Best Economy Cars of 2024 and 2025

The Edmunds experts test drive economy contenders on our test track and in the real world. Our ratings assess performance, comfort, technology, utility, value and more. How we rank economys

Best Economy x-small sedans

Diminutive in stature and light on creature comforts, extra-small sedans are the least expensive vehicles on the market. Even so, some boast features that used to be unheard of in this class.

Not enough vehicles yet to rank
The Nissan Versa is a well-built small sedan, with plenty of space inside and enough standard technology and safety features to easily justify its price. Slow acceleration is a bummer, but overall it's a smart pick for an affordable small sedan. Read full review about Nissan Versa

MSRP
$16,680 - $20,690
Combined MPG
30 - 35

Best Economy small sedans

Thanks to their accessible pricing and fuel-efficient engines, small sedans are among the best-selling vehicles of all time. You can opt for value or splurge on all the bells and whistles.

1st
The Honda Civic boasts praiseworthy performance, high fuel economy, excellent passenger space and a refined design. There are a few minor drawbacks, such as elevated road noise on the highway, but overall the Civic is a great pick for a small sedan. Read full review about Honda Civic

MSRP
$23,950 - $30,550
Combined MPG
31 - 36
2nd
Redesigned in 2019

Kia Forte

Edmunds Rating
7.9/10
About Kia ForteRead Summary Close Summary 

The Forte is a grown-up small sedan that's a fantastic value for the money with above-average utility. Other highlights include a comfortable, quiet interior and an extensive list of available features. However, it lags well behind top competitors in driving dynamics, ride quality and rear legroom. Read full review about Kia Forte


MSRP
$19,990 - $25,390
Combined MPG
26 - 34
3rd
Redesigned in 2021

Hyundai Elantra

Edmunds Rating
7.8/10
About Hyundai ElantraRead Summary Close Summary 

The Elantra stands out with its high fuel economy, impressive technology and safety features, and roomy cabin. It's also comfortable and strong on value. The base engine is lackluster but otherwise this is a great pick for a small sedan. Read full review about Hyundai Elantra


MSRP
$21,625 - $28,465
Combined MPG
31 - 36

Best Economy x-small hatchbacks

If you want a tidy, fuel-efficient car that's easy to park and has room for a few friends and all your stuff, it's hard to beat a little hatchback.

Not enough vehicles yet to rank
The Mini Hardtop 2 Door, or what used to be called simply "the Mini," offers invigorating performance and a lot of personality. This nimble little car unfortunately also comes with a choppy ride and a premium price. It's satisfying to drive, but that's the only standout trait. Read full review about MINI Hardtop 2 Door

MSRP
$25,800 - $35,400
Combined MPG
26 - 31

Best Economy small hatchbacks

Small hatchbacks range from practical economy cars to entry-level luxury vehicles, but enhanced cargo-carrying versatility comes standard.

1st
The Honda Civic is one of our favorite small cars, and the hatchback variant adds the virtue of increased cargo capacity. Turbocharged power, nimble handling and strong fuel economy are just a few of the Civic's strengths. Read full review about Honda Civic

MSRP
$24,950 - $44,795
Combined MPG
24 - 35
2nd
Redesigned in 2019

Mazda 3

Edmunds Rating
7.7/10
About Mazda 3Read Summary Close Summary 

If a fun-to-drive character and a classy interior rank high on your shopping list, then the Mazda 3 should be right at the top. It may come up short in a few categories on paper, but in the real world it's more than capable and definitely worth a test drive. Read full review about Mazda 3


MSRP
$25,690 - $36,650
Combined MPG
26 - 30
3rd
Redesigned in 2017

MINI Clubman

Edmunds Rating
7.7/10
About MINI ClubmanRead Summary Close Summary 

A more family-friendly Mini, this little hatchback has usable interior space, a funky personality and — especially with one of the upgraded engines — no shortage of energy. But the Clubman still feels a bit restrained compared to other Mini products. It's the grown-up of the bunch, you might say. Read full review about MINI Clubman


MSRP
$34,050 - $42,400
Combined MPG
26 - 29
Selected 0 vehicles for comparison

FAQ

What is the best economical car to buy?

We don't think a car should be purchased on its fuel economy alone, but there are quite a few good cars that both sip fuel and are enjoyable to drive. Hybrids are generally the most efficient but often cost more than non-hybrid competitors. If your budget allows for a hybrid car, we are fond of the Honda Insight, Honda Accord Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid. In the non-hybrid realm, the Honda Civic, Kia Forte and Hyundai Sonata are all well reviewed and don't consume much fuel. Learn more

What is the most reliable and economical car?

We don't track reliability data on Edmunds, but in general, we recommend looking at owners' forums to see what kind of issues they are experiencing. If you're buying from the prior owner, ask for maintenance records to see what repairs have been performed.

The most economical cars are those that consume the least amount of fuel. These are typically vehicles with hybrid powertrains. Hybrids can generate and store electricity for use while driving by harvesting the forces created during braking or by siphoning small amounts of engine power. Hybrids can then use the stored electricity to travel short distances or to keep vehicle functions operating while the vehicle is stopped. The most economical hybrids include the Honda Insight, Hyundai Ioniq, Toyota Corolla Hybrid and Toyota Prius.

Hybrids, however, are often more expensive than their non-hybrid counterparts. For buyers looking to keep costs low, the most economical non-hybrids include the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Rio and Mitsubishi Mirage.

Learn more

What is the cheapest, most reliable car for 2019?

We don't track reliability data on Edmunds, but in general, we recommend looking at owners' forums to see what kind of issues they are experiencing. If you're buying from the prior owner, ask for maintenance records to see what repairs have been performed. Learn more



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