Ford Motor Co. had the most fuel-efficient sport-utility vehicle, the Escape Hybrid front-wheel drive, which was fourth overall, with 36 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The four-wheel-drive version of the Escape Hybrid, along with the Mercury Mariner Hybrid four-wheel-drive SUV, also made the list, with 32 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
Six gas-only vehicles were included in the ranking: manual and automatic versions of the Toyota Yaris, the manual version of the Honda Fit, the manual Toyota Corolla, and manual versions of the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio.
The government compiles the list based on information from manufacturers. Fuel-economy estimates are determined by averaging numbers from a set of tests.
"Each year, millions of Americans buy new cars, and by using fuel economy information, each consumer can make a more educated decision that will help conserve energy and save money," said Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman. He encouraged motorists to buy flex-fuel vehicles, which are capable of using gasoline and ethanol-gasoline blends.
Among classes of vehicles, the Ford Ranger two-wheel drive was the most fuel-efficient pickup, with 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The Hyundai Sonata's manual-transmission version was the top large car, with 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, while the Dodge Caravan two-wheel drive was the top minivan, with 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Cargo and passenger vans were led by Chevrolet and GMC, each with 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.
Luxury cars were among the least fuel-efficient vehicles in the survey. The Lamborghini L-147/148 Murcielago topped the list of worst performers with 9 mpg in the city and 14 mpg on the highway.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee four-wheel-drive was the least fuel-efficient SUV with 12 mpg in the city and 15 mpg on the highway. The Nissan Titan four-wheel drive was the least fuel-efficient pickup, with 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.