The 15 Most Fuel Efficient Cars You Can Buy In 2022

With gas prices rising, fuel economy is a major consideration when purchasing a new car. Luckily, tremendous strides have been made in terms of fuel efficiency, and these days a gallon of gas will get you further than you might think.

As you might expect, this list is very hybrid-heavy. Hybrids offer levels of efficiency that fuel-only cars can't compete with. However, we have excluded plug-in hybrids as they could technically get infinite miles to the gallon if you purely rely on charging them.

Another worthy thing to note is the variety you see in modern hybrids. This list isn't limited to compact eco-wagons; we'll discuss SUVs, AWD models, and even a few luxury options.

There is some flexibility in this list. A lot of the time, fuel efficiency will depend on how you use your car. Spending most of your time driving in the city or on the highway will have a bearing on what vehicle you should choose if you want to get the most out of your gas tank.

Here are the most fuel-efficient cars of 2022.

15. Mitsubishi Mirage

Despite coming in 15th, the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage is first in several individual categories. In terms of price, the Mirage starts from $14,645 — which makes it the cheapest vehicle on this list. The Mirage also has the honor of being the only non-hybrid that made it into the top 15 most economical cars of 2022. So if you want to save money at the gas station but have a deep-seated hatred of electric motors, this is probably as good as things will get for you.

In terms of niche appeal, the Mirage is one of a swiftly shrinking number of subcompact cars on the market. Despite manufacturers like Toyota, Chevrolet, and Honda trending towards larger vehicles, a subcompact might still have appealing features. If you want something cheap, fuel-efficient, and easy to park in ridiculously tight spots—Mitsubishi still has your back.

According to Mitsubishi, the Mirage will get up to 36 Miles Per Gallon (MPG) in the city and 43 on a highway, giving us a combined total of 39 MPG.

14. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

If compacts aren't for you, at the other end of the scale is the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). Toyota's RAV4 Hybrid offers All Wheel Drive (AWD), settings designed to tackle several terrain types, and state-of-the-art safety features — while remaining capable of a combined 40 MPG.

In some cases, the RAV4 Hybrid may be a better option than the standard Toyota RAV4 — even without taking fuel usage into account. The increased torque the hybrid's electric motors provide will allow you to tow an extra 250 pounds (1,750 pounds vs. 1,500), which could make all the difference.

For SUV enthusiasts who crave even more fuel economy, Toyota also has a plug-in hybrid option available, the RAV4 Prime. The Prime offers 42 miles of electric range without compromising cargo or cabin space. The plug-in model will cost you around $10,000 more than the RAV4 hybrid, though federal and local tax incentives can offset the price difference.

13. Lexus UX 250h

Tied at 13th is another AWD hybrid SUV, the Lexus UX 250h. Lexus says the UX will get 38 MPG on the highway, 41 in the city, and 40 MPG combined — just like the Toyota RAV4.

The critical difference between the two, aside from a price gap of over $7,000, is the luxury features that the Lexus offers. The interior has several comfort-based features, like a leather-trimmed wheel and lumbar support seats, contrasting significantly with the RAV4's functional design. City-based UX owners will also benefit from what the manufacturer claims are a "best-in-class" turning radius—a tight 17.1 feet.

On the other hand, a frequent criticism of the UX 250h is the limited cabin and cargo space. You'll get under 22 cubic feet of room behind your back seats in the UX 250h, whereas the RAV4 almost doubles that at 37.5 cubic feet. With the seats down, the gap remains similar at 40.4 cubic feet vs. 69.8 (via US News).

As the name suggests, the UX 250h is a better hybrid version of Lexus' entry-level UX 200. Non-Hybrid centric features the UX 250h has over the 200 include AWD, more torque, and an extra 12 horsepower.

12. Ford Escape Hybrid

When you think Ford, you might picture a muscle car like the iconic Mustang or something like the F-series of pickup trucks. Neither of which have been particularly economical. However, Ford has changed tack in recent years and now wants half of its global vehicle volume to be fully electric by 2030. The Mustangs and pickups both have hybrid and fully electric versions on the market, as do other Fords, like the Ford Escape.

Like many other cars on this list, the Escape has a plug-in model. If you don't want to spend the extra cash on that, the crossover version is still solid. Their non-plug-in Escape hybrid will get up to 37 MPG on a highway, 44 in a city.

If we judged this list on city driving alone, the Escape would be in the top 10. So while the SUV concept might make you think about heading into the great outdoors, it's an excellent option for the morning commute.

