The Ten Highest Mileage Cars (They’re Small)

I was just over on the JD Power website and I found their list of cars with the highest gas mileage or fuel efficiency. Here’s the list (as you can tell, they are all high mileage cars!):

Honda InsightHonda Insight – 66 mpg highway/60 mpg city

Toyota PriusToyota Prius Hybrid – 51 mpg highway/60 mpg city

Honda Civic HybridHonda Civic Hybrid CVT PZEV – 51 mpg highway/49 mpg city (even the standard Civic gets 40 mpg highway/30 mpg city)

VW BeetleVolkswagen New Beetle GLS TDI – 46 mpg highway/38 mpg city

VW GolfVolkswagen Golf GL TDI – 46 mpg highway/38 mpg city

VW JettaVolkswagen Jetta GL 1.9 TDI – 46 mpg highway/38 mpg city

Toyota EchoToyota Echo – 42 mpg highway/35 mpg city

Toyota CorollaToyota Corolla LE – 41 mpg highway/32 mpg city

Scion xAScion xA 4AT – 38 mpg highway/31 mpg city

Kia Rio CincoKia Rio Cinco 4AT – 38 mpg highway/29 mpg city

Three of the top six are Volkswagens. Toyota also makes a nice showing. But where are the GM cars?

14 thoughts on “The Ten Highest Mileage Cars (They’re Small)”

  1. Don’t let the small exterior size of the Prius fool you!! It has as much slightly more head and leg room than a Camry (it’s a little smaller on hip/shoulder)!

  2. ug. Fuel economy is only worth so much .. I’ll stick with my monte carlo and rendezvous. Plenty of room, and they don’t look like an insect.

  3. denon,

    You have a Rendezvous? We do too and have really enjoyed it. Ours is a 2002 CX that is nearly loaded. I think the only difference between our lower-priced CX and CXL is that ours didn’t come with the roof racks, and AWD. I added the roof racks, and I don’t care about AWD.

  4. The hybrids charge the batteries as the car brakes. city driving requires alot of braking creating more battery charge.
    I have a jetta TDI 2005, I usually get around 50 mpg. this years model might differ. Also i try and buy biodisel when its available.

  5. dwarfcadaver is right about the breaking, but I’d also like to note that at lower speeds and the conditions of city driving, the electric motor is more likely to be used more than the gasoline engine. So the combination of using electric, plus contributing power back to the batteries, means less gas is used altogether.

    I have a ’02 Echo and absolutely love it. I just got back from a trip up to Wisconsin (from Asheville, NC), and it only cost us a little more than $60 one way. We’re planning on getting my wife a new Corrola here in a couple months, then after paying that off I may consider a hybrid. I just want to give it another five years or so to see where things go.

  6. Remember that EPA estimates for hybrids tend to be somewhat optimistic. See, for example:

    I know several people with Priuses who never see close to the EPA estimates, despite driving “correctly”. They seem to be farther from EPA estimates both on an absolute and relative basis than non-hybrid vehicles.

    The Volkswagen TDIs, on the other hand, do come pretty close to the EPA estimates. Unfortunately the TDI will not be available in 2007 model year Volkswagens, because of new stricter emissions standards for diesels. Also, VW reliability is well below Honda and Toyota. Allegedly Honda is coming out with a small diesel in 2008; that’s the engine I’d like!

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  8. I don’t think it’s all that worth it to buy a hybrid rather than other small compact vehicles that are on the list. I have a comparison between the Toyota Prius and the Toyota Yaris, and basically, it will take about 20 years for the Prius to make up the money saved. Bottomline, buy hybrids if you want to be more environmentally friendly. Otherwise, it’s not worth it. If interested, you can see my comparison at this link:

  9. Rambling News – your analysis does not look at resale value, insurance costs, safety, interior room and comfort, or cargo handling.

    Your analysis is, for me, very incomplete.

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