When the economic downturn of 2008 happened many motorists were left in sticker shock as gasoline prices soared to record highs, and the fossil fuel cars and trucks that we had been driving for the last decade were costing huge amounts of money to fuel. This lead to E85 Ethanol being rushed to the market as an affordable alternative to the already well-known gasoline that most mainstream cars are powered by, and this is where many consumers decided to make the switch to E85 as a more affordable fuel.
The domestic automakers began to market their vehicles as Flex Fuel compatible, which means that they can run on E85 or fossil fuel gasoline.
Although the Flex Fuel labeling has since left the automotive industry, for the most part, there are still various vehicles that will run on Flex Fuel and for the most part, the mainstream automotive public doesn’t realize this. E85 is a generally more affordable alternative to gasoline that can power most vehicles that are on the market, and the ethanol fueling stations are generally in most major metropolitan cities. This has made the market for ethanol less known than it was a few decades ago, and the E85 compatible vehicles are still well known on the market.
Choosing an E85 vehicle is something that most consumers do without even realizing, but it is nice to that you can run your vehicle on alternative fueling without the need for any costly modifications. In this list, we’ll take a look at these cars.
30 3.0L Supercab Ranger Pickup 2WD
The Ford Ranger is one of the most popular compact pickup trucks to ever roam the market, and that is why Ford managed to keep the model in the same body and exterior styling for the last few decades.
The 3.0L Supercab Ranger pickup 2WD was fully capable of running E85 ethanol fuel and this made the truck one of the more fuel efficient offerings in the recent economic downturn. Ford never actually advertised that the Ford Ranger was Flex Fuel compatible, and this made Ranger owners totally unaware.
29 5.4L Ford Expedition
Released after the explosive popularity of the Tahoe and Yukon during the nineties, the Ford Expedition has etched a name for itself in the full-size SUV category that remains popular to this day.
When it comes to some of the advantages of the Ford Expedition, the first that would come to mind is the size and features. Then you get the addition of flex-fuel capability which makes the car quite a unique choice for the consumer who wants a huge amount of interior space and a Flex Fuel compatible vehicle.
28 5.4L Lincoln Navigator
The Lincoln brand has been making great strides over the last few decades to become a modern and connected brand that luxury car buyers actually want to drive, and thus the Navigator was at the forefront of this revolution.
Although the Cadillac Escalade became a massive hit with buyers, the Navigator has never been far behind and the 5.4L Lincoln Navigator is compatible with E85 Ethanol. Which means that this big and luxurious SUV is actually alternative fuel compatible as well.
27 4.7L Dodge Dakota
There is no denying that the Dodge Dakota revolutionized the pickup truck market, becoming the first midsize truck to be sold on the market as well as the first small-scale pickup truck to feature as the full V8 engine.
Ethanol capability was heavily advertised during the economic downturn, and this made for a winning combination of alternative energy compatibility and the versatility that the Dodge Dakota was famous for. It offered consumers the power and capability of a full-size truck in a compact package.
26 4.6L Ford E-Series Van
The Econoline has long been the staple for all big US cargo vans, and when the fuel crisis came, these big vans started losing their steam in terms of sales. The 4.6L Ford E-Series Van was actually one of the few large Cargo vehicles that can run on E85 Ethanol, and this is a huge advantage for business owners who utilize these large vans.
Naturally many consumers just assume that these big vans are not as efficient, but with the help of E85 Ethanol, drivers are hurting the environment less and adding a new level of savings for the small businesses around the economy.
25 Toyota Corolla VVT-i Flex
Toyota has revolutionized the compact car market with a fuel efficient vehicle that is compact and fuel efficient, and that's why the car has sold millions of cars over the last thirty years.
The Toyota Corolla VVT-i Flex is one of the few compact cars from Japan that can also run on E85 ethanol, which makes the car extremely versatile for those consumers who might want to run the vehicle on ethanol fuel instead of the more traditional gasoline method. This has made the Toyota Corolla VVT-i Flex a stellar choice over the last decade, and a car many people don’t realize runs on ethanol fuel.
24 2.0L Ford Focus
There has not been a longer running domestic compact car nameplate than the Ford Focus, and the model gets better with every advancement. The 2.0L Ford Focus is compatible with E85 Ethanol, which makes the car one of the most fuel efficient and versatile compact cars to utilize this stellar alternative fuel.
The Ford Focus has always been a great compact car, offering a good amount of features for the price and rivaling the other stablemates from Japan such as the Corolla and the Sentra.
23 5.3L V8 Chevrolet Silverado
Although pickup trucks and SUV models had taken a downturn during the economic depression of 2008, there was no doubt that the 5.3L V8 Chevrolet Silverado was one of the more fuel efficient offerings because GM offered the ability to use E85 ethanol as well.
This was during ethanol's major kickoff, where most of the automakers were trying to jump on board and make their cars compatible with this revolutionary new type of fuel that was powered by corn - to this day, the Silverado is still compatible.
