Most Fuel-Efficient Cars Available in the United States

Friday July 1, 2011
Posted at 08:33

What are the most fuel efficient cars available in the U.S.?A lot of people who started saving money on their monthly bills by switching from their electric utility to an alternative electric supplier are also probably interested in cutting other energy costs, such as gasoline. For those looking to trade in that old gas-guzzling clunker for a shiny new gas-sipper — but aren’t interested in electric drive vehicles like the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf — here’s a list of cars available in the U.S. that, according to a range of critics, lead their segments in fuel efficiency.

Two-Seaters: Honda CR-Z (35 City / 39 Hwy / 37 Combined)

Honda’s CR-Z sport hybrid is the Mighty Mouse of fuel-efficient cars. An inline 4-cylinder gas engine produces 122 horsepower and 128 foot-pounds of torque. An electric motor adds another 13 horsepower and a not-insignificant 58 foot-pounds of torque.

Transmission: AV-S7 Automatic

Fuel to drive 25 miles: 0.68 gallons

Miles on a tank: 353

Minicompact Cars: MINI Cooper (27 City / 37 Hwy / 32 Combined)

When BMW bought the Mini brand and re-launched it in 2001, they unleashed the MINI Cooper, a car that has managed to be both a fun-to-drive racer and a fuel-efficient city commuter. The one downside to its efficiency? Premium gas.

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual

Fuel to drive 25 miles: 0.78 gallons

Miles on a tank: 380

Subcompact Cars: Ford Fiesta SFE (29 City / 40 Hwy / 33 Combined)

It's no secret that American automakers have long struggled to field a small car to compete with offerings out of Japan. However, many reviewers believe Ford may have finally succeeded in the Fiesta. As one automotive critic said, "Many months before we drove the first U.S.-spec Fiesta, Ford gave us a week behind the wheel of the European version. Some of us were impressed, others blown away, and everyone shared the same sentiment: 'I hope they don't ruin the U.S. version.' Hallelujah, they didn't."

Transmission: AM6 Automatic

Fuel to drive 25 miles: 0.76 gallons

Miles on a tank: 395

Compact Cars: Lexus CT 200h (43 City / 40 Hwy / 42 Combined)

The Lexus CT 200h gets great fuel economy because it shares its powertrain with the Prius. But this hybrid hatchback is a Lexus, through and through. Surprisingly, it’s also the most affordable vehicle Lexus makes.

Transmission: CVT Automatic

Fuel to drive 25 miles: 0.60 gallons

Miles on a tank: 374

Midsize Cars: Toyota Prius Hybrid (51 City / 48 Hwy / 50 Combined)

What can be said about the Toyota Prius that hasn’t already been said? Love it or hate it, the Prius gets a combined 50 miles to the gallon — better gas mileage than any other car on this list. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that in April, cumulative Prius sales in the U.S. hit the two million mark.

Transmission: CVT Automatic

Fuel to drive 25 miles: 0.50 gallons

Miles on a tank: 536

Large Cars: Hyundai Sonata (24 City / 35 Hwy / 28 Combined)

Hyundai has made a family sedan that competes favorably with other sedans from Germany, Japan, and the United States.

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual

Fuel to drive 25 miles: 0.89 gallons

Miles on a tank: 466

Small Station Wagons: Audi A3 and Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen (30 City / 42 Hwy / 34 Combined)

The Audi A3 and Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen share the same numbers when it comes to fuel efficiency and emissions. There are differences, though. One’s an automatic Audi and the other’s a manual Volkswagen. The key to their economy? Diesel fuel.

Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic (Audi A3); 6-Speed Manual (Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen)

Fuel to drive 25 miles: 0.74 gallons

Miles on a tank: 444

Midsize Station Wagons: Kia Rondo (20 City / 27 Hwy / 22 Combined)

Kia stopped making the Rondo in 2009, but it’s still king of the hill when it comes to fuel-efficient midsize station wagons.

Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic

Fuel to drive 25 miles: 1.14 gallons

Miles on a tank: 313

Just for fun, would you like to know what the least fuel-efficient car in the world is? It’s the Bugatti Veyron, a 16-cylinder, 8.0-liter rocket on wheels that will go from zero to a bazillion in the blink of an eye. But then again, so will your gas bill. The Veyron gets a whopping 8 miles to the gallon in the city and a mere 15 on the open road. However, if you can afford the Veyron, which costs over a million dollars, you might be able to stomach the higher gas bill.

Sources

2011 Lexus CT 200h is a Foxy, Feisty Take on the Prius,” USA Today, May 9, 2011.

2011 Honda CR-Z EX — Road Test,” Car and Driver, September 2010.

Edmunds.com, “Audi A3 Review.”

Edmunds.com, “Hyundai Sonata Review.”

Edmunds.com, “Kia Rondo Review.”

FuelEconomy.gov, “2011Most and Least Fuel Efficient Vehicles.”

Kelley Blue Book, “2011 Ford Fiesta Review: You're Not Gonna Believe This.”

U.S. News & World Report: Best Cars & Trucks, “2011 MINI Cooper.”

U.S. News & World Report: Best Cars & Trucks, “2011 Toyota Prius.”

U.S. News & World Report: Best Cars & Trucks, “2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen.”


0 Comments:

Join the Conversation: