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Drive 'n' Save

Goodbye, high gas prices--hello, fuel-efficient sedans!

Got the gas-guzzling blues? Selecting an upscale business car that won't bust the budget at the pump means discovering which are the most fuel efficient. None of our top 2004 sedans, of course, equal the fuel-efficiency of compacts and smaller four-doors. But considering size, weight, performance and full complement of features, the models below provide reasonable fuel savings of 20 mpg or more. Here are our top-rated sedans for business, according to mpg, based on research from Consumer Reports:

1) Acura TL (23 overall, 16 city, 35 highway)
2) BMW 330i (22 overall, 15 city, 32 highway)
3) Volvo S60 2.5T (22 overall, 14 city, 35 highway)
4) Toyota Avalon (21 overall, 13 city, 31 highway)
5) Buick Park Avenue Ultra (21 overall, 13 city, 32 highway)
6) Pontiac Bonneville SE (20 overall, 12 city, 33 highway)

Fuel costs can also be cut with a few driving tips. Remember, it's not necessarily what you drive, but how you drive that determines your gas bill.

  • Use the overdrive gear. It's designed to reduce engine wear and save gas.
  • Switch to cruise control whenever possible for a consistent pace.
  • Accelerate slowly from a dead stop. Putting the pedal to the metal gulps extra gas.
  • Monitor your tires. Low air pressure provides extra resistance.
  • Keep to the speed limit. Driving over 60 mph decreases your fuel economy.
  • Avoid aggressive driving, which can lower mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
  • Don't idle. It wastes gas.

Editor and consultant Jill amadio has been reporting on the automotive industry for 25 years.

This story appears in the June 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »