Gasoline prices largely affect the design of cars in this country with direct correlation seen between the two. When gasoline was down at $1.00 at the turn of the millennium, the large fuel guzzling SUVs were the popular vehicle of choice because people could afford to drive them. In today’s economy, people are opting for cars aimed at fuel efficiency. What are the most fuel efficient cars on the road today? It is no mystery that hybrids are going to have the best fuel economy by far. The downside is hybrids cost about $5,000 more than their gasoline counterpart.The Toyota Prius is a hybrid vehicle with a price tag of $22K which comes in at a combined mileage of 47 MPG. Toyota’s 5 door hybrid is the most fuel efficient of any gasoline car on the road and is very affordably priced. The Prius only comes as a hybrid, is faster than the Corolla, uses less fuel and has roughly the same price tag.The second most fuel efficient car on the market is the competition to Toyota’s best selling Prius, the Honda Civic hybrid. Toyota ran away with the hybrid market by offering superior gas mileage while undercutting Honda’s price tag. This has all changed with the Civic hybrid. The Civic’s styling make it look like a regular car, while earning a combined mileage of 42 MPG, which is awesome by anyone’s standard at our current automotive knowledge. The Honda is comparably priced to the Prius and both cars are highly fuel efficient.The most fuel efficient car without the assistance of an electric motor is the Smart “Fortwo”, which is a two-seater egg-shaped car produced by the Mercedes group. It is a shame that the most fuel efficient gasoline powered car is so small, but this may be a look toward the future. Europe adopted smaller cars years ago in hopes to relieve congestion and improve fuel economy. The Fortwo has a combined 37 MPG making the car highly fuel efficient, but not highly versatile. For the everyday commuter, this car may be the ideal gasoline sipper as well as a breeze to parallel park. The car has never been offered in the US until 2008 and may put a dent into the American and Asian auto sales.Nissan Altimas earn excellent gas mileage in both the hybrid and gasoline only version. It is no surprise that the Nissan Altima hybrid earns a higher gas mileage, which makes it #4 on the fuel efficiency list. The two door and four door editions of the car are both highly efficient while serving as a family sedan or a sporty coupe. The Altima has a combined fuel mileage of 34 MPG and uses a continuously variable transmission or CVT in the automatic. The CVT is an alternative transmission setup originally invented by Leonardo Da Vinci which has been modernized and designed to be used namely in hybrid cars. The result is a smooth ride with no shift shock from the changing of gears. Aside from being among the top fuel efficient cars, the Altima also drives smooth as glass.The fifth car on the list of the fuel efficiency champions is the lowest cost of all previous cars. The 4 door Kia Rio comes in with a 33 MPG fuel mileage and a price tag around $10K. The Kia is a fuel sipping, affordable car many people can afford. The Rio’s gas mileage drops off significantly with the automatic transmission, therefore the 33 MPG stats came from a manual transmission. If driving stick is of little concern, the Rio is a cost effective fuel efficient car.