November 11, 2008

Green Thinking

2009's most fuel-efficient cars

Fuel-efficient cars by body style

Choosing a new car? Weigh the impact of your choice on your wallet and on the planet. The following cars are ranked by city miles per gallon (MPG), followed by highway MPG based on the Environmental Protection Agency's Fuel Economy Guide for the 2009 model year. (For details of the testing, see the notes below.)


Rank Model MPG: city/hwy Annual fuel cost * Carbon footprint
(tons/yr of CO2)
Additional info
1 Toyota Prius Toyota Prius 48/45 $1133 4 tons 4 cylinder, 1.5 liter, automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, regular gas
2 Honda Civic Hybrid Honda Civic Hybrid 40/45 $1242 4.4 tons 4 cylinder, 1.3 liter, automatic (CVT), HEV, regular gas
3 Nissan Altima Hybrid Nissan Altima Hybrid 35/33 $1535 5.4 tons 4 cylinder, 2.5 liter, automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, regular gas
4 (tie) Ford Escape Hybrid Ford Escape Hybrid 34/31 $1634 5.7 tons front-wheel drive, 4 cylinder, 2.5 liter, automatic (variable gear ratios), regular gas
4 (tie) Mazda Tribute Hybrid Mazda Tribute Hybrid 34/31 $1634 5.7 tons front-wheel drive, 4 cylinder, 2.5 liter, automatic (variable gear ratios), regular gas
4 (tie) Mercury Mariner Hybrid Mercury Mariner Hybrid 34/31 $1634 5.7 tons front-wheel drive, 4 cylinder, 2.5 liter, automatic (variable gear ratios), regular gas
7 smart fortwoSmart fortwo 33/41 $1564 5.1 tons 3 cylinder, 1 liter, automatic (S5), premium gas
8 Toyota Camry Hybrid Toyota Camry Hybrid 33/34 $1535 5.4 tons 4 cylinder, 2.4 liter, automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, regular gas
9 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Volkswagen Jetta TDI 30/41 $1711 6.2 tons 4 cylinder, 2 liter, manual 6-speed, diesel
10 Toyota Yaris Toyota Yaris 29/36 $1634 5.7 tons 4 cylinder, 1.5 liter, manual 5-speed, regular gas

Notes:

* Annual fuel cost estimates are based on the assumptions that you travel 15,000 miles per year (55 percent in the city and 45 percent on the highway) and that fuel costs $3.48 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, $3.75 per gallon for premium and $3.88 for diesel. Visit www.fueleconomy.gov to calculate fuel costs based on current fuel prices and your driving habits.

Each model is allowed to appear on the list only once regardless of variations in its trim, options and/or specs.

Note that the models featured on the research pages linked here may have slight variations to the models specified in this list.

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