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Nice article. I totally agree with you.

Jon Bjornstad

Is there something about the American lifestyle
that REQUIRES such large vehicles? I have wondered
about this for years.

Toyota makes large SUVs just like American manufacturers
but I do wonder if any of them are sold in Japan!
I suspect that Toyota is manufacuring them in the U.S.
for sale only in the U.S.

Thank you for your uncommon common sense!

Check out my website:


I am a student and my diploma thesis is about the new idea of hybrid-cars. It´s a current and exciting topic. I would be glad if you could tell me what you think about hybrid-cars. Even if you don't know anything about it.

This is my short questionnaire:

Thank you for helping me.


Hi, I live in the UK and i might be in the minority but i'm quite happy with the level of fuel taxes here. To pay for all the public services we have (whether there should be more or less of them is another debate), i'd much rather pay my taxes through fuel duties, than higher taxes on income or general sales tax. Also they discourage polluting the environment, which is an added benefit. I think it's fair that those who pollute the most should pay the most tax, to discourage this undesirable and unsustainable behaviour.

To me, a 323i sounds quite a large engine for a 3 series. Here, the 3 series is quite common, probably the most popular car of it's size, and the most popular engine by far is the diesel 320d. With over 180hp and 0-60 in 7.5 secs, it's hardly slow. It's also rated 60 mpg combined. It's difficult to compare between US and European mpg figures, but i find the US ones tend to be around 70-75% of the European ones for the same models. That would rate it at around 42-45 mpg combined in the US.

I imagine you must be driving quite carefully to achieve 33mpg.

The Scion xB isn't sold in the UK, but that size of car is the best selling of all in the UK - cars like the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Vauxhall (General Motors) Corsa and Toyota Yaris. These typically have 1.2 or 1.4 petrol engines. With this size of car here, diesels are less popular as they are more expensive to buy and cars of this size are typically driven less and often the second car in the family. Also, in the UK we don't tax diesel less than petrol, like the rest of Europe, so the savings are smaller. Diesels get more common the bigger the car.

A great website is www.whatgreencar.co.uk, where you can compare the environmental performance and fuel economy of every car on sale in the UK quite easily. You will see that by using smaller diesel engines, even large, practical cars can be very efficient. For example the Volvo V50 1.6D DriveE Start/Stop gets 72.4mpg. It's about the size of a VW Jetta wagon. The VW Polo Bluemotion gets over 80mpg. And the VW Passat Bluemotion gets 64.2mpg. Even quite powerful cars can be efficient like the 3 series i mentioned or a 520d auto gets 54.3mpg (it's an 8-speed auto, it's very good). People mention kei cars, but when you can get better mpg out of a more practical and comfortable diesel powered car like a Polo, i dont see the point.


Forgot to mention, BMW also do a 320d EfficientDynamics model which gets 68.9mpg on the European test cycle (in comparison the current Prius gets 72.4mpg, and i imagine would be worse in the real world). It still does 0-62mph in 8.2secs so still gives good performance.

Here's a review from Car Magazine:


I totally agree with you. Small cars give more mileage.

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