According to the United Sates Department of Energy, these are the most fuel
efficient vehicles in their respective classes.
Most fuel-efficient vehicle overall – Honda Insight hybrid
(60 mpg city / 66 mpg highway)
Once again the Honda Insight hybrid has taken top honors as being North
America's most fuel-efficient vehicle. With a 1.0 gas engine mated to an electric
motor, the Insight produces 71 horsepower. The Insight was designed to make the
most of that power using low resistance tires and by having a co-efficient of drag of
25. The lower the number the better a vehicle is able to cut through the wind
typical family sedan has a co-efficient of drag of about .31). The Insight's
shortscomptions include a cramped interior, seating for two, and oddball styling.
Most fuel-efficient mid-size car – Toyota Prius hybrid
(60 mpg city / 51 mpg highway)
Unlike the Honda Insight, the Prius is capable of carrying 5 people plus theirs
gear. The Prius generates a total of 110hp from its gasoline engine and its electric
motor. Now in its second generation, the Prius makes few compromises to
passenger comfort. The sleek shape yields a low co-efficient of drag (.26) but
Toyota has managed to do this with a larger, more driver friendly vehicle than the
Most fuel-efficient compact car – Honda Civic hybrid
(49 mpg city, 51 mpg highway)
Touted as being North America's cheapest hybrid, the Honda Civic Hybrid
takes the great design of the regular Civic and makes it even more efficient. With a
total output of 110hp, the Civic hybrid is very competitive for its class. The hybrid
version of the Civic costs about $ 5000 more than basic sedan but it includes many
more standard features, and some features (like automatic climate control) that are
not available on the regular Civic for any price.
Most fuel-efficient subcompact car – Volkswagen New Beetle diesel
(37 mpg city / 44 mpg highway)
The New Beetle diesel places on the list even in the face of an onslaught of
hybrid offerings. Making 100hp, the New Beetle diesel may not sound all that
powerful but the 177 lb-ft of torque will shame every other vehicle on the list. Of
course diesels still pollute more than hybrids but they offer few compromises and
their long-term reliability and durability is rock solid, something that can not yet be
said for hybrid vehicles.
Most fuel-efficient small station wagon – Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix
(30 mpg city / 36 mpg highway)
The Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix are the result of a joint venture of Toyota
and General Motors. Both vehicles come equipped with Toyota engines but much of
the design and engineering came from General Motors. The Matrix and Vibe are
versatile vehicles fitted to adventurous, active lifestyles. With a fuel-efficient 1.8L
4-cylinder producing 126hp, the Matrix and Vibe are not going to win many street
races but they make up for it in smoothness, efficiency, and refinement.
Most fuel-efficient large car – Hyundai Sonata
(24 mpg city / 34 mpg highway)
The Sonata is the surprise of the list beating out tough competition to be
rated as the most fuel-efficient large car. The 2.4L 4-cylinder engine is smooth and
relatively powerful. Unfortunately, the suspension is soft, geared more towards
comfort than handling. A BMW this is not. Build quality is great, clearly showing that Hyundai is no longer a second rate manufacturer. This car is all about comfort and
efficiency, a formula that worked wonders for the Toyota Camry.