LOS ANGELES - Total Car Score identified the Top 10 Cars for Commuting based on their combination of excellent fuel-efficiency ratings in city driving conditions and a high Total Car Score.
According to the National Traffic Scorecard, conducted by traffic and navigation service provider INRIX in Kirkland, Wash., motorists in some of America's largest cities spent nearly 60 hours of their lives during 2011 sitting in rush-hour traffic. This is primarily the result of work and commuting requirements that didn't allow them to drive when the roads were clear. That's why most consumers should consider city mpg as their primary fuel economy number when shopping for a new car. The EPA mandates both city and highway mpg be tested and published for new cars, but manufacturers often use the highway mpg as their baseline for promoting a model's fuel efficiency.
"The highway number can be an inaccurate representation of real-world fuel efficiency," remarked Karl Brauer, Editor in Chief of Total Car Score. "The mixed mpg rating, which represents the overall fuel efficiency of a vehicle, is usually closer to the city mpg than the highway number. That's because the EPA knows most people spend the majority of their drive time in low-speed, stop-and-go driving conditions."
Additionally, Brauer points out, when you combine a high city mpg with a high Total Car Score, you get an interesting mix of cars that are excellent for commuting. The list includes hybrids and pure electric cars, plus diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles.
"While the list specifies 2012 models," said Brauer, "most of these cars are largely unchanged for 2013. However, because dealers want to move the 2012s out and make room for the 2013s after Labor Day Weekend, shoppers will likely find more competitive pricing and negotiating power if they buy a 2012 model."
The top 10, with their city MPG, are: Nissan Leaf (electric), 106 MPG; Toyota Camry Hybrid, 43 MPG; Ford Fusion Hybrid, 41 MPG; Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 35 MPG; Lexus RX Hybrid, 32 MPG; Volkswagen Passat (diesel), 31 MPG; Audi A3 (diesel), 30 MPG; Volkswagen Golf (diesel), 30 MPG; Chevrolet Sonic, 29 MPG; and Ford Fiesta, 29 MPG.