Most Fuel-Efficient Cars
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, with more non-plug hybrid models being offered every year. 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.
2020 Honda Civic
Starting MSRP: $20,650
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 32 / 42 / 36
The 10th generation of this popular car debuted early in 2017 featuring fresh styling, improved aerodynamics, new vehicle architecture, a more spacious interior and two new engines. Last year Honda gave the Civic a light refresh and added more content. The fuel economy leaders are the Civic Sedan EX and EX-L trims, powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder producing 174 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque combined with a CVT to achieve 32 mpg city / 42 mpg highway / 36 mpg combined. The Civic EX starts at $23,800 and the EX-L at $25,000. The entry Civic Coupe LX is rated at 30 mpg city / 38 mpg highway / 33 mpg highway. Every LX has automatic climate control, a 160-watt audio system, a 5.0-inch LCD display screen and a rearview camera.
2020 Honda Fit
Starting MSRP: $16,190
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 33 / 40 / 36
Honda introduced an updated Fit two years ago with revised styling and a more dynamic driving experience, as well as 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 yet seems big on the inside. Powering the Fit is a 1.5-liter engine producing 130 horsepower and achieving up to 40 mpg on the highway and 36 combined for the LX trim with CVT. The base-level Fit LX comes equipped with a rearview camera, LED brake lights, air-conditioning with air filtration, a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity with audio streaming and active safety features.
2020 Hyundai Accent
Starting MSRP: $15,295
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 33 / 41 / 36
Launching this list is a non-hybrid model, the compact 2020 Hyundai Accent. The fifth generation of the brand’s entry-level model, the current Accent debuted for 2018 with revised styling and familiar cascading grille. For 2020 Accent receives a new Smartstream G1.6 Dual Port Injection engine producing 120 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission. The EPA fuel economy rating improves to 33 mpg city / 41 mpg highway / 36 mpg combined with the optional transmission, up from 29 mpg city / 39 mpg highway / 33 mpg combined with the standard 6-speed manual transmission.
2020 Hyundai Elantra
Starting MSRP: $19,150
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 33 / 41 / 36
Hyundai gave its best-selling Elantra a complete styling update for the 2019 model year, including a new hood, front fascia, grille, headlights, taillights and wheel designs. For 2020 the Elantra adds an Intelligent Variable Transmission to replace the 6-speed automatic and fuel economy increases to 36 mpg combined, up from 29 mpg city / 38 mpg highway / 33 mpg combined for 2019. The 2020 model gets a bit of a price increase with additional standard equipment. The lowest price SE comes equipped with dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, projector headlights, Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 5.0-inch touchscreen display, forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist and driver attention warning.
2020 Kia Rio
Starting MSRP: $15,850
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 33 / 41 / 36
The least expensive car in the Kia lineup, Rio was redesigned for 2018 with the latest version of Kia’s “tiger nose” grille that brought the front-end look in synch with the rest of the Korean automaker’s lineup. For 2020 the Rio receives a new a new Gamma 2 1.6-liter engine with multi-port injection producing 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new Intelligent Variable Transmission replacing the previous model’s 6-speed automatic. Fuel economy rating for 2020 increases to 36 mpg combined, up from 28 mpg city / 37 mpg highway / 32 mpg combined for 2019. As the entry-level trim of the Rio, LX standard features include a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, a split-folding rear seat, air-conditioning, a new 7.0-inch display with an AM/FM/MP3 audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a rearview camera.
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $38,200
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 36 / 35 / 36
The fourth-generation Toyota Highlander debuts as a 2020 model with new exterior styling, a more refined interior and a more fuel-efficient hybrid. The Highlander Hybrid is powered by the new-generation Toyota Hybrid System that combines a high-efficiency 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors for a total output of 243 horsepower in a system that’s more compact and more efficient than before. For the first time the Highlander Hybrid is offered in front-wheel drive, achieving an EPA rating of 36 mpg combined — a 24 percent increase over the previous-generation Highlander Hybrid. The 2020 Highlander Hybrid AWD has a rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when all-wheel drive is needed. The EPA rating for the Highlander Hybrid AWD is nearly as good at 35 mpg city / 35 mpg highway / 35 mpg combined.
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $27,750
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 40 / 35 / 38
Honda’s best-selling model, the CR-V crossover is updated for 2020 and for the first time a CR-V Hybrid is offered — the first electrified SUV from the Japanese car company. Across the board, the 2020 CR-V receives updated front and rear styling, redesigned wheels and the standard Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features. Similar to the Honda Accord Hybrid, the CR-V Hybrid uses a 2-motor hybrid powertrain that teams two electric motors with a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine for a combined output of 212 horsepower, making it the most powerful model in the CR-V lineup. The 2020 CR-V Hybrid is also the first application of this innovative hybrid powertrain in an all-wheel-drive vehicle — directing power to the rear wheels when needed.