11. Lexus ES 300h

If you want to blend a luxury experience with fantastic fuel economy, Lexus' ES 300h is the car for you. Interior features include what Lexus describes as "class-leading legroom" and "semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats." If that isn't enough, Lexus offers "Luxury" and "Ultra-Luxury" editions of the 300h from $48,375 and $52,155. Unlike some other manufacturers, those upgrades won't hurt your average MPG. Lexus' luxury versions of the ES 300h provide the same fuel economy as the base model.

In terms of performance, you're looking at 215 horsepower, a 0-60 time of 8.2 seconds, and the kind of quiet, comfortable ride you would expect from a luxury sedan. A key feature missing from the 2021 version doesn't appear on the 2022 model either — the Lexus ES 300h does not come with AWD.

Although there is no EPA figure on MPG yet, Lexus claims this car will do 44 MPG on a highway, 43 in the city, and has a combined MPG of 44.

10. Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Japanese manufacturer Toyota is a big player in the hybrid vehicle world, and the Avalon is one of their higher-end models. Prices start from $37,350 for a base model, increasing to $43,650 for the "limited" edition. Unlike some vehicle ranges, opting for one of the more expensive versions won't tank your fuel economy. At worst, you'll lose 1 MPG from your highway maximum.

Regarding safety, the Avalon Hybrid benefits from Toyota's Safesense 2.5 system. Features include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, two systems that should keep you in the correct lane, and a camera that reads speed signs.

Toyota's Avalon line is also the first to get an XSE Hybrid Nightshade Edition. Styling aside, what may make the Nightshade Edition stand out from other hybrids on the market is its use of "Sequential Shiftmatic technology" to provide functional paddle shifters. Opting for an XSE Hybrid Nightshade will cost you an extra $3,350 and about one mile per gallon of fuel economy.

9. Honda Accord Hybrid

If you want an Accord, but your main goal is to get the best fuel economy possible, buy the 2021 version of the Honda Accord Hybrid. The 2022 model has lost 1 MPG on the highway somewhere. Despite a fractional decline in efficiency, the Accord Hybrid is still firmly in the top 10 most economical cars this year, offering 47 MPG on the highway and 48 in the city. With 212 horsepower, the Accord Hybrid is one of the more powerful cars on this list and might be the right choice for anyone who wants to make their gas go further but worries about driving a vehicle that lacks power.

The Accord Hybrid has several editions to choose from, with the "Touring" version firmly planting itself at the top end. However, prices can stack up as you take one of the fancier options—that same touring model is over $10,000 more expensive than the basic Honda Accord Hybrid. If you do decide to splash out, the extra cash will get you 19" alloy wheels.

8. Kia Niro

The Kia Niro stands out in the city. Not in terms of attractiveness or noise, like a Ferrari or Lamborghini would — but in terms of fuel economy. In an urban setting, Kia says you'll get up to 53 miles per gallon, five more than the Niro offers on a highway. You also get a good amount of storage space with your Kia Niro: 19.4 cubic feet with the back seats up and 54.5 with them down.

Kia hasn't upped the price on their 2022 edition of the Niro, and not much else has changed either. Both cars have the same MPG, same engine, and same layout. The 2022 edition seems to have gained 17 pounds from somewhere; that's it (via USNews). The significant changes on the 2022 Nero are all stylistic. Five trim variants are available, with Kia's new logo plastered on the front, back, and steering wheel.

7. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Not only does the 2022 Sonata arrive with some of the 2021 model's optional features as standard, but Hyundai has also dropped the base price by around $500. Buyers of a new Sonata will find it comes and will have access to keyless entry and power door locks without feeling an extra sting in their wallets.

If you want to spend a little more on your Sonata, the "Limited" edition comes with a solar roof. Hyundai claims the panels on the Sonata are more efficient than the ones you'll find bolted to the roof of a house. The company also says 5.8 hours a day of ideal sunlight will put enough power into the batteries to drive you around 800 miles per year. It's nowhere near enough to act as the car's primary power source, but it is a nice bonus that could pay for itself if you live in the right area.

We have a three-way tie for fifth place on our fuel economy list, but each car in that spot offers something different. If you drive on a lot of highways, the Hyundai Sonata is the clear fifth place choice. Offering a maximum of 54 MPG outside of the city, it beats out our other fifth-place picks and our number four choice. In the city, a Sonata will get a maximum of 50 MPG.

6. Toyota Camry Hybrid

Each incarnation of the 2022 Camry comes with a 2.5L, 4-cylinder engine. However, the fuel economy on the high-end version drops to 47 MPG on the highway and 44 in the city. Toyota has released 18 variants of the Camry, five of which are hybrids. The most exciting edition is the "Nightshade" hybrid, with darker trim and blacked-out 18" wheels. AWD is also available on some models of the Camry Hybrid.

