, they need to sacrifice acceleration for fuel economy. CR’s recent test results show that this isn’t the case—and in fact, that high engine performance can mix with fuel economy, as long as you choose the right car.
This car is the BMW i3 Giga. With both a powerful engine and high levels of fuel-efficiency, it truly offers the best of both worlds.
The ranking system used by CR aimed to combine measurements of fuel economy and acceleration time. On their list, CR only included cars which scored well in both fuel economy and acceleration time—meaning that the cars’ overall miles per gallon (mpg) needed to be over 4, and their 0-60 miles per hour (mph) acceleration time was equal to or less than 11.0 seconds.
According to CR’s report, the BMW i3 Giga is the fuel-efficient model that most successfully blends fuel economy with acceleration time. With an overall mpg (technically MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent) of 139, and a 0–60 mph acceleration time of only 7.5 seconds, this BMW proves to be both high-performance and fuel efficient.
This model was designated by CR as a "green choice" and given an overall score of 64 out of 100 possible points, with a road test score of 70 out of 100, a predicted reliability score of 3 out of 5, and a predicted owner satisfaction score of 2 out of 5. The 2020 model costs from between $30,200–$35,675.
Despite its relatively low ranking, if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient car that blends engine performance and fuel economy, this BMW is your best bet.
Aside from the BMW i3 Giga, these other fuel-efficient models made CR’s list
After the BMW i3 Giga, the next-ranked fuel-efficient car was the Toyota Prius Prime, which had a fuel economy score of 133 mpg and an acceleration time of 10.8 seconds. Next came the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, which had a lower fuel economy score than both higher-ranked models, at 130 mpg, but a much speedier acceleration time, at only 5.3 seconds.
Other notable mentions include the Hyundai Kona Electric Limited, with a fuel economy score of 120 mpg and an acceleration time of 6.6 seconds, and the Chevrolet Bolt Premier, with respective scores of 119 mpg and 6.8 seconds.
CR’s list of top fuel-efficient cars was rounded off with the Kia Niro Electric EX Premium, the Nissan Leaf SL Plus, the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, the Hyundai Ioniq SEL, the Toyota Prius Three, the Honda Insight EX, and the Kia Niro EX, in that order.
CR didn’t only test fuel-efficient cars. Their report included several other categories of cars, such as subcompact cars, compact cars, sporty cars/roadsters, and many others.
Whether you’re looking for a fuel-efficient model or a different category of car,
Isabel is a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto. She holds a master's of English literature from the University of Toronto, where she worked as a student journalist for four years. In her free time, Isabel loves to read, write, and cook, and she serves as the blog news editor for Toronto feminist magazine Shameless. You can find her writing in places like This magazine, She Does the City, and U of T News.