2020 Mitsubishi Mirage
Starting MSRP: $13,995
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 36 / 43 / 39
Mitsubishi’s entry subcompact Mirage was redesigned for 2017 with a new exterior design and interior updates. 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. Since 2017 Mitsubishi has also offered the Mirage G4, a sedan version of the Mirage hatchback that receives EPA ratings of 35 mpg city / 41 mpg highway / 37 mpg combined with an optional CVT transmission.
2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD
Starting MSRP: $28,350
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 41 / 38 / 40
The Toyota RAV4 was redesigned for 2019 and finished the year as the best-selling SUV in America, thanks to a 92 percent sales increase for RAV4 Hybrid. One of the original compact crossovers on the American market, the RAV4 Hybrid joined the lineup in 2016 and the latest version boasts bold styling, improved capability, better performance and an array of new safety and convenience features. The next-generation Toyota Hybrid System II in the RAV4 HV is more compact, more efficient and quieter than the previous version, working together with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force gasoline engine. Power is delivered to the front wheels through a continuously-variable transmission and the new e-AWD system adds an independent electric motor to proactively deliver torque to the rear wheels depending on conditions.
2020 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Reserve
Starting MSRP: $42,500
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 42 / 39 / 41
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Reserve 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 Reserve can cruise as fast as 85 mph on electric power alone. As expected in a vehicle from Ford’s luxury brand, the MKZ Hybrid Reserve 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.
2020 Ford Escape SE Sport Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $28,255
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 44 / 37 / 41
The Escape crossover is Ford’s second best-selling model behind the F-Series and is all-new for 2020 with fresh styling, new features and fuel-efficient engine options. Ford was the first manufacturer to offer a hybrid SUV with the 2005 Escape Hybrid, and the 2020 Escape SE Sport Hybrid marks the return of a hybrid Escape, as well as the addition of a plug-in hybrid variant available spring 2020. The Escape Hybrid powertrain features a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine teamed with an electric motor to produce a total of 198 horsepower, delivered through an electronic CVT. The 2020 Escape Hybrid FWD is rated at 44 mpg city / 37 mpg highway / 41 mpg combined, and the AWD version drops slightly to 43 mpg city / 37 mpg highway / 40 mpg combined.
2020 Kia Optima Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $29,310
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 40 / 45 / 42
Kia introduced an updated Optima lineup for the 2017 model year, including the Optima Hybrid with fresh styling and a number of new features. The 2020 Optima is available as a standard hybrid as well as a plug-in model. The Optima Hybrid gets power by from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 154 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque, teamed with 38 kW electric motor providing 51 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque for a combined output of 192 horsepower. The lithium-polymer battery can provide enough charge for the Optima to cruise at speeds up to 75 mph on electric power only.
2020 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $28,000
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 43 / 41 / 42
For the 2019 model year Ford updated the front and rear exterior styling of the Fusion Hybrid, and for 2020 the vehicle receives a new grille. Fusion is the first Ford model to feature Ford’s Co-Pilot360 driver-assist technologies as standard equipment, which includes pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert, a lane-keeping system, a rearview camera and automatic high-beams. 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.
2020 Lexus UX 250h
Starting MSRP: $34,350
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 43 / 41 / 42
For the 2019 model year, Lexus added the UX to the growing compact luxury crossover market, including the UX 250h AWD hybrid. The UX is the first Lexus vehicle to use the brand’s Global Architecture — Compact platform, providing the new crossover with a rigid structure and low center of gravity designed to deliver both agile handling and improved ride comfort. The exterior styling is similar to the larger NX and RX models but more aggressive, with a large spindle grille that dominates the front view. The UX 250h is powered by a fourth-generation hybrid system with a total output of 181 horsepower. The hybrid uses the Lexus E-Four all-wheel-drive system that adds another electric motor at the rear axle.
2020 Lexus ES 300h
Starting MSRP: $41,810
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 43 / 44 / 44
The all-new 2019 Lexus ES Hybrid received a fresh exterior design with a larger spindle grille, updated features, a lower base price and improved fuel efficiency. The latest generation ES 300h is rated at 44 mpg on the highway and 44 mpg combined, making it 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.
2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $37,000
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 43 / 44 / 44
The Avalon was 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 equips 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.
