Getting good gas mileage doesn't mean you have to buy an expensive car. In fact, many of the cheapest cars out there have some of the best MPG ratings on the market. If you are working on a budget, you will find you can save on gas and save on the price of your car as well.
- Toyota Prius This is the most expensive car on the list, but compared to some other cars, it is still fairly cheap. The Prius costs $24.200 and is one of the most fuel efficient cars on the market. With 51 MPG on the highway, and 48 MPG, it is an ultra low emissions vehicle as well.
- Toyota Yaris The Yaris is another Toyota that makes this list. There have been lease offers on this car for as low as $139 a month, and it runs around $17,000 new. It can get 36 MPG on the highway, and 30 MPG in the city. It is also an ultra low emissions vehicle.
- Hyundai Accent GS This is Hyundai's entry level car. It can get 37 MPG on the highway and 28 MPG in the city. Its price has gone up and there is no 3-door version anymore, but it still starts at only around $14,500.
- Nissan Versa Sedan This car gets 39 MPG on the highway, and 30 MPG in the city. The base 1.6 model starts at $12,780, and there are upgrades available on top of that.
- Chevy Spark A Chevy Spark can get 38 MPG on the highway and 30 MPG in the city, which means a full tank can usually yield about 330 miles on the highway.
- Honda Fit The Fit costs a little over $15,425. It offers EPA fuel economy estimates of 33 MPG on the highway, and 27 MPG in the city. It is also an ultra low emissions vehicle.
How Important Is Gas Mileage When Buying a Car?
Having good gas mileage is a big factor when it comes to buying a new or used car. In tough economic times, having the best fuel economy will save you the most money. Even a couple fewer fill-ups equals hundreds of dollars in saving. The average fuel cost for most people is around 1000 to 1500 dollars a year. However, others are paying 2000 dollars and up because of their gas guzzlers. With the recent global push to save the environment, and money, more buyers want fuel efficient and clean cars.
Many car commercials push to sell you on the fuel economy of their cars versus their competitors. It is often the biggest factor when buyers are looking for cars now. Not only can you help save the environment by emitting fewer toxic chemicals, you can also save a ton of money by having a fuel efficient car.
How to Get Better Gas Mileage
There are many things you can do that are simple fixes you may not have known about that can help you increase fuel economy.
- Tighten your cap. Whenever you fill up, check your gas cap. Make sure it is on tight. If it isn't, you can be losing gas due to evaporation. Over 100 million gallons evaporate while in the tank every year.
- Check your tires. Keep your tires inflated. Having tires low on air can decrease your fuel efficiency by three to five percent.
- Lighten your Load. Having a lighter car enables your engine to get better gas mileage. Hybrid cars are very light because the lighter the car the better. You can do this with your car as well. If you have an SUV, there may be a roof rack you don't need. You also may have unwanted things in the trunk that can be weighing you down. It may seem small, but every bit helps
- Plan your drives. One of the biggest reasons we waste so much gas is constant stopping and starting. This happens a lot while city driving, which is the reason highway MPG is higher than city ratings. Try to plan around peak travel times and rush hour if possible. If you can drive unobstructed, you will increase your gas mileage
- Change your oil. Having the right motor oil for your engine is important. You should use the recommended oil type from your owner's manual. The more friction reduced, the better gas mileage your car gets. This can improve mileage over 10 percent
- Change your filters. Make sure your air filters are not clogged. Clogged air filters can decrease your gas mileage up to 20 percent. This should be checked constantly as it has a big effect
- Drive the limit. The speed limit is not just a made up number. 55 miles-per-hour actually is a great speed for fuel consumption. Anything faster, and your fuel efficiency goes down. Observing the speed limit you will save gas
- Don't rush. Often, your driving habits cause you to lose fuel. When you accelerate quickly to 30 or 40 miles-per-hour on surface streets, there really is no point to it. The faster you accelerate, the more your engine revs, causing more gas to be used, and you're just going to have to brake again at the next light, or stop sign or traffic jam. By driving at an even pace, you will get better gas numbers. This also goes for cruise control on the highway. Having a constant speed means no acceleration, so that is the most fuel efficient way to drive
- Turn off your air. Lastly, if you can take the heat, turn off your air conditioner. The higher your air conditioner is running, the more power and gas you use. Open your windows to cool down. At highway speeds, roll up your windows and use the A/C. The drag of open windows cancels out the benefit of turning off the air