Car Review

Published on December 6th, 2013 | by Jo Borrás

12

14 Best Fuel Efficient Cars You Can Buy in 2014

December 6th, 2013 by  
 

Best Fuel Efficient Cars 2014

2014 is right around the corner, and before you say it: yes, I know that’s a 2015 Mustang up there that won’t be on sale until the end of 2014 … but I don’t care. You’ll be able to buy it in 2014, it’s gorgeous, and if you don’t want one then you’re dead inside.

That said, this list of is sort of informally divided up into categories, so there’s no “winner” here- they’re all winners! Shall we get started, then? Here is Gas 2’s semi-official list of the 14 best fuel efficient cars you’ll be able to buy in 2014. Enjoy!

 

1. Mitsubishi Mirage

Mitsubishi Mirage CVT


  • Fuel Efficient CITY CAR
  • Super easy to park the thing
  • Available Manual Transmission
  • Highest MPG Car That’s Not a Hybrid

  • I drove this car for a week last month and grew genuinely fond of it. The 44 MPG Mitsubishi Mirage is far from perfect, of course- but nothing this cheap has any business being so thoroughly fun to thrash. When you drive the little car, words like “toss-able” suddenly start to roll off the tongue, and you begin to remember that Mitsubishi isn’t some forgotten victim of the 2008/2009 credit crash- they’re the makers of the original DSM turbos and the giant-killing Lancer Evos.

    Is the Mirage as good as the Evos? Not even close- but the DNA is there, buried somewhere under the little car’s stupid-simple dash and supportive seats … and, parking? Don’t even get me started- the Mirage will fit in spaces that aren’t spaces. If you live in a major city and need a low-payment car that’s easy to park, cheap to drive, and backed by a 10-year warranty, this is it.

     

    2. Nissan Leaf

    Nissan Leaf


  • Fuel Efficient CITY CAR
  • Still Qualifies for Tax Credit
  • Unlike the PHEVs, Uses no Gas- Ever

  • Defenders of the Chevy Volt will probably take issue with my choice of the Nissan Leaf, but if you’re serious about a fossil-free future of fuel, you’ve got two choices: biofuel or pure EV, and Chevy’s Volt is neither. Nissan’t Leaf? It may not have the go any where, any time range-extending quality that the PHEVs from Chevy and Toyota have, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming the hottest-selling car in Norway and swapping the top spot in the plug-in sales race with GM’s Jesus car six times this year.

     

    3. Chevy Cruze Diesel

    2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel


  • Fuel Efficient COMPACT CAR
  • Up to B20 Biodiesel Compatible
  • Bladder-busting 770 mile Driving Range

  • Maybe it’s because I just drove the Chevy Cruze Diesel last week, or maybe it’s because I’m not convinced Volkswagen’s figured out all of its turbo problems quite yet- who can say? What matters is that the little car that’s not quite right for me is still the one I’d be most likely to recommend to anyone who asked me what to buy in 2014. It’s built solid, has all the goodies, and- while the price is a bit high- that engine! This is the future of fuel for middle America, gang: clean-burning diesels.

     

    5. Honda Accord Hybrid/PHEV

    50 MPG Accord Hybrid


  • Fuel Efficient FAMILY SEDAN
  • Highest MPG Mid-size Sedan in America
  • Available as “Conventional” or Plug-in Hybrid

  • Honda’s 50 MPG Accord Hybrid is sportier, roomier, and more fun to drive than you think it will be, I promise. This latest Accord is easily the best hybrid sedan in the segment- and I drove them all, back to back to back, earlier this year when Honda flew me out to the Accord’s debut in San Antonio. With a $29,000 starting price and a Green Car of the Year award for 2014 as selling points, the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrids were an easy choice for best fuel efficient family sedan(s).

