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2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

TrueCar has compiled its list of the top ten most fuel-efficient 2011 model year vehicles currently on the market and – unsurprise! – the Toyota Prius, the world's best-selling hybrid, leads the pack. TrueCars' selection hinged on fuel economy and annual gas costs, the latter of which was calculated based on driving 15,000 miles a year.

Let's break the list down. Of the top ten vehicles, nine were hybrids. The Lexus CT 200h finished in second place and the Honda Insight captured third. The Chevrolet Volt, the only plug-in model to make TrueCars' list, finished in sixth. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Elantra placed ninth. However, its rank is notable because it's the only non-hybrid vehicle that cracked the top ten. According to TrueCars, battery-powered vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf, were excluded from the list because "there is no cost associated with filling up a tank." Well, sure, but isn't that the whole point?

Anyway, Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insights at TrueCar, gives this recommendation to car buyers:
When purchasing a fuel-efficient vehicle, consumers should consider two factors – price and annual cost of fuel. If you're looking for the most fuel-efficient car, the Toyota Prius wins. If you're looking for the most cost-effective and fuel-efficient car, the Hyundai Elantra is the clear winner.
If you want to do your own math, then throw the Leaf into the mix. Click here for a detailed list of TrueCars' top ten most fuel-efficient cars.



Photos Copyright ©2008 Brad Wood / AOL

[Source: TrueCar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Fails to consider other costs of ownership (maintenance) and resale value.
      Of course it also differs based upon how many miles you drive.

      Finally, while I would guess they are somewhat comparable, it should take a look at what features are on the vehicles, not just that both are base.

      I mean - if you want the cheapest car to go 15K miles a year for a few years then you are probably best off buying a good fairly recent used vehicle of a make/model with a good low history of needing repairs.
      You can probably get a few year old honda or toyota for $10K or less and drive it for 5 or 6 years and 100K miles easily, without a lot of fuss or surprise repair costs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a completely stupid list. They assume driving on gasoline only if you buy the Volt . . . apparently they don't realize that one can plug the Volt into your wall and charge it up.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is all coming to me as a shock.
      ss1591
      • 3 Years Ago
      TrueCar = Stupid Idiots, That list makes no sense but I guess that anyone with a computer can write... look at me!
      • 3 Years Ago
      How did the the Ford Escape hybrid get beat out by lower mpg vehicles?
      • 3 Years Ago
      According to TrueCars, battery-powered vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf, were excluded from the list because "there is no cost associated with filling up a tank."
      -------

      Free electricity? Woo-hoo!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is the Volt really in a bigger size category than the Prius and the Elantra?

      Is there a reason why the Fusion is not on the list?
        • 3 Years Ago
        I can't figure why the Fusion didn't make the list, either! The base Fusion hybrid is $12k cheaper than the Volt ($29k), and the combined EPA is 39 mpg (41 city/38 hwy). Something is really messed up there.

        And of course, I agree that the Volt was improperly rated. Given these two issues alone, I don't think the results of this "study" are accurate.

        Anybody see something I'm missing on the Fusion hybrid issue?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Did they forget to plug the Volt in? 37 mpg is what it gets at its least efficient mode, the Volt's reason for existence is the 35 miles you can drive it in CD mode. Most people will get way less than half their miles using the ICE.
        Still wondering about where the Fusion went.
        Can't wait to see what Toyota will have in a few years to push the combined mpg up around 60 mpg, and I hope everyone else is in hot pursuit by then.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Bigger on the outside, smaller on the inside.....
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't know why the Fusion hybrid didn't make the list.

        Category: mid-sized sedan
        Base price: $29k
        EPA: 41 city/38 hwy; 39 combined.

        It should be second behind the Volt, using their list.


        I can't figure out why the Escape hybrid didn't make it, either:

        Category: mid-sized SUV
        Base price: $30k
        EPA: 34 city/31 hwy; 32 combined

        That blows the crap out of the Highlander hybrid!

        Unless I'm missing something, this "TrueCar" report has little truth in it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        There are a lot of fundamental flaws with what TrueCar has done. They have not actually tested any of these vehicles. The ratings are based solely on the EPA label values for combined mpg. That's a reasonable way of comparing non-plug-in vehicles. However, that leaves the Leaf out of the picture entirely and they have messed up the Volt.

        They base their comparison on the gas-only combined mileage of 37 mpg for the Volt ignoring the fact that most Volt owners are and will plug-in their vehicles. If the vehicles are compared based on combined mileage, the Volt should be compared based on its overall composite rating of 60 MPGe that blends electric (93 MPGe) and gas (37 MPG) driving. Using the 60 MPGe the Volt jumps to the top of the list (or second if the Leaf is included).
        • 3 Years Ago
        I can't figure why the Fusion didn't make the list, either! The base Fusion hybrid is $12k cheaper than then Volt ($29k), and the combined EPA is 39 mpg (41 city/38 hwy). Something is really messed up there.

