Fuel prices have skyrocketed, and that little gas light on the dashboard is one many drivers dread to see. With each visit to the pump leaving a bigger dent in their pockets than ever before, car owners must seek means to cut down the cost of operating their vehicles. The first stop is scouring the market for a ride with better miles-per-gallon returns, and a small difference in these figures can add up to massive savings down the line.
The rise of electric vehicles presents some hope with heavy savings in annual running costs, in some cases more than half the cost of running gasoline cars. While pure EVs and PHEVs offer the best fuel economy in the market, they command high upfront purchase costs, which prove too expensive for many buyers. Still, manufacturers have perfected internal combustion engines; some provide a world-beating fuel economy while retaining affordable entry prices. Here are ten gas-powered cars, including conventional hybrids, with the highest MPG based on official EPA data.
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10/10 Lexus ES 300h – 44 MPG
The Lexus ES 300h fills an often-overlooked niche of big luxury sedans that offer a comfortable, quiet, and efficient ride while presenting value-for-money pricing. It is priced like a compact sedan but comes with the proportions of a large luxury car. It earns a place on this list with a combined EPA rating of 44 MPG, making it the most fuel-efficient non-plug-in luxury vehicle. Under the ES 300h hood is a 2.5-liter inline-four hybrid mill good for 215 horsepower.
Efficiency comes at the price of outright performance. While European plug-in hybrids offer sportier rides, the ES is more balanced by offering comfort, serenity, and efficiency and has few rivals in its price range.
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9/10 2022 Honda Accord – 47 MPG
There is so much good stuff going on with the Honda Accord besides its famed bullet-proof reliability. It shines in every way possible, from its agile chassis offering crisp handling to the lively acceleration, simple, intuitive infotainment system, comfortable ride, and affordable pricing. It is also easy on the gas with an official EPA rating of 47 MPG combined on the hybrid trim.
The hybrid system is unlike anything on the market. It features a 2-liter inline-four capable of generating electricity and driving the wheels directly and a pair of electric motors good for 181hp, which combines engines to produce 212hp total system horsepower. But, it generates 232lb-ft of torque at 0 rpm, making the Accord feel like a torquey EV when launching.
8/10 2022 Kia Niro Hybrid – 50 MPG
While the Niro is Kia’s smallest SUV, it offers good practicality and great value for money, making it the perfect SUV for buyers on a tight budget. The Niro family has three electrified members: the Niro hybrid with a combined EPA rating of 50 MPG, the plug-in hybrid with 108 MPGe, and the Niro EV with 253 miles of driving range.
EPA estimates that the Hybrid model saves you up to $5k in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle.
7/10 Toyota Corolla Hybrid – 52 MPG
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. It has exceptional fuel economy with a combined rating of 52 MPG from the hybrid system shared with the Prius.
You get a well-built interior with high-quality materials and plenty of safety and technology features. It also comes with a budget-friendly starting price of $22,800.
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6/10 Honda INSIGHT – 52 MPG
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. 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.
Besides the phenomenal fuel economy, you get intuitive features with straightforward controls and plenty of standard safety features. But some have complained about the noisy gasoline engine and the reduced practicality of the sedan body styling.
5/10 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE – 52 MPG
For the 2023 model year, Toyota has eight hybrid powertrain models. The Camry slots in the midsize hybrid sedan class and boasts a spacious, well-built cabin, smooth ride, plenty of standard features, and strong fuel economy. It features a hybrid 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine netting 208 hp with a combined EPA rating of 52 MPG.
While SUVs are the rave, the Camry remains a great old-school family sedan alternative. Also, it comes with reasonable pricing starting at $28,080 with the LE trim.
4/10 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue – 52 MPG
Besides the vague brake feel, which can affect driver confidence, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has everything going to place it near the top of the hybrid car segment. It has a sleek cabin, an exhaustive list of standard features, and a comfortable ride. Also, it offers great value for money with a starting MRSP of $27,950, excellent warranties, and great fuel economy.
Under the hood is a gasoline engine assisted by an electric motor for a combined 195 hp and returning a combined EPA rating of 52 MPG in the Blue trim.
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3/10 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Blue – 54 MPG
The Elantra Hybrid features the same bold styling as other members of the Elantra compact sedan lineup but with added ease on the gas. The Blue trim offers the best fuel economy with a combined EPA rating of 54 MPG, rising to 56 MPG in highway driving. It packs a 1.6-liter GDI 4-cylinder hybrid powertrain producing a combined 139 hp, which makes it feel more potent than the Corolla Hybrid.
Also, the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is quite attainable, starting at $24,400. But the low pricing shows with the cheap interior material featuring plenty of hard plastics in the cabin.
2/10 2022 Toyota Prius Eco – 56 MPG
Earlier, we mentioned that the Prius isn’t a car for everyone because of its less-than-stellar driving dynamics, weak acceleration, and inexistent steering response. It still trades off performance in pursuit of world-beating performance. But it remains popular among buyers who want a frugal car, a spacious modestly appointed cabin, and popular standard equipment.
The Toyota Prius is undoubtedly an automotive icon. While it isn’t the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the class, it does offer impressive fuel economy with a combined EPA rating of 56 MPG in the L Eco trim.
RELATED: 10 Things To Know Before Buying The 2022 Toyota Prius
1/10 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Blue – 59 MPG
The base Hyundai Ioniq Blue is the most fuel-efficient gas-powered vehicle money can buy besides plug-in hybrids. It returns an EPA rating of 59 MPG combined, rising to 60 MPG in highway driving in the Blue trim.
Thanks to its uninteresting acceleration and handling, the Hyundai Ioniq Blue isn’t the most fun hybrid car for an enthusiast. Still, it is exceedingly efficient and refreshingly modest. Also, it comes with a dead conventional hatchback styling that won’t draw attention and a handsome and eco-friendly cabin.