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Most Fuel Efficient Automakers
By J.D. BOOTH | AOL AUTOS


With fuel prices soaring and seemingly no end in sight, where does one turn? For some, it's a vehicle that's been engineered to sip, not guzzle. The question then: Which brand is more likely to ease you out of the gas station without feeling you've been turned upside down and shaken? Perhaps surprisingly, it's not always the Asian-based carmakers that come up on top where fuel economy ratings are concerned. A look at the U.S. government's official fuel economy ratings (published by the Department of Energy, the Office of Energy Efficiency and the Environmental Protection Agency) might not be light reading, but it does give a new sense of perspective on what is a very complex issue.
Top 10 Best Average Fuel Economy AutoMakers

Rank
Combined
Manufacturer
# Cars
1
27.66 mpg
MINI
12
2
23.81 mpg
Honda
27
3
23.36 mpg
Chevrolet
88
4
22.33 mpg
Lotus
3
5
22.21 mpg
Volkswagen
28
6
22.20 mpg
Pontiac
24
7
22.14 mpg
Saturn
21
8
21.8 mpg
KIA
20
9
21.77 mpg
Suzuki
18
10
21.6 mpg
Toyota
55



Carmakers are, on the whole, doing a pretty good job of bringing choice to the market when it comes to fuel economy. There may, however, be two races to win: the most fuel-efficient car on the road and the automaker that "on average" is most likely to save you money at the pump. On a single car basis, the Toyota Prius comes out on top, its hybrid technology delivering 48 city miles on a gallon (like other hybrids, its fuel efficiency drops slightly on the highway, to 45).

With fuel prices hitting hard, where are motorists more likely to find relief? On a fleet basis, the best performing manufacturer is BMW's MINI division, with three models averaging out at just over 27 mpg city/highway. But fitting a family any bigger than two or three in the MINI isn't possible; Honda might be a more realistic choice, its 27 models average out at almost 24 mpg combined.
Domestically, the winner in average fuel economy is Chevrolet, its 88 models average a combined 23.26 mpg combined city/highway, only slightly lower than Honda's 23.81 mpg average. What's more impressive is that Chevrolet's numbers factor in a full line of trucks, not the case with Honda (its only offering in that category being the Ridgeline).
 

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There's nothing impressive about that because it's all smoke and mirrors. CAFE allows them to assign a higher fuel mileage factor to any vehicle that is flex fuel. That is how GM has a fuel mileage rating that high despite all of the trucks and SUV's. Some common sense needs to be applied when reading this stuff. http://www.hybridcars.com/ethanol/e85-vehicles.html
 
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