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Toyota PriusFor the past few years, I've been running a list of the best fuel-efficient cars -- not a by-the-numbers list, but a list of my personal favorite fuel-sippers. I've gotten several emails asking why I don't do a by-the-numbers list -- my take on what the EPA says are America's most fuel-efficient cars, similar to what I did in our Top Ten Cheapest Cars list. Well, ask and ye shall receive -- check out my list of the most fuel-efficient cars of 2009. The original list soldiers on; it's now called Our Ten Favorite Fuel-Efficient Cars, and I'll be updating it a little ways down the road. -- Aaron Gold

October 28, 2008 at 11:58 am
(1) Robert Barbour says:

I have owned the Prius and now have the Toyota Camry hybrid. Like your friend, I have been able to get 57 mpg on the Prius on long trips, but on average I got about 48. The Camry’s best mpg was 44.2 from NYC to Virginia going via the Eastern Shore. On average I am getting 38 mpg on the Camry. As to my preference for which car I like, well, I like them both for different reasons. Prius for its great mileage and the Camry for its good mileage and much better comfort/style.

October 28, 2008 at 12:01 pm
(2) AndyS says:

We got our long-awaited fully-optioned charcoal/charcoal 2009 Jetta TDi last week! Overall we are happy with it. It is comfortable, stylish, quiet, and quick (has the DSG auto transmission – shift VERY fast). We have about 250 miles on half a tank of gas so far. The car comes with 3 years/36k miles of maintenance. (hooray!) We also opted for the 100k bumper-to-bumper warranty (trust me, you will wish you had it after the first out-of-warranty repair).

So now we have economy and peace of mind for 100k miles.

My only gripes are:
* Visibility and blindspots are noticably worse than the previous generation. High window sills, big pillars and big headrests obscure the side views, and a low-rear-ceiling with high-trunk-line combined with 3 big rear headrests only leave a narrow horizontal slit of rear-view vision. BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN BACKING UP.
* The chunky front seat headrests are not ‘ponytail-friendly’ (as per my wife).
* No ‘sport’ trim level available (yet?) I would have liked: stiffer suspension, sport wheels (18in-ish), HID headlights, foglights, LED tail lights, sport steering wheel.

October 28, 2008 at 7:44 pm
(3) hawaiian don says:

The big decision in a few years as I see it, do you go hybrid or diesel. Both are clean and efficient. VW is apparently coming on strong with several diesels. Mini is rumored to be coming out with a diesel as well. The Honda Fit claims to be coming out with a hybrid really soon and the new 2 door smashingly sharp Honda two door CRZ is soon to arrive, right after Honda’s Prius fighter 4 door hybrid. Folks it getting downright exciting out there for us gas misers…and it’s about time!!!

October 28, 2008 at 7:58 pm
(4) massy says:

Bring back the SUVs, gas going

October 29, 2008 at 2:01 pm
(5) J to the G says:

I wish they could make the Touareg V10 TDI cheaper… that thing is amazing. I can only imagine what it would cost if they brought the R50 version over here!

After driving that vehicle though… I am a big fan of diesel now. I want to get my hands on a Jetta TDI sportwagen to really “explore the space”…

October 29, 2008 at 2:20 pm
(6) Aaron Gold - Cars Guide says:

I’ll be getting my hands on a Jetta TDI for a week-long test today… any minute now, matter of fact. I can’t wait!

October 29, 2008 at 4:37 pm
(7) AndyS says:

Are you getting one with the DSG transmission? If so, pay attention to how the shifting feels as well as the tach needle.
And be careful when backing up: blind-spots and head-rests are a visual obstacle course. Plus: see how many miles you can get on a tank of diesel fuel.

October 30, 2008 at 10:18 am
(8) Aaron Gold - Cars Guide says:

Andy – Yes, it does have the DSG transmission. First time I’ve tried one in a non-performance car. Hopefully I can put enough miles on it to go through a full tank… I think that’s going to be a challenge. Got 30 MPG just going two blocks for pizza yesterday… — Aaron

October 30, 2008 at 4:57 pm
(9) AndyS says:

You’re going to be eating a lot of pizza if you want to empty that fuel tank. Make life a bit easier on your cholesterol and arteries: try calling in a take-out order in a neighboring state.

October 30, 2008 at 7:25 pm
(10) hawaiian don says:

I know a great 100% authentic N.Y.style pizza down here in San Diego! Bring it on down here and I’ll buy the pizza! That’ll put a dent in the tank, especially if you return home via Palm Springs!

July 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm
(11) Cheap Gas Prices says:

Nice list… As expected Prius is number 1

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