Top 10 Most Efficient 2011 Non-Hybrids

By Zach Gale | August 03, 2011
Hybrids aren't the only option for consumers looking for fuel-efficient 2011 new cars. Whether you want a gas or diesel engine, the 10 cars below prove hybrids don't have a lock on stretching a gallon of fuel as far as possible. All but one of the 10 new cars below have a starting price less than $30,000.
10. 2011 Toyota Yaris: 29/36/32 mpg city/highway/combined

The Toyota Yaris subcompact is about to be replaced by a newer and more modern car, but the 2011 model still gets 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with a five-speed manual transmission.

9. 2011 Mini Cooper: 29/37/32 mpg city/highway/combined

Mini's small Cooper hatchback may just be the most fun to drive car on this fuel efficient list. The Mini achieves its highway mileage figure of 37 mpg using the six-speed manual transmission.

8. Ford Fiesta: 29/38/33 mpg city/highway/combined (non SFE)

Without the SFE package, the regular Fiesta manages the same combined mileage of 33 mpg. While the Fiesta has a small interior, the five-door hatchback's design is surprisingly stylish.

7. 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI: 29/39/33 mpg city/highway/combined

With a six-speed automatic transmission, the Jetta TDI wagon's fuel economy drops from 30/42 mpg city/highway to 29/39 mpg, still impressive figures for a gas or diesel powered car.

6. 2011 Hyundai Elantra: 29/40/33 mpg city/highway/combined

Whether you choose the six-speed manual or automatic transmission, the new Elantra compact sedan has EPA-rated 33 mpg combined without any need for hybrid technology.

5. 2011 Ford Fiesta SFE: 29/40/33 mpg city/highway/combined

Thanks to special aerodynamic tweaks and low-rolling-resistance tires, Ford's Fiesta SFE (Special Fuel Economy) hits the magic 4-0 in fuel economy. The Fiesta subcompact is available as a sedan and hatchback.

4. 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: 30/42/34 mpg city/highway/combined

Like the Golf, the Jetta sedan and wagon use the 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine that's good for 42 mpg on the highway, although only with the six-speed manual transmission. The Jetta has one of the largest interiors among the cars on this list.

3. 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI: 30/42/34 mpg city/highway/combined

With either the six-speed automatic or manual transmission, the Golf diesel is one of the least expensive ways to get highway mileage of greater than 40 mpg along with a surprisingly long range.

2. 2011 Audi A3 TDI: 30/42/34 mpg city/highway/combined

Using a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder engine, the Audi A3 TDI is a five-door compact hatchback that takes Volkswagen's well-known efficient diesel engine to a more luxurious level.

1. 2011 Smart Fortwo: 33/41/36 mpg city/highway/combined

The most efficient non-hybrid or electric 2011 vehicle, according to EPA records, is the subcompact Smart Fortwo, which is available as a coupe and convertible. Central to the Smart car's high efficiency is its low weight and three-cylinder engine. Would you consider purchasing a car like the Smart Fortwo instead of a more expensive hybrid to save fuel?