The average new car in August 2022 was $46,259, according to a recent JD Power sales report. That’s 12% higher than August 2021, and it reflects a record high for new car prices. In the meantime, prices at the pump continue to fluctuate in the $4 . range in about a dozen states, with the national average as of Sept. 15 at just under $3.70 a gallon, according to AAA.
With this in mind, if you’re looking to buy a new car or SUV, keep both sticker price and fuel economy in mind.
Fortunately, Consumer Reports just released its report on the best cars and SUVs based on overall value and fuel efficiency. “All these [models] have sold for between 1 and 7 percent above the suggested retail price. That’s as good as it gets right now,” Consumer Reports wrote.
The cars listed below include regular combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, hybrids, and one EV choice. The study excluded vehicles with fewer than 300 models on the lot, as limited availability may drive up the price.
What are the top-rated cars and SUVs for fuel efficiency and price, according to Consumer Reports?
2022 Toyota Corolla LE CVT
Selling for just over $20,000, this compact sedan has a combined power output of 33 mpg and can reach up to 45 mpg highway miles in optimal conditions. The Corolla LE CVT is considered very reliable, and while it may not win prestige competitions, it is a solid vehicle that drivers love. Plus, the average price of $21,181 right now is just $308 above the sticker price, making it hands down the best value based solely on cost.
2022 Lexus RX
This luxury midsize SUV costs $45,920 to $58,110, depending on the trim package, and offers incentives of up to $2,000 cashback through Oct. 3, 2022, according to Consumer Reports. Enjoy 22 mpg and a reliable vehicle with lots of style.
2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
This sporty SUV delivers a combined fuel economy of 37 mpg thanks to its hybrid engine. The average price is $32,869, which is just $1,824 above the sticker price.
2022 Toyota Camry
Rated as No. 1 mid-size sedan by JD Power again in 2022, the Toyota Camry also receives high marks from Consumer Reports for its reliability and customer satisfaction. You can buy one for an average price of $27,381, just $1,536 above the sticker price, and enjoy comfort, style and 32 mpg combined. This model also offers a breathtaking 49 mpg on the highway.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid XLE AWD
The Toyota Highlander has been a family favorite for years and offers a convenient and reasonably spacious third row of seats. The hybrid engine delivers 35 mpg combined. It would be hard to find a more comfortable third row family SUV for under $50,000. The Highlander Hybrid now costs an average of $47,204, which is $3,049 more than the sticker price, but when you consider the fuel cost savings, the SUV is a tremendous value.
2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid
Hybrid SUVs are the right choice if you’re looking for performance, space and fuel economy. With a suggested retail price of $32,010 and an average transaction price of $34,345, the Honda CR-V is an incredible value. Enjoy 35 mpg combined, along with Honda’s legendary reliability and style.
2022 Mazda 3
If you’re looking for an affordable compact car, check out the Mazda 3. It delivers 30 mpg combined at an average price of just over $25,000. The sticker price is listed at $23,450, but you can expect to spend as much as $1,789 on it, depending on availability on your dealer’s lot.
2022 Honda Civic Sport Sedan CVT
It’s not surprising that there are so many high-quality compact cars on this list. If you’re looking for an affordable vehicle, an economical compact is the way to go, provided you don’t need a lot of space. The 2022 Honda Civic Sport Sedan delivers 33 mpg combined fuel economy, with a retail price of $23,950. The average transaction price is $25,787.
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E
The only electric car on the list, the Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD, turns heads on the road without draining your wallet at the pump. Together you benefit from a range of 90 mpge (equivalent to miles per gallon). Expect to spend about $55,934 on a new Mustang Mach-E, $4,134 above the suggested retail price of $51,800. However, don’t forget to look into federal and state tax credits for buying an EV to help cover the costs.
2022 Toyota Prius LE
Prius, one of the first and most well-known hybrid vehicles, used to be virtually synonymous with “hybrid.” Today, the car has updated styling for a fun and sporty look, while together delivering an excellent fuel economy of 52 mpg. It can still be bought for less than $30,000, with an average transaction price of $28,530.
More from GOBankingRates
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Economical cars and SUVs rated ‘best deals’ by consumer reports