     

    6. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

    Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV


  • Fuel Efficient CROSSOVER
  • Basically a Big Chevy Volt / Range-extended EV

  • Based on the bigger of the two Mitsubishi Outlander models, this crossover operates as an EV, most of the time, with the internal-combustion engine lending a hand at higher speeds or when the Outlander’s batteries run low. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same basic premise behind the Chevy Volt- but with more room, less of a “Look at me! I’m saving the Earth!” exterior, and all-wheel drive. That combination of goodies earned the Outlander a “Technology of the Year” award on the back of its 175 combined MPG (claimed), and makes it an easy pick for best fuel efficient crossover to buy in 2014 … even if it’s only available in Europe and Japan (for now).

     

    7. Toyota RAV4 EV

    2014 Toyota RAV4 EV


  • Fuel Efficient CROSSOVER
  • Still Qualifies for Tax Credit
  • Unlike the PHEVs, Uses no Gas- Ever

  • Like the Nissan Leaf, above, Toyota’s RAV4 EV gets a mention here because it’s a pure EV, except it’s an EV that’s capable of hauling you and the kids- and all the kids’ stuff!

    Toyota’s 2014 RAV4 EV is built using battery and motor technology from the EV experts at Tesla, and leases for about $599/mo., making it cost-competitive to, say, buying a base RAV4. I know leasing is different from buying, but you might end up coming out ahead on an EV lease. Besides, with Tesla’s long-lasting batteries, buying your RAV4 EV at the end of the lease might be the way to go!

     

    8. Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel

    Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel


  • Fuel Efficient SUV
  • Trail-rated 4×4 Chassis
  • 7,440 lb. towing capacity

  • If you want a full-sized SUV that offers truck-like towing abilities with go-anywhere, all-weather traction and 30+ MPG fuel economy, there is only one. Sorta. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel will do it all, and go more than 700 miles on a single tank.

     

    9. Bruiser/Cummins Jeep Wrangler


  • Fuel Efficient SUV, Sorta
  • Unspeakably Awesome Super-SUV
  • Cummins’ 4BT is Bio-diesel Capable

  • Remember that “sorta” up there in the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel paragraph? That’s there because of the Bruiser, a vehicle that begins life as a Jeep Wrangler and becomes something else entirely after it gets stuffed with Cummins’ industrial-strength 4BT Turbo-diesel engine and a durable 4L60E automatic transmission. This is 400+ lb-ft of rock-crawling badassery, and it can be yours, in theory, for about $41,000.

     

    10. Toyota Avalon Hybrid

    2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Interior


  • Fuel Efficient NEAR-LUXE SEDAN
  • All the Luxe You Need

  • The last time I was in an Avalon was almost a year ago, and I couldn’t believe how nice it was. That photo, above (of the car’s interior) doesn’t do justice to the look and feel of the leathers, plastics, and the expensive-looking illumination on the dash. With a 30+ MPG EPA fuel economy rating, decent power, a roomy cabin, an interior filled with high-quality details, and a $41,000 MSRP for the top-of-the-line Limited model, you’re nothing but a pawn of the marketers if you buy anything more expensive.

     

    11. Tesla Model S

    Tesla Model S


  • Fuel Efficient LUXURY CAR
  • Still Qualifies for EV Tax Credit
  • Unlike the PHEVs, Uses no Gas- Ever
  • Despite the Fires, Still the Safest Car You Can Buy

  • Tesla’s Model S super-sedan is fast, capable, roomy, distinctive, and uses not a drop of gas. There are so many things that have been said about this car that it’s almost impossible to know where to start- but I’ll tell you this much: Tesla’s Model S has the highest customer satisfaction rating in the business, and I want my wife in one because it’s the safest car money can buy. Make of that what you will.

    I know, I know- I just said that anyone buying a luxury sedan that’s more expensive than the 2014 Avalon Hybrid is a pawn of the marketers. So, I’m a pawn. When it comes to my family’s safety, I can live with that.

     

    12. Ford Mustang Ecoboost

    2015 Ford Mustang Ecoboost


  • Fuel Efficient SPORTS CAR
  • It Really is a New-age SVO

  • If you’re in the market for a sporty car, wait for the new Ecoboost Mustang, set to go on sale as a 2015 model in the latter-half of 2014. The upcoming 300 HP 4 cyl. Mustang is the hot ticket, regardless of what the V8 gear heads might tell you. 300 HP was the domain of the hottest of the hot Cobra Mustangs not all that long ago, and they couldn’t get near the new Ecoboost ponycar’s super-low emissions and near 30 MPG fuel economy.

