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Where high style meets high mpg.

Best High MPG Cars | CarMax

These days you may just want to get in your car and escape the day-to-day. Imagine that escape including fewer stops for gas. If you are looking to improve your time between fuel stops but also value practicality and utility, you are in luck. It's possible to choose from a variety of used sedans and hatchbacks with stylish exteriors and tons of standard features. This list of high-mpg cars includes hybrids, plug-in hybrid electrics, and traditional fuel-powered vehicles.

To help you on your search, we've created a list of the 18 best high-mpg cars for 2021 shoppers, based on CarMax sales data from July 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.1

  1. Tie: 2016-2017 Nissan Altima (2WD 2.5L) & 2016 Ford Focus (2WD 2.0L)
  2. 2019 Nissan Altima (2WD 2.5L)
  3. Tie: 2016-2018 Honda Civic (2WD 2.0L)
  4. Tie: 2018-2019 Nissan Versa (2WD 1.6L)
  5. 2018 Chevrolet Cruze (2WD 1.4L)
  6. Tie: 2017 Chevrolet Cruze (2WD 1.4L), 2019 Kia Forte (2WD 2.0L) & 2019 Volkswagen Jetta (2WD 1.4L)
  7. 2017 Honda Civic (2WD 1.5L)
  8. Tie: 2018-2019 Toyota Camry (2WD 2.5L)
  9. 2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid (2WD 2.0L)
  10. 2017 Chevrolet Volt (2WD 1.5L)

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Tie: 2016-2017 Nissan Altima 2WD 2.5L & 2016 Ford Focus 2WD 2.0L

Best High-MPG Used Cars: Nissan Altima | CarMax

2016-2017 Nissan Altima 2WD 2.5L 4C Automatic

If you need a practical midsize four-door sedan but want good gas mileage, check out the 2016–2017 Nissan Altima. Both model years of the Altima with the 2.6L engine will get you an impressive EPA-estimated 27 city and 39 highway mpg.1 You'll also get a spacious cabin and a range of available features and options. Take a look at the 2016–2017 Nissan Altima and you'll find standard equipment such as:

  • Keyless remote entry
  • Push-button ignition
  • Air-conditioning
  • Cloth upholstery with a six-way manually adjustable driver seat
  • 60/40-split folding rear seats
Best High-MPG Used Cars: Ford Focus | CarMax

2016 Ford Focus 2WD 2.0L 4C Automatic

The 2016 Ford Focus is a great compact sedan, that's also available as a hatchback. It delivers style and substance for discriminating buyers. You'll also get an EPA-estimated 27 city and 39 highway mpg with the 2.0L engine in both body styles.1 The 2.0L four-cylinder Ford Focus is not only fun to drive; it's also available with a variety of standard features. Look for standard equipment on the 2016 model such as:

  • Integrated blind-spot mirrors
  • Keyless entry
  • Air conditioning
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Rearview camera
  • Sync® voice controls

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2019 Nissan Altima 2WD 2.5L 4C Automatic

Best High-MPG Used Cars: Nissan Altima | CarMax

Just like prior model years of the Nissan Altima, you'll find a lot to like about the 2019 Altima sedan. It also helps you at the pump, with an even more impressive EPA-estimated 28 city and 39 highway mpg with the 2.5L engine.1 Take a look at the 2019 Altima and you'll find standard equipment on the base S trim like:

  • Cloth upholstery with eight-way power driver's seat
  • Seven-inch instrument cluster display
  • Eight-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto integration
  • Keyless entry/ignition

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Tie: 2016-2018 Honda Civic 2WD 2.0L 4C Automatic

Best High MPG Cars: 2018 Honda Civic | CarMax

Looking for a great compact sedan? Look no further than the 2016–2018 Honda Civic. You'll get an EPA-estimated 30 city and 39 highway mpg from the 2.0L four-cylinder engine.1 Take a look at the base LX trim between 2016–2018 and you'll find quality throughout, with standard features such as:

  • Cloth upholstery
  • Rearview camera
  • LED daytime running Lights
  • Four-speaker audio system
  • Hill-start assist

07

Tie: 2018-2019 Nissan Versa 2WD 1.6L 4C Automatic

Best High MPG Cars: 2018 Nissan Versa S Plus | CarMax

Up next is the versatile 2018–2019 Nissan Versa. This great compact sedan gets an EPA-estimated 31 city and 39 highway mpg from its standard 1.6L four-cylinder engine.1 The Versa may be small, but it is still big on features and you can expect to find standard equipment like:

  • Cloth upholstery
  • Bluetooth® connectivity
  • Seven-inch touchscreen display (2019)
  • 15-inch steel wheels with covers

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2018 Chevrolet Cruze 2WD 1.4L 4C Automatic

Best High MPG Cars: 2016 Chevrolet Cruze | CarMax

The Chevrolet Cruze is a front-wheel drive compact sedan that should definitely be on your shopping list. The standard turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder with automatic transmission will net an EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined fuel economy, with a stand-out 40 mpg highway.Standard equipment on the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze includes:

