Honda is the best Sipper! 

Honda is the best Sipper!

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2006 fuel economy guide, and surprise, surprise – Toyota’s hybrid poster child, the Prius - did not emerge as the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market. That honor actually went to the less popular Honda Insight (maybe the spaceship-y feel doesn’t make the customers feel all that warm and fuzzy enough inside). Appearances aside however, and on paper at least, Honda's Insight became the clear winner, scoring the same remarkable 60 miles per gallon in city driving as the Prius achieved, BUT edging out the Prius in highway mileage by a 20%, as calculated by EPA.

Other interesting tidbits from the EPA report:

Volkswagen is actually the most fuel-efficient of all car companies, with four of its vehicles landing on the top-10 list of "Highest Overall Fuel Economy Models." Volkswagen's secret? All four of its winners are diesels.

The fifth most fuel-efficient vehicle in the world is surprise, surprise again - an SUV. Specifically, it's Ford's Escape hybrid, in the front-wheel-drive configuration.

If you count repeats, Ford tied Volkswagen for most fuel-efficient car company. Not only did the front-wheel drive version of the hybrid Escape place on the top 10 list, but it also had multiple entries in the eighth-place slot: the four-wheel drive version of the hybrid Escape, and its kins -- 4WD hybrid versions of the Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute.

But then again, if you count the repeats it would actually seem to be a three-way race because Toyota sneaked four winners into the top-10 list, too (I mean really, Toyota takes this fuel-efficiency business really seriously, you know). In addition to the ever popular Prius, the hybrid variants of Toyota's luxury Lexus SUV and its slightly downmarket Highlander twin tied for ninth place. Toyota also has the distinction of manufacturing the only non-hybrid vehicle to place in the top 10: the stick-shift version of its Corolla sedan.

With gas prices still hovering over the $3 per gallon mark, fuel efficient vehicles really are the call of the times (despite some claims that Americans still refuse to give their gas-guzzling SUVs up). People are now more than ever, paying attention to their decisions when it comes to the second biggest investment they make in their lives - their vehicles. And while hybrids may be extremely popular these days, many experts recommend that those considering them should try to wait until next year, when the tax breaks really kicks in. And if you’ll be taking their advise and will be putting off buying a new car until next year, your current car can still serve you best given the right amount of care and maintenance. Regular checking and replacement of auto parts as soon as possible when necessary will not only keep you safe but will also save you a lot more than gas money. If in need of quality auto parts like Chevrolet fog lights, Pontiac bumpers, Dodge doors, Ford truck tailgates and more, visit trusted online auto parts like Auto Parts Deal.

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