Hybrids Dominate EPA's Top 10 Fuel Efficient Vehicle Rankings

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

  1. Toyota Prius

    51/48 MPG City/Highway

  2. Ford Fusion Hybrid, Milan Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

    41/36 MPG City/Highway

  3. Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Insight Hybrid

    40/43 MPG City/Highway

  4. Honda CR-Z (Automatic)

    35/39 MPG City/Highway

  5. Lexus HS 250h

    35/34 MPG City/Highway

  6. Ford Escape Hybrid, Mazda Tribute Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid

    34/31 MPG City/Highway

  7. Smart Fortwo

    33/41 MPG City/Highway

  8. Nissan Altima Hybrid

    33/33 MPG City/Highway

  9. Lexus RX 450h

    32/28 MPG City/Highway

  10. Honda CR-Z (Manual)

    31/37 MPG City/Highway


  • Gary Bune

    I believe the Toyota Camry Hybrid should be in the top 10. I have a 2009 Camry Hybrid and average about 37 mpg overall. My worst tank was 32+mpg and my best was 42+mpg. I check it everytime I fillup and use the calculated mileage, not the computer.

  • Shines

    Gary you are right it shoud be. But the EPA is rating based on City economy first, then highway – not combined. If they used a combined rating the Camry would be on the list. But the Camry’s city rating is 31 mpg and its highway 35 so it falls just below the manual transmission CRZ’s 31 city 37 highway. Certainly it should be ahead of the Lexus 450H 32 city 28 highway…
    Still you just prove the point of the article – it would be yet another hybrid pushing the conventional ICEs further down the list.

  • Van

    Perhaps the Camry Hybrid will do better next year. And the Sonata Hybrid may appear too. So with the Leaf and Volt, and i-Mev, we might not have a non-electric on the list.

  • Yegor

    Yeah, Why Toyota Camry Hybrid 33/34 is not here?

    Why Honda Civic Hybrid and Honda Insight Hybrid are in the same third place – they are two different cars?

  • av

    It looks like this list is strictly ordered by city mileage. In reality, it doesn’t make much sense to rank the RX450h above the CR-Z. Why wouldn’t the EPA at least go by EPA combined?

  • dyno

    The Prius is really unbeatable in terms of saving fuel. I really like it too.

  • Jesse

    Where is the VW Jetta TDI’s??? Those things get almost 50 mpg on the highway and like 37mpg in city. Not to mention they look better than most of these cars.

  • Donald

    I agree with the Jetta TDI. I’ve been driving one between San Diego and neprinol for years.

  • tapra1

    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.Tech Updates