For those who don't need to haul a ton of cargo or taxi a couple of kids, a subcompact can offer more than enough car for your daily commute. Thanks to the small engines and slightly frames, this year's crop of subcompact new cars are some of the most fuel efficient on the road. Review the top five subcompact new cars for fuel efficiency to find an affordable gas sipper that suits your needs.
New 2010 Toyota Yaris (32 mpg combined)
With a base price of $12,605 and the best fuel economy in its class, the 2010 Toyota Yaris offers one of the best values for your money. The Yaris boasts near-hybrid mileage with an estimated 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Though the 106-hp 1.5-liter engine isn't exactly fit for the raceway, it does offer a reasonably peppy drive with good handling. The Yaris also earns accolades for its superior list of standard safety features. The Toyota subcompact is one of the few cars in its class to offer traction control and stability control. If you like the quirky appearance of the new Toyota Yaris, then it's definitely worth a test drive.
New 2010 MINI Cooper (32 mpg combined)
The 2010 MINI Cooper ties the Yaris with an estimated 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. For those who want a bit more class and curb appeal, the MINI Cooper is an excellent option that doesn't fail to disappoint. Performance is also great for the class, with a base 1.6-liter engine that outputs 118 horsepower and a handling system that was designed by BMW. However, for all those extra perks, you can expect a higher price tag. The 2010 MINI Cooper starts out at $18,800.
If you need a little more room, the slightly larger MINI Clubman may be a better option. It earns 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.
New 2010 Chevrolet Aveo (30 mpg)
The 2010 Chevy Aveo is built for the bargain shopper with a base price of $11,965. The EPA estimates the Aveo's fuel efficiency at 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The Aveo also earns points for offering a fairly roomy interior given the vehicle's overall proportions. For those who need to frequently cart around rear passengers, this may be the vehicle for them. However, a sparse interior and fairly ho-hum driving experience may turn off some drivers. For customization options, the Aveo is available as either a hatchback or sedan.
New 2010 Scion xD (29 mpg combined)
The Scion xD shares a platform with the Toyota Yaris, and musters 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Though more expensive than the Yaris, the xD adds a bunch of standard safety features, including air conditioning and an upgraded stereo system. The xD also might be considered a more stylish vehicle. A wide array of customization options allows drivers to style the xD to their liking. In terms of performance, the 2010 xD serves as a capable around-town car with a 1.8-liter engine that makes 128 horsepower. Base MSRP for the new Scion xD is $14,900.
New 2010 Honda Civic (29 mpg combined)
The Honda Civic has long been a best seller in the compact class, and earns 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Compared to other subcompact new cars, reviewers pride the Civic for its ability to deliver a sporty drive, good mix of standard features and time-tested reliability. The base engine for the 2010 Civic is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that offers 140 horsepower. Speed hounds can upgrade to a 197-hp Civic SI. Safety features for the 2010 Civic match the best competitors in the class. The starting price for this year's Civic is $14,250.