Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assigns a fuel economy rating to all new vehicles, Consumer Reports magazine conducts its own independent testing. The magazine recently concluded testing on 2011 models and has released its list of the best and worst new cars for fuel economy. Consumer Reports looked beyond a car’s fuel efficiency and also weighed each vehicle’s test performance, reliability and safety records in making its best cars recommendations.

David Champion, senior director of the magazine’s Auto Test Center comments on the new recommendations and fuel economy in general:

“Hybrid and diesel vehicles provide better fuel economy than conventional cars, but they usually cost more to buy, and as gas prices rise, the pay-back time gets shorter. All-wheel drive usually reduces gas mileage by about 2 mpg while a manual transmission can improve fuel economy by 1 to 2 mpg.” Source: Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports named both the best and worst cars for fuel economy in six different categories.

Subcompact Car

Best: Honda Fit – 30 mpg

Worst: Chevrolet Aveo LT – 25 mpg

Small Wagons and Hatchbacks

Best: Volkswagen Golf TDI (Diesel, manual) – 38 mpg

Worst: Scion xB, Subaru Impreza Outback Sport (AWD) – 23 mpg

Small Sedan

Best: Toyota Corolla LE – 32 mpg

Worst: Subaru Impreza 2.5i – 24 mpg

Family Car

Best: Toyota Prius IV (Hybrid) – 44 mpg

Worst: Ford Fusion SEL (V6, AWD), Chevrolet Impala LTZ (V6), Mazda V6 – 20 mpg

Upscale/Sports Sedan

Best: Lexus HS 250 h (Hybrid) – 31 mpg

Worst: Lincoln MKZ – 20 mpg

Small SUV

Best: Ford Escape Hybrid – 26 mpg

Worst: Dodge Nitro SLT (3.7 liters), Jeep Liberty Sport – 16 mpg

For more information on any of these vehicles or other models tested by staff at the magazine, visit the Consumer Reports New Cars website.

Consumer Reports: Best new cars for fuel economy
Consumer Reports magazine has named the best and worst new cars for fuel economy.