NWautos: Seattle's local source for new and used autos


December 7, 2012 1:00 AM

2013 most fuel-efficient compact 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 2013 model year. (For details of the testing, see the notes below.)

Rank Model MPG:
MPG: city/hwy Annual fuel cost* Additional info
1 Scion iQ EV Scion iQ EV 121 138/105 $500 electric; automatic continuously variable transmission
2 Honda Fit EV 118 132/105 $500 electric; automatic transmission
3 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Mitsubishi i-MiEV 112 126/99 $550 electric; automatic transmission
4 Ford Focus BEV Ford Focus Electric FWD 105 110/99 $600 electric; automatic transmission
5 Smart ForTwo Electric Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible and Coupe 100 112/88 $600 electric; automatic transmission
6 Chevrolet Volt 98* 51/40** $900 plug-in hybrid, premium gas and electric; automatic continuously variable transmission; 1.4 liter, 4 cylinder; *mileage for electric performance; **mileage for gas-only performance
7 Coda CODA Automotive CODA 73 77/68 $850 electric; automatic transmission
8 Toyota Prius c Toyota Prius c 50 53/46 $1,050 hybrid; automatic continuously variable transmission, 1.5 liter, 4 cylinder
9 Ford C-MAX Hybrid Ford C-MAX Hybrid FWD 47 47/47 $1,100 hybrid; automatic continuously variable transmission, 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder
10 Honda Insight Honda Insight 42 41/44 $1,250 hybrid; automatic continuously variable transmission with select shift, 1.3 liter, 4 cylinder


*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). Fuel cost estimates listed here assume fuel costs $3.49 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, $3.81 per gallon for premium gasoline, $4.01 for diesel and $.12/kWh for electricity. 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. Lists are limited to 10 vehicles, with city mileage as the tie-breaker.

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