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Fuel-Efficient Winners and Sinners

You have to admit it: no matter how much you heart longs for a car that’s all power and wrings the most out of a massive engine as you roar full bore down some deserted highway at extremely high speed, your head probably tells you that getting something that does well in the fuel economy stakes. So it’s kind of nice that there are heaps of people out there researching which cars are good and not so good in this department.


In the USA, they have a website set up by the government that’s dedicated to fuel economy and is there to help people pick the most fuel-efficient cars (incidentally, when we post a new car review to our list, we try to include the fuel economy figures whenever we can, as we know that this factor is as important to most new car buyers these days as the engine size is). If you want to know more about it, you’ll find it at According to this US government department, the following have been listed as the most fuel-efficient cars of 2013… at least so far, as there are bound to be more cars coming out this year that might be better.


One point: not all these US cars are available over here and all these figures and stats are for US models. The other thing is that most of the real winners are electrical vehicles – we’ve given you the non-electric winner in a category as well just in case plug-in vehicles aren’t practical for you.

  • Large sedan: Tesla Model S 60 kW-hr battery pack (95 mpg equivalent in electricity); Ford C-MAX Hybrid 4WD (47 mpg).
  • Medium sedan: Toyota Prius Hybrid (58 mpg equivalent); Toyota Prius Hybrid (50 mpg)
  • Compact: Ford Focus electric (105 mpg equivalent); Toyota Prius C Hybrid (50 mpg)
  • Subcompact: Mitsubishi i-MiEV (112 mpg equivalent); Chevrolet Spark (34 mpg)
  • Minicompact: Scion iQ EV (121 mpg equivalent); Scion iQ (37 mpg)
  • Two-seater: Smart fourtwo electric drive (107 mpg equivalent); Smart fourtwo (coupé and cabriolet; 36 mpg).
  • Large station wagon: Toyota Prius V (42 mpg)
  • Small station wagon: Honda Fit EV (118 mpg equivalent); Audi A3 and Volkswagen Jetta Sportswagon (34 mpg).


And just so you know what to avoid, this is the list of the least fuel-efficient cars in each class. Most of them are posh sports cars that are designed as toys of the very wealthy, which isn’t that surprising, really.


  • Large sedan: Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes Benz S600, Mercedes Benz S65 AMG and Rolls-Royce Phantom: all 14 mpg (but if you are able to afford a Rolls, fuel economy probably isn’t an issue for you).
  • Medium sedan: Ferrari FF and Bentley Mulsanne: 13 mpg.
  • Compact: Bentley Continental GT FFV, Chevrolet Camaro, Mercedes-Benz CL600, Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe and Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe: 14 mpg for all of them.
  • Subcompact: Bentley Continental GTC and Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible FFV: 14 mpg.
  • Minicompact: Ferrari California: 15 mpg
  • Two-seater: Bugatti Veyron: 10 mpg and the least efficient of the lot.
  • Large station wagon: Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG: 18 mpg
  • Small station wagon: Cadillac CTS Wagon: 14 mpg.