If you’re looking for a frugal way to save money both at the dealer and at the fuel pump, a fuel-efficient used car is a great way to go. By buying used, you’re saving a bundle on depreciation and by buying something that’s good on gas, you’re keeping your running costs low. To help you on your search for a car that’s affordable to buy and affordable to fuel, we’ve put together a list of seven great used cars available in 2019 that get 40 miles per gallon or better. Every car on this list achieves at least 40 mpg either in the city, on the highway or both according to the EPA.
In the interest of keeping things simple, we haven’t included any plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles on this list since things get a little complicated with MPGe ratings and electric range vs total range. There are several hybrids on this list, but there’s no plugging in required for these used cars. Just fill her up at the gas station and enjoy long trips between fill-ups.
2010-2015 Toyota Prius
The first car on our list probably doesn’t surprise you. The Toyota Prius is the car that made hybrids mainstream in the U.S. and it continues to be a popular choice for fuel misers. It’s currently on its fourth generation and the third-gen model that ran from model years 2010-2015 has become a fantastic bargain on the used market. This Prius returns outstanding fuel economy numbers of 51 mpg city/48 mpg hwy mpg, making it the most efficient car on our list. They’re abundant on the used market at reasonable prices making them easy to find for well under $15,000.
If you like the fuel economy of the Prius, but want more space, the bigger Prius v wagon is another good option and it achieves 43 mpg city/39 mpg hwy. There’s also the smaller Prius c city car which sips fuel at 48 mpg city/43 mpg hwy. Find a Toyota Prius for sale
2013-2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid
The current-generation Ford Fusion Hybrid has been around long enough that it’s become pretty affordable on the used market. Early examples of this generation of the Fusion Hybrid return 43 mpg city/39 mpg hwy, making it a nice, efficient, affordable sedan that flies under the radar. The farther back you go in model years the more affordable these cars get, but even post face-lift Fusion Hybrids from 2017 and newer can be had for less than $20,000. Find a Ford Fusion Hybrid for sale
2016-2019 Honda Civic
The current 10th generation Honda Civic is a compact car darling that seems to excel in every single category. It’s fun to drive, it looks great, it’s comfortable and it’s very efficient when optioned with the 1.5-liter turbocharged inline four engine, which returns 31 mpg city/42 mpg hwy. The base 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine in this Civic also hits the 40 mpg mark at 30 mpg city/40 mpg hwy. The current Civic hasn’t had much time to age on the used market, but they can pretty easily be had for less than $20,000 or under $15,000 in the lower trims. Find a Honda Civic for sale
2012-2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid
If you’re not sold on the aesthetic of the Prius, we understand. Luckily, Toyota has another hybrid that looks a little more conventional while quietly returning great fuel economy. It’s the previous-generation Toyota Camry Hybrid and this midsize sedan returns 42 mpg city/38 mpg hwy. Not quite Prius numbers, but it’s still a very efficient family car that’s famous for its rock-solid reliability. A Camry Hybrid from this generation can easily be picked up for less than $15,000. Find a Toyota Camry Hybrid for sale
2014-2015 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
It might be easy to forget, but the first-generation Chevrolet Cruze was available with a super efficient turbodiesel engine that achieved 27 mpg city/44 mpg hwy. The 2.0-liter diesel became available in the U.S. starting in the 2014 model year and was a strong performer on top of being very efficient, making 151 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Since this specific configuration of the first-gen Cruze was only available for two model years, it’s a little hard to find on the used market. As of this writing, there are about 100 of these cars for sale on Autotrader, many of which have 4-digit price tags. Find a Chevrolet Cruze for sale
2014-2017 Ford Fiesta SFE
The Ford Fiesta SFE isn’t a hybrid or a diesel, it’s just a very fuel-efficient subcompact capable of 31 mpg city/41 mpg hwy when equipped with the turbocharged 1.0-liter inline three EcoBoost engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. Only available through the 2017 model year, it’s not the first Fiesta SFE, but it is the first one that can hit 40 mpg with the older 4-cylinder model only getting as high as 38 mpg on the highway. This kind of fuel economy in the Fiesta is only possible with the manual transmission, so if you’re looking for an automatic, this one isn’t for you. Since these cars were already pretty affordable when they were new, they can easily be had on the used market for less than $10,000. Find a Ford Fiesta for sale
2014-2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
You may remember the second-generation Honda Insight as Honda’s most direct Toyota Prius competitor, but the Accord Hybrid midsize sedan was actually more efficient than the Insight compact hatchback. When the hybrid variant of the ninth-generation Accord came out for the 2014 model year, it brought with it very impressive fuel economy numbers of 49 mpg city/45 mpg hwy making it the most efficient midsize sedan on our list. Along with outstanding fuel economy, these cars are affordable with well-appointed examples going for less than $15,000 on the used market. Find a Honda Accord Hybrid for sale