The premise was simple enough: with all these good, economical commuter cars out there, which one do we like best? We wanted to test three different efficiency-minded cars from three unique automakers, with a criterion that they all cost about $20,000 or less. Fuel economy was a very important consideration, but this was about more than a simple mpg number. For our comparison, we chose a 2012 Honda Insight, a 2012 Kia Rio EX, and a 2012 Prius C Two. The Insight and Prius are both hybrid models, and have a comparative advantage in the fuel economy department over the Rio. Where the economically minded Rio gains the advantage is in styling and features, which were also important factors. This comparison was about “joy of ownership.” When it came down to it, with everything considered—from the comfort of the driver’s seat, to features and styling, to fuel economy and cost of ownership—which one of these would we want to have as our daily commuter?
Manning our three fuel-sippers we set out on our Southern California jaunt, but not without a little adventure. And which econo-car won our three-car comparo? You’ll have to check out our fuel sipper comparison test for yourself to find out.