Despite gasoline prices having plummeted in the last year, the most fuel-efficient cars are as popular as ever. That's a good thing for those of us taking the long-term view that gasoline prices will probably rise again at some point in the not-so-distant future. If you're in the market for a vehicle and are eyeing one that gets great gas mileage, look no further than these rides in popular segments. (The list excludes electric, hybrid, and diesel vehicles, and ratings may vary depending on powertrain.)
If you're looking for a car with some zip that only sips on gasoline, there are a handful of options. Scion's 2015 FR-S base model, which with automatic transmission gets 25/34 mpg city/hwy, is a popular option under $30,000. For less than $30,000 you could also get an iconic sports car in Ford's 2015 Mustang, which gets 22/31 mpg city/hwy with its EcoBoost engine option.
For a sporty ride that's a little easier on the wallet, Honda's 2015 Civic Si gets 22/31 mpg city/hwy, and can be purchased for about $22,000. Furthermore, depending on your definition of "sports car," some honorable mentions go out to Ford's 2015 Fiesta, Hyundai's 2015 Veloster, and Mazda's 2015 MX5.
Honda's Civic has taken a few hits from critics in recent years when the automaker let its cabin quality and technology features slip, but the 2015 Honda Civic is back as one of the compact segment's top choices. The 2015 Civic has one of the top fuel-efficient figures in the segment and will get you about 30/39 mpg city/hwy. Moreover, the new Civic boasts a more spacious interior and good safety scores to add to its solid fuel efficiency.
America's compact car segment has many names that have been known for their fuel-efficiency for years, if not decades. That includes Toyota's Corolla, which will get consumers about 29/37 mpg city/hwy, and continues to be one of America's best-selling vehicles across all segments as 2015's fifth-best-selling vehicle. The Ford Focus and Mazda 3, both in the hatchback version, are also contenders that will get drivers about 26/36 mpg cty/hwy and 27/37 mpg cty/hwy, respectively.
Not only is the midsize sedan segment the most competitive in the U.S. market, it's also strong in terms of fuel efficiency. Near the top of the list you'll find Nissan's 2015 Altima, which will get you about 27/38 city/hwy, while Honda's 2015 Accord matches that in the city and gets two fewer miles per gallon on the highway. Nissan's Altima offers a few bonuses, including a smooth ride, balanced handling, and strong crash test and safety scores, in addition to its fuel efficiency. The 2015 Mazda 6 will get about 26/38 city/hwy, while Toyota's 2015 Camry gets slightly less at 25/35 city/hwy. Honorable mention goes out to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Chrysler 200, which will get you 23/36 city/hwy.
Near the top of the list for luxury cars is the Mercedes-Benz CLA250, which recorded 26 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway. The CLA offers luxury car status and name brand with a relatively low price, roughly $35,000. Also near the top was Acura's ILX, which will get consumers 24/35 city/hwy, and Buick's LaCrosse, which recorded 25/36 city/hwy. Audi's A3 and Infinity's Q50 are worth noting at 23/33 city/hwy and 20/29 city/hwy, respectively.
While it's unclear when fuel prices will move higher again, one thing is very clear: There are plenty of excellent fuel-efficient cars to choose from in all automotive segments these days. Happy hunting.
Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.