How far has fuel-economy advanced in recent years? Well, we’re now at a stage when Autobytel can present a “Fast Five” list of the best 50 mpg cars of 2012 and still leave a model or two left over. And unlike the 50 mpg cars of yore—vehicles like the Geo Metro or Honda CRX HF—today’s entries are much more than just bare-bone basic transportation. They can feature plenty of premium technologies, comfortable accommodations and room for five, and some can go without gasoline entirely. (Yes, we are including electric vehicles on our list of 50 mpg cars for 2012, following the lead of the EPA, which uses “MPGe”—miles per gallon equivalent—to rate EVs.)
It’s also worth pointing out that consumers also can get at least one 50 mpg truck for 2012 from a major manufacturer: The Ford Transit Connect Electric, which relies on an electric propulsion system from Azure Dynamics and is EPA rated to achieve 62 MPGe city/62 MPGe highway/62 MPGe combined.