The Real World 30 Plus MPG Club

By John O'Dell May 19, 2011

30 MPG Club Golf TDI.jpg

Advertising a car with 40 mpg fuel economy is at the top of most automakers’ “to-do” lists these days. With gasoline looking to settle in at the $3.75 to $4 a gallon range, fuel efficiency has climbed from the bottom of most consumer priority rankings to become one of the main influences in new-vehicle sales. But there’s a truth-in-advertising issue. Most cars that promise 40 mpg only offer it on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) highway cycle. Except for Hyundai’s Accent line and Volkswagen’s diesels (Golf TDI, above), the 40-mpg club is composed mainly of specially-equipped, limited-production, high-efficiency compact and subcompact models.

The 30-mpg club offers more choice -- 35 so far from the 2011 and 2012 model years out of 327 models sold in the U.S. Not all trim and equipment levels of every model qualify for the 30-mpg club – automatic transmissions, larger engines or additional weight created by lots of extra electronics, bigger wheels and other goodies piled on as upgrades all can reduce fuel economy. Below is a list arranged by model, style and engine-transmission combo, in ascending order of EPA-rated combined city-highway fuel economy.

30 mpg
-2011 Chevrolet Aveo (all styles, 1.6-liter engine, 5-speed manual transmission)
-2011 Chevrolet Cruze LS (4-door compact sedan, 1.8-liter engine, 6-speed manual)
-2012 Fiat 500 (Lounge, subcompact 2-door hatchback, 1.4-liter engine, 6-speed automatic)
-2011 Honda Fit (Sport subcompact 4-door hatchback, 1.5-liter engine, 5-speed automatic)
-2011 Hyundai Accent (all styles, 1.6-liter engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic)
-2011 Kia Rio (LX, SX, subcompact 4-door sedan or wagon, 1.6-liter engine, 4-speeds automatic)
-2011 Lexus RX 450h (mid-size hybrid crossover SUV, 3.5-liter gas-electric, CVT)
-2011 Mini Cooper S (subcompact 2-door convertible, hatchback, turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, 6-speed manual)
-2011 Mini Cooper Clubman S (subcompact 3-door hatchback, 1.6 –liter engine, 6-speed manual)
-2011 Mini Cooper Countryman (subcompact 4-door wagon, 1.6-liter engine, 6-speed manual)
-2011 Nissan Versa (subcompact 4-door hatchback, 1.8-liter, CVT)
-2011 Nissan Sentra (subcompact, all styles, 2.0-liter engine, CVT)

31 mpg
-2012 Honda Civic (compact, 4-door sedan and 2-door coupe, 1.8-liter engine, 5-speed manual)
-2012 Honda Civic GX (nat. gas mpg equivalent - compact, 4-door sedan, 1.8-liter engine, 5 speed automatic)
-2011 Honda Fit (subcompact 4-door hatchback, 1.5-liter engine, 5-speed automatic)
-2011 Kia Rio (subcompact 4-door sedan, 1.6-liter engine, 5-speed manual.
-2011 Mini Cooper (subcompact 2-door convertible, 1.6-liter engine, 6-speed manual)
-2011 Mini Cooper Clubman (subcompact 3-door hatchback, 1.6-liter engine, 6-speed manual)
-2011 Toyota Yaris (all styles, subcompact, 1.5-liter engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic)
-2011 Toyota Corolla base (compact 4-door sedan, 1.8-liter engine and 5-speed manual)
-2011 Toyota Corolla S (compact 4-door sedan, 1.8-liter engine, 5-speed manual)

32 mpg
-2011 Ford Fiesta (all styles, sedan and hatchback, subcompact, 1.6-liter engine, 5-speed manual)
-2011 Ford Escape Hybrid (all styles, 4-door compact SUV. 2.5-liter gas-electric, CVT)
-2012 Ford Focus (subcompact, 4-door sedan and hatchback, all styles, 2.0-liter engine, 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission)
-2012 Honda Civic (compact, 4-door sedan and 2-door coupe, 1.8-liter engine, 5-speed automatic)
-2011 Mazda2 (all styles, subcompact 4-door hatchback, 1.5-liter engine, 5-speed manual)
-2011 Mercury Mariner Hybrid* (compact SUV crossover, 2.5-liter gas-electric, CVT)
-2011 Mini Cooper (subcompact 2-door hatchback, 1.6-liter engine, 6-speed manual)

33 mpg
-2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco (4-door compact sedan with turbocharged 1.4-liter engine and 6-speed manual transmission)
-2012 Fiat 500 (Pop and Sport styles, subcompact, 2-door hatchback, 1.4-liter engine, 5-speed manual transmission)
-2012 Ford Fiesta (all styles, sedan and hatchback, 1.5 liter engine, 5-speed manual)
-2012 Honda Civic HF (compact, 4-door sedan, 1.8-liter engine and 5-speed automatic)
-2011 Hyundai Elantra (compact 4-door sedan, all styles with1.8-liter engine and 6-speed automatic)
-2011 Hyundai Elantra (GLS, compact 4-door sedan, 1.8-liter engine, 6-speed manual.)
-2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid (midsize 4-door sedan, 2.4-liter gas-electric, CVT)

34 mpg
-2011 Audi A3 Premium Wagon (2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel, 6-speed automated manual)
-2011 Honda CR-Z (subcompact hybrid, all styles, 1.5-liter gas-electric, 6-speed manual)
-2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI (diesel subcompact, all 2- and 4-door hatchback styles, 2.0-liter turbodiesel, 6-speed manual or 6-speed automated manual)
-2011 Jetta TDI (diesel compact, all 4-door sedan styles, 2.0-liter turbodiesel, 6-speed manual or 6-speed automated manual)
-2011 Jetta TDI SportWagen (diesel compact station wagon, 2.0-liter turbodiesel, 6-speed manual or 6-speed automated manual)

35 mpg
-2011 Lexus HS 250h (all styles, midsize hybrid 4-door sedan, 2.4-liter gas-electric, CVT)

36 mpg
-2011 Smart Fortwo (all styles, subcompact, 2-door, 2-seat convertible and hatchback, 1-liter engine, 5-speed automatic)

37 mpg
-2011 Honda CR-Z (subcompact hybrid, all styles, 1.5-liter gas-electric, CVT)
-2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (midsize 4-door sedan, 2.4-liter gas-electric, 6-speed automatic)

39 mpg
-2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid (midsized 4-door sedan, 2.5-liter gas-electric, CVT)
-2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (midsize 4-door sedan, 2.5-liter gas-electric, CVT)
-2011 Mercury Milan Hybrid* (midsize 4-door sedan, 2.5-liter gas-electric, CVT)

41 mpg
-2011 Honda Insight (compact hybrid, all styles, 1.3-liter gas-electric, CVT)
-2011 Honda Civic Hybrid (compact 4-door sedan, all styles, 1.3-liter gas-electric, CVT)

42 mpg
-2011 Lexus CT 200h (compact hybrid 4-door hatchback, 1.8-liter gas-electric. CVT)

44 mpg
-2012 Honda Civic Hybrid (compact 4-door sedan, 1.5-liter gas-electric, CVT)

50 mpg
-2011 Toyota Prius (hybrid, all styles, midsized 4-door hatchback, 1.8-liter gas-electric, CVT)

93 mpg
-2011 Chevrolet Volt (midsized 4-door hatchback, electric-drive with on-board gasoline generator, single-speed transmission)

99 mpg
-2011 Nissan Leaf (electric vehicle, all styles, compact 4-door hatchback, battery-electric, CVT)

*Ford has discontinued the Mercury brand, but vehicles are still being sold in some areas as dealerships wind down.

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