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Top 10 cars with good gas mileage

Gas prices jumped right past $3 last year without warning and could do so again anytime. With so many great fuel-stingy cars out there, why take a chance? Below are the ten 2006 cars whose mileage numbers will best protect you from a pinch. Note that this is EPAís estimated mileage, which comes with the fine print of ďresults may varyĒ thanks to its archaic testing procedures. Still, the tests are consistent from car to car, so the finishing order of the cars can be expected to hold up in the real world, even if the exact numbers donít.

City Freeway Average

  1. Honda Insight 60 / 66 / 63
  2. Toyota Prius automatic 60 / 51 / 55.5
  3. Honda Civic Hybrid 49 / 51 / 50
  4. Volkswagen Beetle TDI 37 / 44 / 40.5
  5. Volkswagen Golf TDI 37 / 44 / 40.5
  6. Volkswagen Jetta TDI 36 / 41 / 38.5
  7. Toyota Corolla 32 / 41 / 36.5
  8. Scion xA 32 / 37 / 34.5
  9. Honda Civic automatic 30 / 40 / 35
  10. Kia Rio / Hyundai Accent 32 / 35 / 33.5

(The Rio and Accent are the same car.) Except for the Prius and two Civics, all figures are for cars with manual transmissions, which by nature of their more efficient design tend to squeeze out 1-2 extra MPG. But even with an automatics-only rule, the same ten models still comprise the list in only a slightly altered order Ė no surprise there.

Hybrids of course take the top three spots, largely thanks to the ability to turn off their engines. Other reasons include shrunken engines, improved aerodynamic tricks, and harder tires. Donít think that mileage comes for free; hybrids cost a couple thousand more at the outset. Diesel-powered cars occupy the next three spots, though not everyone is comfortable with the technology (mostly due to outdated generalizations of 1980s diesels) or having to find gas stations that carry the fuel.

For those who prefer to tread in familiar waters, letís hack off the top six entries and redo the list. This time, just normal gas-powered cars:

City Freeway Average

  1. Toyota Corolla 32 / 41 / 36.5
  2. Honda Civic automatic 30 / 40 / 35
  3. Scion xA 32 / 37 / 34.5
  4. Kia Rio / Hyundai Accent 32 / 35 / 33.5
  5. Toyota Matrix / Pontiac Vibe 30 / 36 / 33
  6. Scion xB 30 / 34 / 32
  7. Mini Cooper 28 / 36 / 32
  8. Nissan Sentra 1.8L (tie) 28 / 35 / 31.5
    Mazda 3 2.0L (tie) 28 / 35 / 31.5
  9. Mitsubishi Lancer (tie) 27 / 34 / 30.5
    Hyundai Elantra (tie) 27 / 34 / 30.5
    Chevrolet Aveo (tie) 26 / 35 / 30.5
    Acura RSX (tie) 27 / 34 / 30.5

Yes, there are plenty of cars that get an [EPA estimated] 30 MPG on average, and itís a pleasant surprise that perennial favorites Corolla and Civic lead the pack. Presence of the Mini Cooper and Acura RSX serve as proof that mileage need not come at the cost of fun or performance.

About The Author

Ian Velvet publishes MotorTrend.comís car reviews articles. His expertise in new and used cars is evident is all his articles. Newly publishing Ezineís online to illustrate and educate auto consumers.

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