2011′s Top 10 Best Valued Fuel-Efficient Cars: Recap

By Adam P. Newton, January 31, 2012, Energy Efficiency, Green, News

In 1991, most drivers paid $1 a gallon for gasoline. Twenty years later, filling up a car or truck costs at least $3 per gallon, which is putting a strain on bank accounts and making fuel-efficiency more important than ever. Federal and state tax incentives mixed with dealer incentives are making it possible for many drivers to get a great price for a fuel-efficient car that gets better gas mileage.

We’ve compiled a list of 2011′s most fuel-efficient cars at our sister site, Project Greenify. For the past several weeks, we have highlighted a different car that will save consumers on their gas prices. This week, we present a recap of the ten most fuel-efficient cars.

#10 – Chevrolet Volt

The Chevrolet Volt is a hybrid that gets about 35 miles on one charge before switching to the fuel-efficient gasoline system. The car’s base price is $40,280 but federal and state tax credits can bring the price down to as little as $27,780.

Annual CO2 emissions (tons): 84 Cost to charge: $601 – $1,302 per year including both electricity and gasoline consumption Mileage between charges: 35 miles (93 mpg) and 35 mpg when operating using gasoline

#9 – Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Ford Fusion Hybrid is the 2010 North American Car of the Year. Fuel efficiency and features like the Sync system make the car stand out. Prices start at $28,240.

Annual CO2 emissions (tons): 4.8 Annual fuel cost: $1,137 Mileage: 39 mpg

#8 – Honda Civic Hybrid

At $23,950 retail, the Civic targets drivers on a tight budget. Hybrids recharge their own batteries while you drive, so there’s never concern about finding a charging station.

Annual CO2 emissions (tons): 4.6 Annual fuel cost: $1,083 Mileage: 41 mpg

#7 – Honda CR-Z Hybrid

The Honda CR-Z Hybrid is a sporty two-door coupe. At $19,200, it’s an affordable option for singles or couples looking for a car that looks great and gets excellent mileage from one gallon of gasoline.

Annual CO2 emissions (tons): 5.1 Annual fuel cost: $1,158 Mileage: 34 to 37 mpg

#6 – Honda Insight

The Honda Insight is a line of hybrid hatchbacks. Prices start at $18,200 making them extremely desirable to car shoppers.

Annual CO2 emissions (tons): 4.6 Annual fuel cost: $1,083 Mileage: 41 mpg

#5 – Lexus CT 200h

The Lexus CT 200h delights drivers who enjoy luxury vehicles but hate their gas consumption. This car gets 42 miles to the gallon and costs $29,120 making it an affordable fuel-efficient car.

Annual CO2 emissions: 89 to 92 grams per kilometer driven Mileage: 42 mpg

#4 – Nissan Leaf

The 2011 Nissan Leaf starts at $32,780, but federal tax credits drop the price by as much as $7,500. Additional state tax credits bring the price of the car down to as little as $20,000.

Annual CO2 emissions (tons): 0 Charging time: Eight hours for a full charge or 30 minutes for 80 percent Cost to charge: $561 per year Mileage between charges: 100 miles or the equivalent of 99 mpg

#3 – Smart Fortwo Electric

The electric Smart car comes in a coupe or cabriolet model. The first round of Smart Fortwo vehicles go on sale in 2012 and are already available for lease only. As of September 2011,the Smart Fortwo Electric price has not been announced, though experts believe the price will be in the range of $27,000.

Annual CO2 emissions (tons): 0 Charging time: Eight hours for a full charge or 3 ½ hours for 80 percent Cost to charge: $547.50 per year based on average usage of 40 miles per day Mileage between charges: 98 highway miles or 63 city and highway miles

#2 – Tesla Roadster

At $109,000, the Tesla Roadster is not a car for a driver on a budget, but it is a car that suits someone looking for a fun, flashy sports car. The lightweight design makes it possible to go from 0 to 60 in under four seconds.

Annual CO2 emissions (tons): 0 Charging time: 3.5 hours for a full charge Cost to charge: $561 per year Mileage between charges: 100 miles or the equivalent of 99 mpg

#1 – Toyota Prius

At $21,600, the Toyota Prius is one of the most affordable fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. In 2012, an all-electric Prius that takes three hours to charge will be hitting the market.

Annual CO2 emissions (tons): 3.8 Fuel cost: $888 per year Mileage between fill-ups: 50 mpg

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About 

Born and raised in Southeast Texas, Adam P. Newton never acquired the charming accent that most life-long Texans possess in spades, but he’s OK with that. Adam currently creates and curates online content for Bounce Energy. He also spent several years as a freelance music journalist, and in 2011, he self-published a collection of short stories entitled "If This Parking Lot Could Speak."

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