With environmental concerns at the forefront of news stories, documentaries and media campaigns, it’s not surprising many people are now considering whether to ‘go green’ with their next vehicle.
However, if you have your eye on a certain non-eco model or are in the market for a higher performance vehicle, there are still ways you can be economical and as environmentally friendly as possible. Once you have a shortlist, make sure you check out the Reliability Index to compare models.
Here are Warranty Direct’s tips on how to make sure you’re efficient, without sacrificing the enjoyment of driving a performance vehicle.
What are you looking for?
Whether price, fuel efficiency, practicality or enjoyment is your priority when buying a car, you need to weigh up your options and see which vehicle matches your lifestyle.
If you are mainly going to be using the car for city driving, which doesn’t require high speeds or fast acceleration, look at smaller vehicles with an engine size of around 1L. This will not only be a practical size for urban driving, it should work out to be more economical than a larger engine.
If a small engine is constantly used at high speed, it’ll need to work much harder than a large engine to keep the car moving at 70mph. This will increase fuel consumption and could lead to greater long-term wear and tear as the engine’s components are put under strain.
So, if you do a lot of long distance or motorway driving, choose a car with a larger engine, which provides a good mpg.
If you can’t help but go for a high-performance or sports car, there are still ways you can limit your fuel consumption to save money and cut pollution.
Get your car serviced regularly to make sure it’s running well and always use the right specification of engine oil, which you will find in your handbook. Check your tyre pressures at least once a month and before any long journeys, as under-inflated tyres will cause your car to use more fuel to overcome the added resistance.
Driving smoothly, accelerating gently and reading the road ahead to avoid breaking unnecessarily will all reduce fuel consumption. Stick to the speed limit, as not only is speeding dangerous it also uses more fuel.
Due to advances in engine technology, some of today’s smaller engines are able to produce more power than some bigger, older engines due to turbocharging. When looking at buying a new car, research into models such as Suzuki’s BoosterJet or Ford’s EcoBoost, where there is little or no sacrifice in power or style.
Some manufacturers now include a ‘sports’ mode or a ‘4WD’ mode in their cars. This means you can have all the fun of a high-performance car when you want it, but the practicality of a more economic drive for everyday use.
It’s all about the extras
Many cars now incorporate eco features, so you can get the style of car you want, but with the benefits of efficiency too. For instance, some modern cars now have LED head-lights and can even incorporate emissions sensors to help keep our air clean.
Extras which aim to improve your in-car experience can also help to improve driving economy. Many cars – even on the more affordable end – now come with cruise control and using this will not only give you a more comfortable ride, it could even save you up to six percent in fuel costs during motorway driving.
For extra savings, adaptive cruise control will speed up or slow down based on the position of cars in front. It uses either a radar or camera system to track the vehicles ahead and adjusts speed accordingly, alleviating the need for sharp braking and accelerating.
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