The EPA and Energy Department issued the 2009 fuel economy guide.
The overall fuel economy leader is no surprise. It’s the Toyota Prius, rated at 48 mpg in the city and 45 on the highway.
The new additions to the top 10 list this year are the Smart ForTwo convertible and coupe and Volkswagen Jetta diesels. (Click on the link to read more about the Jetta TDI).
The Jetta diesels were not in the market last year because they did not meet tighter clean air rules. They are back this year with improved emissions controls. The Jetta sedan and Sportwagen with manual transmissions are in seventh place with ratings of 30 mpg city and 41 mpg highway. In September a couple from Australia set a new world record of 58.82 mpg in a Jetta TDI sedan traversing the 48 continental states.
Revised testing and calculation methods meant almost all the vehicles got lower ratings than before. The methodology was changed to make ratings more closely reflect real-world driving.
Here is the top 10 list for 2009:
1. Toyota Prius (hybrid) — 48/45
2. Honda Civic Hybrid — 40/45
3. Nissan Altima Hybrid — 35/33
4. Ford Escape Hybrid FWD; Mazda Tribute Hybrid 2WD; Mercury Mariner Hybrid FWD — 34/31
5. Smart ForTwo convertible; Smart ForTwo coupe — 33/41
6. Toyota Camry Hybrid — 33/34
7. Volkswagen Jetta (manual, diesel); Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen (manual, diesel) — 30/41
8. Volkswagen Jetta (automatic, diesel); Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen (automatic, diesel) — 29/40
9. Toyota Yaris (manual) — 29/36
10. Toyota Yaris (automatic) — 29/35
The complete fuel economy guide can be found at www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm and is organized by year.