| Share

MotorWeek Video Transcript: 2007 Fuel Economy Guide and Energy Impact Score

Jessica Shea Choksey:From rocketing fuel costs this time last year to plummeting prices at the pump of late, we’ve talked a lot about fuel economy over the last year and now there’s yet another way to talk about it.  The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have just released the 2007 Fuel Economy Guide.  This Guide helps car buyers to choose the most fuel-efficient vehicles to meet their needs by providing fuel costs estimates for each vehicle.  New this year, the guide also calculates the “wells to wheels oil consumption” for each vehicle and indexes that to fuel economy numbers.  Called the “Energy Impact Score” it measures every car and truck’s impact on America’s oil dependency and energy security.  Researchers at the DOE’s national laboratories first considered each vehicle’s fuel economy and fuel type then calculated the amount of petroleum the vehicles consume.  This data can determine if your vehicle of choice consumes as little as 1 barrel each year or as many as 42 barrels annually.  Easy to use in print or online, the guide and its fuel costs data are organized by vehicle class then listed alphabetically by manufacture and model.  Take the sub-compact car class for instance; the Toyota Yaris gets top honors.  It’s joined by the Honda Civic Hybrid for compacts and the Prius winning for the mid-size class.  For overall leaders in fuel economy, consumers will find this list is naturally top-heavy with hybrids and has Toyota sealing five spots on the top-ten ranking vehicles.

So it seems no matter what you’re interested in driving, the Fuel Economy Guide is the best way to compare them where it really counts, at the gas pump.  And to further spread the word about this important new fuel economy gauge, MotorWeek will soon be incorporating the guide’s new energy impact score in our road tests.

We’ll keep you updated to any future changes to the guide, but we also encourage you to research your next vehicle before you pay the price to fill up. And that’s it for this week’s MotorNews.