Ford returns for the 2010 model year with plenty of gas-sipping sedans and SUVs in their stable. Across all vehicle categories, the long-standing American brand competes ably against the competition - proving once and for all that those interested in fuel efficiency don't necessarily need to buy a Japanese import. Keep reading to learn about the top five Ford new cars for fuel efficiency and how each one stacks up against competing vehicles.
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid (39 mpg combined)
With an impressive 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, the brand-new Ford Fusion Hybrid is bested by only the Toyota Prius when comparing gas mileage across the midsize sedan vehicle class. While not quite as efficient as the Prius, the 2010 Fusion Hybrid offers more traditional driving dynamics and a more refined interior setting. Additionally, the Fusion is more classically styled than the Prius, which may earn it big points for those who are turned off by the Toyota's big rear end. As such, if you've got the near ,000 needed to climb behind the wheel of this new Ford hybrid, chances are you're going to be exceptionally pleased with its overall practicality and comfort.
2010 Ford Escape Hybrid (32 mpg combined)
Ford's other hybrid vehicle comes packaged as a compact SUV, and earns 34 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Opt for the optional all-wheel drive, and those numbers drop to 30 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The front-wheel drive model is the most fuel-efficient SUV for the 2010 year (along with its corporate cousins - the Mazda Tribute Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid).
As with the Ford Fusion, the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid delivers engine dynamics that compete ably with traditional gas engine alternatives. Add in a crisp interior with plenty of available high-tech amenities, and the Escape Hybrid is a fuel-sipping SUV worth your attention. If you don't like the near $30,000 price tag, consider choosing an efficient non-hybrid SUV, such as the Chevrolet Equinox.
2010 Ford Focus (28 mpg combined)
The 2010 Ford Focus achieves a maximum of 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Choose to go with an automatic transmission, and both those numbers will drop by one mpg. Compared to other compact sedans and hatchbacks, the Focus delivers only average fuel consumption. As expected, hybrid models such as the Honda Civic Hybrid and Honda Insight handily beat out the standard four-cylinder engine found on the Focus. A number of affordable non-hybrid competitors also post better fuel numbers, including the Toyota Corolla and Kia Forte.
Still, if you want an efficient vehicle that offers solid comfort, a good set of standard safety features and unique technologies such as Ford Sync, then the Ford Focus remains an attractive option. Base price for the Focus is around $16,000.
2010 Ford Fusion (27 mpg combined)
Combine its 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with a ,695 price tag, and the traditional Ford Fusion serves as an affordable alternative to its hybrid brother. As one of the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid midsize sedans for the year, the 2010 Fusion earns big accolades from the eco-conscious community. The non-hippie set will also find plenty to love about the Fusion, thanks to powerful engine options, optional all-wheel drive and one of the most luxurious interiors in its class.
Be weary of bigger engines and all-wheel drive, however. With all the bells and whistles, the Ford Fusion earns as little as 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway (19 mpg combined). For added green street cred, the Ford Fusion comes available with flex-fuel capabilities.
2010 Ford Escape (24 mpg combined)
The traditional Ford Escape powers along with 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Add all-wheel drive and flex-fuel capabilities, and those numbers slip a bit to 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. At its best, the 2010 Ford Escape places somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to SUV fuel efficiency. Smooth handling, good engine power and top-notch technology features help set it apart from the competition. The base ,000 price tag also helps make it an attractive option. Similarly priced alternatives that deliver better fuel efficiency include the Chevrolet Equinox and Jeep Compass.