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Mazda Demio Skyactiv tops survey of Japan Eco Cars; Prius in 2nd place

Integrity Exports. A survey ranking Japan’s “Eco Cars” for the Japanese magazine Nikkei Trendy by research group SC-Abeam Consulting of 500 people involved in vehicle manufacturing, parts supply or sales has found a significant shift from pure economy and environmental friendliness to the more practical concern of cost. The survey asked these 500 respondents to choose from a pool of 24 hybrid and fuel-efficient gasoline engine cars. No EVs were included in the survey pool.

The top vehicle was the Mazda Demio Skyactiv (269 votes). At 30km per liter (70.6 mpg US, 3.33 L/100km), the 1.3-liter Skyactiv is just as frugal as the Honda Fit Hybrid, and only very slightly shy of the Prius α’s 31 km/L. On the other hand, it uses a traditional internal combustion engine without the extra complexity of a hybrid system. With a list price of ¥1.4 million (US$18,228), it is ¥190,000 (US$2,474) less expensive than the base Fit Hybrid.

The Prius is in second place (170 votes), followed closely by the Daihatsu e:S (147 votes). The new e:S is the most fuel-efficient kei car on the market, able to achieve 32 km/L. Although the Prius is rated at 38 km/L, the e:S achieves its frugal performance with a regular ICE, resulting in a list price of ¥800,000 (US$10,415)—about 1/3 the cost of a typical Prius.

The Prius α comes in fourth (111 votes), followed by the Honda Fit Shuttle Hybrid (55 votes).

Although they have had a global reputation as early adopters of new technology and gadgets, the Japanese have been living in depressed economic times since the early 90s and the latest round of contraction followed by March’s earthquake has made the Japanese consumer particularly conservative. As such it is hard for your average Japanese to justify the extra cost of a complex hybrid system when they can get similar levels of performance from a more traditional set up.

—Stephen Munday, Integrity Exports



"70.6 mpg US" - I don't think so!
What is lost in the translation?


3 very different cars, 3 different approaches, 3 very different prices.

Nice to see that they have bothered to build a very efficient Kei car - once one manufacturer builds on, the rest will have to follow. However, this is a japan only car type - it only exists due to a set of regulations designed for crowded cities.
(Which no other countries have (!)).

The Demio is more interesting as it is of a size that could be sold in many countries - even the US, but especially Europe.

The Prius w know well, but it is quite expensive and a bit of a badge of greenness, while the demio is just an very economical small low cost car.

In the article, it hopes that they hybridise the Demio, but this might create a car that is too expensive to sell well.
Better to make "reasonably economical" cars that can be sold cheaply in large numbers than a few "super economical" trophy green cars (like the Prius and future Hybrids/BEVs) - or at least the the low cost one first.

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