7 Non-Hybrid Cars With High MPGs

Posted on December 12, 2013 by

Everyone seems to be talking about hybrid cars these days, like they are the only vehicles on the road that can sip fuel. The fact is that there are some cars that don’t carry a battery pack and electric motor strapped to the powertrain, yet they still can achieve amazing fuel economy.

Not owning a hybrid yet getting similar fuel economy is the best of both worlds. You don’t have to worry about having to purchase a new battery several years down the road, endure the strange sensation of regenerative brakes that are so common on hybrid models, or pay the extra expense of the hybrid powertrain. Purchasing any of the following seven non-hybrid vehicles will help you visit the gas station less frequently, unless you have a serious craving for leathery hot dogs.

2014 Hyundai Elantra2014 Hyundai Elantra (Credit: © Hyundai)

1. Hyundai Elantra

Official EPA fuel economy estimates: 28/38/32 (city/highway/combined). Just because you want to save on fuel without buying into a hybrid car doesn’t mean you have to suffer with uncomfortable seats and amenities like air conditioning and power windows costing extra. Hyundai designed the Elantra to bring premium comforts to the masses. Buyers can add options like leather upholstery and heated front seats, plus a rearview camera and an advanced navigation system, which are features you would expect in a luxury sedan. The interior also comes with an individual flair, including highly stylized controls, while the driving experience is smooth and sophisticated.

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  • dupkaman

    What about the mazda 3? It gets great mileage and handles better than all 7 above.

    • Sherry

      I test drove and considered both the Mazda 3 and the Elantra the Elantra was much nicer and a much better deal with far more options. We got the Elantra.

      • dupkaman

        Good luck to you. Get back to me in a few years and tell me if your opinion is still the same.

        • Marauder Man

          In less than a few years a Mazda will have rusted rear quarter panels. Just gets worse from there.

          • dupkaman

            That complaint I haven’t seen in consumer report or other reviewers. You must live in a northern state. I live in a southern state and corrosion isn’t usually a problem. My dad who lived in the north used to flush the underside of his car after storms to get the salt off.

      • Sara

        I’m still loving my 2008 Elantra :)

      • cheryl

        I have a 2005 Elantra never any trouble great on gas

    • Sherry

      The new Elantra Sport for 2014 pretty much kills the new Mazda 3 check it out.

      • dupkaman

        I will but have more respect for Mazda’s dependability

    • Niklas_E

      The smaller Mazda2 gets better mileage than a Mazda3.

      • dupkaman

        I’m not sure about that since the 2 doesn’t have skyactive engines.
        And it doesn’t handle nearly as well. My 3 with 2.0- liter skyactive engine gets 42-45 mpg on long highway trips.

        • Marauder Man

          Really? Can someone explain ‘skyactive’ to us?

          • dupkaman

            The engine and transmission were designed for fuel economy without loss of performance. High compression ratios, advanced fuel injection and many other designs in order to achieve high fuel mileage without using hybrid design. I doubt the Elantra’s engine is as sophisticated and the handling according to most car experts doesn’t achieve the 3′s. About a year ago the WSJ car guy reviewed it and thought the fuel needle was stuck.

  • 146denny

    I have a Scion FRS. 29.8 mpg overall and it handles like a slot car.

    • Jeff

      You act as if that’s a good thing. Get real.

  • 146denny

    ………..and how far can the Spark go on a single charge. All electrics shouldn’t be in this category. They have their own category with, what, 3-4 cars..Without subsidies, there wouldn’t be any of them. The technology isn’t there yet. When the cost of fuel gets high enough, there will be demand to develop and produce these vehicles without government subsidies.

    • mike

      The Spark they are showing is the gasoline version….

      • 146denny

        I didn’t know they a gasoline version. Good idea.At least it can help absorb the design and engineering costs associated with the FAILED electric version. Thanks for the info.

  • Doc3

    I have a 2014 Mazda 6 and love it. Regular gas and getting 30 MPG around town. The performance and handling of the car are top notch. Mazda has really put the zoom zoom back into their cars after kicking Ford to the curb.

    • Niklas_E

      Actually Ford kicked Mazda to the curb. But Ford still owns 3.5% of Mazda, and the 2 companies still share resources.

    • Sean Hueting

      Yes Ford dumped Mazda and your right Mazda is still doing Great without them :-)

  • Chuck Adams

    Pretty lousy, most of my driving is in town and the first number listed is the city mileage, nearly half of what a well driven Prius will do.
    The Tesla and the Leaf aren’t hybrids and they kill these numbers.
    Another BS story written by a know nothing hack.

    • Niklas_E

      The article is about: GASOLINE-POWERED vehicles in case you haven’t noticed. Another thing, why would anyone who can afford a Tesla care about what gas costs? Which is why that company will likely end up bankrupt like Fisker.

      • Jeff

        Nothing at all in the headline or the story’s introduction says it’s about conventional gasoline vehicles. The story is basically a bait-and-switch piece promoting gasoline vehicles that really don’t get very good mileage.

    • Marauder Man

      If most of my driving was around town I’d be taking the bus and cycling more than I do now. Take that leaf on a trip from Toronto to Montreal and it will be time to head back by the time you get there. You are BS chuck :p

  • crabby lady

    I had a car that got 40 mpg 20 yrs ago. a diesel escort. what has happened to the car industry. the ability has been around for decades yet they refuse to use it. seriously, it is all about the bucks. we’ve been raped by industry our whole lives but can do nothing about it.

    • crabby lady

      exuse me, that was 30 years ago…

  • Marauder Man

    My brother and his wife own 3 Ford Fiestas. They each had one and when their sons Pontiac was not worth repairing last week they went to the Ford store and bought a new one that my brother will drive and give the older one to their son. Great car but too small for myself and family.

  • Russell G. Monaco

    Never heard of the TDI engine????

    • Sean Hueting

      Really? You’ve never heard of VW’s Turbo Diesel Engine?

  • Jeff

    Ridiculous article. MPGs in the 30s and low 40s cannot reasonably be considered “high.” My 2004 Jetta TDI diesel has a lifetime MPG of about 48, and both current TDIs and hybrids get that high or higher.

  • Mike Ober

    Chevy Cruze ECO Manual Transmission (28/42/33 EPA – up to 50 MPG realworld) and Chevy Cruze CDT (Diesel) (27/46/33 EPA – again up to 50 MPG realworld)

    • PewterTSI

      I’ve had 3 Chevy Cruze Eco with the manual transmission (All leases) My 2014 has a 50 mile high of 51.6MPG @70 Mph. None of these stated cars come close. I have a 53 mile commute and never get worse than 45.6.

  • Ken Trefaller

    Get a golf cart

  • Acielle Lacie

    Notice they left out all the 7 VW diesel models, 6 of which get over 40 mpg

    • Sean Hueting

      Probably because most all diesel vehicles of today get better millage than regular gas power ones… Not a fair comparison to me.

  • Dean

    I wonder how they get the milage ratings? I have a Hyundia that is rated 38 MPG highway. If I run 70 on a trip with the air on on the interstate I am lucky to get 30 MPG.

  • PewterTSI

    How many times do we have to tell you guys…? The title clearly says “NON HYBRID CARS” And I get 45.6 In my Cruze Eco, which only has one battery, and thats under the hood. And I don’t have to look like a sissy driving it 55 in the slow lane pissing people off that actually want to get to work, while you drink your tea, holding your saucer. I can still drive 74 mph and get 43MPG.