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Most Fuel Efficient Cars in 2012

Most Fuel Efficient Cars in 2012 By Cyndi Cohen
Published June 7, 2012
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Summertime Forecast: More Fun, Less Fuel!

With summertime just on the horizon, many credit union members are looking for warm-weather activities that will keep their families smiling but won’t do major damage to their savings. This may mean ditching traditional vacations that require expensive airfare and opting for closer destinations that can be reached via car or truck, in which case you want to be as savvy as possible when it comes to fuel efficiency.

Perhaps you’re in the market for a new wallet-friendly vehicle to get you on the road to your summertime hot spot, or you just need to know the best ways to maintain your current vehicle’s fuel efficiency as you head off on your next adventure. Before hopping in your ride with the beach bag and cooler, read on to find out which cars were rated most fuel efficient in 2012 and snag some helpful fuel-saving tips.

Most Fuel Efficient Cars for 2012

The most fuel efficient cars of 2012 as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are listed below. The EPA categorizes the cars by class, provides a vehicle description, and then assigns a fuel economy to each one. They estimate fuel economy by incorporating the effects of 1) faster speeds and acceleration, 2) air conditioner use, and 3) colder outside temperatures.

EPA Class

Vehicle Description

Fuel Economy Combined

Two-Seaters

Honda CR-Z,
4 cyl, 1.5 L, Automatic (AV-S7), HEV, Regular Gasoline

37

Minicompacts

Scion IQ,
4 cyl, 1.3 L, Automatic (CVT), Regular Gasoline

37

Subcompacts

Ford Fiesta FWD,
4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic (AM6), Regular Gasoline

Ford Fiesta FWD,
4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual (5) Regular Gasoline

Ford Fiesta SFE FWD,
4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic (AM6), Regular Gasoline

33

 

33

 

33

Compact

Toyota Prius c Hybrid,
4 cyl, 1.5 L, Automatic (CVT), HEV, Regular Gasoline

50

Midsize

Toyota Prius Hybrid,
4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic (CVT), HEV, Regular Gasoline

50

Large

Hyundai Sonata,
4 cyl, 2.4 L, Manual (6), Regular

Hyundai Sonata,
4 cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic (6), Regular

28

 

28

Small Station Wagons

Audi A3,
4 cyl, 2.0 L, Automatic (S6), Diesel

Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen,
4 cyl, 2.0 L, Manual (6), Diesel

34

 

34

Midsize Station Wagons

Toyota Prius v,
4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic (CVT), HEV, Regular

42

The list above excludes electric vehicles (EVs). However, for those looking to save some green on fuel costs while also being greener with an electric vehicle, the EPA has rated some of these environmentally-friendly rides for fuel efficiency as well. Unlike a hybrid car, which is fueled by gasoline and uses a battery and motor to improve efficiency, an electric car is powered exclusively by electricity. Plus, electric vehicles purchased in or after 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. The credit amount will vary based on the capacity of the battery used to fuel the vehicle.

Here are the EPA’s top EV picks for fuel-efficiency:

EPA Class

Vehicle Description

Fuel Economy Combined

Subcompacts

Mitsubishi i-MiEV
A-1, 66 kW DCPM, Electric Vehicle

112*

Compact

Ford Focus BEV
Automatic (CVT), 107 kW AC Induction, Electric Vehicle

105*

Midsize

Nissan Leaf
A-1, 80 kW DCPM Electric Vehicle

99*

*This is an all-electric vehicle. Since electricity is not measured in gallons, a conversion factor is used to translate the fuel economy into miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe).

Simple Fuel-Saving Tips

Now that you know what vehicle to buy in order to make your gas budget stretch further, it’s also a good idea to have a few eco and wallet friendly tricks up your sleeve for making your fuel-efficient vehicle run even more efficiently.

  • Use a better quality fuel and oil, and change your oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles.
  • Check your tire pressure and inspect tires for uneven tread wear.
  • Remember to tighten your gas cap after filling up.
  • Change your air filter regularly.
  • Check your vehicle’s emissions system.
  • Replace worn spark plugs as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Avoid being an aggressive driver and always heed the speed limit.

By using this valuable info and following some simple tips you can avoid overspending at the pump and use some of that money you save toward an extra day at the beach, a summertime concert, or a backyard bbq. Let your car be the key to a summer full of affordable fun and sunny memories!

And remember, before going to the dealer to buy a new car, stop by your credit union first to inquire about a pre-approved auto loan. Find a credit union and save money on gas and the financing!

 

Sources:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/best-worst.shtml
http://www.hybridcars.com/electric-car

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