22 4.0L Explorer Sport Trac
Another very unique incarnation of the Ford Explorer model to be released during the last few decades was the 4.0L Explorer Sports Trac, a one of a kind an unique vehicle that took the ever-popular Ford Explorer model and added a truck bed to it.
This model was a nice alternative to the Ford Ranger, as the consumer was able to get a full back seat. The 4.0L Explorer Sports Trac was also compatible with E85 fuel, which many drivers don’t realize and this opens up an alternative fuel option.
21 4.0L Explorer (4-door)
Perhaps one of the most popular sport utility vehicles to ever roam the earth, the Ford Explorer has sold millions of models worldwide and continues to be a sales powerhouse for the Ford Motor Company.
The 4.0L Explorer was notable as one of the most dramatic overhauls of any model in Ford history. The Ford model also managed to offer compatibility with E85 ethanol fuel which has made the SUV a popular choice with alternative fuel drivers as well.
20 3.3L Dodge Caravan
The Dodge Caravan is credited with creating the entire minivan segment, and many automakers have tried to keep up with the success of the Dodge model to no avail. This has created a one of a kind market segment for Chrysler and made the caravan a household name in terms of quality and one of a kind refinement.
The 3.3L Dodge Caravan is also capable of running E85 ethanol, which is an alternative fuel choice that many owners of this popular caravan model might look into next time they are refueling.
19 3.6L Dodge Journey
The Dodge Journey is one of the oldest crossovers still on the market in the same product cycle since 2009, and although the vehicle has aged quite a bit the Journey still offers the compatibility with E85 Ethanol fuel.
The 3.6L V6 engine that is found in the Journey has been utilized on quite a few other Chrysler models as well. The Journey provides a stellar amount of interior room and versatility that gives it one of the more SUV like appearances over most other cars that are on the market right now.
18 1.8L Chevrolet Cruze
When Chevy set out to replace the aging Cobalt, they redesigned the Cruze from the ground up to be a more modern and one of a kind compact car. Because the Cruze was designed during the economic downturn, the modern is one of the various E85 compatible compact cars that are on the market, and the model has improved vastly over the prior generation.
The 1.8L that is found in the Cruze is one of the most fuel-efficient engines on the market, and with the addition of E85 compatibility, you can’t go wrong with this stellar little compact.
17 3.0L Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan
During the turn of the new millennium, Ford had gone from having one of the most popular family sedans on the market in the Taurus to not even be a factor for most buyers, and this is what lead to the creation of the Ford Fusion.
This one of a kind sedan and its Mercury cousin the Milan offer a new level of quality that had not been seen on a mainstream Ford product in the last couple of decades. Both sedans are compatible with E85 ethanol, which is great for any consumer who wants to have alternative fuels.
16 3.0L Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner
The compact SUV market is big money for Ford and many other automakers who have hopped on the train in the last few decades, and when it comes to the Escape and the Mariner, both models are compatible with the fuel that we knew as E85 Ethanol.
These two compact SUV models were also sold in a hybrid variation, and when coupled with the E85 you have a fully alternative energy vehicle. The Escape will continue to be a sales leader for Ford, and even the newest models are still E85 compatible.
15 2.4L Chevrolet Malibu
GM was not to be left behind during the rise of E85 Ethanol, and the 2.4L Chevrolet Malibu is also another model that is compatible with the alternative fuels. The Chevrolet Malibu was redesigned from the ground up to compete with more popular offerings from Honda and Toyota, and for the most part, the sedan has become a more well-rounded vehicle with a lot of nice options that make a compelling case for most buyers.
The compatibility with E85 Ethanol is also a big plus, especially as gasoline prices rise.
14 2.2L & 2.4L Chevrolet HHR
Perhaps one of the most unique Chevrolet models to come out of the recent decade, the HHR was designed to ride on the coattails of the popular PT Cruiser which was also designed using a retro wagon theme.
The 2.2L & 2.4L Chevrolet HHR are both compatible with E85 Ethanol gas which makes the cars a lot more fuel efficient than other compact cars that are in the competitive marketplace. The HHR although not as popular as the PT Cruiser is still one of the more fuel-efficient compact cars to come out of GM.
13 3.5L Pontiac G6
One of the most famous sedans of the last decade because of the massive amount of cars that Oprah gave away on her TV show, the 3.5L Pontiac G6 was a critical success for the GM brand in more ways than one.
Another interesting thing that people don’t generally realize about the G6 is the fact that it is a Flex Fuel compatible vehicle as well, with the 3.5L Pontiac G6 being one of the main vehicles to feature the stellar Flex Fuel compatibility.
12 2.7L Dodge Avenger
Although one of the more short-lived vehicles on this list, the 2.7L Dodge Avenger was a stellar car in a lot of aspects, it was just released at the wrong time.
With a style that was similar to the Dodge Charger at the time, the Avenger was a stellar car, and when it comes to alternative fuels, the 2.7L Dodge Avenger is compatible with E85 Ethanol which also makes the car one of the more fuel-efficient vehicles on this list.
