December 7, 2022

Javier14mascherano

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Best Mileage: 2022 Consumer Guide Fuel-Economy Champions (No Plug-ins) | The Daily Drive | Consumer Guide® The Daily Drive

7 min read

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Fuel Economy Champiion

Not ready to make the switch to a plug-in-hybrid or pure-electric vehicle? That’s okay with us. However, with gas prices cresting over $5.00 a gallon, you may be thinking about driving something more fuel efficient than your current set of wheels.

Car shopping is especially complicated these days, with a global supply-chain crisis compounded by a shortage of all-important microchips. Finding the exact car or crossover you desire can be exceptionally difficult.

Still, should you be able to locate what you want (and you can stomach the price premiums most dealers are currently tacking on), it’s good to know that there are plenty of fuel-efficient vehicles out there that do not require plugging in.

Presented here are the top five most fuel-efficient vehicles evaluated by Consumer Guide in the past 18 months. This is obviously not a comprehensive list–these are simply specific test vehicles we’ve had through our office test fleet. Also, the vehicles were tested in similar but not identical conditions, so it’s not strictly an apples-to-apples comparison. Still, these are relevant real-world numbers from a handful of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market.

None of these vehicles requires any sort of plug-in charging, though not surprisingly four of them are traditional gas/electric hybrids. The lone non-hybrid vehicle of the group, the Nissan Kicks, returned outstanding fuel economy in the simplest possible way: low weight and a small engine.

To read the complete reviews of the vehicles shown below, simply click on the link at the end of the summary. Also, if you’re driving something that’s especially efficient, please tell us about it. The place to leave comments is down below.

Note: Consumer Guide does not rely upon the fuel-economy numbers reported by a vehicle’s onboard trip computer. Instead, we do our own math every time our editors fill up a test vehicle after an evaluation. We then average each editor’s miles-per-gallon figures (and calculate an approximate percentage of our editors’ city/highway driving mix) to achieve our real-world observed fuel-economy numbers.

Read our electric-car reviews

2022 Consumer Guide Fuel-Economy Champions

 

47.6 mpg: 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid XSE

Fuel-Economy Champion

2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid XSE

Class: Midsize Car

Miles driven: 652

Fuel used: 13.7 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 47.6 mpg

Driving mix: 50% city, 50% highway

Edit
CG Report Card
Room and Comfort B+
Power and Performance B
Fit and Finish A-
Fuel Economy A
Value B+
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big Guy A-
Tall Guy A-
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs 208-hp 2.5-liter
Engine Type 4-cylinder hybrid
Transmission CVT automatic
Drive Wheels front

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 44/47/46 (mpg city, highway, combined)

Fuel type: Regular gas

Base price: $32,920 (not including $1025 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Driver Assist Package ($1430), Cold Weather Package ($150; includes heated steering wheel), Navigation Package ($1760), two-tone Midnight Black Metallic roof paint and rear spoiler–includes black window trim and sideview mirror caps ($500), carpet/trunk mat set ($259), door edge guard ($129), rear bumper applique ($69), door sill protectors ($199), mudguards ($129), rocker applique ($75)

Price as tested: $38,645

 

Quick Hits

The great: Smooth agreeable hybrid powertrain; excellent fuel economy

The good: XSE trim delivers convincingly upscale, sporty ambiance

The not so good: Acceleration, though respectable, isn’t as peppy as the looks promise

Read the full review

 

46.5 mpg: 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring

Class: Midsize Car

Miles driven: 335

Fuel used: 7.2 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 46.5 mpg

Edit
CG Report Card
Room and Comfort A-
Power and Performance A-
Fit and Finish B+
Fuel Economy A+
Value A
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big Guy A-
Tall Guy A-
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs 212-hp 2.0-liter
Engine Type 4-cyl hybrid
Transmission CVT automatic
Drive Wheels FWD

Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 44/41/43 (mpg city, highway, combined)

Fuel type: Regular gas

Base price: $36,240 (not including $955 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Platinum White Pearl paint ($395)

