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.
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
Best: Toyota Corolla LE – 32 mpg
Worst: Subaru Impreza 2.5i – 24 mpg
Best: Toyota Prius IV (Hybrid) – 44 mpg
Worst: Ford Fusion SEL (V6, AWD), Chevrolet Impala LTZ (V6), Mazda V6 – 20 mpg
Best: Lexus HS 250 h (Hybrid) – 31 mpg
Worst: Lincoln MKZ – 20 mpg
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.