Forbes: Saturn Astra, Aura Rank Among the Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient American Cars

General Motors and Saturn scored well in a recent list of the top 10 most economical American cars. According to the editors at, the 2009 Saturn Aura 2.4L offers an EPA combined fuel economy of 26 mpg, while the Saturn Astra - when equipped with either a manual or automatic transmission - provide a combined EPA-estimated fuel economy of 27 mpg.

Nine of the top 10 American-made vehicles are made by General Motors, and are spread across the company's Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn brands. The only non-GM vehicle on the list is the Ford Focus, which ties for the No. 1 spot with the Chevrolet Aveo and Pontiac Vibe. All three fuel-sipping cars get an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated combined fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon, which, though impressive, still lags behind Asian-made counterparts, such as the Toyota Yaris (31 mpg) and Honda Fit (30 mpg). Chrysler, the other American auto giant, has no cars on the list. Fuel-efficiency has been GM's safety net. GM may have lost $15 billion last quarter, but because of Americans' newfound desire for fuel-efficient cars, GM and foreign automakers' sales of subcompacts are the fastest growing in the industry, says Tom Libby, senior director at J.D. Power and Associates. During the first seven months of 2008, sales of subcompact cars like GM's Chevrolet Aveo soared 39% at a time when overall auto industry sales are down by 11%.

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