Most Fuel-Efficient Cars in America

© Hyundai Motors AmericaFuel Efficient of 2019
Electrified vehicles continue to be the most fuel efficient in America, and in 2019 there are more plug-in models to choose from than ever before. Considering the country’s relatively low gasoline prices, sales of pure electric cars remain a very small fraction of total vehicle sales, largely due to the primary drawbacks of electric cars — they can take a long time to charge and most have a limited driving range. All 25 vehicles on this fuel-efficient list have some level of electrification; either as pure electric or hybrid. Most listed are 2019 models, but there are a few 2018s that are expected to make the list once the 2019 model gets evaluated. What follows are the 25 most fuel-efficient vehicles in America according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ratings, sorted in ascending order by combined MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent, which measures the miles a vehicle can travel on the energy equivalent to a gallon of gasoline) or combined MPG. Note: the U.S. EPA does not report city / highway fuel economy for plug-in hybrids.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.2018 Toyota Prius Eco
Starting MSRP: $25,165
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 58 / 53 / 56
Range: 633 miles
In 2016 Toyota introduced an all-new Prius to the U.S. market, and this updated model is better than its predecessor in every way. Multiple trim levels are available, but the Eco is the most fuel efficient of them all. While the Eco employs the same powertrain as the rest of the lineup — a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine combined with a permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor — this special trim receives a lighter lithium-ion battery pack and other weight savings to achieve the best fuel economy.

© Hyundai Motors America2019 Hyundai Ioniq Blue Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $22,400
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 57 / 59 / 58
Range: 702 miles
Last year Hyundai introduced a new family of electrified vehicles called Ioniq. This new model series is available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicle formats. With the latest in safety technology and an impressive list of standard features, the Ioniq Blue Hybrid offers more than simply great fuel economy. That said, it is currently the most fuel-efficient non-plug-in vehicle in America. The Ioniq’s 1.6-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder engine is teamed with a 32-kW electric motor, generating a total of 139 horsepower.

© Jaguar Land Rover2019 Jaguar I-PACE
Starting MSRP: $69,500
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 80 / 72 / 76
Range: 234 miles
The all-new Jaguar I-PACE is an entirely electric crossover that looks and feels like a Jaguar should, including excellent performance both on- and off-road. All I-PACE trims come well equipped with high levels of luxury as well as the latest high-tech safety features, including automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, rear-traffic monitor, traffic-sign recognition and clear exit monitor. Power comes from dual permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors — one powering the front wheels, one powering the rears to create a permanent 4-wheel-drive system. Total output is 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque. Electric motors deliver peak torque immediately, which means the I-PACE can reach 60 mph from a standstill in a quick 4.5 seconds.

© Tesla Motors2018 Tesla Model X 75D
Starting MSRP: $84,000
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 91 / 95 / 93
Range: 238 miles
Tesla’s SUV certainly stands out from the crowd in both style and capability with impressive performance in both efficiency and acceleration. The model X features two independently-controlled electric motors for full-time all-wheel drive. Available in three different power levels, the Model X 75D is listed as the most efficient according to the EPA. The 75D may feature the base-level power, but it can still accelerate to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. Slightly less efficient, the Model X P100D provides acceleration on par with most exotic sports cars. Featuring aerodynamic styling, innovative Falcon Wing doors and a versatile interior, the Model X is unique within the American crossover market.

© Hyundai Motors America2019 Hyundai Sonata PHEV
Starting MSRP: $35,290
Electric-Mode — MPGe (combined): 99
Hybrid Mode — MPG (combined): 39
Electric Range: 28 miles
Total Range: 600 miles
With the introduction of the current-generation Sonata, Hyundai added a plug-in version of the already-efficient Sonata Hybrid. The plug-in hybrid is equipped with a powertrain that combines a 2.0-liter engine producing 154 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque with a 6-speed automatic transmission and a transmission-mounted 50 kW electric motor for a total system output of 202 horsepower. The electric motor is more powerful than the Sonata Hybrid, and the 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack is five times larger than the Sonata Hybrid’s battery, making for a pure electric range of 28 miles and total range of 600 miles.

© Kia Motors Corporation2019 Kia Optima PHEV
Starting MSRP: $35,290
Electric-Mode — MPGe (combined): 103
Hybrid Mode — MPG (combined): 40
Electric Range: 29 miles
Total Range: 610 miles
The first plug-in hybrid model offered by Kia, the Optima Plug-In Hybrid is available in the well-equipped EX trim only. The stylish sedan comes standard with leather trim, heated front seats, a premium audio system and is available with the latest advanced safety features. Powering the Optima Plug-In is a 2.0-liter gasoline engine teamed with the electrical power of a transmission-mounted 66-horsepower electric motor for a total output of 202 horsepower. Electricity is stored in a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack that delivers a range of 29 miles in EV mode, with a total driving range of 610 miles.

