- High gas prices don’t mean you’ll be stuck driving a Prius if you want to save money.
- The obvious solution is to get an electric vehicle, but not everybody wants one of those.
- Below, Edmunds recommends the best cars, SUVs and trucks for saving money at the pump.
- Because these recommendations already earn high ratings from Edmunds editors, you’ll still want to drive them when gas prices inevitably fall.
New Cars, SUVs and Trucks That Get Great Gas Mileage
Gas prices rise and fall, but you can always save on fuel with these top picks
Gas prices always rise and fall, like economic waves lapping at the shore of your bank account. When gas is cheap, we're more likely to splurge on a less fuel-efficient vehicle. When gas is expensive, we want to know what we can buy to save money at the pump.
Of course, one way to eliminate gas from your monthly budget is to buy an electric vehicle. But not everybody is ready to go fully electric. So, other than EVs, what cars, SUVs and trucks can you buy to save money on gas? Based on our expert ratings, we've got some recommendations below.
But first, some ground rules:
1) We do not list vehicles with a base price over $100,000.
2) In cases where there is an Edmunds ratings tie between models in a segment, we list only the one that gets the best fuel economy.
3) If a lower-rated model gets substantially better fuel economy than our top-rated model, we'll list it instead (this happens in just one of the segments below).
And now, keep reading to find out which fuel-efficient cars, SUVs and trucks Edmunds recommends no matter what's happening with gas prices.
Edmunds' top-rated efficient cars of 2022
Let's assume that you need enough interior room for passengers and a big enough trunk for some cargo. What are the best cars for saving money on gas? These are our top-rated suggestions.
Hybrids and plug-in hybrids
2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
Your best bet for saving money at the pump is to get a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) of some kind. Our favorites from mainstream brands include:
- Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (82 mpge then 30 mpg in combined driving)
- Honda Insight (48-52 mpg in combined driving)
- Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (47-52 mpg in combined driving)
Technically, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a minivan, not a car. But there's no arguing with 32 miles of electric range and then getting 30 mpg in combined driving.
If it's a traditional sedan you want, the Insight is a compact model while the Sonata is a midsizer. Remarkably, the Sonata is nearly as efficient as the Insight, and the Hyundai further boasts an impressive ownership package including a long warranty, complimentary maintenance, and a lengthy free trial period to connected services.
If you're looking for a luxury car, our favorites are:
- BMW 530e plug-in hybrid (62-64 mpge then 25-26 mpg in combined driving)
- Lexus ES 300h hybrid (44 mpg in combined driving)
According to the EPA, the BMW provides 19 to 21 miles of electric driving range before switching to hybrid operation. Meanwhile, the Lexus is a traditional hybrid with a roomy interior, and you can even get one in F Sport trim.
2022 Honda Civic.
If electrification simply is not for you, fret not. You can go with straight dino juice and still find a car that will eke out decent fuel economy. Here are our favorites from mainstream brands:
Not only does the Civic rank highest among compact sedans according to our editors, it is our Top Rated Sedan of 2022 regardless of size. Plus, the racy Civic Si gets 31 mpg while plastering a smile on your face. However, the midsize Accord is bigger and more accommodating of passengers and cargo.
Our gas-only luxury picks include:
The 2022 model year is the final one for the small A-Class sedan, so get one while you still can.
The E-Class lineup will be around for a long time to come, and it's available in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon body styles. The most efficient one is the E 350 sedan with the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but nearly all E-Class models return good gas mileage for the segment.
Edmunds' top-rated efficient SUVs of 2022
2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid.
Like everyone else in America, you probably want an SUV of some kind. Starting with models from mainstream brands, we'll give you electrified recommendations in the two most popular size classes (compact and midsize) plus a real off-roader to consider:
Hybrids and plug-in hybrids
- Hyundai Tucson Hybrid (37-38 mpg in combined driving)
- Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid (80 mpge then 35 mpg in combined driving)
- Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid (49 mpge then 20 mpg in combined driving)
- Toyota Highlander Hybrid (35-36 mpg)
The Tucson PHEV gives you 33 miles of electric driving range before reverting to hybrid operation. Plus, both of the Tucsons offer you the same robust ownership benefits package outlined above for the Sonata Hybrid.
