Fuel-Efficient Cars — No Cords Attached

© Ford Motor Company, © American Honda Motors, © Hyundai Motor America, © Automotive Content Experience.Easy Fuel Savings
Electric cars and plug-in hybrids dominate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel-economy ratings. Although these vehicles are the most fuel efficient, not all drivers have access to plug in their vehicles every night. Fear not, plug-less people — there are still plenty of fuel-efficient options on the market. Take a look at the most fuel-efficient vehicles available today that don’t require a power outlet. Vehicles are listed and ranked by combined fuel economy, then city fuel economy as reported by the U.S. EPA.

© BMW North America20. 2018 BMW 328d
Starting MSRP: $41,750
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 31 / 43 / 36
Long known as the benchmark sport sedan, the 3 Series typically reigns near the top of luxury sedan sales charts. However, when properly equipped with a fuel-efficient diesel powertrain, it is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in America. With Volkswagen pulling diesels from the U.S. market, the BMW 3 Series is one of the few diesel models left for Americans to purchase, matching smile-inducing performance with impressive fuel economy.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.19. 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback (w/CVT) (tie)
Starting MSRP: $21,090
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 32 / 42 / 36
Toyota introduces the sporty new Corolla hatchback for the 2019 model year, replacing the outgoing Corolla iM. Built on the Toyota New Global Architecture, the Corolla Hatchback is larger, lower and wider than the outgoing model with revised sport-tuned suspension, a new engine, two new transmission options and new safety technology. The new engine is a 2.0-liter four cylinder that is lighter and more powerful than the outgoing 1.8-liter powerplant, while at the same time returning better fuel economy.

© American Honda Motor Co., Inc.19. 2019 Honda Civic EX (w/turbocharged engine) (tie)
Starting MSRP: $23,400
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 32 / 42 / 36
The tenth generation of the popular Civic debuted early last year featuring fresh styling, improved aerodynamics, new vehicle architecture, a more spacious interior and two new engines. Available as a sedan or coupe, the Civic achieves its high fuel-economy numbers when equipped with a new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and Honda’s continuously variable transmission. The same engine teamed with a manual gearbox has slightly reduced fuel economy ratings, which is a common occurrence nowadays.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience19. 2019 Jaguar XE Diesel (tie)
Starting MSRP: $38,515
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 32 / 42 / 36
Positioned as the entry model of the famed British marque, the XE sport sedan is one of the newest models in the Jaguar lineup. For those who remember the woefully inadequate X-TYPE from the early 2000s, they’ll be happy to hear the XE is nothing like that earlier sedan. Sporting the same stylish grille as the XF and XJ, the XE is available with a variety of engines, including a fuel-efficient diesel option. The 2.0-liter diesel powerplant produces plenty of torque at low rpm for a sporty, fun-to-drive experience.

© American Honda Motors18. 2019 Honda Fit (w/CVT)
Starting MSRP: $16,990
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 33 / 40 / 36
Honda introduced an updated Fit for the 2018 model year with refreshed styling, a more dynamic driving experience and new technology and entertainment features. The Fit has always excelled at space management; a prime example of a car that is small on the outside but big on the inside. Powering the Fit is a 1.5-liter engine producing 130 horsepower that achieves the highest fuel-economy numbers when teamed with the continuously-variable transmission.

© General Motors17. 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
Starting MSRP: $25,620
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 31 / 48 / 37
The Cruze continues as one of the most successful small cars the Detroit-based automaker has ever produced, and it is currently one of the best-selling passenger cars in America. For 2019 the Cruze gets updated styling as well as a number of new features. But the Cruze really stands out with its fuel-efficient diesel powertrain — the 1.6-liter turbodiesel possesses 137 horsepower and a plentiful 240 lb-ft of torque at a mere 1500 rpm.

© Mitsubishi Motors 16. 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage (w/CVT)
Starting MSRP: $14,595
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 37 / 43 / 39
Mitsubishi’s entry subcompact Mirage was redesigned last year with fresh styling inside and out. Mirage’s efficiency and performance improve over the previous generation, with a more aerodynamic exterior as well as a power increase to 78 horses from its 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine. However, even with the additional horses, the Mirage is the lowest-powered car in America. But it is very fuel efficient; in fact, it is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicle on this list.

