Total Car Score Ranks Top Fuel Efficient Cars

GM vies with Toyota for most number of vehicles on list - 2012 Toyota Prius offers top MPG overall

Mar 20, 2012, 07:55 ET from Total Car Score

LOS ANGELES, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Gas prices are creeping very close to the record highs set in 2008, and car owners are making drastic changes while re-evaluating purchase options based on a vehicle's mile per gallon (MPG) figures. With consumer sensitivity to gas prices rising, Total Car Score has compiled a list of the top 2012 models that offer the best combined fuel economy and overall industry ratings, or "Total Car Score."


Total Car Score is an automotive evaluation website offering an industry-wide standard for ranking every vehicle on the market. takes data from multiple trusted automotive review sources and combines it into one easy-to-read score to provide an immediate understanding of a vehicle's overall quality and desirability.

Gas Prices Steer Consumers to the Cars with the Best Gas Mileage

"In this market, car buyers are more concerned than ever about fuel economy, but they also want a vehicle that is reliable and offers strong resale value," said Karl Brauer, editor in chief of Total Car Score. "Our list includes only those 2012 vehicles that managed segment-leading MPG figures and earned a 'Total Car Score' above the segment average."

Brauer said that car buyers probably would not be surprised to see Toyota having seven vehicles that top the best fuel efficient cars in their respective segments, including the Toyota Prius. More surprising for some consumers, he said, is GM showing up with as many winners as Toyota, including models people may not expect to make the list of top fuel economy ratings as well as a high Total Car Score, such as the Chevrolet Sonic and Chevrolet Cruze. In the case of "twinned" vehicles, like the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain or Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid, both models count as one of the top two slots in each category.

For this ranking of top vehicles by MPG, Total Car Score evaluated autos with the best combined (city and highway) fuel mileage that also scored an above-average "Total Car Score" in their segment. For new car comparisons, the rankings of the top fuel-efficiency -- and highly rated overall -- 2012 model-year vehicles in each segment are as follows:

Economy Cars - Segment Average Total Car Score 72.95
Ford Fiesta - MPG 33, TCS 77.07  
Chevrolet Sonic - MPG 33, TCS 74.61  

Compact Sedans and Wagons - Segment Average Total Car Score 74.68
Volkswagen Golf - MPG 34, TCS 79.63   
Chevrolet Cruze - MPG 33, TCS 77.77

Midsize Sedans and Wagons - Segment Average Total Car Score 78.73
Toyota Prius - MPG 50, TCS 79.30   
Toyota Camry Hybrid MPG 41, TCS 85.59

Large Sedans and Wagons - Segment Average Total Car Score 79.40
Buick LaCrosse/LaCrosse Hybrid - MPG 23/29, TCS 83.93/84.86   
Toyota Avalon - MPG 23, TCS 82.27 -  

Sport Coupes and Convertibles - Segment Average Total Car Score 74.93 
Mini Cooper - MPG 32, TCS 77.71  
Honda CR-Z - MPG 37, TCS 75.75  

Compact SUVs and Crossovers - Segment AverageTotal Car Score 71.84
Mini Cooper Countryman - MPG 30, TCS 75.29   
Toyota Matrix - MPG 29, TCS 74.89

Midsize SUVs and Crossovers - Segment Average Total Car Score 73.76
Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain - MPG 26/26, TCS 78.21/74.60   
Kia Sorento - MPG 25, TCS 77.43

Large SUVs and Crossovers - Segment AverageTotal Car Score 80.28
Toyota Highlander/Highlander Hybrid - MPG 22/28, TCS 82.51/84.42   
Buick Enclave - MPG 19, TCS 82.26

Minivans - Segment Average Total Car Score 76.60
Honda Odyssey - MPG 22, TCS 80.84   
Toyota Sienna - MPG 21, TCS 80.37

Large Trucks - Segment Average Total Car Score  74.32
Ford F-Series - MPG 19, TCS 82.72   
Chevrolet Silverado - MPG 18, TCS 74.70  

About Total Car Score is an automotive research and comparison website that establishes a new industry-wide standard for ranking every car, truck, van and SUV/crossover on the market. evaluates and ranks cars according to an aggregate score based on the most trusted automotive authorities available. The site also features original content, road tests and insights from a veteran automotive journalism and data team. For more information, please go to car reviews and ratings.

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Raymee Alper for Total Car Score

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SOURCE Total Car Score