I have been looking around for a high mileage vehicle, because I am going to be driving 50 miles a day to my new business. What a revelation! High mileage cars are few and far apart. Honda, Toyota, and a few others have Hybrid vehicles, but for the most part, the parking lots that make up most automobile dealers are overflowing with cars and trucks that guzzle gas like American kids guzzle Big Gulps.
I found one car that intrigued me, the VW Wagon TDI, which has a diesel engine. This car gets almost 50 miles per gallon on the highway, 43 mpg in the city. I can't buy it in Vermont. In fact, I can't buy it in any of the northeast states because it doesn't meet emission standards. Imagine that. One of the most efficient cars can't be bought. I visited a VW dealer who said they can sell the TDI used, with over 8000 miles on the odometer. The salesman said when the owner announces he has bought one at an auction, the dealership contacts a list of people who then rush to the dealership to bid on the TDI.
The sales manager suggested I look at a Jetta or Passat (nice cars) which get 23 mpg in the city. He spoke admiringly of the 23 mpg figure and I couldn't help laughing. Here we are 30 years after the oil embargo of the early 1970s with long lines at the gas stations, and we haven't learned a thing. Gas mileage is less efficient now than it was then. 23 mpg in the city is awful. We've had 30 years to make technicological advances in mpg and we have done almost nothing. How pathetic. And now here we are with automobile dealers' parking lots overflowing with huge gas-eating vehicles baking in the heat of global warming.