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Horsepower is a major factor in a vehicle’s fuel consumption. More power generally means higher fuel consumption. This means you can save money on fuel, and reduce your impact on the environment, by choosing a vehicle with no more horsepower than you need.

Comparison: The added costs of higher horsepower

Car makers often offer two engine choices for a vehicle model. For example, a compact car might be offered with a standard engine rated at 140 horsepower (hp) and a “sport” version rated at 201 hp.

The combined city and highway fuel consumption ratings for these two options are 6.4 and 8.4 L/100 km, respectively. The more powerful engine also requires premium fuel.

The higher horsepower engine could cost $6,520 more in fuel costs alone (based on the difference in fuel consumption over 200,000 km, and a 15-cent price difference between regular and premium gasoline).

Combined with a higher purchase price for the vehicle, the additional horsepower means major extra costs.

Be a knowledgeable buyer

Knowing what you need from your vehicle is one of the most important factors in choosing something fuel-efficient that’s right for you.

Think hard about fuel consumption when you buy. In general, choose a smaller, lighter vehicle with the smaller, more fuel-efficient engine option.

Research before you buy

The online fuel consumption ratings search tool is a great resource to help you choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your needs.

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