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October 05, 1994|John O'Dell / Times Staff Writer

Fuel Misers: After five years of setting the pace in the fuel economy race, the Geo Metro's reign is over.

At 56 miles per gallon on the freeway and 47 in city driving, the Honda Civic hatchback is the stingiest gasoline miser on the road among 1995 model cars, the federal Environmental Protection Agency reports.

Most of the cars and light trucks tested by the EPA were in a range of 18 to 29 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. But Irvine-based Mazda Motor America Inc. had two winners: the Mazda Protege, at 34 mpg, was the least thirsty compact, and the Mazda 626, at 29 mpg, had the best performance among mid-size autos.

Brea-based American Suzuki Motor Corp. also got good reviews from the EPA: The soon-to-be-discontinued Suzuki Samurai, at 29 mpg, and Suzuki Sidekick, at 27 mpg, were the most fuel-efficient light trucks.

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