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The Green Life: 2009 Fuel Economy: Prius Takes #1, Again

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October 23, 2008

2009 Fuel Economy: Prius Takes #1, Again

Hybridcar If you're shopping for a new car next year (or wondering how much your gas-guzzling neighbors are spending on fuel), the EPA has just published your suggested reading: The 2009 Fuel Economy Guide. Hybrids swept the top four spots this time, with the 2009 Toyota Prius ranking as the most fuel efficient car for the third year in a row. The three-cylinder Smart Fortwo came in at number five, making it the most fuel efficient non-hybrid vehicle.

Other standouts: Volkswagen's new diesel-powered Jettas debuted in the top ten--a sign, perhaps, of more diesels to come. According to the LA Times blog Up to Speed, the Jetta TDI is "presumptively the first of a flood of European-made diesels to hit every one of our states." Described by insiders as "50-state compliant" diesels, the new vehicles have been engineered to meet more stringent emissions standards, which allow less particulate matter and nitrogen oxide, a key ingredient for smog formation and acid rain. (Hybridcars.com has a helpful comparison of diesel pros and cons on Yahoo! Auto's Green Center.)

We've posted the EPA's top ten after the jump. You can also download the full guide here [PDF], or at fueleconomy.gov for a breakdown of winners by category (subcompact, compact, etc.).

1.   Toyota Prius (48 mpg city/45 mpg highway)     
2.   Honda Civic Hybrid (40/45)      
3.   Nissan Altima Hybrid (35/33)    
4.   Ford Escape Hybrid, 4-wheel-drive (34/31)
      Mazda Tribute Hybrid, 2-wheel-drive (34/31)
      Mercury Mariner Hybrid, 4-wheel-drive (34/31)   
5.   Smart ForTwo Convertible (33/41)
      Smart Fortwo Coupe (33/41)     
6.   Toyota Camry Hybrid (33/34)      
7.   Volkswagen Jetta, manual, diesel (30/41)
      Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagon, automatic, diesel (30/41)
8.   Volkswagen Jetta, automatic, diesel (29/40)
      Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagon, automatic, diesel (29/40)
9.   Toyota Yaris, manual (29/36)      
10. Toyota Yaris, automatic (29/35)

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