© Ford Motor Company2019 Ford Fusion Energi
Starting MSRP: $36,595
Electric-Mode — MPGe (combined): 103
Hybrid Mode — MPG (combined): 42
Electric Range: 26 miles
Total Range: 610 miles
Ford’s midsize Fusion sedan is currently the best-selling American-brand passenger sedan in the U.S., available with a standard gasoline powertrain, as a hybrid, or as the Energi plug-in hybrid. The Energi features a 141-horsepower 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine, an electronic continuously variable transmission and a 118-horse electric motor, which draws power from a 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery. Total output for the advanced hybrid powertrain is 188 horsepower, which is more than the standard gasoline powertrain on the non-hybrid Fusion. Fusion Energi is equipped with Ford Co-Pilot360 that features an array of advanced safety features including automatic emergency braking and cross-traffic alert.

© Kia Motors America2019 Kia Niro PHEV
Starting MSRP: $28,200
Electric-Mode — MPGe (combined): 105
Hybrid Mode — MPG (combined): 46
Electric Range: 26 miles
Total Range: 560 miles
Already one of the most fuel-efficient hybrids on the market, the Niro is now available as a plug-in version. Power comes from a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed with a 60-horsepower electric motor for a total combined output of 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor is powered by an 8.9 kWh lithium-Ion polymer battery pack that allows up to 26 miles of electric-only driving. Niro PHEV has the same 6-speed dual-clutch transmission as Niro with four drive modes: EV, Hybrid, Eco or Sport. The higher capacity batter is stored under the cargo floor and rear seat, retaining the same amount of cargo capacity as the Niro Hybrid.

© Tesla Motors2018 Tesla Model S 75D
Starting MSRP: $78,000
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 103 / 102 / 105
Range: 259 miles
A unique alt-fuel vehicle in the American marketplace, the Model S offers impressive performance and an impressive driving range in an attractive electric sedan. The Model S was the first Tesla to come to market, and is now one of three models offered by the innovative American car company. The Model S is available in configurations ranging from the base-level 75D to the P100D, which has the capability of reaching 60 mph in less than 3 seconds when in “Ludicrous” mode.

© General Motors2019 Chevrolet Volt
Starting MSRP: $33,520
Electric-Mode — MPGe (combined): 106
Hybrid Mode — MPG (combined): 42
Electric Range: 53 miles
Total Range: 420 miles
The Volt takes a unique approach to the plug-in hybrid, using the gas engine as a generator rather than for driving the wheels. The second-generation Chevrolet Volt — introduced a few years ago — derives power from a 2-motor electric drive that produces 111 kW (149 horsepower) with 294 lb-ft of torque for an all-electric range of 53 miles. The Ecotec 1.5-liter gas-powered range extender generates electricity to power the electric motors after the batteries are depleted, for a total range of 420 miles. The Volt can be recharged on a 240-volt fast charger in 4.5 hours, or on standard 120-volt power in approximately 13 hours.

© Kia Motors America2019 Kia Soul EV
Starting MSRP: $33,950
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 124 / 93 / 108
Range: 111 miles
The Soul remains a fun and versatile vehicle in the Kia lineup, and the Korean brand added the electric version four years ago. The Soul EV is powered by a 90 kW (109-horsepower) electric motor that generates 210 lb-ft of torque. Electricity is stored in 30 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery with a total range of 111 miles. Recharging a fully depleted battery takes about 6 hours with a 240-volt outlet, or up to 33 hours with a standard 120-volt source. Watch for an all-new 2020 Soul EV coming to showrooms soon.

© Mercedes-Benz USA2018 smart EQ fortwo electric
Starting MSRP: $23,900
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 124 / 94 / 108
Range: 58 miles
The smart fortwo city car is ideally suited for electric power, and for 2018 the little 2-seater was only available with an electric powertrain. The fortwo electric drive features an 80-horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels with 118 lb-ft of torque. Range is a bit shorter than most EVs at 58 miles; however, the smart fortwo can be fully charged from empty in a mere 3 hours with a 240-volt power source. The smart fortwo electric drive is offered in both coupe and convertible versions — the only electric-drive convertible currently on the market.

