With the costs of gasoline skyrocketing, many consumers are searching for cars that will provide the best fuel mileage. Economics come in play for most people and even though electric or hybrid vehicles certainly perform better in terms of MPG they are still pricier than traditional gasoline powered cars.

However, aside from hybrids, there are still many gasoline powered and clean diesel vehicles that may suit your needs. Most people do not realize that the majority of hybrid vehicles are more efficient when you are using them in a city environment rather than on a long highway drive.

1. Toyota Prius

One of the first cars that may come to mind when you think about the best fuel mileage is the Toyota Prius. With an estimated 51 city mpg and a 48 highway mpg, the Prius is a hybrid whose base price is around $24,000 – if you can get one! This hybrid is in high demand in the United States. Don’t be fooled by its small size, the Prius can comfortably fit five people. There are four models of the Prius offered for 2012; aptly named Prius 1, Prius 2, Prius 3 and Prius 4. An exciting new feature being offered as an option is a moonroof that comes with a solar powered ventilation system.

2. Lexus CT 200H

The Lexus CT 200H is a way one way to still have luxury while driving a fuel efficient vehicle. It won’t break the bank at a starting price of $29,120. This car provides an estimated 43 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.

The CT 200H has earned such accolades being one of the cleanest vehicles in America primarily due to its unique Exhaust Gas Recirculation system, which significantly reduces its CO2 emissions. Another great feature is its Drive Mode Select where the driver can choose between Normal, ECO, and EV modes to maintain optimal efficiency. When EV mode is engaged, the Lexus CT 200H is running on full battery power, which is optimal for a short ride at low speed.

3. Honda Civic Hybrid

The Honda Civic Hybrid, rated as a 2012 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is available at a starting price of $24,050. With 44 mpg for city and highway travel, and an award from Kelley Blue Book as the 2012 Best Redesigned Vehicle, you may just find yourself a real winner in the Civic Hybrid.

The redesigned Civic Hybrid offers a new aerodynamic design with other modifications making the car much lighter without skimping on responsive handling. The car also features a continuously variable transmission that utilizes metal belts and pulleys instead of gears. Another feature inherent to the Civic is its ECON button, which when engaged puts the car into an even more efficient mode to get the most out of your gas money.

4. Honda Insight

The futuristic Honda Insight may appear to be small, but don’t be fooled! It will comfortably seat five passengers. Starting at just $18,350 with a mpg of 41 for city and 44 for highway use, the Insight was also a Top Safety Pick for 2012 by the IIHS. The Insight shares many of the same performance features of the higher priced Civic Hybrid such as the ECON button and continuously variable transmission.  This car is a great option for someone who is more budget conscious, but seeks the reliability and safety offered by a Honda hybrid vehicle.

5. Ford Fusion Hybrid

The first American entry in this list, the Ford Fusion Hybrid is one of several cars that Ford is introducing into the market of fuel efficient vehicles in its bid to gain market share. The Fusion boasts an estimate of up to 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with a starting price of $20,705. In addition to the hybrid nature of the car, the Fusion is also flex fuel capable. This means you can use either unleaded gasoline, E85, or a mix of the two fuels.

The Fusion Hybrid’s regenerative braking system recaptures up to 94% of the energy lost from when you apply your brakes. Fusion’s exclusive SmartGaugeTM with Eco Guide will assist you in getting the most efficient use out of your hybrid by offering tips and explanations on how to improve your trip. Its graphic interface displays leaves growing as you increase your fuel efficiency – how cute is that!

6. Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid offers a luxurious ride for those who are willing to pay a little more for it. Starting at $34,755, this vehicle has an estimated city 41 mpg and highway 36 mpg, which is not bad considering the size and features offered.

With the same energy features as found in the Ford Fusion Hybrid such as the regenerative braking system and SmartGaugeTM with Eco Guide, there is no skimping on power with the MKZ. It boasts an impressive 191 horsepower with the combination of its electric motor and is gas powered 2.5L Atkinson-cycle I4 engine. The gas engine will engage when the car reaches 47 mph or when extra power is needed.

7. Honda CR-Z

As the fourth Honda hybrid appearing on this list, the CR-Z is considered a compact sport hybrid. Its price starts at a reasonable $19,545 while offering a mpg of 35 for city and 39 for highway use if you choose a model with the continuously variable transmission. The CR-Z has also been awarded as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.

With this car, you do not have to give up the sports car experience in order to maintain fuel efficiency. The CR-Z is the world’s first vehicle to offer the option of a 6 speed manual transmission, which can further improve its fuel efficiency. Like other Honda Hybrids, the CR-Z also offers its ECON button system to improve fuel efficiency depending on what driving conditions you encounter.

8. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sedan offers spacious seating for five at a starting price of $25,850. Offering 35 mpg for city use and 40 mpg for highway travel, you do not have to skimp on comfort with its smooth ride in order to save fuel. The IIHS has also named this car as a Top Safety Pick.

With the Sonata Hybrid’s advanced battery technology decreasing the battery size, it has more interior space and cargo room to enjoy than any other car in its class. The Sonata boasts a smooth ride due to its 6 speed automatic transmission, great handling from its fully independent suspension, and a steering system which adjusts automatically for changing conditions.

9. Smart Pure Coupe

Smart, a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, offers the Pure Coupe, which gets 34 mpg for city and 38 mpg for highway use. Starting at the low price of $12,490, the Pure Coupe is an extremely small two seater with very little cargo space; it is also an efficient, green means of transportation. The Pure Coupe has many safety features such as a protective tridion safety cell which was specifically designed for this car to protect its occupants from crashes with larger cars.

Other safety features include an electronic stability system and eight airbags. An additional consideration with the Smart Pure Coupe is the green aspect of the car. Instead of taking up room in a landfill in the future, the car itself is 85% recyclable.

10. Volkswagen Golf TDI

The only clean diesel entry on this list is the sporty Volkswagen Golf TDI, which boasts 30 mpg for city and 42 mpg for highway travel with the six speed automatic transmission. This car will comfortably seat four people with a reasonable base price of $22,200. The IIHS has afforded the title of Top Safety Pick to four door models of the TDI.

With improved technology, the Golf TDI produces 95% less sooty emissions than regular diesel engines and still is quite powerful. The Golf TDI also has improved handling due to its redesigned suspension, which makes it hold the road better than other cars of similar size. For those who are not quite ready to turn to a hybrid, the Golf TDI is a formidable substitute.

Depending upon whether you drive around town or make an hour long commute to work each day, there is a fuel efficient vehicle to fit your tastes and budget. You no longer need to skimp on comfort, features, or space in order to lessen your gas consumption.