Toyota Camry Hybrid

Best Gas Mileage Cars: By Gas-Only, Hybrid And Electric

8-minute readDecember 30, 2021

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If you’re feeling squeezed at the gas pump, you’re not alone. Gas prices are inching closer to their all-time highs once again, and this has a significant impact on what it costs to own a vehicle. The average price of fuel has increased by over 77% over just the last 5 years. This guide reviews the best gas mileage cars to consider if you’re looking to save money or reduce your carbon footprint. 

Best Gas-Only Cars For Fuel Efficiency

The primary trade-off you make with most gas-efficient cars is power. Most fuel-efficient cars with gas-combustion aren’t necessarily as sporty and responsive as a traditional muscle car. If a powerful performance vehicle brings you joy, consider some of the best electric cars which can hit 0 to 60 speeds in under four seconds.

Fuel economy isn’t the only thing that affects the cost of owning a vehicle. Some vehicles are more expensive to insure or repair, so be sure to consider the age and condition of a vehicle and get an insurance quote before you buy a used car. Surprisingly, many of the best fuel-efficient cars are more expensive to insure. You can often reduce the cost of your insurance premium by selecting vehicles with enhanced safety features. 

Here are the top picks in fuel efficiency for gas-only cars based on manufacturer data, the NHTSA and IIHS Safety Ratings:

Top Pick: Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai-Elantra

Best For: Performance

MPG: 33 city | 43 highway

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra has been redesigned with sharper crease lines that offer more contouring and edge to its appearance. The update includes extended leg room for a comfortable ride for up to five people. The infotainment system has been lauded as intuitive, easy to use and even futuristic.  

It's also available with optional ambient lighting, a Bose sound system, standard remote keyless entry and optional manual transmission. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping and follow assist, safe exit warning system, forward collision warning and a blind-spot monitoring system. Its safety features have earned the 2021 Elantra a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. 

The 2021 Elantra has a combined fuel economy rating of 37 mpg. Compared with a vehicle that has a combined rating of 24 mpg, the 2021 Elantra can save you over $8,000 over 10 years.*

*Fuel savings are estimates based on an average use of 12,000 miles per year and California’s current average gas price of $4.57, as of November 2021. 

Browse used Hyundai Elantra nationwide.

Runner Up: Honda Civic

Honda-Civic

Best For: Passenger Space 

MPG: 32 city | 42 highway 

The 2021 Honda Civic has a sporty design and provides ample interior space and a smooth ride. The standard infotainment system has connectivity through Bluetooth®, and you can upgrade to a system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.  

Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, forward collision alert and automatic high beams. You can also add an optional blind-spot monitoring system. The 2021 Civic received a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. 

With a combined fuel rating of 36 mpg, the 2021 Civic can save you a significant sum at the gas pump. Compared with a vehicle that has a combined rating of 24 mpg, the 2021 Honda Civic can save you $7,640 over 10 years.*

Browse used Honda Civics nationwide.

Honorable Mentions

There are plenty of fuel-efficient gas vehicles to choose from, so depending on what type of vehicle you prefer, it’s possible to find a car that can save you money on gas. Here are the best MPG cars in our book. 

By Type

Make and Model

MPG

Combined MPG

Best Value:

Mitsubishi Mirage 

33 City | 41 Hwy

36 MPG

Compact Car:

Kia Rio 

33 City | 41 Hwy

36 MPG

Sedan:

Hyundai Elantra 

31 City | 41 Hwy

35 MPG

SUV:

Subaru Crosstrek 

27 City | 34 Hwy

30 MPG

Truck:

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 

14 City | 18 Hwy

17 MPG

All-Wheel-Drive Cars:

Toyota Camry AWD 

25 City | 34 Hwy

29 MPG

Best Hybrid Cars For Fuel Efficiency

Hybrid models can save you a ton of money at the pump but come with a higher sticker price. When considering your engine option, factor in the potential increased cost of repairs and insurance to weigh the savings on gas against your increased expenses. You can often mitigate these impacts with tax incentives and maintenance plans. 

Here are the top picks in fuel efficiency in hybrid cars based on each car’s manufacturer data, the NHTSA and IIHS Safety Ratings: 

Top Pick: Toyota Camry Hybrid 

Toyota-Camry-Hybrid

Best For: Excellent safety rating, technology and comfort

MPG: 44 city | 47 highway

The 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid offers up to 208 horsepower and uses regenerative braking to help charge the electric motor. Connectivity with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay comes standard, and the infotainment system is compatible with Amazon Alexa. Other standard features include push-button start, dual-zone climate control and a comprehensive safety package. 

Lane-keeping assist and departure warning, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, forward collision avoidance and a rearview camera are only some of the standard safety features. The 2021 Camry Hybrid earned a five-star crash rating from the NHTSA and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. U.S. News and World Report rated it the #1 Best New Car for Teens. 

How you drive plays a factor in how much you can save with a hybrid model. Assuming you maintain an average fuel economy of 46 mpg, you could save $10,930 on fuel costs over a 10-year lifespan with the 2021 Camry Hybrid.*

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Runner Up: Toyota Avalon Hybrid 

Toyota-Avalon-Hybrid

Best For: Safety, passenger space and reliability 

MPG: 43 city | 44 highway 

The 2021 Toyota Avalon Hybrid earned the reward for the Best Hybrid or Electric Car for Families by U.S. News and World Report. It provides a luxurious and spacious interior with premium materials, plenty of passenger and cargo space and a comfortable ride. The infotainment system offers functionality for Amazon Alexa, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and comes with standard satellite radio, Wi-Fi and five charging ports.  