© American Honda Motors2018 Honda Clarity PHEV
Starting MSRP: $33,400
Electric-Mode — MPGe (combined): 110
Hybrid Mode — MPG (combined): 42
Electric Range: 48 miles
Total Range: 340 miles
Honda now offers an entire family of Clarity models, including the EV, Fuel Cell and plug-in hybrid. The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid features a 181-horsepower electric motor powered by a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. When the battery has been exhausted, a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine generates electricity for the motor as well as to recharge the batteries. Under certain conditions the gas engine can contribute power to the front wheels as needed. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid offers three selectable driving modes: Normal, Econ and Sport, so drivers can choose between optimal economy or improved performance.

© FCA US2019 Fiat 500e
Starting MSRP: $TBA
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 121 / 103 / 112
Range: 84 miles
One of the smallest vehicles available in America, the subcompact 500 is great fun to drive, especially the electric-powered 500e. Power comes from an 83-kW (111 horsepower) electric motor that produces 147 lb-ft of torque. According to the U.S. EPA, the 500e can travel up to 84 miles between charges; however, Fiat expects that in city driving more than 100 miles is possible. The 500e features an electronic shifter with pushbutton transmission mode selector. The 6.6 kW onboard charging module will recharge the battery in less than 4 hours when connected to a Level 2 (220/240-volt) power source.

© Kia Motors America2019 Kia Niro Electric
Starting MSRP: $TBA
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 123 / 102 / 112
Range: 239 miles
When Kia introduced the Niro hybrid a few years back, the company promised a plug-in hybrid and pure EV would be coming soon. The plug-in hybrid went on sale last year, and at this year’s L.A. Auto Show the all-electric Niro finally debuted. Offering the functionality of a typical compact crossover, the Niro EV utilizes a liquid-cooled 64kWh lithium-ion polymer battery stored under the floor so cabin space is unaffected. The Niro EV gets motivation from an electric motor that produces 201 horsepower and a strong 291 lb-ft of torque that comes on instantly for great acceleration. Since electric cars run silently, Kia has given the Niro EV an artificial sound described as a “techy whirring noise.” While this does make the Niro EV sound pretty cool, the noise is actually designed as a safety feature to alert pedestrians to the car’s presence.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2019 Nissan LEAF
Starting MSRP: $29,990
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 124 / 99 / 112
Range: 150 miles
The LEAF was one of the first mainstream electric vehicles sold in America when introduced in 2011, and last year the LEAF was all new. It received a fresh new look including a roomier interior as well as better performance and efficiency. The Nissan LEAF is equipped with a high-response 110-kW AC synchronous electric motor producing 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. The power supply is a new 40-kWh laminated lithium-ion battery made up of 192 cells generating 33 percent more energy than the outgoing model. This gives the LEAF a range of 150 miles, and with a DC fast charger, a 30-minute charge will provide almost 90 miles of driving.

© BMW North America2019 BMW i3
Starting MSRP: $44,450
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 124 / 102 / 113
Range: 153 miles
BMW’s electric i3 has been on the market since 2014, and for 2019 the innovative little car gets a larger 120 Ah battery. With more juice on tap, the i3 can now travel almost double the range it had when first introduced. Built on an aluminum frame with a carbon fiber body, the i3 has a unique interior featuring rear-hinged rear doors for easy access to all seating positions. Power comes from a 170-horsepower electric motor that delivers a zero-to-60 mph time of just over 7 seconds.

© American Honda Motors2018 Honda Clarity Electric
Starting MSRP: Lease only, no price listed
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 126 / 103 / 114
Range: 89 miles
The Honda Clarity Electric is an all-electric vehicle and one of three electrified vehicles that make up the Clarity family. Currently sold in California and Oregon only, the Clarity Electric is powered by a 161-horsepower (120-kilowatt) electric motor producing 221 lb-ft of torque. The 25.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides a range of 89 miles. The Clarity Electric can by fully charged in just over three hours at 240 volts, and using DC fast charging it can reach an 80 percent charge in a quick 30 minutes. Like the other Clarity variants, the Clarity EV comes well equipped with the latest in entertainment, communications and safety technology.

© Hyundai Motor America2019 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV
Starting MSRP: $29,350
Electric-Mode — MPGe (combined): 119
Hybrid Mode — MPG (combined): 52
Electric Range: 29 miles
Total Range: 630 miles
In 2017 Hyundai introduced its new family of electrified vehicles called Ioniq. Initially available as a hybrid or pure EV, the Ioniq added a plug-in hybrid variant last year. The small but versatile sedan features a 1.6-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine teamed with a 44.5-kW electric motor to produce a combined 139 horsepower. The 8.9 kWh battery pack provides enough energy for up to 29 miles of electric-only driving. Unlike many of its competitors, the Ioniq uses a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox to provide a more engaging drive than the typical continuously-variable transmissions found in most electric and hybrid vehicles.

