Rising prices at fuel pumps are forcing more and more motorists to invest in vehicles that can squeeze the most out of a tank of diesel or petrol. Of course, the most fuel efficient cars at present are EVs, but they come at premium prices. In most cases, the greenest cars, with the best MPG, aren’t the best ones to go for because they are extremely expensive. If you really want to save money there are two options: either save money for a less economical electric vehicle with incredible MPG or go for a cheaper petrol car with good MPG to avoid expensive repairs.
8 Most Fuel Efficient Cars Available Now
When it comes to the most fuel efficient cars, economy is only one factor that you should take into account. FuelEconomy.gov has already listed the most fuel efficient vehicles according to mpg, but potential buyers are also interested in other aspects such as comfort, price, utility, appearance, etc. Our list is, obviously, based on the 10 highest EPA-rated highway mileage figures, but it also takes into account driving dynamics and value.
In other words, after having taken a closer look at plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles (which are not that fun to drive), we decided on the fuel efficient cars that we would actually recommend to our friends and family. .
8. Ford Fiesta Hatchback (2016)
With an average MPG of 28/36 (city/highway) and a price-tag of $14,390, the Fiesta represents a great choice for many motorists. The car features an elegant interior, great driving dynamics and good features at a very low price. Although the unboosted version of the car comes with an 120-hp 1.6-liter engine, you can also opt for a 1.0-liter turbocharged Ecoboost engine for a little under $1000, to significantly improve your driving experience.
For an extra fee you can also add a new Sync 3 voice recognition system that comes bundled with a crisp 6.5-inch touchscreen. All in all, the Ford Fiesta Hatchback offer great fuel efficiency and comfort at the fraction of the price of other competitors on the market.
7. VW Passat 2.0L TDI Diesel 6MT
The VW Passat was designed to do battle with the likes of Hyundai and Honda on the American market, and while earlier versions of the car didn’t cause as many headaches to the companies mentioned above as was hoped, the 2016 version of the Passat should justify mild enthusiasm.
The 170-hp 1.8-liter turbo four with a five-speed manual (standard version) or six-speed automatic (optional) vehicle (or the upgraded 280-hp 3.6-liter VR6 upgrade) promises a top speed of 115 mph and an average of 24/34 mpg (city/highway). This may not sound groundbreaking, especially when compared with hybrids, but the VW Passat (2016), has plenty of notable features: stylish new looks, a comfortable interior and cabin, and more.
6. Ford Focus Sedan 2.0L 6AT
Averaging 26/37 mpg highway is the Ford Focus Sedan, a refined and spacious car at an affordable price. Be warned that, in order to achieve 37 mpg on the highway, you must spec the Sedan’s PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission, which is a slightly difficult type of gearbox. On the plus side, like most Focuses, the Sedan 2.0L 6AT also features an excellent chassis that will make the experience for long distance commuters enjoyable.
Offering a unique blend of accuracy and agility, this Sedan featuring a 160-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder (standard version) or a 123-hp 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder with auto start-stop (optional), is a solid choice for any motorist.
5. Scion iA
The Scion iA 2016 is a great, cheap, and fuel efficient car. However, it has two huge problems that you will have to get over if you want to enjoy it. First off, the Scion iA is, basically, the rebadged version of the Mazda 2 (the headlamps and hood are Mazda pieces). Looking at it from every angle will make you feel like you’re looking at a smaller version of the Mazda 3, not a Toyota/Scion. Secondly, this fuel efficient car has one of the ugliest noses I have ever seen. These things aside, it’s a solid ride.
If you force yourself to look beyond the nose you will notice an impressive package with outstanding dynamics, a minimalist interior and great features: air conditioning, rear camera, cruise control, 16-inch alloys, push-button ignition, and a low-speed collision mitigation system, all for $16,495 (manual) or $17,595 (automatic). The goodies don’t stop here. For such a small car, the iA offers a great driving experience thanks to its Mazda 2 mechanicals.
As far as fuel economy is concerned, the Scion iA offers a whopping 37 MPG combined (33 in the city and 42 on the highway).
4. Honda Fit (2016)
USNews ranked the Honda fit number 1 in the affordable subcompact cars and hatchbacks categories, and number 2 in the affordable small cars category, and we can see why. This tiny fuel efficient vehicle, powered by a four-cylinder engine, offers amazing control, excellent mileage (EPA-estimated at 33/41 mpg city/highway) and a spacious cabin built with upscale materials.
