Cars that get 40 MPG Combined
There are many cars that get 40 MPG on the Highway or in the City. But there are only 5 cars that have a combined fuel economy rating of 40 MPG or more. And you guessed it; they are all hybrids. While the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt get MPG ratings in the 90 miles per gallon range, the fuel economy of these cars is based on an estimated value since they run on electricity. Only cars that have a gasoline power plant as their main mode of propulsion were included. Just a few years ago eclipsing the 40 MPG marker was something extraordinary. Now with the advancement of technology, many cars can reach this lofty goal. And in some cases an efficient engine, transmission, and vehicle body shape are enough to get a car to break the 40 MPG barrier.
01. 2012 Toyota Prius = 50 MPG
The 2012 Toyota Prius is now in its third generation as a vehicle here in America. The Prius Hybrid has been the leader in fuel economy for over a decade and every year the Prius gets better and better. With a combined fuel economy rating of 50 MPG, the 2012 Toyota Prius quickly and silently pulls away from its competition. Toyota increased the displacement to 1.8 liters (up from 1.5 liters second generation). The larger engine creates more torque which ultimately lowers the RPM’s need to get the car up to speed. Besides the updated engine; the Prius drag coefficient was lowered (0.25) and the accessories now are electrically driven instead of belt driven. The 2012 Toyota Prius gets 51 MPG in the City thanks to the electric motor and 48 MPG on the Highway.
02. 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid = 44 MPG
The Honda Civic Hybrid has also been around for quite some time. And even though the Prius gets all the glory, Hybrid owners know the Civic Hybrid is a real everyday performer. And the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid is a great choice for those looking for over 40 MPG from a vehicle that is shaped like a real car and not a wedge like most other hybrids. The Civic Hybrid follows the same recipe as the Prius for 2012 beginning with a larger engine that creates less friction. Honda also switched from a nickel-metal hydride battery pack to a lithium-ion battery pack. The result is a more powerful battery that weighs less. This lower weigh coupled with Honda’s ECO Assist Technology nets the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid 44 MPG in the City and 44 MPG on the Highway.
03. 2012 Lexus CT 200h = 42 MPG
Lexus has the most hybrid models of any automobile manufacturer in the U.S. There are currently 5 different hybrid vehicles from Lexus. And all the experience and technical know how has found its way onto the newest hybrid offering from Lexus: the 2012 CT 200h. The 2012 Lexus CT 200h gets a combined fuel economy rating of 42 MPG. The luxury car is powered by the same power plant found in the Toyota Prius. But the Lexus is packed with luxury features and amenities. These bring the curb weight up. Also the 2012 Lexus CT 200h has a much more attractive shape which does hurt the drag coefficient rating (0.29) a bit. But the CT 200h benefits from an ECO Mode which changes the throttle response with fuel economy in mind. The 2012 Lexus CT 200h also has the ability to run on electric power alone at slower speeds which is the main reason the car gets 43 MPG in the City. Highway fuel economy checks in at 40 MPG. The 2012 Lexus CT 200h also has electrically powered air conditioning and heating which reduces friction on the engine.
04. 2012 Honda Insight Hybrid = 41 MPG
The very first generation Honda Insight was a unique looking car with nothing but aerodynamics and fuel economy on its mind. This was the hypermiling car before hypermiling was cool. After the initial run ended in 2006, Honda decided to revamp and redesign the Insight. The 2012 Honda Insight Hybrid is the cheapest way to get 40 MPG combined from a car. With a starting price much lower than $20k, the Insight is a great value for the millions of commuters out there. The shape of the Insight is the familiar wedge design and the results speak for themselves as the Insight has a low drag coefficient. The 2012 Honda Insight Hybrid is powered by a small and efficient 1.3 liter 4-cylinder VTEC engine. The Integrated Motor Assist and CVT Transmission help the Insight get 41 MPG combined. The sleek shape and ECO Assist System propel the Insight to obtain 43 MPG on the Highway and 40 MPG in the City.
05. 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid = 41 MPG
The 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid is a newly redesigned car for the 2012 model year. Many significant improvements have been made by Toyota to this car. An updated Hybrid Synergy Drive paired with a 2.5 Liter 4-cylinder Atkinson Cycle engine help the Camry Hybrid achieve 41 MPG combined. The 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid is not only more fuel efficient than the outgoing model, it has more horsepower! But how did Toyota do this? The engine is beltless meaning the accessories are electric driven just like the Prius and Civic hybrids, the 2012 model weighs over 200lbs less, and the Hybrid Synergy Drive manages the power of the Camry more efficiently. These improvements help the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid get 43 MPG in the City and 39 MPG in the Highway.