What Are The Most Fuel Efficient Cars?

What Is Fuel Efficiency? 

Fuel efficiency, or gas mileage, measures how well a car uses its gasoline to move. The higher its fuel efficiency, the less gasoline it needs to travel a specific distance.  

Fuel efficiency is one of the most common things considered when people buy a car. It is often seen as having the same level of importance as things like price, comfortable seating, safety, offering a smooth ride, and reliability, meaning that people put it in high regard. 

Why Is Fuel Efficiency Important? 

One of the reasons to prioritize more fuel efficient cars don't need to fill up on gas more often. Not only does this mean that you need to stop for gas less often, saving you some time, but it also means that you don't spend as much money on gas. Having to purchase less gas is especially great when gas prices are high. In the long run, getting the most fuel efficient vehicle, just like getting less expensive car insurance, could possibly save you hundreds of dollars a year on fuel costs if you drive often enough, meaning that when considering price, fuel efficiency should be a factor that you also keep in mind. 

There are also plenty of reasons why getting the most fuel efficient vehicle can help others. When you prioritize fuel efficiency, it helps the environment. Reducing greenhouse gasses means you pump less CO2 into the atmosphere, lowering your carbon footprint.  

What Are The Most Fuel Efficient Cars? 

If your primary factor when purchasing a car is fuel efficiency, cars have the largest variety of options. Many of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the market are cars due to their small size and not needing as much power. Many styles of car will have enough seats for an entire family, meaning that you will have plenty of options, allowing you to weigh the many other factors involved in purchasing a car, allowing you to get a fuel efficient car that also fits your needs. Some examples of fuel efficient non-hybrid vehicles include the following:  

  • Honda Civic  
  • Hyundai Elantra 
  • Mitsubishi Mirage 
  • Nissan Sentra,  
  • Nissan Versa  
  • Volkswagen Jetta  

Keep in mind, however, there are also plenty of others, any of which are offered at an affordable price. Hybrid options of the aforementioned, as well as the Kia Niro, Toyota Prius, and Lexus ES 300h, are all excellent for those who can afford them.  

What Are The Most Fuel Efficient SUVs? 

SUVs are a great type of vehicle if you need a lot of space to carry around a lot of people, or plenty of your things. As mentioned before, SUVs tend not to be as fuel efficient as smaller vehicles due to their bulkier nature. However, that doesn't mean that this type of vehicle should be instantly dismissed as an option, as many fuel efficient versions still exist. If you have a large family that moves around a lot but wants to keep gas usage to a minimum, a fuel efficient SUV is a compelling choice, with some still offering exceptional fuel economy. 

Keep in mind that the general guidelines for finding a fuel efficient SUV are the same as any other vehicle. Some fuel efficient SUVs include the following:  

  • Chevrolet Trailblazer  
  • Hyundai Venue  
  • Kia Soul  
  • Nissan Kicks  
  • Nissan Rogue  
  • Toyota Venza 

Please keep in mind however that these aren’t the only fuel efficient SUVs, and many more options exist. Any type of hybrid SUV also will offer great fuel efficiency. 

What Are The Most Fuel Efficient Trucks? 

Trucks tend to struggle with their fuel consumption rating, as that aspect is traditionally a bit of a weak point for them by nature. Trucks tend to need to be large due to the fact that they need to be powerful enough to transport large amounts of cargo in a single trip. Luckily, there are still plenty of trucks with decent fuel economy. 

There are, however, still plenty of advantages to trucks. They are better for hauling large amounts of cargo or supplies, as well as travelling off-road, and tend to last longer. The rules for finding a fuel efficient truck are the same as with other vehicles. There are also plenty of trucks that give impressive fuel efficiency for their bulk. Some examples of the most fuel efficient vehicles in the truck line are as follows: 

  • Chevrolet Silverado  
  • Ford Maverick  
  • Hyundai Santa Cruz  
  • Jeep Gladiator 
  • Ram 1500 Diesel 

There are also plenty of great hybrid options if you want to go even further. 

How To Calculate Fuel Efficiency 

Fuel efficiency might seem like something that would be very abstract to calculate since there are a lot of factors. Two drivers driving the same car differently will have slightly different fuel efficiency. However, based on certain situations, you can use driving averages to come up with estimates for how fuel efficient each vehicle is.  

The most common way to measure fuel efficiency is by averaging fuel consumption. In Canada, we measure fuel consumption ratings by litres per 100 kilometers (L/100 KM). For example, a car that is listed at 10 L/ 100 km needs 10 litres of gas to travel 100 km. A car that is listed at 8 L/100km only needs 8 litres of gas to travel 100 km. Keep in mind that the most fuel efficient vehicles actually have a lower value for L since it takes them less fuel to do the same thing. This means fuel efficiency figures would work like golf scores, where a lower score is better. Due to this, the car listed at 8L/100 KM is more fuel efficient than the one that is listed at 10L/100 KM. This is something you want to keep in mind if you want a car that doesn't have sub-par fuel efficiency. 

