Non-Hybrid Cars with the Best Gas Mileage

by Arthur Barnhouse

Fuel efficient vehicles make sense for a variety reasons. A car that consumes less gas not only addresses concerns about the environment and dependence on foreign oil, but also eases the burden of high fuel costs on your wallet. If, for whatever reason, you do not wish to purchase a hybrid, there are numerous fuel efficient, gas-powered vehicles on the market from which you can choose. The following list is comprised of 2009 to 2010 models that are ranked most fuel efficient.

Most Efficient Two-Seater, Subcompact and Minicompact Vehicles

The Smart ForTwo, as its name implies, is a two-seater that employs a 70-horsepower, 1.0L engine. With a 5-speed auto-shift transmission, the Smart ForTwo averages 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. Both the convertible and coupe have the same fuel rating. The ForTwo requires the use of premium gasoline. The Toyota Yaris is a subcompact vehicle that is powered by a 106-hp, 1.5L engine. It can be purchased with either a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission, both with overdrive. Tested with the manual transmission, the Yaris averaged a fuel rating of 29 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway. The most fuel efficient MINI Cooper is the model which runs on a 118-hp, 1.6L engine, with a 6-speed with O/D manual transmission. The MINI Cooper averaged 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

Most Efficient Mid and Full-Size Vehicles

The Hyundai Elantra, with the 132-hp, 2.0L engine and 5-speed manual transmission, is one of the most fuel efficient midsize vehicles on the market. It averaged 24 to 25 miles per gallon in city and 33 mpg on the highway. The Nissan Altima is midsize sedan that can be purchased with three different engine types. The 2.5L, 170-hp engine will save the most gas when combined with the 6-speed manual transmission. The Nissan Altima averaged 23 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway. Hyundai also makes a full-size model, the Sonata, that ranks high in fuel efficiency. With the 2.4L, 168-hp engine and 5-speed manual transmission, the Hyundai Sonata managed to get 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The Honda Accord is a full-size sedan that is powered by a 4-cylinder, 2.4 liter engine and 5-speed manual transmission. With this setup, the Accord averaged 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

Most Efficient Compact SUVs

The Toyota RAV4 is a compact SUV that, in its most fuel efficient version, employs a 179-hp, 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder engine. The 2009 RAV4 does not offer a manual transmission, but rather a 4-speed and 5-speed automatic. This vehicle averaged 22 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway. Jeep offers two models, the Patriot and Compass, and both rank high amongst fuel efficient compact SUVs. Both vehicles must be the 2WD version and be equipped with the 158-hp, 2.0L engine and the 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive. Both Jeeps averaged 23 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

About the Author

Arthur Barnhouse has written numerous short stories, contributed content to various websites and was an invited speaker at a university symposium on creative writing. He began writing in 2002 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Barnhouse has driven across the United States numerous times and draws upon his travel experiences in his writing.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images