Most Fuel-Efficient New Cars

© Toyota Motor Sales, © Kia Motors America, © Ford Motor Company, © BMW USASaving at the Pump
Fuel efficiency endures as a top criterion among new-car shoppers, but how do they know which cars are most fuel efficient? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tests new light vehicles and ranks them according to fuel mileage potential. Only pure electric vehicles, plug-in gas-electric hybrids and standard gas-electric hybrids made this list — here’s a look at the 20 models with the best combined EPA fuel-economy ratings. Notes: Annual fuel cost estimate based on 55% city / 45% highway driving and 15,000 annual miles. Electric vehicles ranked by Miles Per Gallon equivalent (MPGe): 33.7 kW-hrs = 1 gallon of gas. Vehicle prices listed do NOT include the federal tax credit of up to $7,500. Model year 2016 data shown when 2017 EPA data unavailable.

© Hyundai Motor America2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Starting MSRP: Not Released
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 150 / 122 / 136
Charge time: 4 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $500
Driving range: 124 miles
The Ioniq Electric is one of three different powertrain choices for Hyundai’s sleek new vehicle platform. The Electric’s 88kW (120-horsepower) electric motor sources power from a 28 kW-hour lithium-ion polymer battery. Charging the battery to 80 percent takes approximately 20 minutes using a 100-kW fast charger; as an alternative, an integrated in-cable control box also lets owners charge Ioniq from a standard household socket. In terms of design, the Electric version differentiates itself from the Hybrid and Plug-In via a clean grille surface, LED low-beam headlights and rear combination lamps that have a unique pattern.

© BMW of North America2017 BMW i3
Starting MSRP: $42,400
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 137 / 111 / 124 (60 amp-hour battery)
Charge time: 4 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: electricity = $550
Driving range: 81 miles
On the market since 2014, the BMW i3 is available as a pure EV with a 60- or 94-amp-hour battery, or as a plug-in gas-electric hybrid. Although the i3 is not the cheapest entry-level EV, it is one of the coolest. Built on an aluminum frame with a carbon fiber body, the i3 has a low center of gravity and quick acceleration; it reaches 60 mph in just over 6 seconds. The 170-horsepower electric motor provides a range of 81 miles with the 60 amp-hour battery, but with the 94 amp-hour battery the range jumps to 114 miles. The plug-in gas-electric hybrid has a total range of 180 miles.

© General Motors2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Starting MSRP: $37,495
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 128 / 110 / 119
Charge time: 9.3 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $550
Driving range: 238 miles
Voted 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the Bolt EV promises a range of more than 200 miles with a starting price calculated by GM bean counters to hit just below $30,000 when including the full $7,500 federal tax credit. The 200-mile range exceeds almost every other electric car currently on the market — the one exception being Tesla. However, the Bolt EV is about half the price of a Model S. In addition to its impressive stats, this new EV is loaded with innovations. A Bolt-specific Bluetooth low-energy system connects to a smartphone as the driver approaches the car. A large 10.2-inch touchscreen display and rear camera mirror are available, and a dedicated EV nav system plans a route while considering terrain that will affect the battery’s depletion rate. Social bonus: Bolt EV owners will be able to compete against each other and see who is driving most efficiently.

© Volkswagen of America, Inc.2016 Volkswagen e-Golf*
Starting MSRP: $28,995
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 126 / 105 / 116
Charge time: 3.7 hours at 240V (7.2 kW charger)
Annual fuel cost: $550
Driving range: 83 miles
Considering all the issues surrounding their diesel engines, Volkswagen has decided to go long in electrification, vowing to have 30 EV models on roads by 2025. The German automaker says the e-Golf can hit 60 mph in a little more than 10 seconds, but it feels faster with its instantly-available 199 lb-ft of torque. The e-Golf is available at participating dealers in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C. *Note: The EPA has not posted data for the 2017 e-Golf.

© Nissan North America, Inc.2017 Nissan LEAF
Starting MSRP: $30,680
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 124 / 101 / 112
Charge time: 6 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $600
Driving range: 107 miles
The most significant change for the 2017 LEAF is battery size — the 30-kWh pack is the standard battery across the entire range. The larger battery provides a driving range of 107 miles, which Nissan says is a 27 percent increase over the previous LEAF battery. A favorite of corporate eco-fleets, the LEAF is a stalwart performer and well on its way to being the best-selling pure EV ever.

