Best-Selling Fuel-Efficient Cars

Laurance Yap
Oct 2022
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If you are looking for improved fuel efficiency, and do not want a hybrid, plug-in, or electric car, there are still some amazing options. Here is our list of the top 10 selling fuel-efficient cars in America.
Woman at gas pump

Impressive Economy in our Top 10 Sellers

If you’re shopping for a new car and want to reduce your spend on fuel, but aren’t ready to go to a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric vehicle, there are still many excellent choices available. Automakers have done an incredible job squeezing even more efficiency out of the internal combustion with and technologies like direct injection, improved transmissions, and slick aerodynamics. Almost all of the best-selling fuel-efficient cars on our list achieve over 40 MPG on the highway. All mileage mentioned are EPA estimates. Here are the top 10.

Nissan Versa parked in driveway

#10: Nissan Versa

The Versa is Nissan’s smallest and least expensive sedan, but has more than enough room for a young family. The interior is nicely-made and well-equipped, and the in-dash infotainment system offers CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s very easy to use, with physical controls as well as a touch screen. At just over an MSRP of $15,000, you get lots of safety technology like blind spot warning, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking. Versa even has intelligent cruise control for longer trips.

Starting MSRP: $15,380

City/Highway MPG: 32/40

Mitsubishi Mirage arked outside of loal shops

#9: Mitsubishi Mirage

The subcompact Mirage, available as a sedan or hatchback, is the least-expensive car available in the U.S., and also one of the most economical to run, capable of 43 MPG on the highway when equipped with the automatic. It has plenty of room in front, and the hatchback has a versatile cargo area that can be expanded by folding down the back seats. Even at its low price, Mirage comes standard with ABS brakes, stability control, automatic braking with pedestrian detection, seven airbags, and a rear-view camera – features optional on many more expensive cars.

Starting MSRP: $14,645

City/Highway MPG: 36/43

Lexus IS driving

#8: Lexus IS

The Lexus IS is a compact luxury sedan that offers all the comfort and features you’d expect from a Lexus along with surprising fuel economy. No wonder that it sells in such large numbers. You get a stylish exterior, a beautifully-finished interior with all of the latest tech, and in the IS300, a fuel-sipping four-cylinder engine that also provides sport-sedan levels of performance and responsiveness. Interestingly for Lexus, which has traditionally been a hybrid leader, only gasoline engines are available. We particularly like the IS’ excellent rear-wheel drive chassis, responsive steering, and great seats.

Starting MSRP: $40,585

City/Highway MPG: 21/31

Hyundai Accent parked near tree

#7: Hyundai Accent

The subcompact Accent is Hyundai’s cheapest offering, but you still get a lot for the low price. Standard equipment includes an automatic transmission, ABS brakes, stability control, rear-view camera, and six airbags. Inside, you get practical touches like a six-way driver’s seat, power windows and door locks, and more. The infotainment provides a touch-screen portal to your smartphone through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay alongside physical climate controls. All said, the Accent is an appealing as well as an economical package, giving you 41 highway MPG.

Starting MSRP: $16,645

City/Highway MPG: 33/41

Kia Rio parked in city

#6: Kia Rio

Small on the outside, but big on the inside, Kia’s subcompact Rio actually has more interior space than the top-selling Toyota Corolla. The Rio is also well-equipped, with a standard 8-inch touchscreen display, rear-view camera, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Standard safety gear includes ABS and stability control along with a strong crash structure and six airbags. Combined with a standard automatic transmission, the 1.6-liter, 120-hp engine produces plenty of pep for city and highway journeys, along with 41 MPG fuel consumption on the highway.

Starting MSRP: $16,450

City/Highway MPG: 33/41

Volkswagen Jetta driving with fall trees

#5: Volkswagen Jetta

The best thing about the compact Jetta is that it has almost as much room as a mid-size sedan. In fact, everything feels like it’s from a class above, including its superb ride quality and quiet cabin. It’s stable and comfortable at highway speeds with great refinement for a car of this price. The 1.5-liter turbocharged engine produces 158 horsepower while sipping gas – it has nearly double the power of the Mitsubishi Mirage, while delivering even better fuel economy. Standard tech includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, multiple USB ports, a back-up camera, and more.

Starting MSRP: $20,365

City/Highway MPG: 29/43

Hyundai Elantra parked at dusk

#4: Hyundai Elantra

The compact Hyundai Elantra is a modern-looking and surprisingly spacious sedan with impressive space and features. Even the entry-level SE model comes with a large touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You also get with a wide range of standard safety systems: forward collision assist with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, blind spot assist, and more. The 147-hp four-cylinder delivers 42 highway MPG – best in class, and better than many smaller, less comfortable cars.

Starting MSRP: $20,500

City/Highway MPG: 33/42

Kia Forte in scenic mountains

#3: Kia Forte

The Kia Forte looks and feels more upscale than its price, with a real European touch to its interior and exterior styling, and a high-end feel that belies its sub-$20,000 sticker. It is also economical, with a 2-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 41 highway MPG. Standard tech includes forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic braking assist. Inside, the dash-mounted touch screen infotainment system is clear and easy to use, with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and available wireless charging.

Starting MSRP: $19,490

City/Highway MPG: 31/41

Honda Civic driving through city

#2: Honda Civic

Redesigned for 2022, the ever-popular Civic has more room than ever in its spacious, nicely-made cabin, which has excellent quality, great seats, and intuitive controls. There’s a touch screen on the dash for infotainment – Apple CarPlay is standard – but thankfully, many functions are still operated with knobs and buttons. We are also really impressed by the Civic’s driving experience, which has a responsive, sporty edge that is surprising in a vehicle of this size and price. The base 2.0-liter engine produces 158 hp and 40 highway MPG, but upgrading to the more powerful 180-hp turbo engine in EX and Touring models actually gets you 42 MPG highway as well as more performance.

Starting MSRP: $22,550

City/Highway MPG: 31/40

Toyota Corolla parked near water

#1: Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is actually the best-selling car in the world. Millions have been made since the model was introduced in the sixties, and many are still on the road thanks to their bulletproof reliability and impressive resale value. The Corolla’s interior roomy, and it offers a stylish, upscale design. Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard, with active cruise control, lane assist, automatic braking, pedestrian detection, and more. New for 2022 is a taller, crossover-shaped Corolla Cross model, which offers some extra ground clearance as well as the option of all-wheel drive.

Starting MSRP: $20,425

City/Highway MPG: 32/40