- - Thursday, March 22, 2012

As drivers endure the steady ascent of fuel prices nationally, Toyota, the most fuel-efficient full-line auto manufacturer in the United States, has strengthened its portfolio of efficient cars with five recently introduced vehicles that offer an average combined fuel economy of 44 mpg.

The Scion iQ (EPA rated 37 mpg combined), Camry Hybrid (EPA rated 40.5 mpg combined average for LE and XLE trim levels), and Prius v (EPA rated 42 mpg combined) all arrived to market in late 2011. The Prius Plug-in (EPA rated 50 mpg combined and 95 MPGe), featuring extended electric range, is making its way to first customers in the 15 launch states, and the Prius c (EPA rated 50 mpg combined) will be on sale nationally March 12.

These new vehicles represent a broad range of leading-edge drivetrain and engineering technologies that help them achieve a high level of efficiency. Hybrid Synergy Drive, extended electric vehicle range, generous use of lightweight high-strength steel, a focus on aerodynamics, and the use of efficient Continuously Variable Transmissions are among the features that help these new vehicles attain a high level of fuel efficiency.

These five new models arrive to market with Toyota already enjoying a 12-percent improvement in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and a 10-percent improvement in U.S. truck CAFE over the past five years. Toyota remains committed to a long-term plan to bring a portfolio of advanced technologies to market, including hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

According to the EPA class summary found on U.S. Department of Energy’s www.fueleconomy.gov website, Toyota offers several models that achieve 2012 Best-in Class fuel economy EPA ratings (excluding Plug-in Hybrid and pure EV vehicles). The Prius c leads the EPA’s compact classification with 50 mpg combined. The Prius Liftback’s combined 50 mpg leads the EPA’s midsize category, and the midsize station wagon class is led by the 42 mpg combined offered by the Prius v. These segment classifications are determined by the EPA’s measurement of a vehicle’s interior volume.

Toyota and Scion branded vehicles also represent six of the site’s Top 10 EPA-rated Fuel Sippers for 2012 (excluding PHEV or pure EV products), and occupy four spots in that list’s top five. Toyota family vehicles found on the U.S Department of Energy’s Fueleconomy.gov Top Ten EPA-rated Fuel Sippers include:

2012 Prius c

(ranked 1st, 53 city, 46 hwy)

2012 Prius

(ranked 2nd, 51 city, 48 hwy)

2012 Prius v

(ranked 4th, 44 city, 40 hwy)

Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

(ranked 7th, 43 city, 39 hwy)

Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE

(ranked 8th, 40 city, 38 hwy)

2012 Scion iQ

(ranked 10th, 36 city, 37 hwy)

Prius was named the Best Overall Value of the year (Passenger Car category) for 2012 by IntelliChoice. Prius continues to be the world’s best-selling fuel-efficient vehicle, with more than 3.5 million vehicles sold worldwide. Since its U.S. introduction in 2000, Prius - when compared to the average car - has saved American consumers an estimated $2.93 billion in fuel costs*, 1.1 billion gallons of gas* and 16.1 million tons of CO2 emissions*.

• Based on average EPA estimated combined mpg rating of Prius versus all MY 2001 to 2011 cars, 10,000 miles/year, and average U.S. gas prices including taxes. Fueleconomy.gov. Actual mileage may vary. US Energy Information Administration