We all use the Prius (45 mpg highway) as the short-cut reference for a fuel efficient car. The folks at Honda must be ripping their hair out at the relative silence yet equal performance of the Civic (also 45 mpg). And the Mini Cooper, with its award winning ad campaigns, should surely be taking advantage of its incredible mileage (36-40 mpg). And for me, the fact that the Pontiac Vibe, a car I know little about, is in the top ten was a revelation.
Note to policy makers and car buyers, as I've said before, don't give special treatment to "hybrids." More than half the cars on this list have regular engines. Fuel efficiency is the key, and even more relevant is passenger miles per gallon. More than seventy-five percent of car trips carry only one driver. The most expedient way to improve fuel efficiency is to move more people per gallon consumed. [I have to reference GoLoco here, our best-in-class ridesharing site.] It takes 25 years to turn over the US fleet of passenger vehicles to get the full benefits of the new CAFE standards. But we could get those benefits this week if more people would share rides.
Here is the top 10 list link from AutobeTel.
Here is an interesting article about how buying high mileage used cars is actually the most CO2-minimizing path (if you are going to buy a car).