A 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid in dark bronze, on a country road.

Coming soon: An all-new 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid that's even more fuel-efficient. Image source: Toyota.

When it comes to the things that sell cars, fuel efficiency isn't as compelling of a selling point as it was a few years ago. With gas prices still around $2 a gallon in most of the U.S., many new-car shoppers have placed other priorities -- like roominess or performance -- higher on their comparison lists. 

But there are still buyers who want a seriously fuel-efficient vehicle, whether because of environmental concerns or simply because it's cheaper to run. And for the automakers, it's important to keep some fuel-efficient options around -- not only to cater to those buyers, but also in case gas prices take off once again.

So, for those looking at family-sized sedans (midsize or above), what are the best bets for fuel efficiency? Here are the eight 2017 model-year choices that all managed an EPA combined fuel-economy rating of 40 miles per gallon or better. 

A silver 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid on a road near office buildings.

2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid. Image source: Toyota.

2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid 

In hybrid trim, America's best-selling midsize sedan is also one of the most fuel-efficient. The 2017 edition of Toyota's (NYSE:TM) Camry Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 40 miles per gallon on the combined cycle (which combines city and highway driving). 

The 2017 Camry Hybrid starts at $27,800. But take note, fuel-conscious shoppers: An all-new version of the Camry is on its way for 2018, and the 2018 Camry Hybrid manages an EPA combined rating of 52 miles per gallon in its most fuel-efficient trim. 

A 2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid sedan in silver, in front of a glass-paneled office building.

2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid. Image source: Kia Motors.

2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid

Kia Motors' (NASDAQOTH: KIMTF) Optima Plug-in Hybrid was redesigned for the 2017 model year. It gets 40 miles per gallon combined, and it's a plug-in: It also gets 29 miles of electric-only range on a full charge. 

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid starts at $35,210. It's not the cheapest car in our comparison, but it comes very well equipped at that price.

A black 2017 Ford Fusion Energi sedan.

2017 Ford Fusion Energi. Image source: Ford Motor Company.

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi 

Ford Motor Company's (NYSE:F) Fusion sedan lineup got a revamp for 2017, with a restyled grille and some new interior features. The Fusion Hybrid gets 42 miles per gallon combined; its plug-in sibling, the Fusion Energi, has the same 42-miles-per-gallon combined rating along with an electric-only range of 21 miles on a full charge. 

The 2017 Fusion Hybrid starts at $25,295; the well-equipped Fusion Energi starts at $31,120. 

A blue 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid sedan parked on a country road.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid. Image source: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid

Honda Motor (NYSE:HMC) went two years without offering a hybrid version of its mainstay Accord sedan in the U.S. But the Accord Hybrid returned for 2017, with an impressive fuel-economy number: 48 miles per gallon combined.

One of the roomier cars in our comparison, the 2017 Accord Hybrid starts at $29,605. But note: You might get a deal, as there's an all-new 2018 Accord on the way. (At press time, Honda hadn't yet released the 2018 Accord Hybrid's fuel-economy numbers.) 

A dark gray 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Sedan parked in front of a house.

2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid. Image source: Toyota.

2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid 

Need something a little bigger, but don't want to give up great fuel economy? Toyota's full-size Avalon Hybrid might be the sedan you're seeking. The big Toyota gets a combined 40 miles per gallon in hybrid trim, and comes with a full suite of high-tech safety and entertainment features. 

At a starting price of $37,300, it's not exactly cheap -- but you get a lot for your money.

A 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid sedan in silver, driving past a white-framed commercial building.

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. Image source: General Motors.

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 

General Motors' (NYSE:GM) Chevrolet Malibu used to be an also-ran among sedans, but not anymore. The Malibu was completely redesigned for 2016, and the latest edition is a smooth-riding star with a surprisingly roomy interior. The Malibu Hybrid's drivetrain draws on the technology developed for the latest Chevy Volt, and it shows: It gets a strong combined fuel-economy rating of 46 miles per gallon.

The Malibu Hybrid starts at $27,975 with a nice list of features. 

A 2017 Lincoln MKZ in dark gray on a wooded road.

2017 Lincoln MKZ. Image source: Ford Motor Company.

2017 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Want something a little more upscale? The Lincoln MKZ is mechanically related to the Ford Fusion, but it brings its own artfully styled look and a higher level of luxury to the table, along with still-strong fuel economy in Hybrid trim: The MKZ Hybrid gets 40 miles per gallon combined. 

The 2017 MKZ Hybrid starts at $35,170. 

A black 2017 Lexus ES 330h sedan, in early morning light with a city in the background.

2017 Lexus ES 330h. Image source: Toyota.

2017 Lexus ES 300h 

Like the Lincoln MKZ, the well-regarded Lexus ES is a premium sedan that's mechanically related to a mainstream model, the Toyota Avalon in this case. As you've probably guessed, the "h" in its name is for hybrid, and you'll see it at the pump: This ES gets 40 miles per gallon combined. 

The ES 300h starts at $41,820. That's the highest price in our comparison, but this is a well-regarded luxury model that comes with a long list of standard features. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.