© Ford Motor Company15. 2018 Ford C-Max Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $24,120
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 42 / 38 / 40
It’s hard to say if the the C-MAX is an SUV or not — it has the cargo capacity and seating arrangement to qualify, but it is only available in front-wheel drive. The C-MAX is all about efficiency, offered as a conventional hybrid or a plug-in hybrid under the C-MAX Energi banner. Both feature a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine and an integrated electric motor with a total system output of 188 horsepower.

© Kia Motors America14. 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $27,985
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 39 / 45 / 41
Kia introduced an updated Optima lineup for the 2017 model year with fresh styling and a number of new features. The Optima is available as a plug-in hybrid as well as a standard hybrid. The Optima Hybrid gets power by from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed with 50-horsepower electric motor for a combined 192 horsepower. The lithium-polymer battery can provide enough charge for the Optima to cruise at speeds up to 62 mph on electric power only.

© Ford Motor Company13. 2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Starting MSRP:
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 42 / 39 / 41
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient luxury cars on the market. With a powertrain that consists of a 2.0-liter Atkinson-Cycle gas engine teamed with an electric motor, the MKZ gets a total of 188 horsepower. The MKZ Hybrid can cruise as fast as 85 mph on electric power alone. As expected in a vehicle from Ford’s luxury brand, the MKZ Hybrid is available with numerous amenities including SYNC with MyLincoln Touch featuring an 8-inch touchscreen; heated front seats; LED headlights; and Lincoln Drive Control, which continually balances the vehicle for a smooth ride and consistent, confident handling.

© Hyundai Motors America12. 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $35,995
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 40 / 46 / 42
The Sonata Hybrid received a number of updates for the 2018 model year, including fresh styling inside and out, added safety enhancements and improved fuel efficiency. While the powertrain remains the same as the year previous — a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed with a 38 kW electric motor — the lithium-ion polymer batter pack has been increased in size, which helps improve fuel economy by one mpg in both city and highway driving. The Sonata Hybrid is also one of the few hybrids on the market that uses a 6-speed automatic transmission rather than a CVT.

© Ford Motor Company11. 2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $27,555
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 43 / 41 / 42
Ford updates Fusion Hybrid styling for the 2019 model year as well as expanding the range of new standard equipment, including automatic emergency braking. The Fusion Hybrid also gets improved energy storage systems that allow faster charging as well as increased distances on electric only. Available as a standard hybrid or a plug-in version, both variants are powered by a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine teamed with an electric motor to produce a combined 188 horsepower.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.10. 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $36,500
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 43 / 44 / 44
The Avalon is all new for the 2019 model year — built on a completely new platform, it features new looks inside and out as well as plenty of new convenience and safety features. Toyota has equipped the Avalon Hybrid with its next-generation hybrid powertrain, which combines a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force 4-cylinder engine with two electric motor generators for a total system output of 215 horsepower. One electric motor generator acts as the engine starter and charges the battery, while the second electric motor generator drives the front wheels and captures energy through regeneration during braking.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA9. 2019 Lexus ES 300h
Starting MSRP: $41,410
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 43 / 45 / 44
The all-new 2019 Lexus ES Hybrid is starting to arrive in showrooms, offering a new look, updated features, a lower base price and improved fuel efficiency. Now topping 45 mpg on the highway, the ES is the most fuel-efficient luxury vehicle on the market without a plug. This improved fuel economy is possible thanks to Toyota’s latest Hybrid Drive System that uses an ultra-efficient Atkinson Cycle 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine teamed with a lighter and more compact electric motor that combine to produce a total of 215 horsepower.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA8. 2019 Toyota Prius c
Starting MSRP: $21,530
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 48 / 43 / 46
The least-expensive model in Toyota’s hybrid fleet, the Prius c received a mild refresh for the 2018 model year. In addition to the updated styling, Toyota has equipped the Prius C with the latest in high-tech safety features, including a pre-collision system and lane departure alert. The c in Prius c stands for City, which is why this model is not only the least expensive, it is also the smallest hybrid Toyota offers. Total output from its small 1.5-liter engine and electric motor combination is 99 horsepower.

