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EPA Names Ten Most Fuel Efficient New Cars

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer November 2011

The ten most fuel efficient 2012 models are all electric vehicles and hybrids. So says the Environmental Protection Agency. Its recently released list of the top ten most fuel efficient vehicles available doesn't include any diesels or traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

Topping the EPA's list of the most fuel efficient 2012 models is the all-electric Mitsubishi i subcompact, which achieves a rating of 126 miles per gallon equivalent in city driving and 99 mpg-e on the highway. According to the EPA, the miles per gallon equivalent designation compares an electric vehicle's fuel consumption to an equivalent internal combustion engine.

Not surprisingly, the all-electric Nissan Leaf finishes second in the EPA's list, with a rating of 106 mpg-e in the city and 92 on the highway. The Ford Transit Connect EV comes in third at 62 city and highway, while the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt ranks fourth at 58 mpg in the city and 62 on the highway. Rounding out the top ten are the Toyota Prius (51/48), Honda Civic Hybrid (44/44), Toyota Prius V (44/40), Lexus CT 200h (43/40), Honda Insight (41/44) and Toyota Camry Hybrid (43/39). That makes Toyota the big winner on this year's list, with four of the ten spots going to Toyota or Lexus models.

Since the EPA's list includes several plug-in vehicles whose "mpg-e" designation doesn't translate into actual gasoline usage, the agency also announced vehicles that would make the list if the electric vehicles were removed. Among them are the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, the Honda CR-Z and the Scion iQ. According to the EPA, the iQ ranks as the most efficient non-hybrid gasoline vehicle thanks to its miserly fuel economy ratings of 36 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

But with a combined EPA rating of 112 miles per gallon equivalent, the Mitsubishi i is today's undisputed fuel economy champion. Already on sale in Hawaii, the hatchback is expected to debut in several other markets in the coming months with a starting price of $29,195 - which Mitsubishi says equates to just $21,625 after applicable tax credits.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
EPA Names Ten Most Fuel Efficient New Cars - Autotrader