2012 Honda Civic Hybrid(Photo: Honda)

There's nothing like a spike in fuel prices to refocus the priorities of car-shoppers. Suddenly that V8-engined, three-ton SUV you were drooling over is looking less like a must-have purchase. You might not downsize radically, but you're sure going to scrutinize the fuel-economy ratings part of the sticker a little more closely.

Fortunately, your federal government has been spending your tax dollars to help you with that decision. The annual fuel-consumption guide released by Natural Resources Canada rates every new model, providing city and highway fuel economy as well as an estimated annual cost of filling the tank based on driving 20,000 kilometres a year.

Hybrids and diesels dominate this year's ratings winners in the various categories. NRCan's annual fuel cost figure for 2011 is based on $1.05 per litre for regular gasoline, $1.15/L for premium or diesel. We hear you laughing.

Here's NRCan's top picks in each major class, along with some of my favourite fuel misers.