Now that we’re past the half-way point in the 2010s, it might be a good time to take a look at the state of the auto industry. With the rising role of technology in our cars, and the growing acceptance of hybrids and EVs, things are changing quickly, and largely for the better. There are still plenty of gas-guzzlers out there — we’re looking at you, Hellcat twins — but for the most part, fuel economy is steadily improving even while fuel prices remain low.
And while fuel-sipping cars used to be largely in the realm of tiny, often underpowered econoboxes, innovations like underbody aerodynamics, cylinder deactivation, eight- and nine-speed transmissions, and start-stop functions mean that there’s a more diverse group of gas misers than ever before.
We took a look at 2016 models and found a varied assortment that can return over 40 miles per gallon (MPG) on the highway — no batteries needed. From tiny and buzzy to big and luxurious, here they are ranked in terms of fuel economy.
1. Mitsubishi Mirage
The Mirage may usually gets bad press, but we like its new-for-2016 sheetmetal, and with a five-speed manual transmission, it can be surprisingly fun to drive for a car that can be had for under $13K. Plus, we can’t argue with 43 miles per gallon on the highway and 37 in the city, even if we only have 78 horsepower to work with. Still, it is the closest car on this list to the ’80s-era econoboxes that still give some drivers nightmares.