In recent testing conducted by an independent research company, hybrid vehicles gained top marks in fuel economy in several categories.

Most manufacturers have been focsuing on fuel efficiency over the past several years.  New technologies such as direct injection gasoline engines, improved aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tires, the emergence of clean diesel engines and so on have improved fuel economy of the typical gasoline and diesel vehicles produced today.  However, hybrids still hold the top honors when it comes to fuel economy.

In a recent test, 4 out of the top 10 highest rated overall mpg vehicles were hybrids.  Hybrids hold the top two spots in the category acheiving 44 mpg overall fuel economy with the Toyota Prius, and 42 mpg overall fuel economy with the Toyota Prius Touring.  Other notables hybrids to make the list include the Honda Civic Hybrid with 37 mpg overall fuel economy, and the Toyota Camry Hybrid with 34 mpg overall fuel economy.  Overall fuel economy combines city and highway driving numbers to reach a single overall value.

In another list for best city mpg, hybrids hold 5 out of 6 total spots.  Hybrids typically do very well in city driving where regenerative braking allows the batteries to be constantly recharged and motors are shut down at stop lights.  The hybrids to make the best city mpg list include the Toyota Prius, Toyota Prius Touring, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid, and the Honda Civic Hybrid listed in their respective order in the category.  The only non-hybrid vehicle to make the list was the Smart ForTwo Passion.

In the final category of best highway mpg, 3 out of the 6 vehicles were hybrid models.  The hybrid models include once again the Toyota Prius, Toyota Prius Touring, and the Honda Civic Hybrid.  Rounding out this category is the Volkswagen Jetta TDI the only diesel to make it on any of the lists, Smart ForTwo Passion, and the Toyota Yaris sedan.

Hybrids have made great strides in fuel efficiency and testing has revealed that the epa numbers are accurate placing hybrids amongst the most fuel efficient vehicles overall and within their own class.  Future hybrids such as the upcoming, all new Toyota Prius promise even better gas mileage.  For now, hybrids remain on top for sipping the least amount of fuel.

Source:  Consumer Reports