Same here, although my in-town driving is mostly stop and go (4 miles, 17 probable stops). On two quick trips to Southern Oregon (up and over the Siskiyou mountains) I got almost 27 mpg for the entire trip.I get around 18-22 in town (Houston), and around 25-30 on the highway. City mileage is almost entirely dependent on how much time you spend at red lights. Highway depends on wind resistance and gearing -- > 75 mph is bad, 18-wheelers and suburbans are good.
Auto makers are investing in new engines with turbo, diesels, and improving naturally aspirated engines. They might not be in a model that has exactly what you're looking for but it's happening.Digression: It's still troubling to me that we're changing from an engine designed in the '80s (the SAAB B245 engine saw light of day in 1986), and so very, very few contemporary cars of comparable size, with the exception of hybrids and diesels, can deliver any better fuel economy.
The SAAB is strictly FWD, and they were pretty much the pioneer in turbocharging a regular passenger vehicle (1978). I have read some bad stuff on forums about turbochargers, but we have had four turbocharged SAABs and never a turbo issue (and one of these was well used). The big issue with turbochargers is to make very sure they're getting the correct oil (something heavy enough, but with good pumpability, the Mobil 1 0W-40 we use in our turbocharged SAAB being one of the best choices), so that oil is getting circulated to the turbo right away, and a top synthetic will be less subject to coking. The only reason we're leaving SAAB is because, well, they ain't making any more....and the Subaru seems to be one of the best alternatives.Auto makers are investing in new engines with turbo, diesels, and improving naturally aspirated engines. They might not be in a model that has exactly what you're looking for but it's happening.
We had good luck with a turbo gasoline engine (Volvo 5 cyl) but many I know who had those, Saabs and others had significant expenses with turbo repairs on cars that were otherwise serviceable. Some of the turbo cars I checked out while shopping for the Outback required premium fuel which is something we didn't want to repeat.
Finally we looked at weight and full-time all wheel drive as factors. That made some of the mileage data make more sense to me.
Back to the Outbacks, I'm glad both engines run with regular gasoline.
I would rejoice in all the choices out there even if it means one changes brand or allegiance because I remember when we didn't have so many choices as consumers.