With gas prices projected to remain well above $3.50 per gallon for the rest of the summer, here are some great fuel-efficient cars that don’t require you give up too much to save on gas.
The newly redesigned 2015 Honda Fit subcompact hatchback retains the amazing interior space and flexibility that made the old model popular, while making it more comfortable and more fuel efficient. The fuel economy leader is the LX with the automatic transmission ($16,235), with EPA ratings of 36 mpg in overall mixed driving and 41 mpg on the highway.
The Mazda3, sold as a compact sedan and five-door hatchback, marries sporty driving dynamics with outstanding fuel efficiency – 41 mpg on the highway and 34 overall with the automatic transmission ($17,995) – along with outstanding crash-test results.
The Volt is a plug-in hybrid that goes 38 miles on electricity before a gas engine turns on to recharge the batteries. You can use no gas on most drives while also being able to drive farther if you need to. Prices for this pleasant four-seat hatchback start at $26,685 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.
The Accord midsize car has all of the space, comfort and safety you’d expect from a top-notch family sedan, along with better fuel efficiency ratings than many smaller vehicles. The LX automatic ($23,545) is rated for 36 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg overall; a gas-electric hybrid version ($29,155) is instead rated for 47 mpg overall, with up to 50 mpg in the city.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The $47,300 base price is steep, but if you want luxury features in a family-friendly seven-passenger crossover, the Highlander Hybrid is just $6,000 more than a comparably equipped gas Highlander. And with 28 mpg in overall mixed driving instead of 20 mpg, you can recoup all or most of that cost over time, while stopping fewer times for gas all along the way.
Tesla Model S
If you want to use no gas at all and are willing to pay up to do so, there’s no better choice than the Tesla Model S – an electric-only large luxury hatchback that starts at $62,400 after a $7,500 federal tax credit. In addition to going more than 200 miles per charge, the Tesla also offers exceptional levels of luxury and performance. Uncomfortable with relying on electricity? Consider one of the luxury cars available with a powerful yet fuel-efficient diesel engine.
Brady Holt, a Washington D.C. newspaper reporter, has had a lifelong interest in cars in the automotive world, and he’ll share his thoughts at every available opportunity. Brady has written for Examiner.com since 2008, publishing hundreds of car reviews, automotive news pieces and other features. His work can be found on Examiner.com.