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15 Cheapest Cars to Drive in America

The average price of gasoline in the U.S. is $3.57 per gallon, which is about 10 cents cheaper than this time last year. However, don't expect to see gas prices drop all that much in the future. Despite record domestic oil and gas production, any extra gas that is refined is sent to the more lucrative export market.

That leaves consumers with little recourse other than to buy a car that uses less gas, or in some cases no gas at all. The following slideshow looks at the cheapest cars to drive in America, and the name at the top might be a surprise. Despite what you might have read, it's not Toyota's (NYSE: TM  ) Prius, nor is it a gas-sipping model from Ford (NYSE: F  ) . Instead, this car gets an astounding 121 MPG equivalent, meaning it could save its owners more than $9,000 over five years in gasoline.

To get the name of that car, as well as the full lineup of cars that will take away that pain at the pump, check out the slideshow.

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Read/Post Comments (11) | Recommend This Article (21)

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  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 2:18 PM, herky46q wrote:

    They are cheapest only if you consider petroleum fuel use. Was there any reference to miles driven per year?

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 7:50 PM, TMFmd19 wrote: used the following formula to calculate the fuel savings: *Based on 45% highway, 55% city driving, 15,000 annual miles and current fuel prices.

    You can personalize your savings here:


  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 10:36 PM, cvxxx wrote:

    These care are too new to have much of a track record. What looks good on the face may be very expensive down the road. Replacing batteries for instance. Fuel economy is only one factor. Over all cost is yet to be determined. Buy one of these and hope your income goes up.

    Buy a used care with a good service record and proven reliability will be in the end cheaper.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 10:37 PM, cvxxx wrote:

    sorry the board is sticking.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 10:58 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    The list omits the great new Chevy Spark EV which has received rave reviews from many including Consumer Reports.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 11:18 PM, lglymph wrote:

    The purchase price should be factored in along with insurance. There were only 8 cars in the energy chart not 15.

  • Report this Comment On August 18, 2013, at 10:16 AM, TMFmd19 wrote:

    @lglymph - 8 EV's and 7 hybids. (plus two bonus selections). The list was actually from's two top ten lists, however, I removed the duplicate models hence 15 listed.

    @speculawyer - the new Spark EV is a 2014 model, whereas the list is based off of the 2013 model year. It should be close to the top of this next year's rankings:


  • Report this Comment On August 18, 2013, at 10:41 AM, TMFmd19 wrote:

    Also a note on the Ford C-Max, it's rating will slip after this, but it is still one of the top hybrids:


  • Report this Comment On August 20, 2013, at 1:42 PM, funlol wrote:

    This list is good when it comes to fuel efficiency, but you can't really say they are the 'cheapest to drive' when you don't even factor in one of the most expensive parts of driving - insurance!

    So, you should combine your list with this list - - to find out what really are the cheapest cars to drive.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 3:30 PM, ThomasRockford wrote:

    Instead of base price, wouldn't depreciation over the period be a better indicator of cost? Or maybe figure a lease payment over 3 years. Maintenance?

    Anyways, here's another good list, the 21 cheapest cars to own.. has 6 more that you didn't mention -

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 8:32 PM, vaferalyk wrote:

    These rates also hail from the cost of repairs and/or replacement of said autos. Not just a drivers record. If you can afford to buy one of those pricey autos, then you better be able to afford the insurance price tag. It's all relative.

    I would suggest:

    1) Buy a cheap used car that's easy to repair (like a Civic)

    2) Get minimum coverage insurance for cheap ($25/month from Insurance Panda)​

    3) Don't do anything stupid behind the wheel..

    This is the cheapest way to drive,

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