The Wrangler 4xe is also a PHEV, but as you can see, if you want to travel where few vehicles dare, that capability comes at a price. The Jeep musters 22 miles of electric range and then gets no better than 20 mpg in combined driving.
In the luxury segment, the electrified SUVs we recommend are:
- BMW X5 xDrive45e plug-in hybrid (50 mpge then 20 mpg in combined driving)
- Lexus RX 450h (29-30 mpg in combined driving)
The BMW is a PHEV, and it only makes sense if you keep it charged up. Once you've gone through the 31 miles of electric range, it averages 20 mpg, which is less than an X5 with the standard turbocharged six-cylinder engine.
If you'd prefer a traditional hybrid, the Lexus RX 450h ranks highest in our book.
Kia Group Picture.
Next up, we're listing all of our highest-rated SUVs that don't have any electric motors or battery packs on board. If gas-only is your thing, you'll want to consider the following mainstream-brand SUVs:
- Honda CR-V (29-30 mpg in combined driving)
- Kia Telluride (21-23 mpg in combined driving)
- Volkswagen Taos (28-31 mpg in combined driving)
These are our favorites in the small, compact and midsize SUV classes. Note that the Kia Telluride is the Edmunds Top Rated SUV across all segments this year.
Switching gears to the luxury models, these are our recommendations:
- Genesis GV70 (21-24 mpg in combined driving)
- Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 and GLE 450 (22 mpg in combined driving)
- Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 (20 mpg in combined driving)
In the compact segment, the Genesis GV70 is our highest-rated model. Additionally, it is our Top Rated Luxury SUV for 2022. Stick with the standard turbocharged four-cylinder for the best fuel economy.
Moving up to midsize and large luxury SUVs, we recommend the Mercedes GLE and GLS models, but only without the AMG treatment, which results in lower fuel economy.
2022 Cadillac Escalade.
If traveling the maximum number of miles on each gallon of gas is important to you, but you need an SUV built for towing lots of weight and hauling plenty of people, there are four models worthy of an honorable mention. Note, however, that they're all equipped with turbodiesel engines:
- Cadillac Escalade (22-23 mpg in combined driving)
- Chevrolet Suburban (22-23 mpg in combined driving)
- Chevrolet Tahoe (22-24 mpg in combined driving)
- GMC Yukon (22-23 mpg in combined driving)
In these models, the turbodiesel engine is a surprisingly affordable option. If you don't mind swapping the standard V8-engine rumble and roar for the characteristic clatter of a diesel, you'll be surprised by how efficient these large SUVs are.
Edmunds' top-rated efficient trucks of 2022
2022 Ford F-150.
If you need a pickup truck, or you simply prefer to drive one, there are fuel-efficient models available to you. However, because there are so few hybrid choices, in this section we're going to focus on those that return the best mileage in each segment.
In the small truck segment, the Ford Maverick equipped with its standard hybrid powertrain gets 37 mpg in combined driving. Edmunds rates the Maverick lower than the only other small truck, the Hyundai Santa Cruz, but the Ford is substantially more efficient than the Hyundai, so it gets our recommendation on this list. Maybe a Hyundai Santa Cruz Hybrid is in the cards for 2023.
If you want a midsize pickup that gets great fuel economy, look no further than the Jeep Gladiator equipped with the optional EcoDiesel engine. The Gladiator diesel returns 24 mpg in combined driving despite its standard four-wheel-drive system. This Jeep is also our No. 2-ranked midsize pickup for 2022.
The same turbodiesel engine that makes General Motors' full-size SUVs so thrifty also makes the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with two-wheel drive the full-size truck efficiency champ at 27 mpg in combined driving. However, our Top Rated Truck for 2022, the Ford F-150, isn't far behind. The Ford delivers 25 mpg when equipped with its available hybrid powertrain.
You don't need to settle for driving something unappealing in your quest to cut down on your fuel bills. No matter what type of vehicle you're shopping for, there is a fuel-efficient model available, and one that Edmunds recommends for reasons other than how many miles it can travel on a gallon of gas.
So, pick a car, SUV or truck from this list, and whether gas prices go up or down with the swells and tides, you can surf the economic waves knowing you're driving an Edmunds-recommended vehicle that also happens to get good gas mileage.