The price of gasoline and used car prices are up, so now may be a good time to seek out a fuel-efficient vehicle for your next purchase. Here are five used vehicles, with an EPA combined fuel economy estimate of at least 30 mpg, and an average price below $25,000, based on recent sales data at franchised dealerships.
2019 Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius is one of the most fuel-efficient cars on the road. It combines a hybrid powertrain with a small but spacious hatchback body to create a car that’s both practical and frugal at the gas pump.
The Prius features most of Toyota’s latest in-car tech and advanced driver aids at a relatively affordable price. It is far from exciting to drive, but if fuel economy is a priority, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Average transaction price: $23,119
Fuel economy: EPA-estimated 50-56 mpg combined
2018 Honda CR-V
Though Honda just started offering a hybrid variant, the standard CR-V offers excellent fuel economy for a small SUV plus more passenger and cargo space.
The interior is comfortable and has lots of places to store small items like smartphones and sunglasses, but the touchscreen can be slow to respond, and the lack of a tuning knob makes changing stations more difficult than it needs to be. Still, if you’re looking for a small and fuel-efficient SUV, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Average transaction price: $23,343
Fuel economy: EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined (1.5-liter turbo engine)
2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid
The Fusion Hybrid was one of the first hybrid sedans to hit the market back in 2010. More recent years have featured a variety of improvements, but the core appeal is the same: This is pretty much a regular Fusion that gives you higher fuel economy with little compromise.
Highlights include comfortable seats, a smooth ride and a spacious trunk. The Fusion’s lively handling gives the car a sporty feel when going around turns, too. On the downside, the Fusion’s sleek roofline results in cramped rear seating for taller adults and sizable rear blind spots.
Average transaction price: $17,981
Fuel economy: EPA-estimated 42 mpg combined
2018 Chevrolet Volt
You can recharge this plug-in hybrid at home or at a charging station. With a full battery, the Volt can go longer than most other plug-in hybrids before fuel usage starts.
You’ll need to regularly recharge the Volt to take advantage of the plug-in system, but otherwise the cart functions like a regular hybrid vehicle. It does comes up short on rear passenger and cargo space.
Average transaction price: $18,952
Fuel economy: EPA-estimated 53 miles (all electric); 42 mpg combined (normal hybrid operation)
2018 Volkswagen Golf
The 2015 diesel emissions scandal may have soured some people’s love for Volkswagen, but if you can look past that, the VW Golf is a small car that easily satisfies. Its turbocharged engine is pleasingly punchy when you need to accelerate.
Another highlight is the comfortable interior that looks and feels a cut above most rivals. The hatchback body style offers a lot of utility. A lack of luxury-oriented and convenience features relative to other small cars is the main downside to the Golf.
Average transaction price: $17,679
Fuel economy: 28 mpg combined