Automakers a couple of years ago were directed to increase fuel efficiency by about eight miles per gallon between 2012 and 2016.
A report on GreenCarReports.com expertly details the progress of the fuel efficiency improvement. The site reports in 2009 only one non-hybrid or non-diesel averaged at least 40 mpg — the 2009 Smart ForTwo.
In part, this is what the wrote about the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco:
“The Eco is one of the largest and heaviest cars in this group. But, at 42 mpg on the highway, also the most efficient. Key to fuel economy in most Cruzes is a very small displacement 1.4-liter engine paired with a turbocharger that provides extra oomph when needed.”
“To push the Eco version over the 40-mpg mark, Chevy took 125 pounds of weight off the car, lowered the suspension, added low rolling resistance tires, and installed shutters to close off the lower grille opening at high speeds.”
Here’s a list of 2011 or 2012 cars that average at least 40 mpg:
2011 Chevrolet Cruze
2012 Chevrolet Sonic
2011 Ford Fiesta SFE
2012 Ford Focus SFE
2012 Honda Civic HF
2012 Hyundai Accent
2011 Hyndai Elantra
2012 Kia Rio
2011 smart ForTwo
To read the complete GreenCarReports.com report, visit: Mileage Champs
Article Last Updated: April 26, 2011.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.