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Sedans with the Best Gas Mileage

Jamie Page Deaton
February 27, 2012
Sedans with the Best Gas Mileage
Sedans with the Best Gas Mileage

One of the most compelling reasons to opt for a sedan over a sports car or SUV is that they tend to have better fuel economy. By opting for an alternative-fuel or hybrid sedan, you can drastically cut your gas bill. And with car companies working to introduce new fuel-saving technologies into gasoline engines, you can get a sedan that has both good performance and fuel-sipping habits.

Sedan Fuel Economy and You

There’s lots of new technology available to help improve sedan fuel economy, but one of the biggest factors that determines fuel economy is you. There’s a reason fuel economy ratings are estimated ranges and both the automaker and the EPA will tell you that your mileage may vary.

To maximize your fuel economy, avoid hard maneuvers that rob your car of momentum and force it to work harder to get back up to speed. If you see a light turn red down the road, don’t accelerate toward it. Instead, take your foot off the gas and coast to it. You’ll keep your car’s momentum going, and if the light turns green before you get there, you won’t have to stop at all. Either way, you’ll have saved gas.

You can also save gas by keeping extra weight out of your car. Extra weight and wind resistance force your car’s engine to work harder. So, once ski season is over, take the snowboard rack off your car (ditto for your bike and kayak racks). Try to avoid carrying extra items in your trunk that you don’t need that may weigh down your car and decrease its fuel economy.

Hybrid Sedans

The most well-known hybrid on the market, the Toyota Prius, is a hatchback. But flying under the radar are hybrid sedans that, on the whole, offer more comfortable cabins and better passenger space than a hatchback can provide. If you need a comfortable environment but want to go green, a hybrid sedan is the way to do it.

One of the best-liked and most affordable hybrid sedans is the Ford Fusion Hybrid. It gets an EPA-estimated 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. The Fusion Hybrid also boasts a comfortable cabin with high-tech features like Ford’s voice-controlled SYNC infotainment system. If you want a slightly nicer cabin, you can go for the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. The two cars share many components, but the Lincoln is more upscale.

If you want a sporty, luxurious hybrid, check out the Infiniti M Hybrid. Its fuel economy ratings can’t match the Fusion Hybrid, but it provides a powerful drivetrain and an opulent cabin, which may appeal to luxury car buyers. If you’re looking for stellar fuel economy ratings from a midsize hybrid, consider the Toyota Camry Hybrid. The Toyota Camry Hybrid has a cabin that’s more upscale than its $25,900 price tag would suggest. If budget is your primary concern, check out the Honda Civic Hybrid. It’s a smaller car, but by compromising on passenger space you’ll save almost $2,000 over the Camry Hybrid and get a better fuel economy rating.

The Lexus HS Hybrid is a good luxury hybrid for shoppers who want an upscale hybrid. Based in large part on the technology behind the Toyota Prius, the HS Hybrid gets 35/34 mpg city/highway. That’s not as good as what the MKZ Hybrid gets, but if you want a brand with more status, you’ll probably prefer the Lexus.

Gasoline Sedans with Great Fuel Economy

Those who don’t want to pay the high up-front costs of a hybrid sedan can still get pretty good fuel economy by going for a gasoline model. Small sedans do the best here. The Hyundai Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze Eco both earn particularly good fuel economy ratings.

If you need more passenger space than what a small sedan offers, fuel economy will suffer. But if you shop right, it won’t suffer much. The Hyundai Sonata gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, and the Honda Accord, which is so roomy inside that the EPA considers it a large car, gets almost as many miles per gallon as the Sonata.

Diesel Sedans

Diesel-powered sedans are more common in Europe, but a few models have made their way to the States. Diesel engines are much cleaner than they used to be, and they get better fuel economy than gasoline engines do, especially on the highway. Though diesel engines tend to not have great horsepower ratings, they do generate more torque than gasoline engines. Torque is the power the engine uses to accelerate, so having more of it gives the car more get-up-and-go.

The Volkswagen Jetta has an available diesel engine that gets an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city and 42 mpg highway. The Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec is a large, luxurious sedan with a diesel engine and a 21/32 mpg city/highway fuel economy rating. 

Sedans with Great Fuel Economy


City Miles Per Gallon

Highway Miles Per Gallon

Special Fuel-Saving Tech

Ford Fiesta




Hyundai Sonata



Direct Injection

Honda Accord



Cylinder Deactivation (V6 models)

Ford Fusion Hybrid



Hybrid Powertrain

Toyota Camry Hybrid



Hybrid Powertrain

Honda Civic Hybrid



Hybrid Powertrain

Infiniti M Hybrid



Hybrid Powertrain

Volkswagen Jetta



Diesel Engine

Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec



Diesel Engine