© FCA US2017 Fiat 500e
Starting MSRP: $31,800
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 121 / 103 / 112
Charge time: 4 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $600
Driving range: 84 miles
Quicker than its gas-powered sibling, the 500e is a blast to drive around the city. That said, the space needed for the battery renders the rear seat virtually unusable. The 2017 500e has Uconnect 5.0, which uses a 5-inch touchscreen and has Bluetooth capability. Availability continues to be exclusively in Oregon and California.

© Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Starting MSRP: $22,995
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 121 / 102 / 112
Charge time: 7 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $600
Driving range: 59 miles
Billed by Mitsubishi as the most affordable electric vehicle in America, the i-MiEV has a remote system that pre-activates the air-conditioning, heater and timer battery charging. Safety features include dual-stage airbags, side-curtain airbags, ABS brakes, active stability control and traction control, and an approaching vehicle audio warning system. An optional navigation package includes a 7-inch touchscreen display with real-time traffic and a rearview camera.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 smart fortwo EV coupe and cabriolet*
Starting MSRP: $25,000 coupe; $28,000 cabriolet
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 122 / 93 / 107
Charge time: 6 hours
Annual fuel cost: $600
Driving range: 68 miles
The open-top version of this funky runabout has the same EPA fuel economy ratings as its sibling cozy coupe. Output is rated at 75 horsepower with 96 lb-ft of torque. Smart’s Tridion safety cell uses high-strength steel to protect occupants, in conjunction with an electronic stability program and anti-lock brakes. *Note: The EPA has not posted data for the 2017 smart fortwo coupe and cabriolet.

© Kia Motors Corporation2017 Kia Soul Electric
Starting MSRP: Not Available
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 120 / 92 / 105
Charge time: 4 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $600
Driving range: 93 miles
Despite this EV’s hefty weight gain due to the battery pack, it remains fairly nimble and fun. The funky Soul is currently sold in 12 states: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington. Interestingly, the Soul EV earned validation from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for its use of bio-based materials.

© Ford Motor Company2016 Ford Focus Electric*
Starting MSRP: $29,170
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 110 / 99 / 105
Charge time: 3.6 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $600
Driving range: 76 miles
Ford loads up the Focus Electric with an impressive array of standard features. All Focus Electrics come with a rearview camera, SYNC hands-free connectivity, 17-inch alloy wheels, a 9-speaker audio system and voice-activated navigation. Focus Electric has a range of 76 miles and can be completely recharged in 3.6 hours with a 240-volt charging station. *Note: The EPA has not posted data for the 2017 Focus Electric.

© Tesla Motors2016 Tesla Model S*
Starting MSRP: $71,000
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 101 / 107 / 104
Charge time: 12 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $600
Driving range: 218 miles
Although some now call it the Honda Civic of Silicon Valley, the remarkable Tesla Model S stands out for its technological prowess and fantastic driving range. The Model S 60D has two motors that produce a combined 376 horsepower, and Tesla says this Model S will hit 60 mph in 2.5 seconds with a top speed of 140 mph. Although a standard charge time at 240 volts is 12 hours, that can be significantly reduced with an 80-amp dual charger. *Note: The EPA has not posted data for the 2017 Model S.

© Tesla Motors2016 Tesla Model X*
Starting MSRP: $83,000
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 91 / 95 / 93
Charge time: 12 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $700
Driving range: 238 miles
A crossover SUV unlike any other on the market, the Model X’s unique powertrain resides at the core of this game-changer — although it’s not the only innovation. Two independently controlled electric motors power the all-wheel-drive Model X. The base 90D has a range of 257 miles and can reach 60 mph in a quick 4.8 seconds. One of the most notable innovations on the Model X are its Falcon Wing doors, which need only 12 inches of side clearance to operate. Inside, a medical-grade HEPA filter removes pollen, bacteria, viruses and pollution from the air before circulating it into the cabin. This versatile crossover can also tow up to 5,000 pounds. *Note: The EPA has not posted data for the 2017 Model X.

