With gas prices in constant flux these days, the unpredicability can wreak havoc on your monthly budget. A great way to hedge your bets is to search for a car with excellent fuel economy. So to help you out, we rounded up the best MPG cars available in 2022.
Fuel economy numbers below are according to the EPA and we have chosen to focus on the combined cycle for this ranking, actual mileage may vary.
Nevertheless, this is the comprehensive list for buyers looking for a fuel-efficient new car.
Hyundai Ioniq Blue: 59 MPG
The Hyundai Ioniq (not to be confused with the full-electric Ioniq 5) tops all other fuel-efficient vehicles when specified in high-efficiency Blue trim level. This is also the least expensive and least luxurious trim level. Moving up the trim level ladder does decrease efficiency somewhat, but for most buyers, the extra creature comforts will be worth the slight dip in MPG.
Overall the Ioniq delivers 58 MPG around town and 60 MPG on the highway, while not drawing attention to its hyper-miler status. The exterior styling is subdued, and the overall package looks and drives like a typical car. Interior space is comfortable for both front and rear-seat passengers, and the hatchback allows for a reasonable amount of car space. The Ioniq is an excellent choice for buyers looking to stretch their dollars at the pump.
Toyota Prius: 56 MPG
The most familiar hybrid vehicle stays near the top of the pack of most fuel-efficient cars for 2022. The Prius offers much more than when it was initially launched in the United States for the 2000 model year, including plug-in hybrid and AWD variants. In L Eco Trim the Prius tops out at 56 MPG in the combined cycle and 58 city and 53 highway MPG. In AWD trim the Prius would still have made this list at 49 MPG combined. The Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid version is also available with up to 29 miles of all-electric range.
The interior space is roomy, but reviewers have some gripes with the available storage, gauge placement, and quality of materials. The Prius also lacks in driver experience, with dull handling, touchy brakes, and unexciting acceleration. Buyers shopping for a Prius are probably more interested in the excellent MPG and long-term expected reliability of the first name in hybrid vehicles.
Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Blue: 54 MPG
The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is most efficient in Blue trim, which gets 54 MPG in the combined cycle, as well as 56 highway and 53 in the city. Stepping up to limited trim shaves a couple of miles per gallon, but we think it is worth it for the added luxury and tech of the top-tier model.
The Hyundai has an interior that punches above its price class, with a quiet ride and quality materials regardless of trim level. With only 139 horsepower combined from the internal combustion and electric motors, the Elantra has just enough power to function in traffic but won‘t wow you with its acceleration. The midsized Elantra hybrid bests its smaller subcompact sibling the Hyundai Accent by more than 10 MPG in each category.
Honda Insight: 52 MPG
In EX trim the Honda Insight delivers 55 MPG in the city and 49 on the highway. Like most models, moving up in trim drops mileage because of the additional weight of luxury options. The Insight outshines the competition in driver engagement and acceleration, running from 0-60 in 7.7 seconds.
Honda’s hybrid-only entry has grown up a lot since its initial model. The current Insight offers sleek looks, acceptable performance, and a high-quality interior. Buyers who would previously have considered the discontinued Honda Civic Hybrid should look to the Insight.
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue: 52 MPG
Hyundai’s third entry on the list gets an EPA-estimated 50 MPG in the city and 54 on the highway. Aside from excellent MPG, the Sonata includes an impressive suite of safety features, a comfortable interior, and a stylish exterior.
The overall driving experience in the Sonata is acceptable, with decent handling and a stable, comfortable ride. One area where the Sonata falls short is the integration of electric and gasoline power, with a clunky exchange between fuel sources that is less refined than the competition. The Sonata is still a worthy contender on the list of best fuel economy vehicles thanks to its other stellar attributes.
Toyota Camry Hybrid: 52 MPG
The Toyota Camry has been the family sedan of choice for decades, and with a hybrid powertrain, it is an even more economical and practical choice. The Camry Hybrid is a well-rounded, comfortable, quiet vehicle while delivering decent performance for a vehicle focused on fuel efficiency.
Buyers road-tripping to a family reunion can expect to travel 686 miles between trips to the gas station according to the EPA. Highway and city mileage are 53 and 51 respectively, so regardless of your traffic pattern, you should see MPG above 50. Some reviewers faulted the Camry for cheap plastic materials throughout the cabin, a common complaint for Toyota products.
Toyota Corolla Hybrid: 52 MPG
The Camry’s smaller sibling matches its fuel economy and maybe a better option for buyers with a tight parking situation or navigating narrow city streets. Sometimes smaller is better. Available in a single trim level for 2022 the Corolla Hybrid offers a lot of cars, and great gas mileage, for a low price. Starting at $24,050 the Corolla Hybrid is a serious value.
The interior space and materials are competitive for the class with plenty of leg room and limited use of cheap plastic materials. Unfortunately, the Toyota Corolla hatchback is not available in Hybrid trim, but the sedan version still offers plenty of trunk space. Tech features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hotspot are included, as well as Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 which packs in an impressive array of active safety features.
Kia Niro: 50 MPG
The Kia Niro is available as a hybrid, PHEV, and electric vehicle, but we’re focusing on the standard hybrid model. The Niro delivers impressive gas mileage of 50 MPG on the combined cycle. It also offers packaging that slots between a hatchback and crossover SUV, adding to its practicality.
