The Most Fuel-Efficient Sedans, Crossovers and SUVs
Why we value mpg
Fuel economy is a major factor in why we buy one car over another. With fuel prices pretty high at the moment, it’s even more relevant. And for many of us, being able to boast about how many mpg we get is also fun! If you care about cash and don’t want to hand the government even more tax money, then the less you have to fill up the better.
From full electric vehicles to PHEVs and other hybrids, to diesels and even the occasional hydrogen car, it’s possible to drive efficiently today. You don’t need to guzzle gas. Below we look at the cars and SUVs with the best fuel economy in 2023. We’ve chosen to focus on non-plug-in vehicles, so no EVs and no PHEVs are on this list. But you’ll certainly see a lot of hybrids on the list. The top fuel-sippers are ranked based on combined fuel economy, rather than the max they can achieve at any single speed. This gives you a truer picture of how a car consumes fuel in the real world.
2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid
40 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.3/10
The Honda CRV-Hybrid is versatile, functional and has proven its worth over years as a SUV. Fully redesigned for 2023, the new-look CR-V Hybrid boasts a classy interior with up to 76.5 cubic feet of cargo space. As standard come heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote start, and a really decent list of driver-assistance features.
The hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors. It offers 204 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque, routed through a continuously variable automatic transmission. In addition to strong fuel economy, the CR-V Hybrid powers well when you’re driving around town and it hits the highway with ease.
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid
41 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 7.8/10
The Ford Escape Hybrid is a dynamic crossover with great handling and a fine sense of style. The interior has an intuitive layout and comes with features such as a Wi-Fi hotspot and the SYNC 3 infotainment system. It features a standard 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine works with an electric motor to put out a combined 200 horsepower and this certainly makes for swift acceleration. The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is hushed even under hard acceleration, and we find it among the most quiet in its class.
2023 Lexus UX Hybrid
42 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 7.4/10
The Lexus UX Hybrid is a refined, albeit quite small, luxury crossover that provides a calming ride and a notably premium interior. Though its infotainment system is distracting to operate, it does come with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa, which not all on this list do. It also comes with a Wi-Fi hot spot, push-button start and four USB ports. The UX Hybrid’s powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and two electric motors, producing a combined 181 horsepower. Acceleration is not as strong as others, though it’s powerful enough around town.
2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid
43 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: N/A
The 2023 Kia Sportage is an all-new model and is really an outstanding car. It is hard to fault. Its turbocharged 4-cylinder engine works with an electric motor to put out a combined 227 horsepower. This setup makes for very strong acceleration around town and smooth passing on the highway.
The Sportage Hybrid is also a great mpg deliverer. It returns a combined 43 mpg. You also get up to 73.7 cubic feet of cargo space. These are both leading numbers for the SUV market. As befits a 2023 redesign, you are given a long list of advanced driver-assistance features, as well as a fully digital instrument panel.
2023 Lexus ES Hybrid
44 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.2/10
The Lexus ES offers up a great 4-cylinder engine and two electric motors to make a combined 215 horsepower. It makes for strong low-end acceleration and decent power at highway speeds. The ride is relaxed and the feeling inside is premium. For 2023, the ES 300h received an updated infotainment system with a better touch screen. It was also enhanced with newly standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, adding to its safety and driver assistance capacities.
2023 Honda Accord Hybrid
47 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.7/10
The Honda Accord Hybrid excels at both comfort and cornering. It’s a terrific machine and worthy of its 8.7 ranking. It has strong fuel economy at 47 mpg, though its straight-line power isn’t as whip-fast as others. In the Sport trim version, be aware your mpg will drop to around 43 mpg.
But the Accord Hybrid has an outstanding interior. It provides spacious seats, as well as a host of standard features. It also comes with the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistance features, including forward collision warning, lane-keep assist and traffic-sign recognition. One to consider as an all-rounder.
2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
50 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 7.8/10
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid is smaller than others here. It is a small-medium sized car, and that will knock it out for some. That said, though it’s quite tight on rear-seat headroom and trunk space, the Corolla Hybrid’s powertrain delivers fine acceleration from a standing start and a smooth transition from electric to gas power.
With its bargain base price of $22,800 and a long list of standard safety and tech features, the Corolla Hybrid is unquestionably tremendous value. In addition to the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assistance features, the Corolla Hybrid comes standard with automatic climate control and an 8-inch touch screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
2023 Toyota Camry Hybrid
52 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.5/10
The Toyota Camry Hybrid blends functionality and performance superbly, and it offers great mpg figures. An electric motor and four-cylinder engine combine to put out 208 horsepower, routed to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission. Due to the wheels and tires that come equipped on it, the entry-level LE trim is the most efficient version of the Camry Hybrid. Getting over 52 mpg at cruising speeds is outstanding.