© General Motors7. 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $28,070
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 49 / 43 / 46
With freshened styling for the 2019 model year, the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid leverages components and knowledge developed from the innovative Chevrolet Volt and Bolt to create a fuel-efficient hybrid system. The most fuel-efficient American vehicle without a plug, the Malibu Hybrid gets power from a 1.8-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder gas engine mated to a 2-motor drive unit slightly modified from the Volt. The drive unit provides additional power to assist the engine during acceleration for a total system output of 182 horsepower. Power to the hybrid system comes from an 80-cell 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can power the Malibu Hybrid to 55 mph on electric power alone.

© American Honda Motors6. 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $25,100
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 47 / 47 / 47
An all-new Honda Accord debuted last year with new exterior styling, updated interior, and on an all-new chassis designed to improve safety, handling and comfort. In addition to the new turbocharged powertrains, the Accord is once again available as a fuel-efficient hybrid. The current Accord Hybrid uses the third generation of Honda’s innovative 2-motor hybrid powertrain, featuring a 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC Atkinson Cycle inline-4 engine and an electric propulsion motor that has a total output of 212 horsepower.

© Kia Motors America5. 2019 Kia Niro FE
Starting MSRP: $23,490
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 52 / 49 / 50
The Niro is Kia’s first purpose-built hybrid model, meaning that Kia doesn’t build a non-electrified version of this small crossover. Introduced last year, the Niro offers a spacious and useful interior that comes well equipped, even in the base-level FE. Power comes from a 1.6-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder engine — designed specifically for hybrid use — teamed with a permanent magnet electric motor. The gas engine makes 104 horsepower, with 43 coming from the electric motor, for a combined delivery of 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Niro is also available as a plug-in hybrid; a fully-electric version will be coming soon.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience4. 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $28,150
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 51 / 53 / 52
All-new for the 2018 model year, the Camry is the best-selling passenger car in America. Completely revamped inside and out, the updated Camry has a number of trim levels, including three different hybrid trims. The new Camry Hybrid gets a responsive 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a permanent-magnet electric motor for a combined output of 208 horsepower. Power gets sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience3. 2019 Honda Insight
Starting MSRP: $22,830
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 55 / 49 / 52
Back in 1999, the Honda Insight was a small 2-seat hatchback that held the honor of being the first hybrid car ever sold in America. The Insight name was used on another hybrid model until a few years ago, and for 2019 Honda introduced the latest hybrid to wear the Insight name. Positioned between the Civic and Accord, this latest Insight features more mainstream styling than the previous versions. The Insight’s fuel-efficient powertrain is a 1.5-liter Atkinson Cycle engine teamed with an electric motor delivering a total of 151 horsepower and 197 lb-ft of torque. Under most driving conditions, the gasoline engine produces electricity that drives the electric motors rather than driving the wheels directly.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.2. 2018 Toyota Prius Eco
Starting MSRP: $25,165
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 58 / 53 / 56
Toyota introduced an all-new Prius to the U.S. market in 2016, and this updated model was better than its predecessor in every way. There are multiple trim levels available for the Prius, but the Eco is the most fuel-efficient of them all. While the Eco employs the same powertrain as the rest of the lineup — a 1.8-liter Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder engine combined with a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor — this special trim receives a lighter lithium-ion battery pack and other weight savings to get the most fuel economy possible.

© Hyundai Motors America1. 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Blue
Starting MSRP: $22,400
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 57 / 59 / 58
Last year Hyundai introduced its new family of electrified vehicles called Ioniq. This new model series is available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicle. With the latest in safety technology and an impressive list of standard features, the Ioniq offers more than simply great fuel economy. That said, it is the most fuel-efficient non-plug-in vehicle in America. The Ioniq’s 1.6-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder engine is teamed with a 32-kW electric motor, generating a total of 139 horsepower.


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