Natural Resources Canada recently announced Canada’s most fuel-efficient vehicles for 2014 by class. Best-in-class vehicles have the lowest estimated annual fuel use, based on 20,000km driven with a mix of 55 percent city and 45 percent highway. For each class, the most fuel-efficient conventional vehicle (includes hybrids) and the most efficient advanced technology vehicle (where applicable) were recognized.
No matter what type of vehicle you're looking for, these rides won't cost you an arm and a leg at the pump
Two-seater (advanced tech): smart fortwo electric drive
Two-seater: Honda CR-Z
Minicompact: Scion IQ
Subcompact (advanced technology): Chevrolet Spark EV
Subcompact: Ford Fiesta SFE
Compact (advanced tech): Ford Focus Electric
Compact: Toyota Prius c
Mid-size (advanced technology): Nissan LEAF
Mid-size: Honda Accord Hybrid
Mid-size: Toyota Prius
Full-size (advanced tech): Tesla Model S
Full-size: Ford C-MAX Hybrid
Small station wagon: BMW 328d xDrive Touring
Mid-size station wagon: Toyota Prius v
Small Pickup Truck: Toyota Tacoma
Standard Pickup: Ram 1500 Diesel
Small SUV: Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid AWD
Standard SUV: Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD LE Plus
Minivan: Mazda 5
Cargo Van: Nissan NV200
Passenger Van: Ford Transit Connect Taxi
- Two-seater: Honda...
- Subcompact: Ford...
- Compact (advanced...
- Compact: Toyota...
- Mid-size: Honda...
- Mid-size: Toyota...
- Full-size: Ford...
- Small station...
- Mid-size station...
- Small Pickup...
- Standard Pickup:...
- Small SUV: Subaru...
- Standard SUV:...
- Minivan: Mazda 5
- Cargo Van: Nissan...
- Passenger Van:...
Engine: 35kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive would make a fine second car for city dwellers with a place to plug it in. It’s a small niche to be sure. But, for the first time in electric car history, the EV is actually better than it’s gasoline-burning counterpart. The EV is more fun to drive, it’s more refined, it’s quiet – like a sailboat – and the only reason you’ll have to take it to a gas station is to heckle other drivers.
Engine: 1.5L, 4-cylinder hybrid, continuously variable | Fuel Economy 5.2L/100km
This two-seater’s claim to fame is that it’s the only manual-transmission hybrid currently for sale in North America. Carried over from 2013, the Honda CR-Z received numerous upgrades last year, notably a new lithium-ion battery and Honda’s Plus Sport System, which enhances performance with on-demand electric boost via a steering wheel-mounted “S+” button. Styling upgrades included revised interior trim along with a new front fascia and an aerodynamically functional new rear diffuser. Standard features on all models include Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Bluetooth Audio, rear-view camera, Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry and cruise control.
Engine: 1.3L, 4-cylinder, continuously variable | Fuel Economy: 5.1L/100km
The tiny sub-compact iQ falls into the same category as the similarly-sized Smart Fortwo, making it more fit for driving in extremely-congested areas of the city. Unlike the Fortwo, the iQ also comes with a rear seat, allowing for more space for passengers or cargo. A 94-horsepower 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard on the 2014 iQ.
Engine: 104kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
Then new EV plug-in electric trim is the latest addition to the Spark model lineup. For power, a combined coaxial drive unit and electric motor deliver 130-horsepower, including a 20-kWh lithium ion battery. The Spark EV also offers an optional “SAE Combo DC Fast Charge” capability, which can charge the battery to 80 percent capacity in about 20 minutes. Inside, additional tech includes two seven-inch LCD screens display with key vehicle functions and an infotainment system.
Engine: 1.0L, 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual | Fuel Economy: 5.3L/100km
The best-in-class fuel economy – it just beats out the Mitsubishi Mirage now hitting dealers – is a win for Ford because, their research shows, it’s often cited as the number one purchase consideration among subcompact shoppers. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost is available on five nameplates in Europe, but its use in the 2014 Fiesta marks its arrival to North America. The engine uses small displacement, turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing to pull off its impressive fuel economy figures.
Engine: 107kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
Not much changes for the 2014 Focus Electric model. Optional tech remains the same, with MyFord Touch, satellite radio, Sync infotainment system, heated front seats, a six-way power driver seat, leather upholstery, and a 10-speaker Sony sound system. Unique feature on the Focus Electric is that owners can monitor their electric range and consumption via smartphone integration. EPA estimates a range of about 76 miles between charging, depending on driving style and environment. Opt for a 240-volt home charger, and (according to Ford) this will charge the Focus Electric’s lithium batteries in four hours.
Engine: 1.5L, 4-cylinder hybrid, continuously variable | Fuel Economy: 3.8L/100km
Unlike the “peppier” 1.8-litre in the bigger Prius, a 1.5-litre, 73-horsepower four-cylinder engine drives the C, in conjunction with a pair of electric motor/generators, which supply an additional 60 horsepower. A CVT gearbox remains standard across the line.
Engine: 80kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
The five-passenger Nissan LEAF electric car is the result of the automaker’s stated objective to produce an affordable zero-emission vehicle for the mass market. The front-wheel drive compact uses a dedicated EV platform with batteries housed in the floor for optimum vehicle packaging and weight distribution.
