For those who don't want to pay the premium for a hybrid, there are plenty of fuel-efficient new cars from which to choose. While not quite as eco-friendly as top hybrids for the year, these models certainly hold their own when it comes to saving you money at the pump. Review the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid new cars for 2011 to determine which gas-sipper is right for you. MPG figures are EPA combined ratings.
2011 Smart fortwo (36 mpg)
The diminutive Smart fortwo returns for 2011 to stake its claim as the year's most efficient non-hybrid model. Of course, with limited cargo room and maximum seating for two, this Smart car doesn't make a lot of sense for some drivers. Still, those simply looking for a reliable city commuter will find much to like about the quirky half-car. A one-liter three-cylinder engine outputs 71 horsepower. While not recommended for long stints at highway speed, the model earns 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. Base price comes in below $12,000.
Learn more about the 2011 Smart fortwo.
2011 Volkswagen Golf/Jetta TDI (34 mpg)
Volkswagen makes good use of its turbodiesel engine to deliver a pair of eco-friendly autos for the 2011 year. Both the VW Golf and VW Jetta come with a 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine that makes 138 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. of torque. Despite a fairly spirited drive, the VW diesels manage 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. Other advantages include a good list of available features and a roomy interior (particularly on the Jetta). Both the Golf TDI and Jetta TDI start around $23,000.
2011 Ford Fiesta (33 mpg)
The Ford Fiesta is a new model entrant for the year. Thanks to an efficient 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, this new compact surpasses the mileage figures of just about every returning competitor. At its best, the 2011 Fiesta delivers 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Most reviewers also say the 120-hp engine offers good pep and plenty of power. Base MSRP for the 2011 Ford Fiesta is competitively priced at $13,320.
Learn more about the 2011 Ford Fiesta.
2011 MINI Cooper (32 mpg)
The MINI Cooper delivers an estimated 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. With a beginning sticker price of $18,800, the MINI Cooper isn't the most affordable fuel-sipper on the road. However, for those who want a stylish and fun-to-drive vehicle, the MINI is often well worth the price. Though the vehicle looks small, front passenger seats are spacious enough to accommodate most drivers. Other advantages of the MINI Cooper include a variety of available features and convertible body style.
Learn more about the 2011 MINI Cooper.
2011 Toyota Yaris (32 mpg)
With a base price of $12,855, the 2011 Yaris competes most closely with the Ford Fiesta. The vehicle's powerplant comes in the form of a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that musters 106 horsepower. Though by no means a sports car, for the most part the Yaris delivers adequate driving performance. Fuel efficiency tops out at 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The Yaris is available in three body styles - three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback and four-door sedan.
Learn more about the 2011 Toyota Yaris.
2011 Mazda MAZDA2 (32 mpg)
Mazda introduces an all-new subcompact to the American market for 2011. The MAZDA2 hatchback boasts a sporty, economical design that attempts to inject a bit of fun into the subcompact class. As with most Mazdas, the MAZDA2 offers fun-to-drive dynamics thanks in part to a 100-hp four-cylinder engine. Maximum fuel efficiency is estimated at 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Base price for the 2011 MAZDA2 comes in at $14,180.
Learn more about the 2011 Mazda MAZDA2.