EPA's Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Cars

2011 Honda CR-ZEvery year, the Environmental Protection Agency complies a list of the top 10 overall most fuel-efficient cars in the country. For 2011, the Toyota Prius remains on top, but the new 2011 Honda CR-Z enters the fray, displacing the popular 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid.

The CR-Z comes in at No. 4 with the automatic transmission, No. 10 with the manual. The 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid and Honda Insight are now tied for third place because the Civic Hybrid lost 2 mpg in highway mileage in this year’s EPA rating (40/43 mpg city/highway). The Nissan Altima Hybrid fell from sixth to eighth place as it also lost 2 mpg, on its city mileage rating (33/33 mpg).

The CR-Z booted the Camry Hybrid off the list. The 2011 Camry Hybrid gets 31/35 mpg, compared with 33/34 mpg in the 2010 model.

While the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are 2011 model year vehicles, the EPA is still working on testing criteria for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Once it figures that out, expect the Leaf — and possibly the Volt, depending on methodology — to skyrocket to the top.

The deviations in the ratings year-over-year come from how the EPA collects its fuel economy results. Typically, the agency allows each automaker to conduct its own fuel economy testing and then sometimes verifies the results. The EPA still conducts its own testing on about 10% to 15% of the vehicle fleet each year, and the models with different ratings were probably just evaluated by the agency.

The 2000 Honda Insight, at 53 mpg on the combined cycle, remains the most fuel-efficient vehicle ever rated by the EPA. Continue reading below for the detailed top 10 list.

1.  2011 Toyota Prius: 51/48 MPG City/Highway  
2.  2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid, Milan Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid: 41/36 MPG City/Highway 
3.  2011 Honda Civic Hybrid: 40/43 MPG City/Highway 
3.  2011 Honda Insight Hybrid: 40/43 MPG City/Highway 
4.  2011 Honda CR-Z (auto): 35/39 MPG City/Highway 
5.  2011 Lexus HS 250h: 35/34 MPG City/Highway 
6.  2011 Ford Escape Hybrid, Mazda Tribute Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid: 34/31 MPG City/Highway 
7.  2011 Smart Fortwo: 33/41 MPG City/Highway 
8.  2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid: 33/33 MPG City/Highway 
9.  2011 Lexus RX 450h: 32/28 MPG City/Highway 
10. 2011 Honda CR-Z (manual): 31/37 MPG City/Highway

Comments 

Amuro Ray

Sorry 4 my laziness here, but can u find out 2 thgs 4 me, Colin or D.T.?

(1) What kinda changes from EPA that cost the drop of 2mpg on Camry/Altima/etc.?

(2) Why is the Camry hybrid less efficient in the 2011 model, esp on the city mpg where hybrids should have been strong?

No problem Amuro Ray: like I said in the post, the EPA doesn’t' test all of its ratings itself. It allows the automakers to conduct their own testing. However, every year the EPA does manage to audit 10-15% of the automakers findings itself. This is where some year-to-year discrepancies come from.

Scott

where's the 2011 Ford Fiesta 29/40/33 mpg?

Amuro Ray

Thanks Colin, that explains #1. As for #2...still very puzzling. Is Toyota doing sthg to the 2011 Camry Hybrid?

Rockaby

Also, I guess since it's not out yet the Sonata Hybrid didn't make the list?

65Chrysler300

Why are there no diesels on this list?

Heather

How is the 41/36 Ford Fusion more fuel efficient than the Honda Civic Hybrid and Insight?

When figuring fuel economy overall, do they add the city and highway together and divide by 2 or is there some other formula?

Dan

I'll stick to my old Saturn SC2 that I have been averaging 37 MPG with for several years.

And although four-wheel and all-wheel drive provide better traction and braking in certain driving conditions, the weight and friction of the additional drivetrain parts may increase fuel consumption by up to 10% over a two-wheel drive vehicle.

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