Top Ten EPA-rated Fuel Sippers (1984 to present) – Click above for image gallery

Fuel efficiency has increased dramatically in the last decade, or at least that's what we've been told. So it might come as a surprise to find out that six of the Top Ten EPA-rated Fuel Sippers from 1984 to present were built prior to 2000. Don't believe it? We didn't either, but this info comes straight from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) website, the authoritative source on this fuel efficiency stuff.

While some current vehicles, such as the 2010 Toyota Prius, 2010 Honda Insight and the 2006-2010 Honda Civic Hybrid, garnered a spot on the top ten list, it's really older lightweight models like the 1986 Chevy Sprint ER or 1990-1994 Geo Metro XFI that make it obvious efficiency hasn't come as far as we'd like to think.

Overall, Honda holds top honors for automakers with five models present on the list, while Toyota's Prius made its mark twice. All of the vehicles on the list run with either 3- or 4-cylinder engines and five out of the top ten rely on hybrid motivation. The overall winner, the 2000 Honda Insight (pictured above), scores a combined rating of 53 miles per gallon, a number that exceeds even the modern-day Prius by three mpg.

In many cases, we've been mistakenly led to believe that buying a new car equates to increased efficiency, but this list clearly shows that many of the relics from days gone by can easily hold their own with the most efficient vehicles made today. However, finding a running example of some of these old fuel sippers may prove impossible and we'd venture to guess that many of them are far from safe to drive by today's standards. Check out all ten fuel sippers in our gallery below.

  • 1. 2000 Honda Insight (City 49/Hwy 61/Combined 53)
  • 2. 2010 Toyota Prius (City 51/Hwy 48/Combined 50)
  • 3. 1986 Chevrolet Sprint ER (City 44/Hwy 53/Combined 48)
  • 4. 1990-94 Geo Metro XFI (City 43/Hwy 52/Combined 47)
  • 5. 1986 Honda Civic CRX HF (City 42/Hwy 51/Combined 46)
  • 6. 1995 Honda Civic VX Hatchback (City 39/Hwy 50/Combined 43)
  • 7. 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid (City 40/Hwy 45/Combined 42)
  • 8. 2010 Honda Insight (City 40/Hwy 43/Combined 41)
  • 9. 2001-03 Toyota Prius (City 42/Hwy 41/Combined 41)
  • 10. 1989 Chevrolet Sprint (City 38/Hwy 45/Combined 41)
  • 10. 1989 Suzuki Swift (City 38/Hwy 45/Combined 41)

[Source: Environmental Protection Agency]

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