Although the big story behind last year’s record auto sales was the increased demand for trucks and SUVs, consumers this year seem to be more firmly focused on fuel economy. Thus far, year-to-date hybrid sales have jumped by more than 12 percent relative to last year’s numbers. Overall industry sales are down by roughly 1.4 percent during the same time.
With that in mind, we’ve pulled together for your consideration nine of the nation’s most fuel-efficient mainstream vehicles – hybrid and otherwise – from nine of the top market categories. To simplify the process we’ve chosen to focus primarily on unplugged vehicles, and all prices listed exclude destination charges.
Subcompact Car: 2017 Ford Fiesta SE
Sold in hatchback and sedan configurations, the 2017 Ford Fiesta SE is available with one of the industry’s smallest engines and a five-speed manual transmission, and this combination achieves EPA ratings of 31/41 mpg city/highway. Because it relies on Ford’s EcoBoost powertrain technologies, the turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine is able to produce 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. That’s more output than in the Fiesta’s larger, less-efficient standard engine. SE sedans with the 1.0-liter engine start at $15,885, while SE hatchbacks with this powertrain start at $16,185.
Compact Car: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Blue
The all-new 2017 Hyundai Ioniq is the first dedicated hybrid from the Hyundai brand, and with it, the automaker has gone straight to the head of the class when it comes to fuel efficiency. Indeed, the Ioniq is on the cusp of the 60-mpg barrier, thanks to EPA ratings of up to 57/59 mpg city/highway. To put that into context, the country’s former EPA champion, the 2017 Toyota Prius Eco, is rated at 58/53 mpg city/highway. Relative to the Prius, the Ioniq presents a more compelling value proposition. The most fuel-efficient Ioniq Blue trim is the entry-level choice for the nameplate, with an MSRP of $22,200. The Prius Eco, on the other hand, requires a $480 premium over the standard Prius and starts at $25,165.
Midsize Car: 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
The Honda Accord Hybrid takes a more premium approach to fuel economy. Its price tag of $29,605 is well above the cost of its direct rivals, but for the added expense, you get a wider range of standard driver-assistance technology. The list of standard active safety features includes forward collision warning, lane departure warning, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, a rearview camera and Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot system. The Accord Hybrid achieves EPA ratings of 49/47 mpg city/highway. Power comes from an engine that generates 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque.
Full-Size Pickup: 2017 Ford F-150
Ford’s EcoBoost technology brings superior fuel economy to the full-size pickup segment. The 2017 Ford F-150 has an EPA rating of 19/26 mpg city/highway when configured with a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission. That engine makes 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque, allowing owners to tow up to 8,500 pounds. Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 makes an interesting alternative, too. The F-150 earns EPA ratings of 18/25 mpg city/highway with this engine, which is a minor drop versus the 2.7-liter unit. The bigger engine provides 375 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque and, when properly equipped, a towing maximum of 12,200 pounds. Models with the 2.7-liter V6 start at $27,725.
Midsize Pickup: 2017 Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon
Both the Chevrolet Colorado and the related GMC Canyon offer GM’s 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine, and this four-cylinder engine yields the same EPA ratings in each truck: 22/30 mpg city/highway with a standard six-speed automatic transmission. Of course, along with exceptional fuel economy, the Colorado and Canyon share the same output and hauling numbers from that engine. Both pickups deliver 181 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque and a tow rating of up to 7,700 pounds. Pricing for the diesel-equipped Colorado starts at $26,780, while the diesel-equipped Canyon has a base price of $27,655.
Subcompact SUV: 2017 Kia Niro
Leveraging the same hybrid powertrain as the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq, the 2017 Kia Niro has a more SUV-like package with a slightly shorter length. Different as well are their fuel-economy grades, since the Niro is rated at 52/49 mpg in its FE trim. Pricing for the Niro starts at $22,890.
Compact SUV: 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid
Nissan launched a hybrid version of its popular Rogue in 2017 to reach new customers. The Rogue Hybrid is available with both front- and all-wheel drive powertrains, as opposed to its top rival, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which comes solely with all-wheel drive. In both configurations, the Rogue Hybrid’s EPA ratings are higher than the Toyota’s. The Nissan achieves mileage of 33/35 mpg with front-wheel drive and 31/34 mpg with all-wheel drive, while the RAV4 Hybrid is rated at 34/30 mpg. Pricing for the Nissan Rogue Hybrid starts at $26,240.
Midsize SUV: 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
A variety of three-row SUVs have EPA ratings of 27 mpg for highway travel, including the 2017 Ford Explorer, 2017 Honda Pilot and 2017 Nissan Pathfinder. But it’s the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid that adds a 29 mpg rating for city driving, which is 10 mpg higher than the Explorer’s and 9 mpg beyond the ratings achieved by the Pilot and Pathfinder. The Highlander Hybrid comes with standard all-wheel drive. Pricing starts at $36,270.
Minivan: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is available with either a traditional gas-only powertrain or a plug-in hybrid system, but it isn’t offered as an unplugged hybrid. The plug-in hybrid model achieves a stellar 32 mpg combined in its non-EV mode, and pricing starts at $41,995.