Our contestants came from all over the automotive spectrum. Representing the future was the Honda Civic Hybrid, a “real” Civic that also happens to have an electric engine assist to help it get stellar mileage. The MINI Cooper and Mazda Miata were included as typical examples of sporty enthusiast cars, with one capable of carrying four adults and lots of cargo, while the other can carry a 12 pack of Diet Pepsi and a towel (okay, a small towel). The Chevrolet Corvette C5 made it into our test on the strength of its monstrously tall sixth gear, which helps it get more than 30 mpg on the freeway. Finally, the wild card of the group was a slightly modified, turbocharged diesel VW New*Beetle.