While some car brands may be associated with being fuel-efficient—Toyota seems to spring to mind for many—fuel economy is primarily a function of engine efficiency. Which basically means that it all depends on the type of car and the type of engine it has. If you want maximum fuel efficiency in a gasoline engine, then the small hatchbacks and subcompact sedans with their small engines are for you. Needless to say, the bigger the car, the bigger its engines gets; ergo, the lower its fuel economy will be.
The fuel efficiency champions, however (at least those you can buy off a dealership now), are the hybrids and those with diesel engines—particularly ones with state-of-the-art common-rail direct-injection (CRDi) diesel engines. So far, only Toyota, Lexus, and Honda offer hybrids locally. Passengers cars with CRDi engines range from most of the luxury brands (Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo) to the Hyundai Accent Hatchback. All pickups and most SUVs (Montero Sport, Fortuner, Alterra, Everest, Tucson, Santa Fe, Sportage, Sorento) come with CRDi motors as well. (Apologies to those I’ve missed.)
Special mention goes to the newer gasoline engines of some Mazda models, which with their SKYACTIV technology, boast compression ratios as high as those of diesel engines, endowing these cars with fuel efficiency higher than that of most traditional gasoline engines.