, an online resource for automotive information, has released the results of its small car fuel economy challenge. Edmunds editors pitted the


2008 Toyota Prius

against the


2008 Ford Focus



2008 Smart Fortwoand 2005 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

to determine which vehicle returned the best fuel mileage in each of the following five rounds:

  1. Best back roads cruiser –50 to 65 mph for 334 miles of back roads.
  2. Best city roller –stop and go for 133 miles of Las Vegas city streets.
  3. Best highway flier –a steady 75 mph for 209 miles of interstate.
  4. Lowest fuel costs –which of the challengers saved us the most cash.
  5. Greenest small car –which spewed the least greenhouse gases on our trip.


The highlights of the results are as follows:

  • The Toyota Prius, the overall winner, dominated the city driving test by returning 52.4 miles per gallon. The Prius also emitted the least greenhouse gas of all the competitors and had the lowest overall fuel costs.
  • The Volkswagen Jetta TDI recorded the best fuel economy in the back-roads driving and highway cruising tests, averaging 47.3 and 48.9 miles per gallon respectively.
  • The Smart Fortwo scored second place in both the best city roller and lowest fuel cost rounds.
  • The Ford Focus performed well on the highway averaging 37.5 mpg beating the EPA figures of 35 mpg.

The full test results are published in Gas Sipper Smackdown!