Volatile gas prices may lead you to consider a more fuel-efficient model. Even if you’re not looking for an electric car, several hybrid and plug-in models offer spectacular fuel economy without the range of a full EV.
And don’t write off a non-hybrid model just yet. Some of the most fuel-efficient, petrol-only cars on the market deliver large numbers without the complexity of a hybrid or the upfront cost.
Let’s take a look at the most fuel-efficient hybrids and the most environmentally friendly non-hybrid models on the market, rated by their combined Environmental Protection Agency mpg rating. Note: When more than one car has the same combined fuel economy rating, we use the city mpg as the tiebreaker.
Most economical hybrids
1. 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Blue: 59 mpg
The cheapest of the Hyundai 005380,
Ioniq is the current champion among hybrids. Starting at just under $25,000, the base Ioniq Blue rides on special low-rolling resistance tires wrapped around unique wheels designed to cheat the wind. Those tweaks — and a few others behind the scenes — are enough to earn a combined 4mpg improvement over the more expensive Ioniq SE.
2. 2022 Toyota Prius Eco: 56 mpg
No longer the fuel-saving champion, the Toyota TM,
The Prius takes second place after its Hyundai rival. Still, there are many good reasons to choose the Prius, especially in the Eco version. As in the Ioniq, this trim level is the gateway to the lineup. Forget flashy big wheels, though, because the Prius Eco uses special aero hubcaps and tires that dance subtly across the road to save fuel.
Also see: New car sales in the US were slightly higher in April, but tight inventories and rising prices will contain big jumps
3. 2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Blue: 54 mpg
Want a hybrid that doesn’t look like this? The Hyundai Elantra Blue is for you. This sharply styled compact sedan shares its bold lines, spacious cabin and great infotainment system with the rest of the Elantra range. At just over $25,000, it’s only slightly thirstier than the Ioniq — but it makes a different statement.
4. 2022 Honda Insight: 52 mpg
If you want to capitalize on Honda’s rival the Prius and Ioniq, you’d better act fast. This sleek hybrid is an attractive, underrated Honda HMC,
cuts after 2022 as the company shifts (again) to an upcoming hybrid version of its Civic. Fuel economy is 55 mpg in the city and 49 on the highway.
5. 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid: 52 mpg
This year, Toyota is offering just one trim level of its Corolla Hybrid: the moderately equipped LE trim. It gets 53 mpg city/52 mpg highway. With adaptive cruise control, proximity key and two-zone automatic climate control as standard, it’s better equipped than its under $25,000 price tag would suggest.
6. 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE: 52 mpg
With a large 4-cylinder engine, a spacious cabin and plenty of convenience and safety technology as standard, the Toyota Camry Hybrid is a top choice among mid-sized sedans with great fuel economy figures. The LE version is more fuel efficient than other versions, at 51 mpg for the city/53 highway, so you might be willing to overlook its dull hubcaps for a 6 mpg improvement.
7. 2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue: 52 mpg
Take everything we love about the Hyundai Elantra and expand it into a mid-sized sedan that’s almost as fuel efficient, and you get the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue, which delivers 50 mpg in the city and 54 on the highway. Be careful which version of the Sonata Hybrid you buy, as the entry-level Blue offers a five mpg improvement over other versions.
Related: 10 top hybrids for under $30,000
Gas Non-Hybrid Models
The addition of an electric motor to aid in cruising and acceleration makes hybrid models more fuel efficient than their gas-only counterparts. However, it also makes them more expensive, so you may have to do some math to decide if a hybrid is worth it.
Here’s a look at the five most fuel-efficient gas-powered non-hybrid cars.
8. 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage: 39 mpg
With its tiny 3-cylinder engine producing just 78 hp, the Mitsubishi MMTOF,
Mirage is a cheap subcompact hatchback that won’t win makeshift stoplight drag races. However, it will save you money no matter how you look at it. Starting at less than $16,000, it’s pretty well-featured, and it drinks fuel at just 39 mpg combined.
9. 2022 Hyundai Elantra: 37 mpg
Versions of the Elantra sedan with the 2.0-liter inline-4 and the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) are among the top compact cars in terms of fuel economy. The EPA says the typical driver will spend about $1,650 annually on fuel, versus $1,150 for the Elantra Hybrid Blue. Hyundai charges $3,200 more for an Elantra Hybrid Blue than a comparable Elantra SEL, although they have slightly different equipment (the hybrid has heated front seats, for example). That equates to just over six years to break even.
You may like: Why a Plug-In Hybrid Might Be Your Best Choice
10. 2022 Honda Civic: 36 mpg
The sedan version of the latest Honda Civic delivers an impressive 36 mpg combined when fitted with a CVT and optional turbocharged powertrain. That turbo provides more power from a smaller engine, which, combined with the CVT’s ability to keep the engine speed low while cruising, sucks up fuel slowly. The EPA rates the Civic’s fuel economy as 33 mpg city/42 highway.
11. 2022 Kia Rio: 36 mpg
The Kia Rio 000270,
and Hyundai Accent are models that share engines, transmissions and platforms. That’s also why they have the same fuel economy: 33 city, 41 highway and 36 combined. But the Rio has a lower starting price, so it deserves the higher spot. And with the Rio, you take the Accent and spice it up with Kia’s slightly racier styling inside and out.
12. 2022 Hyundai Accent: 36 mpg
Hyundai’s smallest car doesn’t offer a lot of power, but its combined 36 mpg means it doesn’t use a lot of fuel either. This small sedan costs just a little more than the Mitsubishi Mirage, and while not quite as fuel-efficient, the Hyundai has a much more spacious interior and a more refined feel.
This story originally ran autotrader.com.