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 |  May 29 2013, 3:32 PM

Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient Non-Hybrid Cars

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel

People buy hybrids because they think the “H” word is synonymous with fuel savings. While that’s true, hybrid appeal leaves a wide grey area between mildly improved mpgs and real returns at the pump, not to mention the higher cost of entry into the gasoline-electric segment.

Toyota’s success with the Prius often leads people to believe that anything called a hybrid offers immensely improved fuel economy. Not so. Take the Honda Insight. It even looks like a Prius, but the two are on different planes.

Then there’s the Chevrolet Malibu Eco, which gathered negative press and was even named the most “disliked car” of 2012 by Fortune magazine.

Why is everyone gaga for hybrids when many would be happy with reasonable mileage? The mystery remains, but in the spirit of spending less time at the pump, AutoGuide has compiled a list of the 10 most fuel-efficient non-hybrid cars of 2013.

The list excludes electric cars and uses EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimated average fuel economy figures.

Disclaimer: As many know, the EPA’s utopian estimates are to be taken with a grain of salt. This story uses them for consistency. Please don’t write angry letters if your car falls short.

Honorable mentions: both the Chevrolet Cruze Eco and Cruze Clean Diesel deserve to be mentioned. The diesel Cruze will be available in dealers soon and according to the EPA, offers 46 mpg on the highway, but falls just short of the list for combined fuel economy. In the same way, the Cruze Eco uses clever gearing and cuts weight to save gas.