Is smallest always better when it comes to car size and fuel efficiency? Maybe not, according to a CNN Money report.
The report looked at the miles per gallon for subcompacts and larger compact cars by the same maker and found in several cases the mpg is the same as it is for the larger vehicle.
Both the subcompact Hyundai Accent and the larger compact Hyundai Elantra, for example, get 33 mph combined in city and highway driving, CNN reported. Same is true for the subcompact Chevrolet Sonic and larger Chevy Cruz, both at 33 mph.
Among hybrids, the Prius C, which gets a combined mph of 50 mph, gets the same mileage as the larger Prius.
The report credits aerodynamics for most of the comparable fuel efficiency. Because the compacts are larger, automakers have more room to make them less wind resistant. Subcompacts, and especially mini-compacts, tend to be taller and boxier, making them less aerodynamic.
The biggest selling point for the subcompact, however, isn’t always fuel efficiency. Says CNN:
For one thing, subcompacts and minicars usually cost thousands of dollars less than larger cars and they are easier to maneuver and park on crowded city streets.
Giving the high cost of fuel, and prospect for prices on the horizon, where would you put your money?