10 Fuel-Efficient Cars For Your Volkswagen Diesel Buyback Money – TheStreet.com

Posted: Monday, May 02, 2016

Man, did the price of diesel fuel just get a whole lot costlier for Volkswagen.

After Volkswagen cheated on emissions testing, opened itself up to about $18 billion in penalties, forced its CEO out, tanked it stock and nearly killed diesel fuel just as it was dying a natural death, a judge determined that Volkwagen could either pay to fix wonky diesel emissions or buy its cars back from customers.

That puts a wrench in Volkswagen’s plan to spend a lowball $1 billion — or $1,700 for each of the 600,000 rigged vehicles — to fix software on those cars. However, it also isn’t doing wonders for the U.S. quest to meet federal fuel efficiency standards that will require a fleet-wide 54.5 miles-per-gallon average by 2025.

“The plan for Volkswagen going forward involves buy backs, modifications and for lessees, returning vehicles,” says Rebecca Lindland, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “But this matter is by no means resolved, since penalties and fines still loom. Additionally, Volkswagen has to establish a fund for appropriate remediation efforts and commit other funds to promote ‘green automotive entities.’”

Prior to the Volkswagen emissions debacle, IHS Automotive noted that diesel vehicle registrations in the U.S. increased 30% since 2010, compared a 3.6% increase in all vehicle sales during that same period. Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the diesel-backing auto industry group Diesel Technology Forum, stuck his neck out and argued that today’s diesel vehicles are 30% more fuel-efficient than gas-powered cars.

That’s now in question, but Volkswagen isn’t the only company facing scrutiny for its mileage claims. Mitsubishi — whose Mirage subcompact is considered the most fuel-efficient gas-powered car in the country at a combined 40.5 miles per gallon — has admitted to testing the fuel economy of some of its cars in Japan improperly since 1991. Though the company sold only 25,000 vehicles in the U.S. through April — or half the number of Jeep Cherokees that Fiat Chrysler sold during the same period — that’s still a devastating claim.

“Mitsubishi’s admission that it cheated on Japanese fuel-economy tests does not include vehicles sold in the United States so far, but clearly U.S. investigators will be scrutinizing the company,” says Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for Autotrader. “Mitsubishi has been trying to mount a comeback in America, an effort that just became even more challenging with its admission of cheating.”

If you’re still a fuel-conscious car buyer in the land of $2-per-gallon gasoline, these revelations have to raise questions. However, if you’re a firm believer that automakers are innocent until proven guilty of manipulating their mileage claims, we have about ten reasons why you shouldn’t give up your quest for minimal mileage. If you’re one of the Volkswagen owners considering the company’s buyback offer, here are just ten of the low-mileage vehicles you should consider instead:


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