Top Ten Most Fuel Efficient Cars

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Although gas prices have recently fallen, the issue of fuel consumption is still an important one, if not for your wallet, then for the environment.

Sure, gas isn’t $4 a gallon anymore, but at prices above $2, it’s still a major monthly cost that should be corralled if it all possible.

Factor in the social and environmental costs of that gas we choose to guzzle, and it makes sense to look at more efficient alternatives.

That said, let’s take a look at the top ten most fuel efficient cars and SUVs for 2009, as compiled by TheDailyGreen.com.

Top Ten Most Fuel Efficient Cars and SUVs based on fuel economy:

1.    Toyota Prius: 48 mpg city, 45 mpg highway
2.    Honda Civic Hybrid: 40 mpg city, 45 mpg highway
3.    Nissan Altima Hybrid: 35 mpg city, 33 mpg highway
4.    Mercury Mariner Hybrid: 34 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
5.    Ford Escape Hybrid: 34 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
6.    Mazda Tribute Hybrid: 34 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
7.    Smart Fortwo: 33 mpg city, 41 mpg highway
8.    Toyota Camry Hybrid: 33 mpg city, 34 mpg highway
9.    Volkswagen Jetta: 30 mpg city, 41 mpg highway
10.   Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen: 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway

Honorable mention also goes to the Toyota Yaris, with 29 mpg city and 36 mpg highway , the Mini Cooper with 28 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, and the Honda Fit with 28 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.

Keep in mind that a number of issues affect actual fuel economy, such as the purchase or lease price of the vehicle, and where and how the car is driven.

Some of the vehicles above perform better in the city than on the highway and vice versa, so how you actually use it matters.

The amount of carbon monoxide omitted also varies by vehicle, as does their true environmental impact, so it’s not as simple as calculating miles per gallon.

(photo: joi)