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Best and Worst Fuel-Efficient New Cars

March 29, 2012

As gas prices continue rising, fuel costs are becoming a major part of vehicle ownership.

Consumer Reports took a look at the best and worst fuel-efficient cars to compare the difference in cost. In some cases, switching vehicles can save you almost $3,000 per year in fuel costs.

Of course, some people need large pickup trucks or SUVs for work, or to tow trailers, so switching to a smaller fuel-efficient vehicle is not a realistic option.

The calculations below are based on national fuel prices and assumes 12,000 miles driven annually. If you live in California, or drive more than 12,000 miles per year, the fuel costs are considerably higher.

BestOverall mpgAnnual cost
Nissan Leaf (electric)106*$420
Chevrolet Volt (plug-in hybrid)61**$783
Toyota Prius (hybrid)44$1,055
Toyota Prius V (hybrid)41$1,133
Honda Civic Hybrid40$1,161
Lexus CT 200h (hybrid)40$1,161
Smart ForTwo (premium)39$1,124
Honda Insight EX (hybrid)38$1,222
Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE38$1,222
Volkswagen Golf TDI (diesel)38$1,307
WorstOverall mpgAnnual cost
Cadillac Escalade13$3,572
Dodge Ram 2500 (diesel)13$3,822
Ford Expedition EL13$3,572
Lincoln Navigator13$3,572
Chevrolet Avalanche14$3,317
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT (5.3L)14$3,317
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 LTZ (diesel)14$3,549
Chevrolet Suburban LT314$3,317
Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ14$3,317
Dodge Dakota (V8)14$3,317
Dodge Durango V8 Crew14$3,317
Dodge Ram 1500 SLT14$3,317
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited14$3,317
Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE14$3,317
Nissan Titan SV14$3,317
Toyota Land Cruiser14$3,317

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, Edmunds, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

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Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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