11 3.5L V6 Chevrolet Impala
Another popular option during the burst of new ethanol powered vehicles was the 3.5L V6 Chevrolet Impala, which offered one of the more versatile engines to come out of a GM product in recent years.
The 3.5L V6 Chevrolet Impala is a winning combination of style and size, offering one of the last big US sedans to feature six-person seating. The 3.5L V6 Chevrolet Impala was available in many different trim levels, and the fact that you can run ethanol on this big and proud sedan makes it a stellar choice.
10 3.9L V6 Chevrolet Uplander
GM never had a good time attempting to take a hold on the minivan market, and thus the 3.9L V6 Chevrolet Uplander was never a popular or well selling vehicle, but it is one of the few offerings that are able to run on E85 ethanol.
The Uplander was designed to look different than a traditional minivan, and resemble a crossover design more. Although the interesting vehicle never did take off and ended up being canceled by the automaker, this is a stellar choice if you want an ethanol compatible car with a good amount of room.
9 4.6L Ford Crown Victoria (2-valve, Excluding Taxi and Police units)
There are very few vehicles that are as iconic as the Ford Crown Vic, and that is because you see these vehicles just about everywhere to this day. What makes the Crown Vic so popular is the stellar build quality that has made this one of the most popular and longest running vehicles on the road.
It's not uncommon to see these cars with well over 300k miles on them. The 4.6L Ford Crown Victoria was interestingly enough also compatible with E85 ethanol, and this is great news to the fleet customers who love to snatch these up.
8 4.6L Mercury Grand Marquis
The more luxurious cousin of the Ford Crown Victoria, the 4.6L Mercury Grand Marquis was known for a big luxurious interior and a more sedate audience than the well known Ford model.
The 4.6L Mercury Grand Marquis is also E85 ethanol compatible, which has made for a one of a kind luxury sedan that also was one of the last big sedan types to feature six-person seating. The 4.6L Mercury Grand Marquis is greeted by a smooth looking exterior with a big and bold waterfall grille.
7 4.7L Dodge Durango
There is no denying that the Dodge Durango revolutionized the SUV industry, being the first midsize model to offer full seven-passenger seating. The Dodge Durango has advanced a lot over the periods that it has been on the market.
The 4.7L model is able to operate on E85 ethanol which gives the driver an option between fossil fuel and alternative energy. The Durango also came in a couple of interesting trim packages, which has made the model a one of a kind choice for many consumers.
6 4.7L Chrysler Aspen
The Chrysler brand continues to have an identity crisis for the last few decades, and as such, they have released many different vehicles under this umbrella to try and get new consumers into their showrooms.
The 4.7L Chrysler Aspen was based on the Dodge Durango which was still a decent selling model at the time for Chrysler, and the Aspen took a lot of the styling cues and added a level of luxury to it. The 4.7L Chrysler Aspen was also E85 compatible, which made for one of the more fuel efficient large SUV models.
5 4.7L Jeep Commander
The Jeep Brand has also been making inroads into other segments, and a large SUV was a void that the brand needed to be filled for some time now. The 4.7L Jeep Commander was a great concept in terms of size and design, offering a great deal of interior space and full seven-passenger seating which the Jeep brand hadn’t had in a vehicle.
Ethanol compatibility also made the brand a stellar choice among the SUV industry, and the Commander ran for a good cycle.
4 3.0L Ford Taurus sedan and wagon
Ford has spent the last couple of decades trying to make the Taurus relevant again, and as such, the brand has suffered through many transitional periods. The wagon incarnation of the Ford Taurus has always been a popular alternative among families who wanted a decent sized domestic wagon that could offer the cargo that a growing family needs.
The 3.0L Ford Taurus sedan and wagon were both ethanol compatible, which made both models a good choice among consumers.
3 Mercedes-Benz (W204 platform) C300 Luxury & Sport 3.0L
Mercedes-Benz has long been a company that offered a line of different fuel vehicles including various diesel-powered cars and SUV models, which made the brand one of the more unique offerings in the luxury car market.
It's interesting to note that the Mercedes-Benz (W204 platform) C300 Luxury & Sports 3.0L are also both compatible with E85 ethanol. This is a great option for luxury car buyers who want a different choice for fueling especially as the cost of fossil fuel rises due to economic issues.
2 Volvo C30 1,8F FlexiFuel
The Volvo brand has long been a champion of the alternative fuels, and in the recent years, the newer Volvo models have been compatible with various types of fuel from diesel to the more notable E85 ethanol brand.
This has made the Volvo C30 1,8F FlexiFuel one of the few alternative fuel offerings to come out of Sweden, complete with the attributes that make the C30 one of the most rewarding cars to drive both in terms of performance and the notable safety features.
1 Volkswagen Jetta
Another notable nameplate that has been on the market for quite some time is the Volkswagen Jetta. The model is also known for offering quite a few different fuel options such as the TDI diesel and the more recent model which is also able to run on E85 ethanol.
The Volkswagen Jetta offers a good blend of interior luxury that is generally seen on much more expensive vehicles. The suspension is known for having one of the most luxurious rides as well, being quite responsive on twisty roads.