Best Hybrid Fuel Efficient Cars – With gas prices constantly fluctuating—at the time of this writing they set a new national record for regular sales—consumers are often looking to save at the gas station. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the most fuel-efficient cars on sale for the 2022 model year.
Below you’ll find three lists of the most fuel-efficient gas vehicles, as rated by the EPA and broken down by type: gas only, gas hybrid, and hybrid. Please note that all of these ratings are EPA estimates and your actual mileage may vary depending on a number of factors, some of which are within your control.
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The 2022 Mirage is not only the least thirsty car on the market, but also one of the most affordable. The Mirage hatchback with front-wheel drive and the Mirage G4 sedan are equipped with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine with a capacity of 78 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, a continuously variable automatic transmission is optional. The most fuel-efficient Mirage is the CVT hatchback, rated at 36/43/39 mpg city/highway/combined. The Mirage G4 sedan with the CVT is rated at 35/41/37 mpg, and the hatch and sedan fuel economy drops to 33/41/36 and 33/40/35 mpg, respectively, with the manual transmission.
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The 2022 Hyundai Elantra offers buyers a wide range of engines and transmissions, all of which are front-wheel drive. Of the gasoline-only Elantras, the base SE has a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. in combination with the variator is the most economical with fuel consumption of 33/43/37 mpg; more loaded versions of this powerplant’s Elantra drop slightly to 31/41/35 mpg. The N Line gets a 201-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. and a standard six-speed manual transmission rated at 25/34/28 mpg or an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission rated at 28/100 km. 36/31 mpg. Those looking for efficiency over fuel economy can opt for the Elantra N’s 276-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, rated at 22/31/25 mpg with the standard six-speed manual or 20/30/23 mpg. with an optional eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Another car with plenty of options for buyers, the 2022 Civic is available in both sedan and hatchback body styles, with three engine options and a six-speed manual transmission (on the hatchback or sportier Si sedan) or CVT. The top-performing 2022 Civic isn’t actually the base LX, but the mid-level EX, with a more powerful 180-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. and a continuously variable transmission with 33/42/36 mpg. The top Touring sedan drops 31/38/34 mpg.
The Civic’s base engine is a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder. For the sedan, it’s a good 31/40/35 mpg top for the LX and 30/37/33 mpg for the Sport. The Si is only available with a six-speed manual transmission and a 200-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo engine; on premium gas it’s 27/37/31 mpg.
The hatchback gets the same engine and transmission options. Maximum mpg is 31/39/35 for the 1.5L turbo with CVT. The base engine and CVT are rated at 30/38/33 mpg. Step up to the six-speed manual and top figures are 28/37/31 mpg for the 1.5-liter turbo and 26/36/29 mpg for the 2.0-liter.
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Fourth place is shared by two South Korean subcompacts – both architecture and powertrains. Both e’s come standard with a 120-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. and CVT. Each sedan is rated at 33/41/36 mpg.
Fifth on the list is the 2022 Toyota Corolla hatchback, which features a 168-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a traditional first-gear CVT or a six-speed manual transmission. The SE with the CVT is the most efficient version at 32/41/35 mpg. With the CVT, the XSE drops to 30/38/33 mpg, and with the manual, fuel economy drops back to 28/36/31 mpg.
Not to be confused with the new all-electric Ioniq 5, the Ioniq Hybrid features a 104-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a 43-horsepower electric motor. and a battery capacity of 1.56 kilowatt-hours. The Blue trim is most efficient at 58/60/59 mpg; other trim levels are rated at 54/57/55 mpg. There is also a hybrid version of the Ioniq, but by 2022 the all-electric version will be replaced by the Ioniq 5.
The Prius is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine with two electric motor generators and a battery for a total system output of 121 hp. The base front-wheel-drive Eco model is most efficient at 58/53/56 mpg. Other FWD versions are rated at 54/50/52 mpg, while opting for all-wheel drive (and a second electric motor) drops efficiency to 51/47/49 mpg.
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The Elantra makes its second appearance here as a hybrid model, with the same combined output of the 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, electric motor and battery as the Ioniq’s 139 hp. The only transmission option is a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. The blue version is the most efficient at 53/56/54 mpg; better equipped models are rated at 49/52/50 mpg.
Next on the list is the hybrid Honda Insight with a total system output of 151 hp. From a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with two electric motors and a battery. The Insight is available in EX or Touring trim, with the lower EX rated at 55/49/52 mpg and the Touring at 51/45/48 mpg.
With the same powertrain as the Prius hybrid but with a more traditional body, the Corolla hybrid sedan has one LE trim and is rated at 53/52/52 mpg.
The plug-in hybrid version of the Prius uses a larger 8.8-kilowatt-hour battery, but has the same 1.8-liter gasoline engine and a total system output of 121 hp. The EPA rates the Prius Prime at 133 mpg in electric and gas modes and 54 mpg in hybrid mode when the battery is conservatively charged. All-electric range is estimated at 25 miles and total range is estimated at 640 miles.
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Second in this section is the PHEV version of the Ioniq. Like the Prius Prime, the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid has the same system power as the Ioniq Hybrid, but with a larger 8.9 kWh battery. The Ioniq PHEV has an EPA-estimated 29 miles of all-electric range and 620 miles of combined driving range, with combined figures of 119 mpg and 52 mpg.
The Niro PHEV shares many similarities with its Ioniq PHEV sibling, also combining a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and an 8.9 kWh battery pack. Total range is less, estimated at 560 miles, with about 26 miles in all-electric mode. Efficiency is also lower, with the Niro PHEV rated at 105 mpg combined and 46 mpg combined by the EPA.
Next on the list is the compact SUV Ford Escape PHEV, powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electrified CVT with a 14.4 kWh battery pack. The Escape PHEV is front-wheel drive only, with an estimated 57 miles of electric range and 520 miles. Although the Niro gets 105 mpg, it ranks fourth because once the original charge is reached, the Escape PHEV only gets 40 mpg combined.
Simply mirror the Prius’ powertrain, instead pairing a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with two electric motor generators and an 18.1 kWh battery. The total system output is 302 hp, and the RAV4 Prime also comes standard with four-wheel drive (supplemented by a third engine in the rear). It has the longest all-electric range of any PHEV on this list (42 miles) and an estimated total range of 600 miles. It is rated at 94 mpg and a combined rating of 38 mpg in hybrid mode.
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That’s why automakers are always looking for smart ways to improve their cars’ gas mileage. Beating the competition by even the slimmest of margins can earn you valuable segment pride.
In this infographic, we’ve used data from the EPA’s 2022 Automotive Trends Report to list the most fuel-efficient cars from 1975 to today.
Editor’s note: This was provided by a US government agency, so data is shown for vehicles sold in North America.
All information from the above infographic is listed in the table below. Data were only available in 5-year increments until 2005, after which they switched to annual increments.
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Before 2000, the best way for automakers to get good fuel economy was downsizing. Downsizing (lightening) the cars means they can be equipped with very small engines.
For example, in 1985