The Honda Fit offers unparalleled versatility for a small car. I just want to give Honda a huge round of applause for doing such a great job with the tiny cargo area. It comes in beautiful colors, including alabaster silver metallic, Aegean Blue Metallic, Milano Red, Crystal Black Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, Passion Berry Pearl, White, and Yellow Pearl.
Other features and specs: hatchback, transmission 6-speed manual, front wheel drive, and 3 years/36000 miles of warranty.
3. Toyota Prius C
If fuel efficiency is your number one priority you should know that the Prius C by Toyota is the superstar of the class. With an EPA Fuel Economy (city/highway) of 53/46, the Prius dominates its competitors. There is no other small hatchback that can even come close to this mileage. This hybrid powertrain uses a 1.4-liter four cylinder paired with twin electric motors and a .9-killowats hour battery pack.
Nevertheless, like most fuel efficient cars, the Toyota Prius C is not perfect. It’s one of the slowest cars on our list and not the most fun to drive on a good road because of its dull steering and stiff suspension. Again, if driving experience isn’t as important as fuel efficiency, the Toyota Prius C is a solid choice.
2. Chevy Volt (2016)
According to FuelEconomy.gov, the Chevy Volt (2016) has a fuel efficiency of 106 MPGe (on electricity), and 42 MPG (on fossil fuel – gasoline). This makes the hybrid America’s most fuel-efficient car – with an asterisk. The Chevy Volt is also rated at 77 mpg. If you’re wondering where this rating comes from, we will tell you that it is the value of the car’s ‘utility factor’, which takes into account the car’s efficiency when operating partly on gas and partly on battery.
The biggest advantage of this hybrid is the huge battery, a 18.4-kwh monster, which is double the size of the next-nearest PHEV’s in Kwh. Although the Chevy Volt is like the small kid in class, it falls behind other models on the market. The powertrain may be the vehicle’s star credential, but this Chevy’s small space has been a deal breaker for many.
1. Toyota Prius Eco
We featured the Toyota Prius C at number 3 of our best fuel efficient cars list and mentioned the fact that it had poor handling. To this day, the idea of a performance-minded, sharp-handing Prius continues to elude the mind of many motorists. This is probably the reason why Toyota went to such great lengths to prove non-believers – millennials in particular – that there is such a thing as a fun-to-drive Prius.
The new Toyota Prius Eco (2016) offers better tech and safety features, a 60% stiffer chassis, double-wishbone rear suspension and a significant increase in fuel efficiency, that help it maintain its number one position on the hybrid market and outsell competitors seven-fold. If you’re looking for a Prius that won’t put you to sleep behind the wheel and won’t break the bank, you will be happy to know that the Prius Eco is expected to start at a reasonable $24,700.
This concludes our list of top fuel efficient cars. Is there a particular vehicle that you wanted to see but has been omitted? We would be more than happy to expand the list with suitable suggestions.
Honorable Mention – Fuel Efficient Electric Vehicles
- Smart for two electric drive convertible. This small convertible has a combined EPA fuel economy of 107 MPGe (122 in the city and 93 on the highway). According to FuelEconomy.gov it will save you $3,000 in fuel costs over 5 years.
- The Chevrolet Spark EV has a combined city/highway MPGe of 119 (128 in the city and 109 on the highway). It will help you save over $3,200 over 5 years.
- The Nissan Leaf is another great electric car that averages 114 combined city/highway MPGe (126 in the city and 101 on the highway). You can save around $3,000 in fuel costs with it over 5 years.
- The Kia Soul Electric has an EPA Fuel economy of 105 combined (120 in the city, and 92 on the highway). It will also help you save around $3,000 every year.
- With an average MPGe of 116 (126 in the city and 105 on the highway), the Volkswagen e-Golf is an electric vehicle with a whopping fuel economy. It costs around $28,995-$35,595.
- The Fiat 500e sits at a comfortable 112 MPGe (121 in the city and 103 on the highway), and it will also help you save $600 every year.
This concludes our countdown of fuel efficient cars that work with fossil fuels and electricity. As mentioned above, we focused our attention mostly on gasoline powered vehicles, but couldn’t help but mention a few electrical cars that are far superior to their competition and also have outstanding MPG. Is there anything you’d change on this list? Do you own any of these cars? We’d love to hear what you have to say!