November 1, 2012 3:51 PM | By Steve Mertl for MSN Autos
What to drive if you faint at the sight of high fuel prices

Mid-sizes: Toyota Prius



Mid-sizes: Toyota Prius (© Photo: Toyota)
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  • Subcompacts: Ford Fiesta SFE (© Photo: Ford)
  • Compacts: Honda Civic Hybrid (© Photo: Honda)
  • Mid-sizes: Toyota Prius (© Photo: Toyota)
  • Large sedans: Hyundai Sonata (© Photo: Hyundai)
  • Minivans: Toyota Sienna (© Photo: Toyota)
  • Special Purpose Vehicles: Ford Escape Hybrid (© Photo: Ford)
  • Pickup trucks: Toyota Tacoma (© Photo: Toyota)
  • Two-seaters: Honda CR-Z (© Photo: Honda)
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Surprise, surprise ... Toyota's iconic hybrid is the class leader with 3.7/4.0 city-highway fuel economy. The higher highway number is due to the Prius's use of electric power at low city speeds. Despite more than a decade on the market, the Prius, which starts just under $29,000, remains a statement car. On your bank statement, that's $798 a year for fuel.

You might also want to look at Volkswagen's redesigned Jetta TDI clean diesel, which with a six-speed manual transmission, delivers 6.7/4.6 city-highway. The downside is the Jetta diesel's starting price, pushing $24,000. Volkswagen's Golf diesel wagon and corporate sibling Audi A3 TDI hatchback are also tops in the wagon category, with city-highway of 6.7/4.6 and 6.7/4.7 respectively.

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