The Top10 Most Fuel-Efficient Gas-Only Cars Of 2020

May 4, 2020 By sadra 1

The Top10 Most Fuel-Efficient Gas-Only Cars Of 2020

Save money and fuel with these frugal cars.

The media highlights the virtues of electrification all the time. From mild hybrids that provide modest boosts in fuel savings to full EVs that end the need for petrol entirely, the future of the motorcar lies in some form of electrification. That doesn’t mean gas is going away, though.

Saving fuel is an excellent objective and these cars make it easy. There’s no electric gadgetry or lithium-ion batteries here – just efficient engines that make their modest power by utilizing small amounts of gasoline. We’ve ranked these cars by their EPA-estimated combined fuel economy ratings and made honorable mentions of their less impressive counterparts. From ultra-thrifty hatchbacks to surprisingly efficient sedans, these are the 10 most efficient gas-powered cars of 2020.

  1. 2020 Toyota Camry L

29 City / 41 Highway / 34 Combined
$24,425

2020 Toyota Camry L

2020 Toyota Camry L

Fuel economy isn’t exclusive to compact and subcompact vehicles. The 2020 Toyota Camry L, the most budget-friendly version of the popular midsize sedan, nets a segment-best 34 mpg combined from its 2.5-liter four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic transmission. Prices start from $24,425, although you may have hard time finding this base model in dealers – it’s typically reserved for fleet use. The more common Camry LE maintains the 2.5-liter and eight-speed gearbox but returns 32 mpg combined and starts at $24,970.

  1. 2020 Kia Forte FE

31 City / 41 Highway / 35 Combined
$18,790

2020 Kia Forte

2020 Kia Forte FE

Just one version of the 2020 Kia Forte nets a combined fuel economy rating of 35 mpg: the Forte FE. This is also the cheapest version of the Forte, starting at $17,890, although you’ll need to spend an additional $900 to get a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) and hit the lofty combined fuel economy figure. Furthermore, the FE’s 147-horsepower is available in the LXS and GT-Line trims, where it returns 33 mpg combined, and the EX trim, which sees 34 combined mpg.

  1. 2020 Nissan Versa

32 City / 40 Highway / 35 Combined
$16,400

2020 Nissan Versa

The redesigned Nissan Versa remains an economical offering in its third generation, netting a combined fuel economy rating of 35 mpg, but only if you get the optional continuously variable transmission. The $1,670 option bumps the combined rating up from the manual gearbox’s 30-mpg combined rating, making it a fine choice. You can purchase a Versa S with the CVT for $16,400, although it’s equally efficient in the SV and SR trims, which include the CVT as standard. The Versa is no speedster, though, with just 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque from its 1.6-liter four-cylinder.

  1. 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

32 City / 40 Highway / 35 Combined
$17,750

2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

Toyota’s second appearance on this list is Toyota Yaris, which nets 35 mpg combined with the 1.5-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed manual gearbox, only accessible on the Yaris L and LE sedans, drops the combined rating to 34 mpg. The automatic gearbox is an $1,100 option on the base L and LE (that start at $15,650 and $16,650), although it’s standard on the $17,750 Yaris Hatchback LE and all trims above that. The 1.5-liter packs 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque.

  1. 2020 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE

32 City / 41 Highway / 35 Combined
$21,390

2020 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

The base 2020 Toyota Corolla SE Hatchback with shiftless transmission is the most efficient member of the popular Corolla family, returning 35 combined mpg. This setup packs an acceptable 168 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque into a package that starts at a reasonable $21,390, a price that includes the $675 premium for the CVT. If you prefer a Corolla Sedan, the 2.0-liter variant with a CVT is fine for 34 mpg combined. This engine is only accessible on the SE trim and above for the Sedan, though, which starts at $22,050.

  1. 2020 Kia Rio

33 City / 41 Highway / 36 Combined
$15,850

2020 Kia Rio

2020 Kia Rio

Here’s a nice one: Every version of the 2020 Kia Rio returns 36 mpg combined. Of course, there are only two alternatives, each featuring a naturally aspirated 120-hp 1.6-liter engine and a continuously variable transmission, but that’s beside the point. Prices for the base Rio LX start at $15,850, although we’d suggest buying the $16,490 Rio S, which is just as efficient but carries a better load of equipment.

  1. 2020 Honda Fit LX

33 City / 40 Highway / 36 Combined
$16,990

2020 Honda Fit LX

2020 Honda Fit LX

Another appearance for the Honda, although the sub-compact Honda Fit hatchback only accomplishes its highest marks in its base form, the LX. This entry level model also requires a continuously variable transmission to achieve its stunning 36-mpg-combined rating. That said, you’ll find the same engine – a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter – across the Fit line, with its 128 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque (manual-trans models are slightly more powerful, packing 130 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque). Prices start at $16,190, although the CVT is an $800 variant that puts the final price at just under $17,000.

  1. 2020 Hyundai Elantra Eco

33 City / 41 Highway / 36 Combined
$21,450

2020 Hyundai Elantra Eco

2020 Hyundai Elantra Eco

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra is the first product on this list that needs a specific trim to achieve max efficiency. The $21,450 Elantra Eco is the only trim in the lineup to present a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, a pairing that nets 36 combined mpg while offering owners a solid 128 hp. If you want a bit more variety in equipment or need to save some bucks, there are four versions of the Elantra with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter that return 35 combined mpg, three of which undercut the Eco’s starting price

  1. 2020 Honda Civic EX Sedan

32 City / 42 Highway / 36 Combined
$23,800

2020 Honda Civic EX Sedan

2020 Honda Civic EX Sedan

The excellent Honda Civic comes in at number two and is at its most efficient in its most common configuration: four-door sedan, turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, and shiftless transmission. This setup nets 36 mpg combined on 87-octane fuel.

This combo is only accessible in the EX, EX-L, or Touring trims, which start at $23,800, $25,000, and $27,700. If you want a low-cost trim (there are two), plan on sacrificing fuel economy – the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder nets 33 mpg combined in the sedan. The 1.5-liter doesn’t make the owner suffer for fuel economy at least. It is a strong four-cylinder with 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque.

If you prefer the Civic’s efficient powertrain but want a different body, the two-door coupe nets 35 mpg combined, while the five-door Civic Hatchback earns 34 combined.

  1. 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

36 City / 43 Highway / 39 Combined
$15,295

2020 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

2020 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

Doleful as it is to drive, the 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage is indubitably efficient and affordable. The tiny hatch features a modest 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that produces just 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. It is the most efficient gas-powered car in the country, netting 37 miles per gallon combined. You’ll need to spend $1,300, on top of the Mirage Hatchback’s $13,995 starting price to get into the most efficient model, a CVT-equipped Mirage ES, but even with that premium this is still surprisingly affordable and efficient hatch.

Its siblings aren’t much worse in fuel economy. If you want the shape of a four-door sedan, the Mirage G4, featuring the same 1.2-liter engine is nearly as efficient and affordable. With the same continuously variable transmission, it earns 37 mpg combined, while the five-speed-manual model nets 36 combined. Plan on spending $16,295 on the former and $14,995 on the latter.