Price as tested: $37,590

 

Quick Hits

The great: Our observed fuel economy beat EPA-estimate numbers; quick throttle response; satisfying acceleration; rear-seat space

The good: Smooth hybrid-powertrain feel; pleasant interior trimmings; good selection of comfort and convenience features

The not so good: Touring’s 19-inch wheels diminish ride quality a bit; oversensitive object-detection sensors occasionally give false warnings; seating position might be too low for some people

Read the full review

 

 

44.9 mpg: 2022 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Fuel-Economy Champions

2022 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Class: Premium Midsize Car

Miles driven: 265

Fuel used: 5.9 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 44.9 mpg

Edit
CG Report Card
Room and Comfort A
Power and Performance C+
Fit and Finish A
Fuel Economy A
Value B
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big Guy A
Tall Guy B
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs 215-hp 2.5-liter
Engine Type 4-cylinder hybrid
Transmission CVT automatic
Drive Wheels front

Driving mix: 75% city, 25% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 43/43/43 (city, highway, combined)

Fuel type: Regular gas

Base price: $43,550 (not including $1025 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Advanced Safety Package ($1150), Carpet Mat Package ($259), rear bumper applique ($69), illuminated door sills ($379), door edge guard ($140)

Price as tested: $46,572

 

Quick Hits

The great: Nicely finished interior; excellent fuel economy for a large sedan

The good: Generous list of safety features; pleasant, composed handling

The not so good: So-so headroom for a large car, and rear-seat room could be a little better too

Read the full review

 

 

39.5 mpg: 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat FWD

Test Drive: 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat

Class: Compact Pickup Truck

Miles driven: 273

Fuel used: 6.9 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 39.5 mpg

Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway

Edit
CG Report Card
Room and Comfort B-
Power and Performance B-
Fit and Finish B-
Fuel Economy A
Value A-
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big Guy B
Tall Guy B
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs 191-hp 2.5-liter
Engine Type 4-cylinder hybrid
Transmission CVT automatic
Drive Wheels FWD

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 42/33/37 (mpg city/highway/combined)

Fuel type: Regular gas

Base price: $25,490 (not including $1495 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Alto Blue Tinted Clear Coat Metallic ($390), all-weather floor liners ($135), power tilt/slide moonroof ($795), Ford Co-Pilot360 ($540), spray-in bedliner ($495)

Price as tested: $29,340

 

Quick Hits

The great: Excellent fuel economy; space-efficient interior; lots of cleverly designed cargo-carrying solutions; very competitive base prices

The good: Clean, no-nonsense styling inside and out; easy maneuverability in tight quarters; nimble handling for a pickup

The not so good: Plasticky interior, even in top-line Lariat trim; firm ride; clever features or not, a 4.5-foot cargo bed can only carry so much

Read the full review

 

 

38.3 mpg: 2021 Nissan Kicks SR

2021 Nissan Kicks SR

2021 Nissan Kicks SR

Class: Subcompact Crossover

Miles Driven: 272

Fuel Used: 7.1 gallons

Edit
CG Report Card
Room and Comfort B
Power and Performance B-
Fit and Finish B+
Fuel Economy A
Value A-
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big Guy B+
Tall Guy B+
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs 122-hp 1.6-liter
Engine Type 4-cyl
Transmission CVT automatic
Drive Wheels Front-wheel drive

Real-world fuel economy: 38.3 mpg

Driving mix: 15% city, 85% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 31/36/33 (city, highway, combined)

Fuel type: Regular Gasoline

Base price: $21,940 (not including $1150 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Exterior package with rear-roof spoiler ($435), 2-Tone Paint ($250), carpeted floor mats ($225), illuminated kick plates ($460), Interior Electronics Package ($575), Premium Package ($1200), 17-inch black alloy wheels ($495)

Price as tested: $26,730

 

Quick Hits

The great: Value pricing, standard safety features

The good: Great fuel economy with decent performance

The not so good: All-wheel drive is not offered, rear seats don’t fold flat with the cargo floor

Read the full review

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