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Published July 21, 2021
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When investing in a new car, it’s important to know how much it’ll cost to run. Fuel is likely to be one of your biggest expenses, so exploring the best gas mileage cars can help you keep running costs low, whatever happens to the price of gas.
While many modern cars offer impressive fuel economy, some cars simply achieve better miles per gallon (mpg) than others.
Look below to discover some of the most fuel-efficient cars on the market today.
Fuel-efficient cars can save you money on gas. The more fuel-efficient a car is, the less gas it needs to run and the higher mileage it can achieve on one tank.
This also means the most fuel-efficient cars contribute less to pollution levels, reducing your reliance on fossil fuels to get around and cutting your carbon footprint.
Fewer visits to the gas station can have practical benefits too. Strong mpg means less inconvenient stops and worries about finding a gas station when you’re out of town or on a long drive.
Our picks have been chosen for their fuel-efficiency and include a range of compact cars and sedans from different years with styles, features and performance to suit many types of drivers. Discover some of the cars with the best miles per gallon:
Engine: 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged
MPG: 31 city/40 highway
Sporty and stylish on the outside, a turbocharged engine under the hood backs up the Honda Civic’s striking appearance to deliver an excellent mpg. The sleek sedan has a fuel-efficient powertrain to reduce your gas station stops, whether cruising down the highway or navigating downtown.
Across the different trim levels available, mpg and gas consumption can vary, with the 1.5-liter model from 2017 one of the Japanese brand’s most fuel-efficient cars available today. From the base trim upwards, the Civic includes fantastic features such as a rearview camera, five-inch central display screen and available sunroof.
Engine: 2.0-liter hybrid
MPG: 43 city/41 highway
The Ford Fusion is available with gas, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines and a whole host of different trims to suit your preference.
The hybrid model is one of the all-American manufacturer’s best mpg cars, delivering a similarly long range for both city and highway driving. If you’re not ready to go hybrid yet, the standard gas trims still offer decent fuel efficiency too.
Engine: 1.5-liter four-cylinder
MPG: 30 city/39 highway
This subcompact sedan gets great gas mileage, some of the best out there for its car class. The 2019 model of the Toyota Yaris is only available with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 106-horsepower, which makes city and highway driving effortless and efficient.
Its front-wheel drive provides plenty of control out on the road too. There are three trims available, but even the base L trim includes a seven-inch infotainment system, cruise control, automatic emergency braking and more for a smooth driving experience.
Engine: 1.8-liter I4
MPG: 53 city/58 highway
The Toyota Prius was the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle and one of the first to enter the US market – selling more than 1million units by 2011. Since then, it’s had various updates in terms of shape, style, engine and fuel economy.
Like most hybrids, it’s one of the best mpg cars and boasts close to 60 mpg for highway driving and above 50 on city streets. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine has 121-horsepower that makes the shift from gas to electric power and vice versa fast and smooth.
Engine: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
MPG: 27 city/37 highway
Subcompact vehicles are generally some of the cars with the best fuel economy, due to their smaller size and lighter weight. The Ford Fiesta is a prime example. It’s one of the world’s best-selling cars thanks to its fantastic reliability and low running costs for a non-hybrid model.
The base 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 120-horsepower gets the best fuel economy from the trim selection. For a sportier look, feel and more power, the ST model is the answer, though its fuel economy is closer to 25 mpg in the city (32 mpg for highway driving).
Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
MPG: 33 city/43 highway
Gas-powered Hyundai Elantra cars with the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder 147-horsepower engine have some of the highest fuel economy ratings going for a compact sedan. Its dynamic powertrain packs plenty under the hood for all your daily driving needs.
Exact fuel economy depends on the specific trim though, and the SE, Limited and N trims offer a slightly lower mileage. In 2021 the new hybrid Elantra went on sale, and it offers a combined 56 mpg, ideal for those thinking about making the switch away from fully gas-powered vehicles.
Another of the best fuel economy among gas-powered compact sedans is the Volkswagen Jetta. The base 147-horsepower turbocharged engine makes it an energetic drive for short and long rides, delivering competitive fuel economy.
There’s a wide array of trims and specs that build on the base model if you want added features – but those with more powerful engines do compromise on fuel economy.
Engine: 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder
MPG: 30 city/40 highway
Another popular Ford due to its fantastic reliability, appealing design and durability, the Ford Focus is also a highly fuel-efficient option. It’s available in sedan and hatchback styles to suit everyone from commuters to families, with low maintenance costs.
Fuel economy depends on the specific powertrain, engine and trim. A six-speed manual SE sedan is the most fuel-efficient option, getting around 30 mpg for city driving and up to 40 mpg on the highway.
If you don’t drive stick, don’t worry. The automatic version isn’t much worse off, promising mpg of 27 city/38 highway. Automatic S and SE hatchback models offer 26 city/38 highway as well, with a slightly smaller body.
Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder CVT
MPG: 31 city/41 highway
The Kia Forte is another fuel-efficient car with high mileage, but it also benefits from a large trunk and spacious interior. Its automatic 2.0-liter base engine is up there with the highest mileage for compact sedans on the market, promising more than 40 mpg on the highway. Plus, its 147-horsepower ensures an impressive drive.
The manual transmission version is slightly lower (27 city/37 highway), yet still fairly efficient for those who want to drive stick. Its spacious interior and impressive fuel economy make it a hit with families looking to avoid too many gas station trips.
Engine: 1.5-liter 149-horsepower
MPG: 43 city/42 highway
Chevrolet’s innovative Volt is a suave plug-in hybrid that offers incredible fuel economy for both short and long journeys. For a used fuel-efficient car, the second-generation 2017 model with a 1.5-liter engine is best. It provides similar miles per gallon whether you’re driving downtown to do some shopping or heading up the highway to visit family.
Drive in electric vehicle (EV) mode and you get a range of around 53 miles, without using a drop of gas. Once that’s gone, you still get around 420 miles of range from the Volt’s gasoline engine. Plus, 149-horsepower enables fast transitions and plenty of power when going up steep streets.
Find a used fuel-efficient car for sale at EchoPark, including most of the models listed above.
Using the filter options lets you search by make and model, as well as mpg (highway), engine, mileage and more to discover and compare fuel-efficient cars.