In our three-way tie for fifth place, the Camry is the best all-rounder offering 53 MPG on the highway and 51 MPG in the city. If your days are a mixture of urban commute and long-distance highway driving, the Camry will have you covered in every scenario. The fuel economy on offer is frankly excellent in both cases.

The Camry Hybrid is comparable to the Toyota Corolla's hybrid edition in fuel economy. The Corolla has a marginally better-combined MPG, but if you're a Toyota fan, both cars have such a similar level of fuel economy that it's not a difference-maker.

5. Honda Insight

The Sonata was the best highway driver, and the Camry was our best all-rounder, so there are no prizes for guessing the 2022 Honda Insight has the best urban fuel economy of our fifth-place choices. The EPA estimates that the Honda Insight will manage a maximum of 55 MPG in a city.

There are two versions of the 2022 Insight, the EX model, which is available from $25,760, and the Touring version, starting at $29,790. The extra $4,000 gets you some of the upgrades you would expect, like heated leather-trimmed seats and the ability to use your car as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Like Honda's 2021 release, the 2022 Insight benefits from a plethora of driver assistance and safety features. These features include the "Honda Sensing Suite," which provides sensory assistance along with steering and braking aids when activated. Insight owners will also benefit from a "collision mitigation braking system," which is a fancy way of saying the car will try to stop itself before you accidentally hit something.

4. Toyota Corolla Hybrid

The Corolla is one of Toyota's longest-running lines. In 2021 Toyota reported they had sold over 50 million Corollas since production of the vehicle began in 1966. To put that into context, that is roughly equal to about one Corolla per person living in England, including babies, the Queen, and other folks who are unlikely to have a drivers' license. A hybrid version of the Corolla first hit the road in 2020, and over the past two years, it's established itself among Toyota's extensive hybrid range. Given the global shift towards fuel-efficient and electric vehicles, introducing a hybrid edition may mean some version of the Corolla will be around for the vehicle's 100th anniversary in 2066.

In terms of fuel economy, the Corolla Hybrid is not a million miles away from its cousin, the Toyota Camry Hybrid. It will get up to 52 MPG on a highway and 53 in the city. Though Toyota only offers one hybrid version of the Corolla, instead of the two Camries you get to choose from. The single Corolla is around $4,000 cheaper and comes with the standard "oh, it's 2022 now" features, including keyless entry, push-button start, and compatibility with services like Apple Car Play.

3. Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

The bronze medal goes to the Hyundai Elantra, which will get a maximum of 53 MPG in the city and 56 MPG on a highway. Last year's Elantra won North American Car of the Year, a fact Hyundai is still boasting about on its website. A 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine works in tandem with the Elantra's motor to produce a combined 139 horsepower. In addition to the excellent fuel economy and award-winning pedigree, the Elantra also has a couple of "class-exclusive" features, namely wireless Apple Car Play/Android Auto integration and a hands-free trunk release.

For an extra $4,500, Hyundai offers a Limited trim for the Elantra Hybrid, expanding the range of "class-exclusive" features. The exclusive features of the Limited model include dynamic voice recognition, reverse collision avoidance assist, and Hyundai's digital key system. The MPG on the Limited version drops to 52 on the highway and 49 in the city.

2. Toyota Prius

Toyota first launched the Prius in 1997, making it the first mass-produced gas/electricity hybrid on the market (via Toyota UK Magazine). Fast-forward 25 years and the Prius is still one of the biggest names in the world of hybrid and electric vehicles, so it may not be surprising that it's this far up the list.

The Prius will get an impressive 53 miles per gallon on the highway, but it's in the city where Toyota's flagship hybrid stands out. A Prius will get up to 58 miles from a gallon of gas, which puts it joint top for urban fuel economy.

If a combined 56 MPG is still not enough for you, Toyota offers a plug-in hybrid version—the Prius Prime. Features like AWD are available, but the figures Toyota has posted show opting for AWD will drop your fuel economy by around 10%. While getting 47 MPG on the highway and 51 MPG in the city is still excellent, it may not be worth the upgrade if you're just looking for raw fuel economy.

1. Hyundai Ioniq

The most economical car of 2022 is the Hyundai Ioniq. Hyundai says the Ioniq will give you up to a staggering 60 MPG on a highway and 58 in the city. Although it is level with the Prius when it comes to urban fuel economy, it's still at the top of the list. On the highway, no other standard hybrid gets near it.

A plug-in hybrid version of the Ioniq also exists for those who want to stretch their fuel economy further. If you're going to go all-electric, Hyundai also has the Ioniq 5. Like the Elantra, the Ioniq has several trims available, all with a range of driver-assist and comfort features—some of which you won't find on other hybrids in the Ioniq's class. The premium "SEL" and "Limited" versions are less economical but at a combined 55 MPG, they would still place third on this list.