Even on the 2023 model, however, the infotainment system is dated compared to more modern systems on the market. But you still get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa, so it is far from bad. The Camry Hybrid also comes with forward collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and a host of additional driver-assistance features.
2023 Honda Insight
52 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.4/10
Unlike most of the vehicles on this list, the Honda Insight is one of the few hybrid-only version models on this list. There is no conventionally powered version. That offers pros and cons. Its 151-horsepower hybrid drivetrain delivers excellent fuel economy, but it is loud when trying to get up to higher speeds. For some, this will be too much of a nuisance.
The Insight is not what you would normally call agile or zippy, but it does have a comfortable ride. It also has a spacious interior for a vehicle its size. Rear-seat headroom is limited, but both rows of seats offer vast amounts of legroom. The modern dash layout is easy on the eyes and also has sensible controls that are intuitive and clean.
2023 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
52 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.6/10
The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a tempting proposition. Its styling will not be for everyone, but there’s no denying that it stands out in an otherwise quite conservative market. Choose it and you are rewarded with a long list of standard comfort and safety features. One such innovation is the Safe-Exit Assist, which prevents the doors from opening if a vehicle is approaching from the vehicle’s side and rear.
An electric motor works with the 4-cylinder engine to deliver effective power for highway acceleration and really very good low-speed pickup. The six-speed automatic does tend to complain under hard acceleration, but most will think that a small issue and a decent tradeoff for excellent fuel economy and power.
2023 Kia Niro
53 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: N/A
The freshly redesigned 2023 Kia Niro is another dedicated-hybrid model, combining a 4-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor to put out a combined 139 horsepower. This is relatively low power, compared to others here, but it makes for adequate low-end acceleration and its six-speed automatic manages power well at all speeds. The sport mode makes the Niro move more swiftly, though you lose a tad efficiency.
Despite being a hatchback crossover, the Niro’s cargo space of 63.7 cubic feet with the rear seats down is merely modest, not great. It does, however, offer plenty of space for passengers and it has a nice interior along the dash.
2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
54 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.3/10
The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is the most efficient car on this list that is a hybrid variant of a conventionally powered model. To many, this offers the best of both worlds. Its spacious interior provides plenty of headroom and legroom for a vehicle its size and its 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space is good for a compact car.
A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission manages its 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque well. Around town and at open road speeds the Elantra Hybrid has plenty of power on tap. It’s smooth even on poor roads, and yet it has a bit of flair too when you handle the corners.
2023 Toyota Prius
56 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 7.8/10
Probably the hybrid icon of the past decade, the Toyota Prius has long been the champion of hybrid values. Its endurance has not led to a flagging of its potency, and it remains one of the most efficient cars on the market today. That said, its prioritizing of efficiency results in modest acceleration and power, but for many this remains a great value ownership proposition.
The Prius blurs the line between sedan and hatchback, and combines spacious passenger accommodations with functional cargo space. Tech is more modest, and you get only a 7-inch touch screen, though it does come with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa. You also get the excellent Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assistance features.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq
59 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 7.9/10
Here we get fuel efficiency that is truly outstanding. The Hyundai Ioniq is to be considered by anyone after value and all round ability. A 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, combined with an electric motor and a 1.56-kWh battery pack, gets you over 60 mpg at peak speeds, and a superb 59 mpg for combined. There are trade-offs, however, and acceleration is sluggish in most driving scenarios, but that’s what you get with such spectacular economy – and let’s be clear, this is not a slow car, just one that is not as fast as others here.
The Ioniq also delivers high levels of functionality, providing two rows of spacious seating and helpful cargo space. The modern dash has a clean and effective layout, and will of course enable, through its intuitive 8-inch touch screen, the obligatory Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
What are the cheapest cars with the best gas mileage?
The cheapest cars you can buy with the best gas mileage are the $22,800 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid (50 mpg combined), $23,600 2023 Hyundai Ioniq (59 mpg combined) and $24,400 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid (54 mpg combined).
What hybrid cars have the best gas mileage?
The three hybrid cars with the best gas mileage are the 59 mpg 2023 Hyundai Ioniq, the 56 mpg 2023 Toyota Prius, and the 54 mpg 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
What is the safest car with the best gas mileage?
