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Used Hybrids and Hatchbacks with the Best Fuel Economy Say Consumer Reports Analysts

Here’s the latest listing of 5-year-old used hybrids and hatchbacks Consumer Reports analysts recommended as great options when looking for a used car that has the best fuel economy.


When Fuel Economy Really Matters

Just because a car has a few years on it, that doesn’t always mean that its fuel economy has taken a nosedive---especially when a vehicle has been properly maintained by its owner with regular maintenance with oil changes as the most important factor.

Related article: Will Skipping an Oil Change Void Your Vehicle Warranty?

In fact, many models even after 5 years of use will often get as far on a gallon of gas as they did when bought brand new. And that means a lot today when it comes to today’s fuel prices and the difficulties in finding a used car at a reasonable price.

The Best Used Cars for Fuel Economy

That said, doesn’t it make sense to look for used vehicles that are lighter, smaller, and with enough space to fit your daily driving needs?! That is the message of a recent Consumer Reports analysis that focuses on those cars that are “…designed and built recently enough that its performance in our tests is on a par with brand-new cars—especially fuel economy.”

The following is a summary of their assembled list of the most fuel-efficient 5-year-old hybrid sedans and hatchbacks that are still are new enough to provide many of the modern convenience and entertainment features enjoyed in newer model…but at a lower price.

Related article: Consumer Reports Lists the Most Fuel-Efficient Compact SUVs

Recommended Most Fuel-Efficient Used Hybrids and Hatchbacks

1. 2017 Toyota Prius Prime
Price Range: $24,325 - $28,075
Owner Reported MPG: 70 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: The Prime is a plug-in Prius that can usually achieve about 23 miles on electricity only. Running on alternating gas and electric mode you can expect 50 mog overall.

2. 2017 Ford C-MAX
Price Range: $16,550 - $18,825
Owner Reported MPG: 42 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: Available in a Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid and regular hybrid (non-plug-in) pack models. Both provide 37 mpg overall under testing. The Energi plug-in can go 18 miles solely on electricity after being fully charged.

3. 2017 Hyundai Ioniq
Price Range: $17,050 - $20,275
Owner Reported MPG: 51 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: The Ioniq ties with the more expensive Prius at 52 mpg; however, CR analysts note that the “…trade-off for getting such good fuel economy is that the Ioniq of the era had very long braking distances.”

4. 2017 Toyota Prius
Price Range: $21,200 - $24,825
Owner Reported MPG: 53 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: According to CR analysts the fourth generation Prius was a gamechanger providing 52 mpg overall with a “…newer, larger, and more efficient 121-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine.”

5. 2017 Kia Niro
Price Range: $17,625 - $21,850
Owner Reported MPG: 46 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: CR road test found that “…this front-wheel-drive hybrid’s 139-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and electric drive returned a very good 43 mpg in our tests.”

6. 2017 Toyota Prius C
Price Range: $16,700 - $18,375
Owner Reported MPG: 52 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: The smaller of the Prius models, this one is a little less desirable but still provides remarkable mileage with city fuel economy of 37 mpg from the 99-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine, and 43 mpg under testing.

7. 2017 Toyota Prius V
Price Range: $22,150 - $24,075
Owner Reported MPG: 40 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: It’s larger size and weight lowers its fuel economy, but still gets a respectable excellent 41 mpg overall in our tests with the benefit of more space for passengers and stowing.

8. 2017 Lexus CT 200h
Price Range: $24,825
Owner Reported MPG: 43 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: Don’t expect Lexus luxury with this model, however, the CT will provide a fuel-efficient 40 mpg overall.

9. 2017 Ford Fusion
Price Range: $16,600 - $22,975
Owner Reported MPG: 25 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: A nice sedan that costs half as much as similar models, CR analysts found this one provides “…an excellent 39 mpg overall in our tests of the 188-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid and 41 mpg on the highway. The car can also run just on electric power at speeds up to 75 mph, though it’s tricky to keep up highway speeds without the engine kicking in.”

10. 2017 Hyundai Sonata
Price Range: $15,175 - $21,300
Owner Reported MPG: 29 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: For car shoppers not crazy about a continuously variable transmission (CVT), this model has a conventional automatic transmission with a more natural feel and an impressive 39 mpg on road tests.

11. 2017 Toyota Camry
Price Range: $19,050 - $22,850
Owner Reported MPG: 28 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: 38 mph overall in our tests with a 650-mile cruising range on a single tank of gas.

12. 2017 Lexus ES
Price Range: $27,650 - $28,325
Owner Reported MPG: 24 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: Rated by CR analysts as a “a less satisfying upscale sedan” it does provide excellent 36 mpg overall and 44 on the highway with the benefit of a historically dependable engine.

13. 2017 Lincoln MKZ
Price Range: $19,450 - $29,750
Owner Reported MPG: 24 mpg
Fuel Efficiency Notes: A nice sedan that rivals some high-end European sports sedans, the front-wheel-drive hybrid version gets an impressive 34 mpg overall reports CR analysts.

And finally…

For additional articles about vehicle choices and fuel economy, here are a few for your consideration:

Consumer Reports Tests the Most Fuel-Efficient Hybrid Cars, Minivans, and SUVs

New Vehicles That Cost the Most to Fuel and Used Vehicles That are the Most Fuel Efficient

Economy Cars to Avoid that are Actually Gas Guzzlers

COMING UP NEXT: Consumer Reports Best Midsized SUVs Under $35,000 That Come Standard with Active Safety Systems

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Unsplash


Andries (not verified)    July 22, 2022 - 12:13PM

Thank you very much. For your good information. Because I live in Europe, I cann't become member of Consumer Reports. You have a newsletter?