Foreign Cars Dominate Top 10 MPG List

2006 Toyota Prius hybrid car, 2006/1/6 AP

Hybrid and economy-class vehicles built by Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. dominate the government's annual top-10 fuel economy list for 2007 vehicles.

The hybrid-electric Toyota Prius led the way with 60 miles per gallon in the city and 51 mpg on the highway, while the Honda Civic Hybrid was second with 49 mpg in the city and 51 mpg on the highway, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy said Tuesday.

Honda and Toyota made seven of the 12 vehicles listed in the top 10. The new Toyota Camry Hybrid made its debut at No. 3, with 40 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

Ford Motor Co. had the most fuel-efficient sport utility vehicle, the Escape Hybrid front-wheel drive, which was fourth with 36 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The four-wheel drive version of the Escape Hybrid, along with the Mercury Mariner Hybrid four-wheel drive, were tied for 10th place with 32 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Six gas-only vehicles made the top 10: manual and automatic versions of the Toyota Yaris, the manual version of the Honda Fit, the manual Toyota Corolla and manual versions of the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio.

The government compiles the list based on information from manufacturers. Fuel economy estimates are determined by averaging numbers from a specific set of tests.

"Each year millions of Americans buy new cars, and by using fuel economy information, each consumer can make a more educated decision that will help conserve energy and save money," said Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. He encouraged motorists to buy flex-fuel vehicles, which are capable of using gasoline and ethanol-gasoline blends.

Among classes of vehicles, the Ford Ranger two-wheel-drive was the most fuel-efficient pickup, with 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The Hyundai Sonata manual version was the top large car, with 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, while the Dodge Caravan two-wheel drive was the top minivan, with 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

Cargo and passenger vans were led by Chevrolet and GMC, each with 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.

Luxury cars were among the least fuel-efficient vehicles in the survey. The Lamborghini L-147/148 Murcielago topped the list of worst performers with 9 mpg in the city and 14 mpg on the highway.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee four-wheel drive was the least fuel-efficient SUV with 12 mpg in the city and 15 mpg on the highway. The Nissan Titan four-wheel drive was the least fuel-efficient pickup truck, with 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg in the highway.

The list does not include some of the largest vehicles in the fleet, such as the Hummer H2, because the law does not include vehicles that weigh more than 8,500 pounds under the fuel economy standards.
  • Alfonso Serrano

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