8 Used Cars with Great Fuel Economy

Alex Reale
Updated on Jun 1, 2022 · 4 min read
The costs of obtaining and maintaining a new vehicle can be daunting. But if you simply can’t put any more miles on that aging Mitsubishi, rest assured: there are ways to keep spending down as you look for a replacement. Try buying used, and be ruthless about fuel economy, which probably means looking at hybrids. 
Check out these eight used hybrids and enjoy wallet homeostasis.

Why are these good options overall? 

There can be some understandable trepidation about buying a car that someone else already drove. What if they weren’t precious about oil changes? But if you can verify that your intended car has been well taken care of, the “used” factor can actually work in your favor. 
For one thing, advises Consumer Reports (CR), a five-year-old car has already eliminated the depreciation factor, and it is young enough to still have the bells and whistles of a new car. You’ll literally pay less for more.
Consumer Reports recently assembled a list of used hybrid sedans and hatchbacks that have exhibited superior fuel efficiency. These cars have also done well on road tests and have demonstrated reliability in CR’s annual ratings. A lower sticker price, less spent on gas, dependable—what’s not to love?

A Prius preoccupation

You can’t have a high-quality used hybrid list without a Prius, and CR does not disappoint. No fewer than four Prius options made the rankings. 
First we have the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, which ranges from $22,975 to $26,575. You can run this plug-in vehicle in EV-only for about 23 miles, and when the gas kicks in to help out, the combination yields a marvelous 50 miles to the gallon. CR was unimpressed with the infotainment system and capacity for only four passengers. 
Its sister car, the 2017 Toyota Prius, ranges from $19,600 to $23,250 and just edges out the Prime to achieve a whopping 52 mpg. Like the Prime, its controls were not praised, but this standard Prius is more spacious and handles nimbly. 
We might as well alphabetize our standard Priuses, so let’s look now at the 2017 Prius C. This cheaper, smaller version ranges from $16,000 to $18,250 and though it only knocks out 43 mpg, it is a parking breeze. 
And to round out the Priuses, we have the 2017 Toyota Prius V, which might stand for Very Big. The Prius V ranges from $20,150 to $22,275 and gives passengers and bags tons of space compared to its companions. 
Its fuel efficiency is correspondingly lower, at 41 mpg, but before we get too upset: recall that a typical gas-powered sedan gets closer to an average of 25 mpg. So the gas stations won’t be seeing you too often.

Not Prime, but still prime

If the Prius lifestyle isn’t for you, try the 2017 Ford C-MAX, ranging from $15,350 to $18,225 and returning 37 mpg in CR tests. Like the Prime, it can be plugged in and run on EV for double digit miles (in this case, 18.) CR calls the C-MAX “quieter and more enjoyable to drive” than the Prius. 
Another favorite was the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq, ranging from $15,600 to $19,050. Though CR left feeling ho-hum about the handling and interior comfort, it cannot be denied: the Ioniq gets a Prius-level 52 miles to the gallon. The Ioniq is fuel iconic.
A more comfortable Hyundai option is the 2017 Hyundai Sonata, ranging from $15,400 to $22,375. It gets 39 mpg, and CR enjoyed the spacious interior and speedy acceleration. 
And to close out our list, try the slightly more upscale 2017 Lincoln MKZ, which ranges from $21,700 to $32,100. It justifies these figures with a classy interior and a driving style that CR says is comparable to “high-end European sports sedans.” Knocking out 34 mpg, it is a lovely compromise of style and cost-savings at the gas pump.
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