© Mercedes-Benz USA2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e
Starting MSRP: $39,900
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 85 / 82 / 84
Charge time: 3.5 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $800
Driving range: 87 miles
This classy Mercedes EV has a 132kW electric motor good for 177 horsepower, with a zero to 60 mph time of 7.9 seconds. The midsize 5-door B250e has many standard features, including a temporary range extender that adds 17 miles of additional driving, electromechanical power steering, collision prevention assistance with Adaptive Brake Assist, dual-zone climate control and a central controller with a 7-inch color display. The B250e is available in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

© General Motors2017 Chevrolet Volt
Starting MSRP: $33,220
MPGe (combined city / highway): 106 ; MPG (combined city / highway): 42
Charge time: 4.5 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $650 (electricity + gas)
Driving range: 420 miles
The alternative powertrain of the Chevrolet Volt eliminates the fear of getting stuck somewhere with a dead EV battery, while still providing the benefits of an electric car. Updated for 2017, the new Volt can travel more than 50 miles on electricity alone, and can be recharged on a 240-volt fast charger in 4.5 hours. If you must travel farther than 50 miles, an onboard gas-powered generator keeps the batteries charged and the electric motor moving for a total range of more than 400 miles. The Volt is rated at 106 MPGe when running on electricity alone, and 42 mpg when the generator is running.

© Kia Motors Corporation2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid
Starting MSRP: Not Available
MPGe (combined city / highway): 103 ; MPG (combined city / highway): 40
Charge time: 2.7 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $700 (electricity + gas)
Driving range: 610 miles
The Optima Hybrid received impressive updates for the 2016 model year, and the new 2017 plug-in builds on that solid foundation with an extended EV range. This plugged hybrid has a coefficient of drag of .24, achieved via active grille shutters, aero-optimized wheels, and a special rear diffuser that hides the exhaust outlet. Its quick charge interval means the Optima Plug-In will be a viable alternative even for those with rather long commutes or tight turnaround times.

© Hyundai Motor America2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $34,600
MPGe (combined city / highway): 99 ; MPG (combined city / highway): 39
Charge time: 2.7 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $750 (electricity + gas)
Driving range: 590 miles
Corporate sibling to the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid, the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid is rated slightly lower in terms of overall efficiency, but not by much. In pure EV mode the Sonata Plug-In can travel about 27 miles before hybrid power takes over. A 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack powers the Sonata, as well as a 6-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device — a 50-kW electric motor. Total output is rated at 202 horsepower.

© Ford Motor Company2017 Ford Fusion Energi
Starting MSRP: $31,120
MPGe (combined city / highway): 97 ; MPG (combined city / highway): 42
Charge time: 2.5 hours at 240V
Annual fuel cost: $750
Driving range: 610 miles
Ford’s Fusion plug-in midsize sedan receives a facelift for 2017, which is good timing considering the arrival of rivaling models from Kia and Hyundai (see previous two vehicles). The hybrid employs a 141-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gas engine and a 118-horse electric motor, which draws power from a 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery. Combined power pencils out to a total of 188 horses. A new Platinum trim level adds premium features at a premium price point.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.2017 Toyota Prius Eco
Starting MSRP: $25,165
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 58 / 53 / 56
Annual fuel cost: $600
Driving range: 633 miles
The Prius model line received a complete redesign for the 2016 model year, which incorporates a sleeker body design and an even more fuel-efficient powertrain. The 2017 Eco version kicks things up a notch from the standard Prius by reducing weight even more and tweaking the aerodynamics to achieve an EPA combined MPGe rating of 56 and a total driving range of 633 miles.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.2017 Toyota Prius
Starting MSRP: $24,685
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 54 / 50 / 52
Annual fuel cost: $600
Driving range: 588 miles
All new for the 2016 model year, Toyota’s iconic gas-electric vehicle line now looks sleeker and bolder with a more athletic stance. The new Prius has lighter engine components, a battery pack of increased capacity yet smaller dimensions, and aerodynamic enhancements good enough to make it the most efficient non-plug-in hybrid on the road.

© Honda North America2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $29,605
MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 49 / 47 / 48
Annual fuel cost: $700
Driving range: 758 miles
This alt-fuel Accord has a 2-motor multi-mode hybrid powertrain that combines a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors. It has 212 total horsepower yet still achieves an EPA combined fuel economy rating of 48 mpg. Standard features include Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, ABS, electronic brake distribution, a tire-pressure-monitoring system, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, remote engine start, a security system and Honda Sensing, which includes Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking, and a Road Departure Mitigation System.


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