There was a time when the American car buyer had two choices. Either buy big gas-guzzling monsters or risk life and limb in an underpowered beer can econobox with the creature comforts of a medieval dungeon. Today things are different. With several decades of research and development along with the experience of building smaller, more fuel-efficient rides for ever more discerning customers, the automotive industry now creates some true works of art. Today’s economy cars are comfortable and fun to drive. Many nice rides are now available below the 25K mark that delivers mileage numbers well north of 30 mpg. Many 40 mpg. Even with a family, you can ride cheap in an affordable new car with excellent fuel efficiency.
Why is the Toyota Corolla Hatchback such a great buy?
With an MSRP of only $21,090 and delivering a combined 36 mpg overall rating, the Corolla definitely fits our criteria for both fuel economy and price point. Perhaps more importantly, it comes with many standard safety features that are only pricey options for its competition. Automatic high-beam headlights, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and lane-centering are all standard features, and the coming Hybrid should be even better.
What options are available when looking at a Honda Civic?
If you want options, then the Civic offers more standard packages than almost anyone else on the market. It comes in three body styles with six trim levels all below our price limit. If you want the mileage champs, then the Civic sedan in the EX, EX-L, or Touring trim comes out on top of the heap. With a turbocharged 174-horsepower engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission, they deliver 32 city and 42 highway in one of the nimblest cars in this class. Standard features like a 5-inch central display screen, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, USB ports, and an automatic climate control system are only gravy for the goose.
Will a Honda Fit, fit my Budget?
For pure economy across the board, the Honda Fit is one of the top-rated cars in terms of dollar for dollar value. It is marketed as a family compact but fits better in the sub-compact category. Still, thanks to its magic folding seats, it is extremely versatile for its size and offers almost unlimited options for arranging cargo and passengers. Equipped with a continuously variable transmission, it delivers 33 mpg city, and 40 mpg highway for an EPA combined 36 mpg. Best of all, it retails under $17,000, making it ideal for those on a tight budget.
Is there an affordable mid-size car that still gets good mileage?
For that needing room for a growing family or just wanting the comfort of a mid-size sedan, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is worth taking a look at. It may not reach the same mileage numbers as some other hybrids but delivering 46 mpg on the highway, and 40 mpg isn’t shabby. This is especially true considering its 24K price tag. Other advantages that it brings to the table include; automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and a 10-year/10,000-mile drive-train warranty all standard.
Why should I buy a Hyundai Ioniq ?
There is one word for why you should even look at the Hyundai Ioniq, mileage. Outside of a pure electric vehicle, it is the mileage leader in its class. It delivers 57 mpg in the city and 59 mpg on the highway using both its 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and the electric motor in concert. The downside is that with a maximum of 139 horsepower going to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, it is neither spry nor quick. In fact, it wallows. The interior is also rather spartan, the back seat is akin to an iron maiden, and if you want what other cars offer as standard comfort and safety features, you will have to opt for a package above the base model which just makes our cut with an MSRP of $24,950.
Is there an affordable sports car that still gets good mileage?
One of the top cars on the market, in terms of affordability and fun, is the Hyundai Veloster. For the sticker price of a lowly $16,600 you get a 4-Cyl 2.0 Liter Atkinson-cycle engine hooked to a 7-speed manual transmission, sport-tuned suspension and a safety suite that includes Forward Collision-avoidance Assist, Driver Attention Warning system, Blind-spot, and Rear Cross-traffic Collision Warnings as well as Smart Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist. With mileage numbers that top out at just 36 mpg, it isn’t the most fuel-efficient car, but it is a factory tuner that will smoke the streets, and you can move up four trim levels and still stay under the $25K mark.