     

    13. CPO Tesla Roadster

    CPO Tesla Roadster


  • Fuel Efficient SPORTS CAR
  • You Just Can’t Wait for the Mustang
  • You Have Too Much Money to Wait Around Like Some Kind of Animal

  • You’re horribly impatient. I get it- and so does Tesla’s Roadster, which rockets from 0-60 MPH in 3.7 seconds without hassling you about “shifting” or other such dinosaurian nonsense. This is the future, man, and you want stuff to happen now! Now! NOW! This, then, is your car- it’s not new, but it’s got a better-than-new 37 month, 37,000 mile warranty from Tesla and all the best cornering bits from Lotus’ legendary Elise.

    In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller: It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

     

    14. Èlan Motorsports DeltaWing

    DeltaWing


  • Fuel Efficient RACE CAR
  • You Should Always Be Yourself … Unless You Can Be Batman. Always. Be. Batman.

  • The Nissan-powered DeltaWing race cars demonstrated that a small engine in a willing, aerodynamic package with superior fuel and tire efficiency could challenge the over-powered, fat-tired ruling class of endurance racing and come out on top. Forget the drama of Don Panoz’ ridiculous lawsuit and the chrome foiled coupe of 2013. What you want is the roadster, in matte black, and a Robin costume for anyone daft enough to get in the passenger seat.

    Drive it like you stole it.

     

    Original content from Gas 2.





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    About the Author

    I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or staring up at the sky in Oak Park, IL.



    • Jason Carpp

      I refuse to buy a car unless it’s available with a diesel engine. Unfortunately, the choices are limited at best.

      • Buy the Cruze. If I could buy a wagon version, I’d own one.

        • Jason Carpp

          Same here. I’ve always been a fan of the diesel engine. I used to know someone who had a Mercedes-Benz 220D Diesel. It was slower than molasses in January in terms of acceleration, but once up to speed, you were cruising in comfort and safety, baby! 🙂 I’d buy one if I could find one in good driveable condition. Diesel may not be for everyone, and with the cost of diesel being what it is, naturally, not everyone would want to buy, but so what? Those who can afford, not only to buy one, but to also drive it, should be allowed the option of a diesel powered car, small truck, an SUV or even a van, if one wants.

          • Yes- a reborn Chevy Astro with this diesel? GM’s CEO could announce it at Detroit by pulling the blanket off the car, walking up to the mic, dropping it, and walking off stage.

            ^ most bad-ass product reveal ever. They’d sell 100,000 before the week was up.

            • Jason Carpp

              I’d go for a Chevy Astro with a diesel engine. I’d also drive a Toyota Previa if such an engine were to fit under the driver.

      • Scott Cooney

        I drive the VW Jetta TDI for exactly that reason. It’s amazing that that’s the best option that’s out there. The Cherokee Jo talks about above is diesel, so at least they’ve moved in that direction somewhat.

    • gendotte

      When diesel fuel isn’t 60~1.00 per gallon more expensive than straight gas I may consider one. But until then, why bother? They cost just as much to run.

      • How do you figure that? The turbo Cruze, which makes LESS power than the diesel, is only about $1200 less compared like-to-like, and the diesel gets about 30% better fuel economy with less maintenance and higher resale. It costs significantly less to run.

    • VargusSecundo

      I think you forgot to mention the VW diesel range, which are one of the most fuel efficient cars available on the market. Real fuel misers…

      By the way – Diesel is cheaper than petrol in most parts of the world (not in the U.S. though!)

      • Diesel is cheaper than premium in some parts of the US, or comprable, at least. Depends on how things are taxed in your state.

        As for VW, I didn’t forget them- I’m just not convinced they’ve solved their recent reliability problems and, in general, went with my usual “Would I feel comfortable recommend the car to my father in law?” test. In the case of the VW, the answer is “Not at this time.”

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