Top 10 cars with best MPG for under $10,000 to buy in 2020
Paying too much at the pump? We have selected a few cars that not only offer some of the best mpg ratings, but have a good reputation for dependability. In this list, we only considered autos priced from $6,000 to $10,000 that you can find for sale in the U.S.
2012-2016 Toyota Prius c
2014 Toyota Prius c
. Photo: Toyota.
The Prius c
has been introduced for 2012. It's a smaller and less expensive version of the popular Toyota hybrid. It's rated well for reliability and is incredibly fuel efficient. The Prius c
is powered by a 1.5L engine paired with an electric motor. It seats five and with the rear seats folded, it offers 17.1 cu. ft. of cargo space. The 2016 Toyota Prius c
is rated at 53/46 mpg
city/highway. This means that on one 9.5-gallon tank you can travel up to 475 miles; how can you beat that?
2006-2014 Honda Civic Hybrid
2007 Honda Civic Hybrid. Photo: Honda.
The Honda Civic hybrid is pretty much like a regular Civic but with a different powertrain and a hybrid battery in the back. The Civic hybrid shuts the engine off as you stop and turns it on almost seamlessly as you start driving. The Civic hybrid handles well and is pretty quick. For under $10,000, you can find the first, second and even third generation of the Civic hybrid. The 2014 Civic hybrid with a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission is rated at 43/45 mpg
2006-2016 Toyota Prius, Prius v
2012 Toyota Prius. Photo: Toyota.
The Prius is not only the best-selling hybrid, it's also the most technologically-advanced one. You fill it up and it drives like a regular car. The hybrid battery recharges as you drive. The Prius is widely available for under 10K. The Prius is extremely reliable and costs little to maintain. The 2004+ second-generation Prius offers plenty of interior and cargo space. The 2012 Toyota Prius is rated at 49/46 mpg
city/highway. Many owners report that it's fairly easy to get even better mileage.
2012-2016 Mazda 3 2.0L Skyactiv
2014 Mazda 3. Photo: Mazda.
The Mazda 3 is a sporty compact that comes as a sedan or 5-door hatchback. It is known for its sleek styling and superior handling. Starting from 2012, Mazda 3 offers a very fuel-efficient 2.0L Skyactiv engine that has proven to be reliable. The Mazda 3 has been redesigned for 2014, retaining the same 2.0L Skyactiv as a base engine. The Mazda 3 is one of the few cars that still offers a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2015 Mazda 3 sedan with a 2.0L engine and automatic transmission is rated at 30/40 mpg
2000-2014 Honda Insight
2012 Honda Insight. Photo: Honda.
The Insight is Honda's hybrid competing with the Prius. The first-generation Insight is a small two-seater that was available from 2000 to 2006. The second-generation Insight is a 5-door hatchback. It was introduced for 2010, but discontinued after 2014. The Honda hybrid system is different from the one Toyota uses in the Prius. The Insight has an electric motor/generator sandwiched between the engine and the conventional mechanical CVT transmission. The 2014 Honda Insight is rated at 40/42 mpg
2006-2016 Honda Civic
2016 Honda Civic.
The Honda Civic is one of the best compact cars. It's dependable and won't cost much to maintain. The Civic offers sporty handling and a stylish comfortable cabin with a two-tier dash and digital speedometer. Redesign years: 2006, 2012, 2016. The 1.8L engine in the 2012-2015 Civic can last very long if oil changes are done regularly. The 2015 Honda Civic with a 1.8L engine and automatic CVT transmission is rated at 29/37 mpg
2011-2017 Nissan Leaf
2013 Nissan Leaf. Photo: Nissan.
The Leaf is an electric car; there is no engine and you don't have to worry about oil changes, spark plugs or belts. Just plug it in to charge overnight and drive on battery power. The main drawback is the limited range. Owners of the 7-8-year old 2011 Leaf report a real-life range of less than 40 miles. Newer models have a much greater range. The Leaf can work well for local travel if you have another car for long commutes. The EPA marks the 2016 Nissan Leaf to the equivalent of 105 mpg
combined. Consumer Reports rates the Leaf well for reliability.
2007-2018 Toyota Yaris
2012 Toyota Yaris.
Small from the outside, the Yaris is roomy and practical on the inside. It's reliable and costs little to maintain. If you can live with its small size and budget-styled cabin, it's a nice comfortable car to drive. The 2012+ Yaris has a much nicer interior. The 2018 Toyota Yaris with an automatic transmission is rated at 30/35 mpg
city/highway. Overall, it's one of the best compact city cars you can find and it's not very expensive.
2007-2017 Honda Fit
2017 Honda Fit. Photo: Honda.
Honda Fit is another practical subcompact with a versatile interior. The Fit is also roomy inside; the rear seat cushions flip up, giving the Honda Fit enough space to fit a 46-inch TV (hence the name). The 2017 Honda Fit offers 52.7 cu. ft. of cargo space. With the rear seats folded, you can even fit a bicycle without removing the front wheel. Honda Fit has a sporty firm ride and responsive handling. The Fit is reliable and easy to maintain.
The EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2017 Honda Fit automatic (CVT) is 33/40 mpg
2005-2018 Toyota Corolla
2012 Toyota Corolla.
Known for its reliability, the Corolla offers a roomy comfortable cabin and a smooth and quiet ride. The 1.8-liter four-banger is not a rocket, but it's known to last for up to 300K with regular maintenance. Ownership costs are minimal. You won't have much trouble finding a used Toyota Corolla for under $10,000. The Corolla was redesigned for 2009 and then again for 2014. The 2014+ Corolla offers a more spacious interior and sporty looks. The 2016 Corolla with a 1.8L engine and automatic CVT transmission is rated at 29/37 mpg.