  • Seven-inch touchscreen
  • Rearview camera
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Bluetooth connectivity

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Tie: 2017 Chevrolet Cruze 2WD 1.4L & 2019 Kia Forte 2WD 2.0L & 2019 Volkswagen Jetta 2WD 1.4L

Best High MPG Cars: 2017 Chevrolet Cruze | CarMax

2017 Chevrolet Cruze 2WD 1.4L 4C Automatic

The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze is a compact sedan with modern styling and tons of features. When the Chevrolet Cruze is equipped with the standard turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder and six-speed automatic, you can expect an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.1 Just some of the standard features on the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze include:

  • Seven-inch touchscreen
  • Rearview camera
  • OnStar® 4G/LTE Wi-Fi hotspot2
  • Four-speaker sound system
Best High-MPG Cars: Kia Forte | CarMax

2019 Kia Forte 2WD 2.0L 4C Automatic

Looking for lots of standard equipment and a well-appointed interior? Look no further than the 2019 Kia Forte. With a 2.0L four-cylinder and automatic transmission, you'll also get an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.1 The Forte received a complete overhaul for the 2019 model year. Look for these standard features on the base 2019 Kia Forte:

  • Eight-inch touchscreen display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • Dual-zone automatic temperature control
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Six-way manually adjustable driver seat
Best High-MPG Used Cars: Volkswagen Jetta | CarMax

2019 Volkswagen Jetta 2WD 1.4L 4C Automatic

If you're looking for a compact sedan that has been continually evolving over several decades, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is a great choice. The 1.4L powered Jetta gets an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.1The Volkswagen Jetta was completely refreshed for 2019 and you'll find standard equipment such as:

  • 6.5-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • Air conditioning
  • Automatic LED headlights and taillights
  • Six-way manually adjustable driver seat

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2017 Honda Civic 2WD 1.5L 4C Automatic

Best High MPG Cars: 2017 Honda Civic | CarMax

The 2017 Honda Civic with the optional 1.5L four-cylinder turbocharged engine is a great option if you're looking for a smart sedan. Featuring an EPA-estimated 31 city and 40 highway mpg from the optional 1.5L four-cylinder turbocharged engine, the 2017 Civic is quite a car. You'll find that even the base LX trim comes with great features as standard, including:

  • LED daytime running lights
  • Automatic headlights
  • Rearview camera
  • Cloth upholstery (leather on the EX-L)
  • Five-inch central display screen

03

Tie: 2018-2019 Toyota Camry 2WD 2.5L 4C Automatic

Best High-MPG Used Cars: Toyota Camry | CarMax

This list isn't just for compact cars – you can also find high mpg midsize sedans as well. Coming in at number three is the 2018–2019 Toyota Camry. The Camry was completely redesigned for the 2018 model year and features a brand new interior and exterior. Choose the standard 2.5L four-cylinder and you'll get an impressive EPA-estimated 29 city and 41 highway mpg plus standard features such as:

  • Automatic LED headlights
  • Cloth upholstery with a height-adjustable driver seat
  • Rearview camera
  • Seven-inch touchscreen interface
  • Bluetooth connectivity

02

2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid 2WD 2.0L 4C Automatic

Best High-MPG Used Cars: Ford Fusion Hybrid | CarMax

Another great midsize car lands at number two, the 2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid. Packing the latest hybrid tech into an extremely handsome design is definitely a winning recipe. Ford updated the Fusion for 2019 and included a host of styling and equipment upgrades. The 2.0L hybrid engine will get you an EPA-estimated 43 city and 41 highway mpg.1 Standard features on the base 2019 Fusion Hybrid SE include:

  • Automatic headlights
  • LED daytime running lights and taillights
  • Exterior keypad entry
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Two configurable driver information displays

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2017 Chevrolet Volt 2WD 1.5L 4C Automatic

Best High-MPG Cars: Chevrolet Volt | CarMax

Topping our list of the best high-mpg used cars is the 2017 Chevrolet Volt. Updated for its second generation (2016–2019), Chevrolet's pioneering plug-in hybrid electric car is a worthy addition to the top of our list. The 2017 Volt with a 1.5L engine gets an EPA-estimated 43 city and 42 highway mpg.1 It's also nicely equipped with standard interior features like:

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • Eight-inch touchscreen
  • Rearview camera
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • GM's Teen Driver™ feature
  • Adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking

Have you added a few vehicles to your short list? The 18 contenders on our list show that a high-mpg vehicle isn't just about getting good gas mileage. In fact, you'll find something that fits your tech, comfort, and practicality needs on this list, too.

Looking for more information on high-mpg vehicles? Check out these related articles:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
2Wi-Fi hotspots require a data plan to activate and may also require a compatible device. See the owner's manual or manufacturer website for more information
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.


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