Few things are more frustrating than getting in the car on the way to work and realizing too late that your gas tank is running low. And when your car is a gas-guzzler, those trips to refuel are even more frequent. Spending less time and money at the gas station and more time on the road are among the many benefits of investing in a more fuel-efficient vehicle. With a longer lifespan, reduced emissions, and in some cases, even tax benefits, it’s well worth looking into some of the best cars for gas mileage.
With gas prices on the rise, missing out on miles per gallon can add up quickly. In fact, a recent survey reports that saving money has been increasingly difficult in recent years, since 58 percent of respondents have spent money more casually during the pandemic than in previous years. Two in three people agree that inflation has had a strong impact on how much money they can save, with Gen Zers expressing the most concern (83%).
Another survey of 2,000 Americans finds the average respondent will watchfully wait an extra eight days before jumping on an item they’re shopping for – just in case the price drops. Half of the poll reported checking in on a specific item at least once a day when price-stalking. That sounds familiar, right? Many of us practice price-stalking when it comes to refueling, playing the waiting game hoping one of our local stations will drop their prices. And when gas prices are often fluctuating by more than a dollar across time and locations, small changes like these ones can stack up.
If you’re looking to save some dollars and some time at the gas station, upgrading to a fuel-efficient car is a great place to start. And with all the other benefits that come with a more eco-friendly vehicle, the only real question is which car to choose. That’s why StudyFinds did the research for you, searching 10 expert websites for reviews of the best cars for gas mileage. This list includes the most frequent recommendations, but if you have a favorite that we missed, be sure to let us know in the comments!
The List: Best Cars for Gas Mileage Most Recommended by Experts
1. Toyota Prius
It would be a challenge to find a list of cars with great gas mileage that doesn’t give a shoutout to the Toyota Prius. This fuel-efficient classic is a favorite for drivers hoping to stretch a gallon for all it’s worth. Says US News, “though there are many new hybrids on the market, the Toyota Prius has long been the champion of this cause. Its endurance has paid dividends, as it remains one of the most efficient cars on the market today.”
On top of its years of reputation for great gas mileage, the newest Prius model has been upgraded with a look as sleek as its performance. “A complete makeover for 2023 turned Toyota’s ugly duckling hybrid into a true beauty,” claims TrueCar. “The five-seat compact hatchback lost headroom and cargo space in its transformation but gained improved handling, a more comfortable ride, an updated interior, and a 60% boost in power while retaining its best-in-class fuel efficiency.”
“The Prius remains true to its fuel-sipping roots courtesy of a 194-horsepower 4-cylinder hybrid powertrain that returns a combined average of 57 mpg (Toyota’s estimate),” adds CarFax. “Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, and AWD is available. An updated dashboard now includes a gauge cluster in front of the driver for the first time in a Prius.”
Looking for an eye-catching, easy to handle vehicle that will carry you an average of 50 miles per gallon? If so, look no further than the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid. “Both around town and at highway speeds, the Elantra Hybrid has plenty of power at its disposal,” notes US News. “It’s smooth over bumps in the road, yet it’s also enjoyable to drive through corners.”
‘The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid’s bold styling may not appeal to everyone, but it bests the fuel economy of rivals such as the Toyota Corolla Hybrid and Honda Insight,” says CarFax. “The Elantra Hybrid is packed with standard features, including wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto, heated front seats, and a hands-free trunk opener.”
But looks aren’t everything, and the Elantra Hybrid has plenty to offer beyond its flashy exterior. “The Elantra Hybrid is also exceptionally spacious for its class, with plenty of standard safety features,” adds Kelley Blue Book. “It offers some great technology as well, like dual 10.25-inch screens and a smartphone key app. And the Elantra has scored well in crash-test programs.”
A familiar favorite receives a fuel-efficiency makeover in the Toyota Corolla Hybrid. Maintaining many of the features that makes the Corolla a classic, the hybrid edition boasts reliability and durability at a relatively low price. “With its attainable base price of $22,800 and a long list of standard safety and tech features, the Corolla Hybrid is a tremendous value,” says US News. “Though it’s tight on rear-seat headroom and trunk space, the Corolla Hybrid’s powertrain delivers stout acceleration from a standstill and a smooth transition from electric to gas power.”
“Toyota paved the way for electrifying mass-produced vehicles with the Prius. While the Prius remains a success because it is good at what it does, it isn’t for everyone, and the Corolla Hybrid offers an excellent alternative,” explains HotCars. “It has exceptional fuel economy with a combined rating of 52 MPG from the hybrid system shared with the Prius.”
This model is another example of recent upgrades, with newer years boasting impressive features both inside and out. “The Corolla Hybrid was all-new for the 2020 model year. It features first-rate fuel economy, impressive crash test ratings, a nice interior, and a comfortable ride,” CarFax lists. “What’s more, this compact hybrid is loaded with up-to-date tech and ADAS features, plus optional AWD, which is unusual for a compact sedan.”
The Honda Civic is a consistent favorite across America, and the only non-hybrid vehicle to make our list. Even with a fully gas-powered engine, the Civic boasts an impressive average of 34 miles per gallon. “One of the most popular cars in the U.S., the Honda Civic delivers economy, reliability, comfort, and safety among its many virtues. But the ‘secret sauce‘ that separates it from most other compact cars is that it provides more driving enjoyment than basic low-cost transportation,” says TrueCar. “This Civic is estimated to deliver 30 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway.”
Another popular benefit of this choice is the many options available in the Civic family. As Cars explains, “the 2022 Civic comes in both sedan and hatchback body styles, three engine choices and either a six-speed manual transmission (in the hatchback or sportier Si sedan) or CVT.”
If you’re in the market for a fuel-efficient vehicle that will keep you safe, last for years, and offer an enjoyable driving experience, it would be hard to find a better option than a Civic. “The 2023 Honda Civic is a well-rounded compact car that does just about everything right,” says Kelley Blue Book. “It looks good, drives well, and has a proven track record of exceptional reliability and resale value.”
Going green with your choice of vehicle doesn’t have to mean compromising on looks. The Honda Insight looks great and drives even better, with one of the highest miles per gallon averages on this list. “Pioneering hybrids came with radical styling. But based on first looks, you would never tell Honda Insight is an eco-friendly ride easy on gas,” claims HotCars. “It shares many features that make the Civic a great ride, from the smooth and pleasant drive to the comfortable and refined interior. Under the compact sedan body lies an efficient gas-electric powertrain with a combined fuel economy rating of about 53 MPG.”
“Honda’s Insight sedan is based on the Civic, but you might not know it as it’s trimmed in a level of detail more like a base-level model from Honda’s Acura premium brand,” Green Car Reports adds. “We love its seamless, shiftless hybrid system and how perky it feels in stop-and-go driving.”
“Drivers looking for something thoroughly practical should consider the 2022 Honda Insight. It’s a hybrid sedan at an affordable price point with outstanding fuel economy,” says Kelley Blue Book. “The Insight is also a comfortable and composed small car with excellent standard features like the Honda Sensing safety tech suite and a modern infotainment system with smartphone connectivity features.”
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