Mazda's slightly remodeled Demio (aka the Mazda2 in this neck of the woods) subcompact has topped Japan's latest "Eco Cars" survey conducted by research firm SC-Abeam Consulting. The facelifted Demio is the first to feature Mazda's 1.3-liter SkyActiv gasoline engine.
The Demio, which starts at 1.15 million yen ($14,950 U.S. at the current exchange rate), returns the equivalent of 58.8 miles per gallon on Japan's JC08 evaluation cycle. That, according to Mazda chief executive officer Takashi Yamanouchit, is equal to the fuel economy rating of the Honda Fit Hybrid subcompact, priced from 1.59 million yen ($20,670 U.S.).
The Demio won the contest with 269 votes. Grabbing second place in the "Eco Cars" survey was the Toyota Prius (170 votes), followed by the Daihatsu e:S (147 votes) in third. Rounding out the top five were the Toyota Prius Alpha (111 votes) and the Honda Fit Shuttle Hybrid (55 votes).
The "Eco Cars" survey asked 500 people (all involved in vehicle manufacturing, production of parts or sales) to rank 24 hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles sold in Japan. Oddly, electric-only vehicles were excluded.