Auto makers proving critics wrong in race to meet 2016 fuel efficiency standards

by Jeremy Cato
The Globe and Mail
June 27, 2012

The doomsayers were saying it would not happen, it could not happen, that car companies were incapable of meeting strict 2016 fuel economy regulations without suffering cataclysmic damage to their health as viable companies. Apparently they were wrong.

Just days ago, for example, Nissan Canada proclaimed that, thanks to a strict diet, technology improvements and an aerodynamic design, the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima will offer best-in-class fuel economy figures of 5.0 litres/100 km highway when this mid-size sedan goes on sale in a few weeks’ time. The Altima, at least for now, is ranked as the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the Nissan lineup, besides the fully electric Nissan Leaf. Nissan says it is the thriftiest at the pump of all four-door cars of this size, too.

For now. But expected this fall are new versions of the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord and Dodge Avenger. Ford, naturally, is targeting best-in-class fuel economy and, to get there, the Fusion lineup will consist strictly of four-cylinder engines. The Malibu? Already an Eco version ‚Äì a mild hybrid ‚Äì is on sale in the United States and it’s a fuel-miser of a mid-sizer, too.

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