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From “Fuel Sippers” to “Gas Guzzlers”: What to Consider When Looking for a Fuel Efficient Vehicle

Owning a car is a must-have in most people’s lives in this day and age, however, there are cars which are more harmful to the environment than others. As the climate changes and our concerns for the environment grow – many of us are reconsidering our lifestyle choices – especially in terms of transportation! As a result, there is a growing interest in finding out which cars are the most environmentally friendly.

Here are some things to ask yourself when considering which car would be the best for you and the environment: 

 

  • Where do I usually drive?

On the highway, in the city, or both? Cars driven mostly on highways generally tend to be more efficient than when driven in cities as they maintain a constant speed and don’t have to change gears as often or “work” as hard.

 

  • What will I be using the car for?

Driving kids to school and hockey practice? Driving to-and-from work? Going on road-trips? What you’ll be using the car for will also help determine your answer to the next question:

 

  • How much space will I need?

Do you have a hobby that requires lots of space for things like musical instruments, sports gear, or a growing antique collection? Do you have pets that require space in the back seat? If your kids have already moved out, you may want to consider trading in the minivan for something more compact (and efficient)!

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’ll be easier to determine not only the type of car, but also the make and model that is most suitable for your lifestyle and for the environment.

 

According to Consumer Reports, here is a list of the most fuel efficient cars categorically for 2015 rated in Miles Per Gallon (MPG) and ranked from least to most efficient:

10. Pickups: An overall 16 MPG or higher

9. Midsized/Large SUVs: An overall 18 MPG or higher

8. Minivans: An overall 19 MPG or higher

7. Small SUVs: An overall 22 MPG or higher

6. Upscale/Luxury Cars: An overall 24 MPG or higher

5. Midsized Cars, Wagons and Hatchbacks: An overall 26 MPG or higher

4. Sporty Cars/Roadsters: An overall of 28 MPG or higher

3. Compact Cars: An overall 29 MPG or higher

2. Subcompact Cars: An overall 31 MPG or higher

1. Fuel Efficient Hatchbacks: An overall 38 MPG or higher

So you’ve decided what type of car you’re looking for – now what? Here is a list of the top three most efficient vehicles in each of the above categories!

 

Pickups

  1. Ram 1500 Big Horn (diesel)
    Overall MPG: 20               City MPG: 14                       HWY MPG: 27
  2. Toyota Tacoma (base, V6)
    Overall MPG: 17                City MPG: 13                       HWY MPG: 21
  3. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT
    Overall MPG: 16                City MPG: 11                       HWY MPG: 23

 

Midsized/Large SUVs

  1. Lexus RX 450h
    Overall MPG: 26                City MPG: 22                      HWY MPG: 31
  2. Toyota Highlander Hybrid
    Overall MPG:     25           City MPG: 18                       HWY MPG: 32
  3. Jeep Grand Cherokee (diesel)
    Overall MPG:     24           City MPG: 17                        HWY MPG: 32

 

Minivans

  1. Ford Transit Connect XLT (2.5L)
    Overall MPG: 21                City MPG: 15                       HWY MPG: 27
  2. Honda Odyssey
    Overall MPG: 21                City MPG: 13                       HWY MPG: 31
  3. Toyota Sienna XLE (FWD)
    Overall MPG: 20               City MPG: 14                       HWY MPG: 27

 

Small SUVs

  1. Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid
    Overall MPG: 28               City MPG: 21                       HWY MPG: 35
  2. Mercedes-Benz GLA
    Overall MPG: 26                City MPG: 19                       HWY MPG: 35
  3. Subaru XV Crosstrek Premium
    Overall MPG: 26                City MPG: 19                       HWY MPG: 34

 

Upscale/Luxury Cars

  1. Tesla Model S (base, 85 kWh)
    Overall MPG: 84*             City MPG: 65*                    HWY MPG: 102*
  2. Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited
    Overall MPG: 36                City MPG: 29                      HWY MPG: 43
  3. Lexus ES 300h
    Overall MPG: 36                City MPG: 28                      HWY MPG: 44

 

Midsized Cars

  1. Honda Accord Hybrid
    Overall MPG: 40               City MPG: 32                      HWY MPG: 47
  2. Ford Fusion SE Hybrid
    Overall MPG: 39                City MPG: 35                      HWY MPG: 41
  3. Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE
    Overall MPG: 38               City MPG: 32                      HWY MPG: 43

 

Wagons and Hatchbacks

  1. Toyota Prius V Three
    Overall MPG: 41                City MPG: 33                      HWY MPG: 47
  2. Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE
    Overall MPG: 37                City MPG: 35                      HWY MPG: 48
  3. Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI (MT)
    Overall MPG: 36                City MPG: 25                      HWY MPG: 49

 

Sporty Cars/Roadsters

  1. Honda CR-Z EX
    Overall MPG: 35                City MPG: 26                      HWY MPG: 45
  2. Fiat 500c Pop
    Overall MPG: 34                City MPG: 25                      HWY MPG: 42
  3. Fiat 500 Sport
    Overall MPG: 33                City MPG: 24                      HWY MPG: 42

 

Compact Cars

  1. Honda Civic Hybrid
    Overall MPG: 40               City MPG: 28                      HWY MPG: 50
  2. Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SE
    Overall MPG: 37                City MPG: 29                      HWY MPG: 45
  3. Volkswagen Jetta TDI
    Overall MPG: 34                City MPG: 25                      HWY MPG: 45

 

Subcompact Cars

  1. Mitsubishi Mirage ES
    Overall MPG: 37                City MPG: 28                      HWY MPG: 47
  2. Ford Fiesta SE (3-cyl., MT)
    Overall MPG: 35                City MPG: 25                      HWY MPG: 46
  3. Scion iQ
    Overall MPG: 34                City MPG: 27                      HWY MPG: 40

 

Fuel Efficient Hatchbacks

  1. BMW i3 Giga
    Overall MPG: 139*            City MPG: 135*                  HWY MPG: 141*
  2. Mitsubishi i-MiEV SE
    Overall MPG: 111*            City MPG: 104*                  HWY MPG: 116*
  3. Ford Focus Electric
    Overall MPG: 107*           City MPG: 108*                  HWY MPG: 107*

* = MPGe

For full lists and more information and reviews on fuel efficient cars, visit: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/05/best-worst-fuel-economy/index.htm