© Volkswagen USA2019 Volkswagen e-Golf
Starting MSRP: $30,495
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 126 / 111 / 119
Range: 125 miles
As Volkswagen moves away from diesel powerplants, the German automaker is putting greater emphasis on electric drive, with the e-Golf  as its first offering. Introduced in 2015, the e-Golf received a major update for the 2017 model year with an improved battery and more power. The e-Golf features a new 35.8 kWh lithium-ion battery that increases the driving range to 125 miles — a 50 percent increase over the previous model. The electric motor produces 134 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque, allowing the e-Golf to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds with top speed of 93 mph. A 7.2 kW charger is standard for both SE and SEL Premium trims, which will charge the battery in less than six hours with a 240-volt charging station. The optional DC fast charging (standard on SEL Premium) will recharge to 80 percent in an hour at a DC fast-charging station.

© General Motors2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Starting MSRP: $36,620
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 128 / 110 / 119
Range: 238 miles
Chevrolet introduced the innovative Bolt EV two years ago, and the fun-to-drive compact sedan offers impressive driving range for a vehicle of its price. The Bolt EV is powered by a 150-kW electric motor producing 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, delivering acceleration from zero to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. Electricity gets stored in a 60-kWh lithium-ion flat battery pack that resides under the length of the Bolt’s floor. A 7.2 kW onboard charger is standard for charging from a 240-volt wall box and will provide 50 miles of range in 2 hours. An available DC Fast Charging system will charge the battery to 90 miles of range in 30 minutes.

© Hyundai Motors America2019 Hyundai Kona Electric
Starting MSRP: NA
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 132 / 108 / 120
Range: 258 miles
Following the introduction of the stylish Kona crossover last year, Hyundai has introduced a pure-electric version. The Kona Electric features a powerful yet efficient electric drivetrain and a comfortable, roomy interior. The drivetrain features a 150-kW electric motor that produces 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque, and a high-voltage 64 kWh lithium-ion battery. Kona Electric uses a Level-II onboard charging system capable of a 7.2 kW rate of charge for rapid recharging. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 54 minutes with a Level-III quick charge using the SAE-Combo charging port, while a 7.2 kW Level-II charger takes 9 hours and 35 minutes. The Kona Electric features aerodynamic body enhancements and LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights.

© Tesla Motors2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range
Starting MSRP: $53,000
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 136 / 123 / 130
Range: 310 miles
The third model in the Tesla lineup, the Model 3 is more affordable than the two higher-end models from the American car company. With a bold level of standard equipment and sleek styling that befits the rest of the Tesla lineup, the more economical Model 3 was designed for high-volume sales. Although the Model 3’s standard battery delivers a 220-mile range, the version found most efficient by the EPA features the larger battery that bumps the range up to 310 miles. Performance is quite impressive — the dual-motor all-wheel-drive Model 3 sprints to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

2018 Toyota Prius Prime
Starting MSRP: $27,300
Electric-Mode — MPGe (combined): 133
Hybrid Mode — MPG (combined): 54
Electric Range: 25 miles
Total Range: 640 miles
Shortly after the introduction of an all-new Prius, Toyota came to market with the plug-in version called Prius Prime. With a design that sets it apart from the standard Prius, the Prime uses a larger 8.8 kWh battery pack that provides an electric-only driving range of 25 miles. The Prius Prime uses the same basic powertrain as the standard Prius — except for a larger battery. The hybrid system consists of a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gas engine producing 95 horsepower teamed with two electric motors for a total power of 121 horsepower — the same as the standard Prius. The battery can be fully charged in two hours using a 240-volt power source, or in approximately 5.5 hours using a standard household outlet.

© Hyundai Motor America2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Starting MSRP: $29,815
MPGe (city / hwy / combined): 150 / 122 / 136
Range: 124 miles
The electric version of Hyundai’s new Ioniq is the fuel-economy champ in America for the second year in a row. The economical small sedan features an 88-kW (118 horsepower) permanent magnet synchronous electric motor that generates 215 lb-ft of torque. With a 28-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, the Ioniq Electric can travel up to 124 miles on a full charge. Using a 100-kW fast charger, the car can be charged to 80 percent capacity in about 20 minutes and can be fully charged in 4 hours using a 240-volt power source. The Ioniq is available in either base or Limited trim and currently sold exclusively in California.

The post Most Fuel-Efficient Cars in America appeared first on

More from Our Auto Expert