Hybrids have come a long way — not just in terms of efficiency, but in actual usability. A decade ago, if you wanted to list the most efficient cars on the market, it would have been necessary to separate conventionally powered vehicles and hybrids. Today, these vehicles are refined, smooth, and don’t force the driver to compromise.
Here are this year’s 10 most efficient cars based on combined fuel economy, based on 2018 data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We’re excluding full EVs (Electric Vehicles), PHEVs (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle), and diesel vehicles to ensure that these are the most efficient cars that don’t require any extra steps by the driver, such as finding a charging station or a diesel pump.
2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE/XLE
Miles per gallon: 44 city /47 highway /46 combined
Pros: The Camry Hybrid is one of several hybrid versions of conventional sedans on this list. This speaks to how well automakers have been able to integrate fuel-saving powertrains with the traditional (and useful) family sedan layout.
Cons: The CVT in this car results in some sluggish acceleration. The infotainment system, while easy to use, lacks support for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
Miles per gallon: 49 city / 43 highway / 46 combined
Pros: The Malibu Hybrid has surprisingly strong acceleration. Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system is easy to use and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Malibu comes standard with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
Cons: When comparedwith conventional sedans, the Malibu Hybrid can get pricey. The Malibu Hybrid’s large battery pack impacts the pass-through from the trunk to the cabin.
2018 Honda Accord Hybrid
Miles per gallon: 47 city / 47 highway / 47 combined
Pros: The Accord is known for its strong predicted reliability, and the hybrid variant is no different. The Accord Hybrid also features a spacious rear seat and trunk area, and its infotainment system is easy to use.
Cons: Other similar hybrid sedans (like the Malibu) handle better, and Honda’s unique shifter design can be confusing.
2018 Kia Niro LX/EX
Miles per gallon: 51 city / 46 highway / 49 combined
Pros: The Niro is one of the only crossovers on this list, and features up to 54 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Up front, the Niro’s cabin is surprisingly upscale.
Cons: Despite being classified as a crossover, the Niro isn’t available with all-wheel drive. That makes its base price a bit steep for a hatchback.
2018 Kia Niro FE
Miles per gallon: 52 city / 49 highway / 50 combined
Pros: The FE is the base trim of the Niro, and it earns slightly better fuel economy. Even in the base trim, the UVO infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it’s very easy to use.
Cons: Despite having the appearance of a hot hatchback, the Niro FE isn’t a brilliant performer. If you buy this car, it’s for the miles per gallon and cargo space.
2018 Toyota Prius
Miles per gallon: 54 city / 50 highway / 52 combined
Pros: The iconic Prius is still the cornerstone of the hybrid market. On top of its fantastic fuel economy, it makes the most of its space with a surprising amount of cargo area.
Cons: While cargo space is good, rear seat space is pretty tight. Like the other Toyota’s the infotainment system lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE
Miles per gallon: 51 city / 53 highway / 52 combined
Pros: Smaller wheels and other content changes yield slightly improved fuel economy for the LE trim of the Camry Hybrid, when compared with the SE/XLE.
Cons: Like the SE/XLE versions, it also has a sluggish CVT and lacks support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
2018 Hyundai Ioniq SEL/Limited
Miles per gallon: 55 city / 54 highway / 55 combined
Pros: The Ioniq benefits from Hyundai’s intuitive infotainment system. It also has impressive crash test safety scores.
Cons: Its sloping roofline optimizes aerodynamics but cuts into back seat and rear cargo space. It also has a somewhat numb driving experience.
2018 Toyota Prius Eco
Miles per gallon: 58 city / 53 highway / 56 combined
Pros: The Eco weighs less and features a lithium-ion battery pack versus the nickel-metal hydride battery found in other trims. It also comes with driver-assistance features like forward-collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, dynamic cruise control and automatic high beams (all standard across every trim of the Prius).
Cons: Lacking in rear seat space. No Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
2018 Hyundai Ioniq Blue
Miles per gallon: 57 city / 59 highway / 58 combined
Pros: Blue is the name of the entry level trim of the Ioniq. It features the least content in the lineup, bringing its weight under 3,000 pounds (those batteries aren’t light).
Cons: Seats are quite firm, especially over long rides. Some interior components feel cheap, but it’s also the most affordable option on this list.