If you’re in the market for a new car, chances are one the most important distinguishing features you’ll be looking at is fuel efficiency. To help drivers weed through the ever-increasing number of hybrid, plug-in electric, diesel, or regular gasoline powered options, the government agency Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) announced its 2012 ecoENERGY for vehicles awards, designating the most fuel-efficient vehicles in 10 different classes.
The winning vehicles in each category were determined through simulation testing that calculates fuel use for driving 20,000 kilometers (12,427 miles) per year, with 55 percent city driving and 45 percent highway. Not surprisingly, plug-in electric vehicles and gas-electric hybrids are steadily taking over the list, with six out of 11 winners this year, up from just four out of 13 last year.
When it comes to making the best decisions for your wallet and the planet, knowledge is definitely power, and this list of award winners is an easy jumping off point for investigating, even if you’re not Canadian. For people who want to investigate their options a bit deeper, NRCan also provides an online fuel consumption ratings tool where you can select the vehicle class, manufacturer and fuel type to get comparisons of miles per gallon (a little more complicated for electric vehicles), annual fuel consumption and CO2 produced.