The smartest yokel on CNN

The federal government has announced new rules for increased fuel economy. It’s not Clark’s first choice for getting the job done; that would be a sky-high gas tax to create a marketplace incentive for more efficient cars. Of course, no one seems to agree with him on that one! So that necessitates the government imposed fuel-efficiency requirements.

Over the next several years, vehicles will have to get an average of 34 miles per gallon (combined city/highway). Very few cars on our roads get this today. So how are we going to get there? Well, it won’t be through the mass production of econoboxes — even though Clark loves cheap, tiny rides…!

People often wonder what the payback on fuel-efficient vehicles is like. A few years ago, it would have been hard to find a true payback. But that math has changed significantly. More often than not, a hybrid or diesel will save you — even though you spend more upfront.

And the upfront has dropped. Dealers/manufacturers of fuel efficient cars no longer get away with bumping sticker price because of high gasoline prices.

A new IntelliChoice report finds that the most economically efficient vehicle is a clean diesel — the VW Jetta TDI. Over a 5-year cycle, it’s more than $6,000 cheaper to own this than a gas engine — even though the diesel costs $2,000 more upfront.

Other top vehicles include the GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab hybrid 2WD, the Prius and other vehicles like Chevy Silverado 1500 crew cab hybrid 2WD.

I admit it. I skipped past Clark Howard every time I bumped into his show on CNN – until I stayed around long enough to catch a couple of his advice pieces on CNN-HLN. I realized this dude not only knows what he’s talking about, his advice is reasonable, based on sound information – completely unlike some of the space cadets at CNBC or Fox Noise.

This is a recent example. He gave this advice about buying an econo-car – assuming that you will keep a vehicle long enough to get your money’s worth out of it.

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