One of the reasons (among many) that Americans tend to give for shunning small, fuel-efficient cars is a concern about safety. In a land heavily populated by big, heavy SUVs and pick-ups, the thought of being run over by one in a Geo Metro would definitely send chills down one's spine. Vehicles like the Zap Xebra and various NEVs don't instill much confidence either. This will definitely be changing in the coming years as new affordable electric vehicles built to modern safety standards come to market.

But what of the driver who needs a new vehicle now and still wants five star crash test ratings? There are at least half a dozen vehicles available this year that meet that threshold and get decent if not always stellar mileage. Five of the six are hybrids including the Chevy Tahoe, Saturn Aura Hybrid, Nissan Altima, Honda Civic hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid. Rounding out the group is the new Ford Taurus. The Taurus isn't a hybrid but as a full-size sedan it does get 22 mpg overall, matching or beating it's competitors.

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[Source: CNN/Money]

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