2020 Honda Accord Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $25,620
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 48 / 47 / 48
The current-generation Honda Accord debuted as a 2017 model with new exterior styling, an updated interior, and an all-new chassis designed to improve safety, handling and comfort. In addition to new turbocharged powertrains, Accord is once again available as a fuel-efficient hybrid. The current Accord Hybrid uses the third generation of Honda’s innovative 2-motor powertrain, featuring a 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC Atkinson Cycle inline-4 engine and an electric propulsion motor for a total output of 212 horsepower. The Accord Hybrid can operate in three different modes: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive. In EV Drive the Accord Hybrid runs in electric-only mode at lower speeds and medium- to high-speed cruising.
2020 Kia Niro
Starting MSRP: $24,590
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 as a 2017 model, 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.
2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue
Starting MSRP: $35,995
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 50 / 54 / 52
The Hyundai Sonata gets redesigned for 2020, and the Sonata Hybrid is all new as well with 686 miles of range and an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy for the Sonata Hybrid Blue trim. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter engine producing 150 hp and 139 lb-ft of torque combined with a 39 kW electric motor producing 51 horsepower for a total system output of 192 horsepower. The Sonata Hybrid Blue is the most fuel-efficient version of the Sonata; other 2020 Sonata Hybrid trim levels are rated at 45 mpg city / 51 mpg highway / 47 mpg combined.
2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $28,430
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 51 / 53 / 52
The Toyota Camry continued to be the best-selling passenger car in America for 2019 following a redesign for the 2018 model year with a more expressive exterior design. The Camry Hybrid is powered by a new generation Toyota Hybrid system that combines a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a permanent-magnet electric motor for a combined output of 208 horsepower. The Camry Hybrid LE uses a lithium-ion battery back and achieves an EPA rating of 52 mpg combined — a 30 percent increase over the previous model. The Camry Hybrid XLE / SE are equipped with a nickel-metal hydride battery pack and rated at 44 mpg city / 47 mpg highway / 46 mpg combined — a 21 percent increase for combined mpg.
2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $23,100
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 53 / 52 / 52
The Toyota Corolla sedan is redesigned for 2020, and for the first time ever a Corolla Hybrid is available for the U.S. market. The Corolla Hybrid adopts the latest Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system from the new-generation Prius, combining a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with two motor/generators and an electronically controlled planetary continuously variable transmission. The nickel-metal hydride battery is smaller and lighter because of new technology called hyper-prime nickel, which boosts battery performance in a smaller package, allowing the unit to be placed under the rear seat to avoid taking up trunk space. The Corolla Hybrid also has EV mode, which allows it to be operated on pure electric power for short distances.
2020 Honda Insight
Starting MSRP: $22,930
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 55 / 49 / 52
The 2019 Honda Insight was the third Honda model to use the Insight name, beginning with the 2000 Insight hybrid, the first hybrid car ever sold in America, followed by the 2010 Insight that combined the aerodynamic profile of the original Insight with the front-end design of the hydrogen powered FCX Clarity. The 2020 Insight is a dedicated hybrid model positioned between the Civic and the Accord, powered by the third generation of Honda’s 2-motor hybrid system that combines a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine with a powerful 96 kW electric drive motor and a smaller generator motor to produce electricity. Total system output is 151 horsepower and the electric propulsion motor produces 129 horsepower and 197 lb-ft of torque. The Honda Insight Touring is rated at 51 mpg city / 45 mpg highway / 48 mpg combined
2020 Toyota Prius L Eco
Starting MSRP: $24,325
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 58 / 53 / 56
The fourth-generation Toyota Prius debuted for the 2016 model year, including the Prius Eco with an EPA combined fuel economy rating of 56 mpg that unseated the 2000 Honda Insight as the most fuel-efficient non-plug-in vehicle. The latest version of Toyota’s first hybrid vehicle is powered by a Hybrid Synergy Drive that combines a 1.8-liter gasoline engine with two electric motor/generators and an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission. The fourth-generation Prius uses smaller, lighter hybrid components and a lithium-ion battery pack for 2WD trims. Prius L Eco receives additional weight savings and is the most fuel-efficient version of the model line, with other Prius Hybrid 2WD trim levels rated at 54 mpg city / 50 mpg highway / 52 mpg combined. For 2019 Toyota added the available AWD-e system with a second electric motor driving the rear wheels for AWD capability.
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Blue
Starting MSRP: $23,200
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 57 / 59 / 58
Hyundai introduced its new family of electrified vehicles called Ioniq in 2017 with the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq EV, followed by the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid in 2018. 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. For 2020 Ioniq Hybrid receives exterior updates including a mesh grille; new front and rear bumpers; LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights; new wheels and new side sill moldings. Inside, the 2020 Ioniq adds a new center LCD screen, available 10.25-inch touchscreen, a new instrument panel and touchscreen climate control.