Engine: 2.0L, 4-cylinder hybrid, continuously variable | Fuel Economy: 3.8L/100km
Honda is finally firmly in the hybrid game with an all-new model, the 2014 Accord Hybrid, that can do everything you expect a gasoline-electric car to do, and does it very well. For drivers who want a full-size sedan with small-car fuel economy, the Accord Hybrid is a solid choice for cross-shopping against such models as the hybrid versions of Ford’s Fusion and the Toyota Camry. With its mild IMA system, Honda used to trail the hybrid market, but this new sedan puts it up there with the rest of them.
Engine: 1.8L, 4-cylinder hybrid, continuously variable | Fuel Economy: 3.8L.100km
A name immediately associated with fuel efficiency and environmentally friendly driving, the Toyota Prius mid-size hatchback features Hybrid Synergy Drive, a system built around an Atkinson cycle 1.8-L four-cylinder engine, high-torque electric motor, high-capacity storage battery and power management system. This combination delivers 134 net system horsepower shifts between gas engine, electric motor or a combination of the two, to maximize power and efficiency. The system is coupled to a continuously variable transmission. The Hybrid Synergy Drive also offers four driver-selectable driving options: Normal, Power, Eco and Electric Vehicle operation (for short distances).
Engine: 225kW electric motor, 60 kWh battery, 1-speed automatic
The standard 60 kWh battery (range of 370 kilometers) drives the electric motor to provide 302 horsepower, however the optional 85 kWh battery cranks the output up to 362 horsepower and a range of 470 km’s.
Engine: 2.0L, 4-cylinder hybrid, continuously variable | Fuel Economy: 4.6L/100km
The hybrid version of Ford’s multi-activity vehicle, the C-Max, features the next generation of the automaker’s power-split technology, which allows operation in electric mode at higher speeds than other hybrids. The C-MAX Hybrid’s advanced lithium-ion battery is 25 to 30% smaller and 50% lighter than nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries used in first-generation hybrid vehicles.
Engine: 2.0L, 4-cylinder diesel, 8-speed automatic | Fuel Economy: 5.6L/100km
The 328d Touring (codename F31) is simply the wagon version of the latest 3-sedan (F30). It’s a unique combination of compact wagon, all-wheel drive and diesel power. This little red wagon turns grown-ups back into kids, guilt assuaged by in-your-face fuel economy.
Engine: 1.8L, 4-cylinder hybrid, continuously variable | Fuel Economy: 4.8L/100km
Prius is a name immediately associated with fuel efficiency and environmentally friendly driving, the v features Hybrid Synergy Drive, a system built around an Atkinson cycle 1.8-L four-cylinder engine, high-torque electric motor, high-capacity storage battery and power management system.
Engine: 2.7L, 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual | 8.8L/100km
With eight models, each offering a choice of available upgrade packages, there are 25 different configurations of the compact Toyota Tacoma pickup truck for 2014. Choices include engine size, transmission, drivetrain, cab style and cargo bed size. The four-cylinder 2.7-L engine mated with a five-speed manual transmission gives you the best fuel economy numbers.
Engine: 3.0L, 6-cylinder diesel, 8-speed automatic | Fuel Economy: 8.8L/100km
The Ram 1500 diesel should be a success, if for no other reasons than all those diesel enthusiasts who’ve been teased by half-ton diesel pickup stories for the better part of a decade, or for being the first.
Engine: 2.0L, 4-cylinder hybrid, continuously variable | Fuel Economy: 6.5L/100km
The first hybrid for Subaru, the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid is based on last year’s Crosstrek crossover, with the added benefits of the fuel-efficient powertrain. The Hybrid shares Subaru’s symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive, although the chassis and suspension have been re-engineered for improved handling, steering and ride. The Hybrid also uses the same 2.0-L four-cylinder engine as the rest of the Subaru lineup, but integrates its continuously variable transmission with a 13.5-hp electric motor within its AWD system to create the new Subaru Hybrid Drive system. Contributing to its fuel-efficient status is the Hybrid’s automatic start/stop system, which enables the engine to shut down when the vehicle is at rest with the brake pedal activated.
Engine: 3.5L, 6-cylinder hybrid, 6-speed automatic with select shift | Fuel Economy: 6.9L/100km
The Highlander Hybrid is powered by Toyota’s hybrid synergy drive (HSD) powertrain, featuring a 3.5-litre V6 paired with three advanced electric motors (two to drive the front wheels and one for the rear). The system actually delivers 280 net horsepower, more than the conventional gas-powered Highlander, while delivering best in class fuel efficiency.
*Engine: 2.5L, 4-cylinder, 5-speed automatic with select shift | Fuel Economy: 8.2L/100km *
Completely redesigned in 2012, the Mazda5 minivan for 2014 is available in two trim levels — GX (base) and GS (upgraded) — and powered by a 157-hp 2.5-L four-cylinder engine with an optional five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with manual shift mode available for both trim levels.
Engine: 2.0L, 4-cylinder, continuously variable | Fuel Economy: 9.6L/100km
For what it is, the NV200 is a nice little driver. Its 2.0-litre four-cylinder accelerates smoothly and its CVT is quiet and very well done.
Engine: 1.6L, 4-cylinder, 6-speed automatic with select shift | Fuel Economy: 8.1L/100km
For 2014, the Transit Connect received a model refresh, and now features an optional 1.6-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine for better fuel economy.