Granted, most are small cars, but a couple are midsize sedans or wagons. All promise – depending on driving conditions and style, of course – excellent fuel economy. Small four-cylinder engines and a few diesels are in the mix, but these 10 are the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid used cars that might suit your needs.
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI – The midsize 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI rates exceptionally high in fuel economy for a non-hybrid car. The EPA estimates the Passat diesel to achieve 31 mpg in the city, 43 mpg on the highway, and 36 mpg combined. Check out pricing on used models ranging from $23,988 to $26,757.
2012-2013 Kia Rio Eco – Redesigned in 2012, the 2012-2013 Kia Rio Eco is powered by a 138-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a more than respectable 31 mpg city/40 mpg highway/34 mpg combined. Pricing ranges from around $12,900 to $15,994 for various lower trims of the Kia Rio. Pricing for Kia Rio models ranges from $11,800 to $15,900.
2011-2013 Audi A3 (diesel) – A small station wagon, the 2011-2013 Audi A3 diesel sports a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and A-S 6-speed transmission. Fuel economy is predictably great: estimated by the EPA at 30 mpg in the city, 42 mpg in highway driving, and 34 mpg combined. What about used pricing? Look for the Audi A3 TDI to range from $18,500 to $28,990.
2011-2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen – Cousin to the Audi A3, the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen has the same powertrain matched with a six-speed manual transmission to be a fuel-economy leader at 30/42/34 mpg. Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI pricing ranges from around $17,890 to the vicinity of $29,487.
2011-2013 Volkswagen Golf, Jetta TDI – Two more highly fuel-efficient cars from Volkswagen include the Golf and Jetta TDI. With their 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines and six-speed manual transmissions, the Golf and Jetta diesels manage 30/42/34 mpg.
2011 Mini Cooper – With its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, the 2011 Mini Cooper, besides being cute and distinctively styled, manages to eke out 29 mpg in the city/37 mpg on the highway/32 mpg combined. The four-cylinder engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Check out Mini Cooper pricing from $13,500 to $20,493.
2011 Ford Fiesta SFE – An automated-manual six-speed transmission matched with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine in the 2011 Ford Fiesta SFE nets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg city/40 mpg highway/33 mpg combined. Not bad for a subcompact with style and numerous features. Ford Fiesta pricing begins around $9,181.
2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra – With Hyundai’s fluidic styling and high fuel economy, the 2011-2013 Elantra should definitely find a place on your list of contenders for a non-hybrid car that’s super fuel-efficient. The 1.8-liter engine and six-speed manual transmission translate to an estimated 29 mpg city/40 mpg highway/33 mpg combined. Look for used Hyundai Elantras priced from $13,370 to around $21,990.
2011 Toyota Yaris – EPA fuel economy is an estimated 29/36/32 mpg, not bad for the 2011 Toyota Yaris. Power comes from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission. Yaris pricing ranges from around $10,988 to $13,300.