You don’t need an electric vehicle, a hybrid or even a diesel to enjoy exceptional fuel economy. There are several gas powered models on the market which deliver at least 40 miles to the gallon on the highway, a threshold being met by a larger cohort of new cars.
This is good news for consumers grimacing each time they make visit to a service station. Larger vehicles often cost at least $100 to fill up while some of today’s smaller models consume less gas and go much further between fill ups including the following five high mpg gas powered cars:
1. Chevrolet Cruze ECO — The gas mileage king as of April 2011 is the Chevrolet Cruze, but not with every model. Choose the Cruze ECO, which comes equipped with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine and your car will get 42 mpg highway, 28 mpg city. Other models also offer excellent fuel economy, delivering 35 mpg or better on the open road.
2. Smart ForTwo — When the ForTwo was released in 2008, it immediately became the gas mileage leader. Rated at 41 mpg highway, 33 mpg city, this diminutive two seater is the ultimate city car and value leader with a base sticker price of $11,500. This car is the only one in this group to be powered by a three cylinder engine.
3. Hyundai Elantra — No other car can boast the same fuel economy whether paired with a manual or automatic transmission. New for 2011, the Elantra gets 40 mpg highway, 29 mpg city and offers seating for five adults. Styling for the Elantra mimics the slick look of the midsize Sonata.
4. Ford Fiesta SFE — You’ll need to order the SFE model to enjoy top of the range fuel economy, but the subcompact Fiesta achieves that feat when equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA rates the Fiesta at 40 mpg highway, 29 city; other models get as much as 38 mpg highway.
5. Ford Focus SFE — New for 2012, the compact Focus SFE matches the Fiesta’s 40 mpg highway figure while delivering 28 mpg around town. Active shutters and an automatic transmission help this “super fuel economy” vehicle deliver some of the best fuel numbers in its class.
Honda promises to bring a more fuel efficient Civic to the market in spring 2011, projecting 41 mpg on the highway. Other manufacturers are expected to follow suit with the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic and special editions of the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa likely to seem similar thresholds met.