Posted May 29th 2012 2:29PM
The good people at Consumer Reports appear to have a dim view of fuel-economy packages on small cars. The organization recently tested the Ford Focus SFE, Chevrolet Cruze Eco and Honda Civic HF to determine whether the cars' annual fuel savings actually offset the additional cost of opting for the package to begin with. During their mixed city and highway loop testing, the Ford actually fared the best by returning 7.6L/100km (31 mpg) overall and represents an annual fuel cost savings of just US$145. The SFE package costs US$495.
Likewise, the Honda Civic HF returned 7.1L/100km (33 mpg). The Honda serves up an annual fuel cost savings of US$135, though the HF package commands the largest premium over its base model at US$800. Then there's our personal favorite of the lot, the Cruze Eco. Surprisingly enough, the Chevrolet compact netted 8.7L/100km (27 mpg), representing a savings of a mere US$20 annually. Pretty rough considering Eco trim sets buyers back US$770.
It is worth noting Consumer Reports opted for the automatic-equipped Cruze Eco, which is only good for 7.6L/100km (31 mpg) combined. When equipped with a six-speed manual, the model returns a more palatable 7.1L/100km (33 mpg) combined. Still, as CR points out, there are plenty of other vehicles on the market that attain similar fuel economy ratings without the added cost. Check out the video for yourself by scrolling below.