Sometimes, a vehicle will have multiple L/100 KM scores. One will be for city driving, one for highway driving, and a third one for a combination of the two. Due to the constant starting and stopping in the city, city driving numbers are often higher and, therefore, less efficient. It's important to keep in mind all of these numbers when choosing your vehicle. 

If you are only given the highway and city fuel efficiency numbers but not the combined ones, the combined one will be very close to the middle of the highway and city numbers. 

What Is Good Fuel Efficiency? 

Small hybrid cars are the most fuel efficient and often get close to, but don't quite reach as low as 4L/100KM, which makes them the most fuel efficient vehicles on the market. However, keep in mind that these are often more expensive cars that sacrifice a lot of other factors for their excellent fuel economy. For ordinary cars, staying at around 6L/100KM is about as good as you can expect, even in a great scenario. Most average vehicles are in the general range of 8L/100KM to about 10L/100KM, with anything above that being seen as inefficient.  

SUVs are less efficient than that, with the smaller, most fuel efficient vehicles consuming around 7L/100 KM to about 8L/100 KM, and the most average ones clocking in at just a tad over 10L/100 KM, with some consuming above this. 

Trucks are often the least efficient of the three, with 10L/100KM being the mark of a quite good one. Average trucks often consume something in the range of 12L/100KM to about 14L/100KM, with many consuming even more. 

The reason smaller vehicles tend to have better fuel efficiency is that since they're lighter and have less inertia, they need less momentum to get started. 

How To Increase Fuel Efficiency In Any Vehicle 

It should be noted that the figures you will see with any vehicle are pretty average. Even the most fuel efficient vehicle can gobble up gas when poorly driven. Much like how a golfer can lower his scores by using a better driver, a car can also lower its fuel consumption numbers when being driven by a better driver. Some things you can do to get the top-notch fuel efficiency include: 

  • Accelerate gradually. 
  • Maintain a constant speed instead of constantly speeding up and slowing down. 
  • Slow down more gradually. 
  • Avoid speeding. 
  • Keep your car well-maintained. This includes maintaining your tires. 
  • Avoid Idling. 
  • Combine trips by running different errands together. 
  • Use each type of tire during the proper season. For example, use winter tires in colder months, but avoid using winter tires in summer. 
  • Reduce the use of heaters and air conditioning. 
  • Keep your windows closed. 
  • Lower weight by not carrying any unneeded cargo around. 

Please note that these are just a handful of ways to lower your fuel consumption; there are others.  

What Makes Vehicles Fuel Efficient? 

Maybe you don’t want to remember a bunch of car models, and just want to know if a car is fuel efficient. You don't want to look up the fuel efficiency of every vehicle you have some interest in, narrow down your wide range one vehicle at a time, delay your purchase by days, and then find out that the one you had your eye on has been sold to someone else a day before you planned to make the purchase. One thing you can do, however, is to teach yourself some traits that the most fuel efficient cars have in common. Some patterns that can help you estimate if your car is among the most fuel efficient vehicles are below: 

  • Smaller (lighter) vehicles with a compact design are generally more fuel efficient. Aluminum wheels also weigh less, slightly improving fuel efficiency. 
  • Cars with more gears tend to run more efficiently if set to the proper gear. 
  • Front-wheel drive vehicles are the most efficient, followed by back-wheel drive, with four-wheel drive being the least efficient. 
  • Cars with fewer cylinders tend to be more fuel efficient. 
  • Cars with cruise control make driving at a constant speed easier, making it easier to drive them with more fuel efficiency. 
  • Features such as power windows, power seats, a remote starter, and turbocharged engines tend to reduce fuel efficiency, so the most fuel efficient cars do not have these features. 
  • Hybrid vehicles are more fuel efficient if you are willing and able to spend the extra money on one. 
  • An aerodynamic design also helps set up for optimum fuel efficiency.  

Keep in mind however, that these are not the only factors involved in fuel efficiency, as there are many more. 

Hybrids And Fuel Efficiency 

For those who can afford the higher base price, hybrid vehicles are a great way to get very impressive fuel efficiency. Hybrids are some of the most fuel efficient ones out there. They work in a way that lets them use both gas and electricity to power them up. A hybrid car works by using some of the kinetic energy provided by braking and using it to generate electric power that assists in powering up the car. This allows them to use less fuel than traditional gas vehicles without all the upkeep and extra costs needed for an electric vehicle. The fact that they are able to generate electricity on their own also means there is no need to stop at a recharging station as an electric vehicle does. Just make sure to properly maintain your hybrid vehicle. 

Remember, Get The Vehicle That’s Right For you 

As can be seen, there are plenty of options if you want a fuel efficient vehicle, giving you plenty of options to choose one that is a good fit for your situation. It's also important to preserve your car, keeping it safe by driving safe in winter and getting the right car insurance just in case. These extra steps will ensure that your fuel efficient vehicle lasts longer, saving you money even further. 

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.

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