Which American-made small car has the best gas mileage at an economy price?

Hi. I am looking for an American-made small car that has the best gas mileage at an economy price. I currently drive a Geo Metro and am looking at a Chevy Aveo and a Ford Focus.

Darlene, San Diego

While the 2008 Chevrolet Aveo and newly redesigned 2008 Ford Focus are both American-branded cars, the Aveo is actually built in Korea. The Focus, however, is built in Michigan. So that pretty much answers your American-made requirement, but there are other reasons why we would recommend the Focus.

The Focus is a larger car than the $12,170 Aveo, but despite that is actually rated to get better mileage than the Aveo: 28 mpg combined city/highway; the Aveo is rated at 26-27 mpg combined. Ford’s compact Focus starts at a base price of $14,300 for a two-door coupe; four-door sedans start at $14,660.

There are incentives available on both cars, with a hefty offer on the outgoing Focus: there’s a $3,000 cash-back bonus for still-new 2007 models on dealership lots. For the 2008 Focus, Ford lists a $1,000 cash-back bonus on its website for the San Diego area. The 2008 Aveo has a $500 cash-back bonus; 2007s get a $1,250 rebate.

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on March 5, 2008 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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