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The Ten Most Fuel-Efficient Cars For '10

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2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

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Most ordinary gasoline models look like guzzlers next to the hybrids—and a few compact diesel models—that dominate the upper echelon of this year's EPA fuel economy ratings. For instance, according to the EPA's Fuel Economy Guide information released last week, a 2010 Toyota Prius will cost less than half as much to keep fueled for a year's worth of driving than the seemingly fuel-efficient four-cylinder, all-wheel-drive 2010 Toyota RAV4. According to EPA estimates, the savings would rack up to $850; and that's with gas prices at a relatively low $2.58 a gallon.

At least you're not driving a 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago (8 mpg City) or a 2010 Bentley Azure or Bentley Brooklands (9 mpg City), right? Right?

The hybrid-heavy results aren't too surprising, but there remains just one non-hybrid gasoline model in our top ten, with the 2010 Toyota Yaris, and Volkswagen's new 2010 Golf and Jetta diesels, filling it up. Several new hybrid models for 2010, including the Honda Insight and Lexus HS 250h, have taken new top positions and pushing out other small, inexpensive cars, while the 2010 Toyota Prius was again the most fuel-efficient vehicle overall, with a 50-mpg Combined rating.

We've listed official fuel economy figures and estimated annual fuel cost from the EPA (assuming 15,000 miles and that $2.58/gal fuel price), and our Overall Rating and Bottom Line take on these models. Please click on the individual models for detailed information including pricing, specs, and comprehensive reviews, plus galleries of images.

Here are this year's fuel economy champs:

Toyota Prius

EPA City/Highway/Combined mpg: 51/49/50
EPA Annual Fuel Cost: $774
TheCarConnection Meta Review Rating: 8.2
The Bottom Line: The 2010 Toyota Prius ups the ante in the hybrid world with 51-mpg city fuel economy and a finer style.

Between,, and our go-to site,, we've reported, literally, all about this mileage-topping model. We like the more upscale feel of the new Prius, its improved headroom, and more upscale feel while criticizing its restrictive new console design and, well, how it still drives very much like a hybrid. In several driving experiences the editors of have seen some very extraordinary high-mileage results in ordinary driving. Most recently, we averaged 53 mpg in 140 miles of commute-style driving, but we've also seen as high as 77 mpg, and in his First Drive Executive Editor Marty Padgett reported getting nearly 70 mpg "without even really trying—just coasting to stops, accelerating very gradually and using the Prius' EV mode to coast into our host hotel."

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Comments (5)
  1. interesting list. i personally find the camry, civic, accord, etc hybrids very practical. if it helps reduce our reliance on petrol the slightest, that's great. how in the world a car the size of the yaris (and with those looks) only gets ~29 MPH is beyond me. assume the site/editor are proud papa's with the prius staying atop the list once again :-)

  2. Wow, Chevy's hybrids didn't even make it above the imports non-hybrids. Guess they STILL don't get it.

  3. I think the people driving the Lambo or Bentley(s) don't really care about mileage. I would rather drive a large gas guzzling SUV or Truck knowing that the Occupants inside are safe, that seems more important to me than saving a couple bucks on gas.

  4. Oh and as for the Prius, can't wait to see what happens in the lawsuit...

  5. I don't think that even VW gets it. I have a 2004 VW TDI 5 spd. It gets 41 to 44 mpg. combined during the Winter. Two weeks ago, my wife drove it approximately 500 miles round trip to the Tn. border and back. 51 mpg. I have logged 48, 50, 49 and 47.7,47.7 mpg. combined. Now VW has upped the hp, cleaned up the emissions, and dropped the fuel mileage. We have 145,000 plus miles on my wife's Jetta TDI, but I am at a loss as to what to replace it with?? I drive a 98 Neon R/T with 158,299 miles on it. It has a 150 hp double overhead cam engine with a 7,000 rpm redline and a 7,300 factory rev limiter. It still runs 120 mph in 4th and I still have 5th gear left over. I drive it hard and get 31 mpg combined. I drive it like an old man and I get a best of 37.7 mpg combined. The new cars have a hard time matching that. What are the car manufacturers doing???

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