The Niro’s styling and driving characteristics are not top in the category, but the interior is spacious and high-quality across trim levels. The Niro offers the lowest cost entry point and highest mileage in the SUV-ish segment but does not offer all-wheel drive or the ground clearance of most crossovers or SUVs, so we have lumped it in with the cars.
Honda Accord Hybrid: 47 MPG
Like the Camry, the Honda Accord has been a staple of family transport for decades, and the Accord Hybrid adds to that legacy. The Accord lags behind the Camry Hybrid in fuel economy but offers quicker acceleration, better handling, and a nicer interior. It may be the best choice for buyers looking for high MPGs in a car that feels and behaves like a normal vehicle. For all of these reasons, reviewers consistently rank the Accord top in the midsize sedan segment.
The Accord offers excellent acceleration for the category thanks to a combined 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. The electric motors make all of that torque available at any time, giving the Accord an EV-like pull from a stop. Despite being low on this list, the Accord is a worthy contender in the category and well worth considering, particularly for buyers who want an engaging driving experience.
Lexus ES Hybrid: 44 MPG
The Lexus ES offers a luxurious interior you would expect and has an EPA-rated fuel economy of 43 MPG in the city and 44 on the highway. Seating for five adults is comfortable and plush, even at lower trim levels. The quiet cabin and high MPG make the ES an excellent highway cruiser.
Powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain making a combined 215 horsepower, the ES is not quick, but does accelerate smoothly and quietly. The Lexus has supple suspension that soaks up road imperfections. That soft suspension means handling is controlled, but not sportscar-like. The ES is a great option for buyers who like to be pampered and use less fuel.
If you need slightly more space, there are a few SUVs that just barely missed the top ten:
Lexus UX 250h 42 MPG
The Lexus UX 250h is powered by a 181 horsepower combined hybrid system that includes all-wheel-drive on all trim levels. The little SUV also has decent handling and can be upgraded to the F-Sport model which sharpens steering even further. The UX delivers a car-like experience in a small SUV package.
The interior has luxury appointments and quality materials. A touchscreen infotainment system is standard and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The UX offers decent rear-seat passenger space but has less cargo room than comparable models in the segment.
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid 41 MPG
The Ford Escape is available as a traditional hybrid as well as a plug-in, which gets up to 37 miles of EV range. The Hybrid version has 200 combined horsepower from its powertrain, while the PHEV adds another 21 horsepower. The Escape Hybrid is front-wheel drive as standard but can be optioned with all-wheel-drive in any trim level, though that does decrease mileage slightly.
The Escape delivers an overall car-like driving experience, with the extra space of a small SUV. Cargo space is competitive for the class, and seating for front and rear-seat passengers is roomy. The interior is stylish and uses high-quality materials across trim levels, though some reviewers complained of a few cheap plastic trim pieces.
2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 40 MPG
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has better acceleration than the standard RAV4 and returns higher fuel economy. A plug-in version, the RAV4 Prime, is even quicker but has been difficult to find on dealer lots because of lower production numbers. All Hybrid RAV4s include AWD and have 219 combined horsepower. The Prime PHEV has over 300 horsepower and rockets to 60 miles per hour in well under six seconds.
Inside, the RAV4 has a practical interior with lots of well-thought-out storage and comfortable sturdy seating. A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. The RAV4 is a great option for buyers wanting adventurous vehicles that sips fuel, without sacrificing performance.
2022 Toyota Venza 39 MPG
The Toyota Venza shares much of its platform with the RAV4 Hybrid but offers a more stylish package. That means the Venza gets standard AWD and 219 horsepower. The Venza offers a quieter ride than the RAV4 and delivers similar acceleration.
The Venza’s sleek shape means it offers slightly less room inside for both passengers and cargo than the RAV4. A tick panoramic roof called Star Gaze allows passengers to alternate between opaque and clear glass with the flip of a switch but is only available on the top trim level at an additional cost.
Last but not least there is one pickup truck that is a standout:
Ford Maverick 37 MPG
Ford has axed nearly its entire lineup of small cars and replaced it with what may be an ideal vehicle for the US market. A small truck that is legitimately small and boasts 37 MPG in hybrid trim. With 1564 pounds of payload capacity the Maverick nearly equals some full-sized trucks.
Though the hybrid version is FWD only and has a max towing capacity of 2000 pounds, there is a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine available. With that engine, the Maverick can tow up to 4000 pounds and has optional all-wheel-drive, while still getting a respectable 25 MPG combined.
Quick Bonus Pick: Toyota Sienna
If you are trying to get the most people from A to B with the fewest gallons of fuel it is hard to beat this hybrid minivan. The Sienna gets 36 mpg on the highway in front-wheel-drive trim, and 35 when equipped with all-wheel-drive.
For comparison, the AWD Subaru Impreza offers tight seating for five and gets just 36 MPG on the highway, equipped with an optional CVT in its most efficient trim.
Buyers looking for the most bang for their buck might consider a non-hybrid that gets good fuel economy but doesn‘t carry the price premium of the additional complications of an electric powertrain. Inexpensive cars like the Chevrolet Spark, Mitsubishi Mirage, Kia Rio, and Nissan Versa all ring up at several thousand dollars less than most of the cars on this list. Even with the difference in fuel mileage, it would take years of daily driving to make up the additional cost.
Those looking to use less fuel, pollute less, or simply visit the gas station less often should look to these hybrid cars. Some buyers may be best served by a PHEV using battery power for short daily trips and burning gas only when needed. This list provides a few great options for fuel-sipping cars, SUVs, and even a truck to cover almost every need and burn less gas.