Between budget, lifestyle, and looks, there is a lot to consider when shopping for a car. So much, in fact, that it will definitely take more than just a love-at-first-sight test drive to find your match. These shiny symbols of freedom also come with major responsibility, like keeping your passengers, yourself, and the environment safe. Today we're focusing on the latter, highlighting the best cars for gas mileage. And though the Environmental Protection Agency recently rolled back a lot of the fuel efficiency standards in place during the Obama administration—and driving a car pollutes the air no matter what—there's still a lot we can do as drivers and consumers to reduce our carbon footprints.
Aside from saving you time and money at the pump, driving more fuel-efficient cars and cutting gas emissions make a huge difference in air quality and climate change. To compile a list of the best cars for gas mileage, we consulted Kelley Blue Book, Consumer Reports, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Start your research by learning about electric cars and then take a look at small cars with an MPG of 33 or higher, or jump to the section with larger cars with 24 MPG or higher.
For Electric Cars With 90 MPGe and Higher
MPGe for Stop-and-Go Driving: 134
MPGe for Highway Driving: 141
Other Standout Features: This is the first fully electric BMW, and it's also the most fuel-efficient car on the market right now. So if you love this luxury brand but also want something more fuel efficient, here's your pick. The four-door hatchback takes about four hours to charge—think of it like plugging in your phone while you sleep so it's fully charged the next day. In terms of safety, you can also add the city collision mitigation and pedestrian-detection sensors and alerts for a backup system. The steering radius is also amazing.
MPGe for Stop-and-Go Driving: 104
MPGe for Highway Driving: 116
Other Standout Features: The i-MiEV is a compact four-seater and has an incredibly reasonable starting price. If you mostly drive in the city, this would the ideal electric car for you. Plus, it's 100% electric and takes about eight hours to fully charge. Another perk of electric cars is that they're super quiet and smooth, and this one is no exception.
MPGe for Stop-and-Go Driving: 99
MPGe for Highway Driving: 109
Standout Features: You'll be able to go as far as you could ever want without stopping in this plug-in hybrid. Like the other electric cars on this list, you can choose between charging it at a station and a 240-volt charging station at home. You can also fill it with gas for an extended range when charging isn't an option. There are also energy displays on the screen that tells you where you're using the most energy in real time. Plus, there's a brake peddle on the steering wheel to slow down instead of immediately stopping, which saves energy.
MPGe for Stop-and-Go Driving: 91
MPGe Highway Driving: 95
Other Standout Features: The Tesla not only gets up to 295 miles in one charge, but it's also designed to accommodate families, this sleek, eco-friendly car drives smoothly and seats up to seven people comfortably. Oh, and it can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds flat, making it the quickest SUV on the market. Aside from the cutting-edge engineering and design, it's incredibly safe, with eight surround cameras, collision-avoidance features, and automatic-braking technologies. Another cool feature is the doors, which open up like wings and have sensors on them to open up as far as possible without hitting surrounding objects in a tight parking space. Welcome to the future.
For Smaller Cars With 33 MPG and Higher
MPG for Stop-and-Go Driving: 57
MPG for Highway Driving: 59
Other Standout Features: Aside from being super fuel-efficient thanks to the hybrid technology, the Iqonic also rates really high for safety with features like rear cameras, blind-spot detection, automatic emergency braking, lane change assistance, and bending lights for greater visibility at night. Since it's a new model, there are also plenty of up-to-date technology perks, like a cordless charging station for your smartphone.
MPG for Stop-and-Go Driving: 43
MPG for Highway Driving: 59
Other Standout Features: The Prius is the ultimate icon for fuel-efficient cars. As one of the first affordable hybrids on the market, it's still a leader in the revolution for more environmentally sound cars. As far as safety, the Prius Three features a lane departure alert system, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind spot monitors, and pre-collision detection.
MPG for Stop-and-Go Driving: 32
MPG for Highway Driving: 42
Other Standout Features: As far as affordable, reliable, and high-performing cars go, the Honda Civic is a great option. Practical and reliable, the most recent models feature similar safety systems to the previous cars in this list.
MPG for Stop-and-Go Driving: 28
MPG for Highway Driving: 37
Other Standout Features: For something sporty, stylish, and sunshine-friendly, opt for the Mini Cooper Convertible. Plus, it's a lot more spacious and comfortable than most sports cars, so it'll definitely support weekend getaway with friends piling in the car. As far as high-tech perks, there's a heads-up display inspired by jet cockpits, a touchscreen navigation system, and a rain warner.
For Larger Cars 24 MPG and Higher
MPG for Stop-and-Go Driving: 52
MPG for Highway Driving: 49
Other Standout Features: With regenerative brakes, the Niro's hybrid system makes this car a very environmentally friendly choice if you want an SUV but aren't ready to make the move to chargeable electric cars. As Kia describes, "It combines the pure power of our hybrid-optimized engine with a highly efficient, lightweight electric motor and a powerful lithium-ion polymer battery."
MPG for Stop-and-Go Driving: 31
MPG for Highway Driving: 28
Other Standout Features: Super quiet and smooth, the Lexus RX 450 is a fun, reliable, and sleek car to drive. The slightly higher price point for the hybrid version is definitely worth it if you want better gas mileage while also being more environmentally friendly. The electric battery is charged with driving the car at consistent low speeds to save gas. When you floor it, it goes into gas engine mode. It also features a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic braking and steering torque assistance.
MPG for Stop-and-Go Driving: 27
MPG for Highway Driving: 29
Other Standout Features: The Ford Eco Sport is ideal for families and city driving thanks to the compact size that makes small streets and parking spaces easier to maneuver while still having plenty of room for storage in the back.
MPG for Stop-and-Go Driving: 19
MPG for Highway Driving: 28
Other Standout Features: America's first hybrid minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica is as fuel efficient as a minivan can get in 2018. So if you want to drive a hybrid but also need to invest in a car that can fit a ton of cargo and maybe kids in the backseats, this would be your ideal option.
And now, learn about some of the best cars for families on the road.