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16 Most Fuel-Efficient New Cars, 2015


As part of Kiplinger's annual Best Car Values feature, the vehicles we spotlight here are the least thirsty in their price categories, based on annual fuel costs. The fuel cost assumes 15,000 miles of combined city and highway driving each year and forecasts average prices over the coming year of $3.00 a gallon for regular gasoline, $3.35 for premium gasoline and $3.75 for diesel. Annual fuel costs for EVs and plug-ins come from the EPA’s, based on 12 cents per kWh for electricity.

Many of the winners sport an alternative powertrain, either gas-electric hybrid or all electric. All-electric vehicles qualify for up to a $7,500 federal tax credit.

To win the Most Fuel-Efficient Award, a model must first be selected as one of the top 25 vehicles in its category. Kiplinger ranks sedans within price categories. Crossovers, minivans, wagons and trucks are sorted by segment and size and then ranked. No vehicle can win if another trim level of that model has won in a lower-price category.

SOURCES: Kelley Blue Book (new-vehicle data, ownership costs); Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (Top Safety Picks); (plug-in vehicle annual fuel costs)

KELLEY BLUE BOOK FAIR PURCHASE PRICE: The Kelley Blue Book® Fair Purchase Price for new cars is generally the midpoint of the Fair Market Range. It is Kelley Blue Book's estimate of what a consumer could reasonably expect to pay in during the period between December 19, 2014 through January 15, 2015 for a new vehicle with standard options, excluding taxes, title and fees. It's based on actual new-car transactions, plus data from other reliable third-party sources as well as market conditions.

MSRP: The MSRP, or Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, is the price set by the manufacturer and does not necessarily reflect the price actually paid by consumers in your area. The MSRP shown here includes destination and freight charges but excludes services and handling fees and state and local tax, title and license fees.

INVOICE PRICE: Dealer invoice represents the dealer’s cost for the vehicle only and doesn’t include any of the dealer’s costs for advertising, selling, preparing, displaying or financing the vehicle.

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