In the 35 MPG Future, Which Cars Make the Cut?

Now that the Obama administration is reconsidering California's plan to increase the fuel economy of cars sold in the Golden State and 13 others to 35 miles per gallon by 2016, we wondered how close the automakers are to getting there.

The regulations being proposed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) — the same organization that brought to life then killed the electric car mandate in the state — do not regulate fuel economy directly like the EPA does, but instead set standards on carbon dioxide emissions, which effectively does the same thing.

According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, it will cost carmakers approximately $3,000 per car in new technology to get the fleet average up to 35 mpg.

Want to get a head start on helping the industry out buy purchasing a 35 mpg car? If the standards went into effect today you would have a grand total of three vehicles to choose from, and no, the MINI Cooper isn't one of them.

The Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid and Smart Fortwo are currently the only cars with an EPA combined rating of better than 35 mpg. Later this year, the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Honda Insight will join the list, but clearly the automakers are still a long way from making the cut.

Of course 35 mpg is just the beginning. The CARB proposal calls for a 43 mpg average by 2020. That narrows the list of available cars to one. Hope you like that Prius.

• Click here for photos and more information on the 5 cars that get 35 MPG.