I am buying a new car! A VW Polo with a 1.2L (yes that is small) TSI (turbochaged) gasoline engine. For the price it is very effiecient I think. There are better engines out there but not many. The hybrids can get more miles to teh gallon but are mch more expensive. SMaller engine also do much better but they would have trouble getting up the hill to my new house. Diesel engines get also get more miles to the gallon but then that puts the engine in the hybrid price range.
The reported numbers on my care are ca 55 miles to the gallon (though in real life I will get lower). At the last moment we decided to wait for the 105 HP TSI instead of going with the 85HP 1.4L gasoline engine that is not turbocharges. It gets ca 50 mpg. The engine that gets 5 more mpg cost ca 1600 franks more. At the current gas prices of 1.6 franks per Liter I will have to drive about 150,000 km before I see a cost savings. That is about 100k miles. But that is with todays gas prices. If the cost of gas skyrockets again I can realize the savings much quicker.
But that does go to show that the really effcient motors i.e. ; hybrids, and the turbo and super charged diesels (ca 70mpg) don't really save you money over a efficient gasoline engine. That is unless you are trading in a huge SUV.
I really like VW's idea of super and turbocharging really small engines to make really efficient engines (the TSIs and the TDIs). They are cheaper and almost as efficient as hybrids. I wonder how far they can puch this technology.
Or if in the end, that is before we are all driving electric cars, we are driving hybrids powered by these really small turbocharged engines VW is putting out there. I wonder how efficient they a hybrid would be right now with combining these two technologies.