleanest and most fun to drive. It’s a shame you can’t pair the 230i’s B48 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with a six-speed manual, but the ZF 8HP is a great automatic and the paddle shifters allow you to take full control of its 255 hp (259 hp) to take over ).

If you do that, of course, you’ll have almost no chance of matching the solid 29mpg combined figure that the EPA has achieved with BMW’s carefully mapped automatic mode software, but you’ll certainly have more fun.

Toyota GR86 – 25 MPG Estate (21/31, City/Highway)

First Drive: 2022 Toyota GR 86 packs a bigger punch and looks good doing it

The Toyota GR86’s boxer engine makes it unique among front-engined sports cars, apart from its Subaru BRZ brother, of course. But it’s not massively fuel efficient when equipped with the manual box that most enthusiasts will want. The EPA rates the Stick-equipped GR at 22mpg combined, although you can improve that to 25mpg by selecting the automatic alternative and you get the same brilliant chassis.

But who are we kidding anyway? It’s so difficult not to drive these cars since every journey is a GTA getaway mission that you’ll likely be looking for sub-20mpg economy whichever transmission you choose.

And while we’re taking Boxers, we should give credit to the Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman. Neither was quite economical enough to meet our 25 mpg combined, 30 mpg highway, minimum entry requirements, but the 24 mpg combined, 27 mpg highway of the base 718 in coupe and convertible forms when mated to the PDK transmission are equipped is still a strong performance.

#GasGuzzling #ICE #Cars #Fun #Drive

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