2010 Hybrid Cars with Best MPG

By John Addison (11/10/09, original post Clean Fleet Report)

The new 2010 model hybrid cars offered in the U.S. are destined to sell with gasoline prices rising. Toyota (TM) dominates the list including new models from Lexus. There are also impressive offerings from Honda (HMC), Ford (F), Nissan (NSANY), and Chevrolet (GMGMQ.PK). Your top 10 choices include hatchbacks that start at under $20,000 and stretch to roomy premium SUVs that cost over $40,000.

Toyota Prius continues to lead the field in fuel economy and lowest lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. This perennial favorite midsize 4-door hatchback delivers 50 miles per gallon (mpg) and is lowest on the list with 3.7 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent for the EPA annual driving cycle. Yes, 3.7 tons of CO2e is a lot; but many cars, light trucks, and SUVs create three times that emission; to get lower emissions you would need a plug-in car. The hatchback design allows for more cargo, especially if you drop part or all of the 60/40 back bench seat. This year, Toyota is also putting 500 plug-in hybrid Priuses into fleet tests. 2010 Toyota Prius Review

Honda Civic Hybrid is a good alternative for those who want a traditional looking sedan that seats 5. This compact rates saves fuel at 42 mpg. At 4.4 annual tons of CO2e, this hybrid emits actually emits less greenhouse gases than its CNG cousin.

Honda Insight is a sporty four-door hatchback with an Ecological Drive Assist System. Although the Insight looks like the Prius, it is a bit smaller, lighter, and often $2,000 less than the Prius. The Insight will deliver 41 mpg combined, with annual emissions of about 4.5 tons of CO2e. Clean Fleet Report Test Drive

Ford Fusion Hybrid is appealing to those who want a made in America midsized sedan. This roomy 5-seater delivers 39 mpg and 4.7 tons of CO2e per year. The Fusion Hybrid and its first cousin the Mercury Milan Hybrid may travel up to 47 miles per hour in pure electric mode. The Advanced Intake Variable Cam Timing allows for more seamlessly transition between gas and electric modes, making for a smooth and quiet ride. Clean Fleet Report Test Drive The Mercury Milan Hybrid offers the same drive system and body, with upscale interior.

Lexus HS 250h is a stylish compact 4-seat sedan that delivers 35 mpg and 5.3 tons of CO2e per year. The Lexus brand lets your friends know that are using less petroleum by choice; you can afford a bit of luxury.

2010 Top 10 Hybrids for Best Fuel Economy:

1. Toyota Prius
2. Honda Civic Hybrid
3. Honda Insight
4. Ford Fusion Hybrid
5. Lexus HS 250h
6. Nissan Altima Hybrid
7. Toyota Camry Hybrid
8. Ford Escape Hybrid SUV
9. Lexus RX 450h SUV
10. Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Get more details about the Clean Fleet Report 2010 Top 10 Hybrids. Major auto shows are coming, so check back as we update the list in the months ahead.

By John Addison who publishes the Clean Fleet Report and speaks at conferences. He has no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. He is the author of the new book – Save Gas, Save the Planet – now selling at Amazon and other booksellers.

8 replies
  1. Jayson @ Best Car Wa
    Jayson @ Best Car Wa says:

    I'm a big fan of the Civic Hybrid – actually I've been one ever since it came out. It's nice to know that there are more options though. Now there's even more reason to be a fan. Thanks so much!

  2. Jayson @ Best Car Warranty Quote
    Jayson @ Best Car Warranty Quote says:

    I'm a big fan of the Civic Hybrid – actually I've been one ever since it came out. It's nice to know that there are more options though. Now there's even more reason to be a fan. Thanks so much!

  3. Chris Faranetta
    Chris Faranetta says:

    Hybrid cars are great but I am surprised that turbo diesel cars have not caught on in the U.S. I own a 2005 VW TDI Passat and get an average of 40 MPG on the highway with the AC on full. This is with an average trip speed of 60 MPH and with long stretches of cruising at 74 MPH. My solid Passat wagon is essentially a mid-size car with plenty of room and storage capacity in comparison to a Prius. Also it has the suspension of it's Audi A4 cousin and handles curves like a pro, its acceleration from a dead stop is pretty good too once the turbo kicks in. I have over 104,000 miles on my TDI and plan to put another 200,000 miles on it before I trade it in for another TDI-if I can get one in the U.S.Has anyone done an end to end environmental impact assessment on hybrid cars, are the battery packs fully recycled?

  4. John Addison
    John Addison says:

    Chris, yes I have been impressed with test drives of turbo diesels. They are far more popular in Europe, but tough to get 50-state emissions approval in the U.S. EPA emissions estimates for the 2010 Prius using the Greet 1.7 model is 3.7 tons CO2e for 15,000 miles. By comparision, the lowest emissions from a U.S. offered turbo diesel is the 2010 VW Jetta TDI with 6.2 tons CO2e. Battery makers tell me that they recycle over 95 percent of the metals in batteries – it is good business. Heavy vehicles from buses to delivery vans are increasingly hybrid diesels, a nice combination.

  5. Nice Cars
    Nice Cars says:

    No need to sacrifice on space and safety, the U.S. has had a select amount of very high quality diesels since 1996. Volkswagen was able to import their legendary 1.9 TDI motor that produces its maximum power at a low 1900 RPM, something that most, if any, gas engines can't do. The 1996 Passat TDI Stationswagons (B4Vs), are also the largest Passat VW ever produced. With the TDI motor, they get up to 50 M.P.G., even higher with minor modifications. Diesels also run much cleaner than gas engines. Read more at http://www.nicecarsco.com

  6. wheel balancer
    wheel balancer says:

    Any hybrid car is a dream come true for me when i have it.First,it's really nice in being environment friendly.Next,gas prices and other fuels mostly increase in which your hybrid will not be affected.And all of them looks elegant and awesome.

  7. tyre changers
    tyre changers says:

    Hybrid cars use both electric power and fuel power, and uses up much less energy that your ordinary fuel-generated vehicles. Thus, the owner is spared from the constant price hikes and increases in the world oil market. And they are guaranteed to reach their destinations with or without the erratic movements in oil price hikes.

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