The safest cars with the best mileage are the 59 mpg 2023 Hyundai Ioniq, and the 52 mpg 2023 Honda Insight. Both earn perfect U.S. News safety scores of 10 out of 10.
What is the highest-rated car with the best gas mileage?
In the U.S. News Best Cars rankings, the highest-rated car with the best gas mileage is the 47 mpg 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid. It claims the top spot in our ranking of hybrid cars.
Powertrains: Gas-only vs. Hybrid vs. PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid)
What are the Pros and Cons of Gas-Only Vehicles
Internal combustion engines alone drive SUVs with conventional gas-only powertrains. If a vehicle isn’t labeled hybrid or plug-in hybrid, it’s likely a vehicle powered exclusively by an internal combustion engine.
The market for Hybrid SUVs and Electric SUVs remains smaller than the trad gas SUV market, and most SUVs are powered by gasoline or diesel. This will almost certainly change at a rapid pace though as 2023 and 2024 go on, so it is wise to be looking at Hybrids.
in favor of gas-only SUVs is the fact they’re less expensive and more widely able to be fixed and serviced by independent mechanics. Against them, however, is that they are now not nearly as fuel-efficient as Hybrids and their running costs are higher. Time is not on their side.
What are Hybrid Vehicles
A hybrid SUV employs a combination of a gasoline engine and electric motors for propulsion. The power to charge the batteries that feed a hybrid’s electric motors comes from the gasoline engine and energy reclaimed when the SUV brakes or coasts. You can’t charge a traditional hybrid’s battery from an external EV charging station. The upside is that the charging takes place as you drive.
In their favor is that hybrids have better fuel efficiency than gas-only vehicles. But against them is the fact they’re pricier to buy and more complex to fix.
PHEV (Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles)
The difference between plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and traditional hybrids is the ability of PHEVs to be charged by external charging stations or even standard household outlets. With their larger battery packs, they can travel significant distances on electricity alone, before automatically switching to function like a traditional hybrid.
In many ways, PHEVs are a bridge between today’s gas cars and tomorrow’s fully electric vehicles.
They have a lot in their favor. PHEV SUVs can travel several to dozens of miles on electricity alone. When charged from external sources, they can deliver amazing fuel efficiency. PHEVs also operate as efficient hybrid vehicles even if you don’t externally charge them, and they PHEVs don’t rely on public EV charging stations to travel long distances, as fully-electric vehicles do. Given that electric charging stations are still limited, this matters. They can also come with tax incentives.
Against PHEVs is that they can be seriously pricey and complex to service,
How do I improve my Fuel-Economy? Here are tips:
Check your tire pressure
Underinflated tires are a major cause of poor fuel economy. Inflating your SUV’s tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressures enhances fuel efficiency and also safety.
Drive to the speed limits
According to the EPA, lowering your highway speed 5 to 10 mph can increase your fuel economy by 7% to 14%. Plus, it’s safer and can save you the cost of a speeding ticket.
Ease up on the AC
An SUV’s air conditioning is a genuine limitation on fuel economy on hot days. You can save anything up to 10% on gas by limiting your air conditioning usage.
Aggressive acceleration and choosing routes with lots of stop-and-go driving are terrible for your SUV’s fuel economy. Use an app to assist you in avoiding this kind of driving.
Use the right oil
Today’s high-tech engines are designed to use precise weights and grades of motor oil. Using the one recommended by the manufacturer not only maximizes the engine’s efficiency, but it can also maximize its life.
Take a load off
Remove any cargo you don’t need and don’t drive around with a roof box on.
Cars with the Best Gas Mileage
Here’s a summary of the cars we’ve been looking at
- 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid: 40 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.3/10
- 2022 Ford Escape Hybrid: 41 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 7.8/10
- 2023 Lexus UX Hybrid: 42 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 7.4/10
- 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid: 43 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: N/A
- 2023 Lexus ES Hybrid: 44 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.2/10
- 2022 Honda Accord Hybrid: 47 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.7/10
- 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid: 50 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 7.8/10
- 2023 Toyota Camry Hybrid: 52 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.5/10
- 2022 Honda Insight: 52 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.4/10
- 2023 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: 52 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.6/10
- 2023 Kia Niro: 53 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: N/A
- 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid: 54 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 8.3/10
- 2022 Toyota Prius: 56 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 7.8/10
- 2022 Hyundai Ioniq: 59 MPG Combined | U.S. News Score: 7.9/10