VW GOLF TDI_7Enlarge Photo
2011 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF TDI, JETTA TDI, and JETTA SPORTWAGEN TDI (6-spd manual): 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway - 34 mpg combined
The 2011 VW Jetta is all new this year, though the Jetta Sportwagen model is carried over from the last few years.
Either way, they are offered with VW's durable and high-mileage clean diesel TDI engine.
2011 Ford FiestaEnlarge Photo
2011 FORD FIESTA SFE (6-spd automatic): 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway - 33 mpg combined
This high-mileage option package on the subcompact Fiesta gets it to the magic 40-mpg mark.
The 2011 Fiesta is the first of Ford's line of stylish, high-content European models to be brought to the States, and it's a cut above the aging Toyota Yaris and some other contenders.
2011 Hyundai ElantraEnlarge Photo
2011 HYUNDAI ELANTRA: 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway - 33 mpg combined
Hyundai has aggressively promoted the 40-mpg ratings on all models of its all-new 2011 Elantra, even challenging other manufacturers to report monthly sales of their own 40-mpg models.
The Elantra's room, styling, features, and fuel economy have all won it high marks from reviewers.
2011 Chevrolet Cruze EcoEnlarge Photo
2011 CHEVROLET CRUZE ECO (6-spd manual): 28 mpg city, 42 mpg highway - 33 mpg combined
Chevy's own Eco package on the new 2011 Cruze compact surpasses the 40-mpg mark, but only with the exceptionally high gearing of the six-speed manual model.
The automatic model is rated at just 26 mpg city, 37 mpg highway.
2012 Ford FocusEnlarge Photo
2012 FORD FOCUS SFE (6-spd automatic): 28 mpg city, 40 mpg highway - 32 mpg combined
And here it is, the latest of the growing list of 40-mpg models.
Yes, this too is a special-order package, but as Ford rather sniffily points out, at least it comes with an automatic, the type of transmission specified by 90 percent of all new-car buyers in the U.S.