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The EPA has released its annual list of the top 10 most fuel efficient cars in the U.S., and for the second consecutive year, nine of those vehicles are hybrids. The only conventional ICE on the list is again the Smart Fortwo, whose diminutive size allows it to muster a 33 mpg city rating. Last year represented the first time the lowest rating on the list was higher than 30 mpg, knocking other gas and diesel cars like the VW Jetta TDI, the Mini Cooper and the Honda Fit off of the board.
Though the Toyota Prius extended its reign atop the rankings, this year probably marks the last time that will be the case. The Nissan LEAF is expected take the top rating next time around, once the EPA has finalized its procedure for calculating the fuel economy of plug-in vehicles. Depending on how that process turns out, the Chevy Volt will also likely be close to the top of the list, though the Volt’s ability to switch from battery power to gas significantly complicates the equation.
Nevertheless, with a host of new hybrid and electric vehicles poised to join the fray in the coming years, it’s likely that electrified vehicles—be they hybrids or plug-ins—will continue to dominate the EPA’s top 10 list for the foreseeable future.
2011 EPA Top 10 Fuel Efficient Vehicles
51/48 MPG City/Highway
Ford Fusion Hybrid, Milan Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
41/36 MPG City/Highway
Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Insight Hybrid
40/43 MPG City/Highway
Honda CR-Z (Automatic)
35/39 MPG City/Highway
Lexus HS 250h
35/34 MPG City/Highway
Ford Escape Hybrid, Mazda Tribute Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid
34/31 MPG City/Highway
33/41 MPG City/Highway
Nissan Altima Hybrid
33/33 MPG City/Highway
Lexus RX 450h
32/28 MPG City/Highway
Honda CR-Z (Manual)
31/37 MPG City/Highway