Lincoln MKZ Hybrid rated at 45 mpg by the EPA image

Lincoln’s new MKZ hybrid sedan has been rated by the EPA at 45 mpg in the city, highway and combined.

Based on the 2013 Ford Fusion, which was recently rated at 47 mpg, the MKZ is the most fuel-efficient luxury car available on the U.S. market.

EPA ratings put MKZ Hybrid ahead of its key competitors in the luxury midsize sedan market – 5 mpg city and 6 mpg highway ahead of direct competitor Lexus ES 300h, 18 mpg city and 13 mpg highway ahead of Infiniti M35h and 20 mpg city and 16 mpg highway ahead of BMW ActiveHybrid 3.

It also helps that the Lincoln’s $36,800 starting price is almost $3,000 less than the Lexus, as the Japanese carmaker prices its hybrid ES higher than its base model. Lincoln, however, prices the gas MKZ and the hybrid MKZ the same.

The front-wheel drive MKZ Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor for a total output of 188 horsepower, linked to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The new Lincoln MKZ will go on sale by the end of the year, but no exact date has been announced.