        And of course, I agree that the Volt was improperly rated. Given these two issues alone, I don't think the results of this "study" are accurate.

        Anybody see something I'm missing on the Fusion hybrid issue?
        • 3 Years Ago
        The volt is longer and wider but slightly shorter than the prius. Despite having a larger footprint the volt has a little less passenger room and a lot less luggage room.

        Where the volt really makes an impression is on the scales where its battery adds 750lbs of additional heft. The volt has a lot of junk in the trunk.

        volt 3781lb
        volume passenger/cargo: 90.0ft³ 10.6ft³

        prius 3042lb
        volume passenger/cargo: 93.7ft³ 21.6ft³
      • 3 Years Ago
      No diesels.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Sorry Stacey highway mileage is only half of the equation.
        Diesels without hybridization & start/stop waste a lot of fuel in city driving.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Diesels were not excluded, they just didn't fall into the top ten on running costs. Diesel fuel costs more and that tipped the balance against them.

        • 3 Years Ago
        Oops, sorry. I meant the Lexus HS250h and the Lincoln MKZ hybrids, not both Lexus hybrids...
        • 3 Years Ago
        Oops again. Sorry. I did screw up the EPA combined.

        40 mpg is what I'm actually seeing in mixed driving in our 2011 Jetta Sportwagen, but its fairly common for people to exceed the EPA rating in many vehicles.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Saw that, but I guess I don't understand their calculation. The 2011 Jetta Sportwagen can be bought for about $26-28k (less than other vehicles in the top ten), gets 40 mpg EPA combined (more than some in the top ten), and costs $1,500 a year in fuel (@ 40 mpg, 15,000 miles, $4 per gallon). Seems like those figures should land it ahead of both Lexus hybrids, and in the Midsize category, comes out better than the Toyota Camery Hybrid as well.

        Must be some other criteria that aren't mentioned...
        • 3 Years Ago
        Example At today's fuel prices:
        http://www.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/gdu/gasdiesel.asp

        The last place car (worse fuel econ) on the list has EPA combined:
        32.7 MPG. x 15000 miles @ 3.56 = $1633

        VW Golf TDI has EPA combined:
        34 MPG x 15000 @ 3.91 = $1725

        Simple math and fuel prices means the diesels don't crack the top ten. No other criteria needed.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Snowdog

        On VW.ca's site, the Golf TDI is rated at 6.7 L/100km city and 4.6 L/100km highway.
        (4.6 L/100km is over 50mpg, BTW.)

        The CITY rating of the vehicle is higher than 34mpg, if you do the conversion. And in practice, my 2006 TDI gets exactly the posted numbers (~5.0L/100km highway, and a bit better than the 7.1 L/100km city).

        I've checked the VW.com site, and they have the same numbers that you claim, but I'm not sure why any of this is news, then. True Car managed to go look up some EPA numbers. Woohoo. They're not giving anyone any new information. Review sites are so I can get information that isn't immediately obvious just by going out and reading the manufacturers site.

        • 3 Years Ago
        @Stacey.

        Not sure where you are getting your numbers, but the VWs get:
        EPA 34 MPG combined. Not 40.

        34 MPG is just barely ahead of a couple of the cars and when you factor the increased price of diesel, they would be clearly behind.
        • 3 Years Ago
        No crediblity here, the Q7 TDI and Vw toureg TDI should have been on the luxury suv list. It seems they purposefully left out diesels.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can understand, sort of, them punting on the Volt. Its numbers will depend on how far you drive it in a day, and so you have to make charts and graphs, and math can be scary to journalists.

      But excluding the Leaf because there's "no cost"? Unless you've got a long extension cord and unobservant neighbors there most certainly is a cost associated with filling up its tank. And I'd be really curious to see how those numbers pan out compared to the cars that burn their fuel.

      I've always heard the yardstick is that fuel expenses are "roughly half" for an EV, and would be curious to know if that holds up. *gets out calculator*
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't know where you live or what you pay for power, but the cost of operating an EVshould be less than 10% the price of an ICE (not including capital cost).
      • 3 Years Ago
      Example At today's fuel prices:
      http://www.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/gdu/gasdiesel.asp

      The last place car (worse fuel econ) on the list has EPA combined:
      32.7 MPG. x 15000 miles @ 3.56 = $1633

      VW Golf TDI has EPA combined:
      34 MPG x 15000 @ 3.91 = $1725

      Simple math and fuel prices means the diesels don't crack the top ten.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Did they fix that awful interior smell in the Pious yet?

      Maybe it's to keep Pious owners from falling asleep due to driving boredom.
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