The IIHS rated the 2021 Avalon Hybrid as a Top Safety Pick, and it earned a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. Its standard safety features include forward collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking. You can also add features such as a parking system that offers a view of your entire surroundings and rear cross-traffic braking. 

Compared with a vehicle that has a fuel economy rating of 24 mpg, the 2021 Avalon Hybrid can save you about $10,300 over a span of 10 years.  

Browse used Toyota Avalon Hybrids nationwide.

Honorable Mentions

Hybrid technology is in higher demand, and auto manufacturers have introduced attractive hybrid alternatives for people looking at a wide range of vehicles. Here are our top hybrid picks for 2021 hybrids in the following categories.  

By Type

Make and Model

MPG

Combined MPG

Best Value:

Toyota Avalon Hybrid 

43 City | 44 Hwy

43 MPG

Compact Car:

Toyota Prius 

58 City | 53 Hwy

52 MPG

Sedan:

Toyota Camry Hybrid 

44 City | 47 Hwy

46 MPG

SUV:

Volvo XC60 Hybrid

23 City | 30 Hwy

57 MPGe

Truck:

Ford F-150 Hybrid 

25 City | 26 Hwy

25 MPG

All-Wheel-Drive Cars:

Ford Escape Hybrid 

25 City | 26 Hwy

41 MPG

Best Electric Cars For Mileage Range

Plug-in hybrids and full-electric vehicles are more expensive but offer considerable fuel savings over time. Be sure to factor in increased insurance costs, utility bills and repair bills when shopping for an electric vehicle. The MPG equivalent (MPGe) estimates the cost of charging your vehicle comparatively with the expense of filling a tank with gas. 

You need to either charge your vehicle at home or find a charging station, so consider how many charging stations you have access to where you live and the range of the electric vehicle. If you intend to travel frequently, you need a car that can go the distance.  

Here are the top picks in fuel efficiency for electric cars based on manufacturer data:

Top Pick: Tesla Model S Long Range

Tesla-Model-S-Long-Range

Best For: Long Range

MPGe: 117 combined

Electric Range: 412 miles

The 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid can put out up to 1,020 HP, proving that you don’t need to always sacrifice performance for fuel economy. Choosing a more economical trim means less power but gives a range of up to 412 miles, making it ideal for road trips, and you still get plenty of luxury amenities. It also has available all-wheel drive and advanced safety features. 

You can get about 34 miles of range per hour of charge at home, which means you’re able to charge it completely overnight. If you charge it at a Supercharger station on the road, you can get 200 miles of range in 15 minutes. The estimated battery life is between 300,000 – 500,000 miles. 

Compared to a gas vehicle with a fuel rating of 24 mpg, the 2021 Model S can save you $18,160 over 10 years on fuel expenses. If you compare it with a hybrid that offers a combined 44 mpg, it can still save you $7,700 in fuel expenses over 10 years.*  

Browse used Tesla Model S vehicles nationwide.

Runner Up: Tesla Model Y 

Tesla-Model-Y

Best For: Sporty Performance 

MPGe: 129 combined 

Electric Range: 326 miles

The 2021 Tesla Model Y is powerful and responsive for an all-electric vehicle and has a range of up to 326 miles. If you want to get a full charge overnight at home, it’s recommended that you purchase a 240-volt adapter. Charging at a Supercharger station gives you 162 miles of range in 15 minutes. 

The onboard infotainment system is easy to use and comes with navigation, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity and four USB ports. Standard safety features include pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, forward collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring and front and rear parking sensors. You can add autonomous lane changing and parking. 

At a combined 129 MPGe rating, the 2021 Model Y could save you around $18,600 in fuel costs over 10 years when compared with a gas vehicle that gets 24 mpg.* When compared to a hybrid with a combined 44 mpg, you could still save $8,200 over a 10- year period. 

Browse used Tesla Model Y vehicles nationwide.

Honorable Mentions

There are now electric vehicles in all major vehicle segments. Depending on your preferences, you could find a reliable full-electric vehicle in any category you like. Here are our top picks.  

By Type

Make and Model

MPGe

Combined MPGe

Best Value:

Tesla Model 3 Long Range 

124 City | 115 Hwy

134 MPGe

Compact Car:

Nissan LEAF 

118 City | 97 Hwy

111 MPGe

Sedan:

Tesla Model S Long Range 

123 City | 115 Hwy

117 MPGe

SUV:

Ford Mustang Mach-E

96 City | 84 Hwy

93 MPGe

Truck:

Rivian R1T 

74 City | 66 Hwy

70 MPGe

All-Wheel-Drive Cars:

Tesla Model Y 

131 City | 117 Hwy

121 MPGe

The Bottom Line: Cars With Good Gas Mileage Make A Great Investment

When shopping for a vehicle, it makes sense to consider the rising cost of gas. Hybrid and electric vehicles cost more up front, but when you consider how much money you can save through tax credits and reduced energy costs over the life of the car, it may be a worthy investment.

If you want a gas-efficient car without compromising on performance, consider checking out our picks for the best electric cars on the market today.

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