Consumer Reports: Best, worst new cars for fuel economy

Jun 14, 2011 By Melissa Hincha-Ownby

Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assigns a fuel economy rating to all new vehicles, Consumer Reports magazine conducts its own independent testing. The magazine recently concluded testing on 2011 models and has released its list of the best and worst new cars for fuel economy. Consumer Reports looked beyond a car's fuel efficiency and also weighed each vehicle's test performance, reliability and safety records in making its best cars recommendations.

David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center comments on the new recommendations and in general: "Hybrid and diesel vehicles provide better fuel economy than conventional cars, but they usually cost more to buy, and as gas prices rise, the pay-back time gets shorter. All-wheel drive usually reduces gas mileage by about 2 mpg while a manual transmission can improve fuel economy by 1 to 2 mpg."

named both the best and worst cars for fuel economy in six different categories:

SUBCOMPACT CAR

- Best: Honda Fit - 30 mpg

- Worst: Chevrolet Aveo LT - 25 mpg

SMALL WAGONS AND HATCHBACKS

- Best: Volkswagen Golf TDI (Diesel, manual) - 38 mpg

- Worst: Scion xB, Subaru Impreza Outback Sport (AWD) - 23 mpg

SMALL SEDAN

- Best: Toyota Corolla LE - 32 mpg

- Worst: Subaru Impreza 2.5i - 24 mpg

FAMILY

- Best: IV (Hybrid) - 44 mpg

- Worst: Ford Fusion SEL (V6, AWD), Chevrolet Impala LTZ (V6), Mazda V6 - 20 mpg

UPSCALE/SPORTS SEDAN

- Best: Lexus HS 250 h (Hybrid) - 31 mpg

- Worst: Lincoln MKZ - 20 mpg

SMALL SUV

- Best: Ford Escape - 26 mpg

- Worst: Dodge Nitro SLT (3.7 liters), Jeep Liberty Sport - 16 mpg

Explore further: After nuclear phase-out, Germany debates scrapping coal

More information: For more information on any of these vehicles or other models tested by staff at the magazine, visit the Consumer Reports New Cars website: www.consumerreports.org/cro/ca… s/new-cars/index.htm

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