While there is certainly no shortage of fuel-efficient options on the road today, there are a few anticipated releases coming up that may give certain shoppers cause for pause. If you've been having trouble finding a gas-sipper that truly meets your needs and wants, then you may want to take a look at a few of the models that have yet to be released in 2011. Keep reading to determine if any of these unreleased fuel-efficient vehicles are worth waiting for in 2011.
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
If you're in the market for an affordable hybrid, then you won't have to wait long to take the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for a spin. Initially slated for a December 2010 release, Hyundai now promises that the vehicle will hit dealerships in late January or early February. Marketed as a direct competitor to the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Hyundai indicates a fuel efficiency of 37 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. Early test drives of the vehicle have resulted in favorable write-ups and a $26,545 base MSRP undercuts the vehicle's closest competitors.
Worth waiting for if: you want an affordable, traditionally styled hybrid
Find a Hyundai dealer near you.
2011 Scion iQ
The peppy little Scion iQ promises to offer Smart fortwo lovers a new around-town alternative. The diminutive four-passenger commuter is estimated to hit dealerships in the first half of 2011 with city fuel figures somewhere around 37 mpg. Base price is set at $14,215 and, unlike the Smart Car, will include a long list of standard features. These features include six-speaker stereo, steering-wheel controls, stability and traction control, USB/auxiliary inputs and a whopping ten airbags.
Worth waiting for if: you want an efficient subcompact loaded with features and personality
Find a Scion dealer near you.
2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (PHV)
Toyota promises to release a plug-in version of the Toyota Prius by the end of the year. Much like the current Chevrolet Volt, the Prius Plug-In Hybrid vehicle (PHV) has the ability to operate solely on electric power for a limited range. Early estimates suggest that this range will be 13 miles. This is much less than the 35-mile electric range of the Chevy Volt. However, the Prius will likely be much more affordable than its $40,000 Chevy competitor.
Worth waiting for if: you want maximum fuel efficiency from an affordable vehicle
Find a Toyota dealer near you.
2012 Ford Focus
A complete vehicle redesign suggests that the new 2012 Ford Focus will bring a number of much-needed updates to the model's design. Early reviews indicate that these changes help the vehicle compete ably against top competitors in the small car class. Highlights of the redesign include a high-tech interior, increased horsepower and predicted 40 mpg on the highway. Base price is set at $16,995. Early estimates suggest the new Ford Focus will be available in the first half of the year. An all-electric version is also slated for winter 2011.
Worth waiting for if: you want a stylish and high-tech compact that earns up to 40 mpg
Find a Ford dealer near you.
2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
If you're tired of being tied to the gas pump, then the affordable all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV may be for you. This cutesy vehicle promises all the quirk and adorableness of a Smart fortwo, and yet offers seating for four and a drivetrain that runs completely off of electric power. Similar to the currently available Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi claims that the i-MiEV will deliver a range of 80 miles on a full electric charge. A price tag below $30,000 and eligibility for a $7,500 federal tax credit help sweeten the deal for those who are willing to wait for an electric vehicle. Release date is set for the end of 2011.
Worth waiting for if: you like the looks of the Smart fortwo; want an electric car but can't afford the Nissan Leaf; rarely take your car on the highway
Find a Mitsubishi dealer near you.
Prius Plug In photo courtesy of Raoul Duke Media