10 best Used Cars / SUVs with good fuel economy

Updated: September 9, 2013

Constantly rising gasoline prices and environmental concerns force us to readjust our priorities when it comes to selecting a car or SUV. Power, performance, size - those were the preferences when the gasoline was cheap and we didn't think much about the environment. Times have changed: better fuel economy and lower emissions are important today.
For this list, we picked 10 best late-model used cars and SUVs that have above-average reliability and reasonably good fuel economy.

Toyota Prius

2004 Toyota Prius

The Prius is a hybrid car; it has a 1.5L engine combined with an electric motor. Despite its advanced hybrid technology, the Prius is very reliable. Maintenance costs are moderate. The hybrid battery is quite expensive, but they don't fail very often. Despite it's fairly small size, the Prius is roomy with ample headroom and legroom in the front and back even for 6-foot-tall passengers. The EPA fuel economy estimate for 2007 Prius: 48/45 mpg or 4.9/5.2 liters/100 km (city/highway). No other car of this size can beat that.

Toyota Corolla

2012 Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is a reliable easy-to-maintain and easy-to-sell compact car. It has a simple but comfortable interior and smooth ride. All this makes the Corolla a good choice for an economical commuter.
The EPA estimates for the 2007 automatic model:
26/35 mpg or 9.0/6.7 liters/100 km (city/highway)

Honda Civic

2006 Honda Civic

Unlike the Corolla, Honda Civic offers more sporty handling and ride. Similarly, the Civic won't cost much to maintain. The EPA estimates for 2007 Honda Civic with an automatic transmission:
25/36 mpg or 9.4/6.5 liters/100 km (city/highway)

Pontiac Vibe

2007 Pontiac Vibe

Pontiac Vibe is a product of joint venture between General Motors and Toyota. The Vibe is a tall hatchback with sporty interior, decent cargo space and good fuel-efficient low-maintenance engine. The Vibe is simple, reliable and easy to maintain.
The EPA estimates for 2007 Pontiac Vibe with an automatic transmission: 25/31 mpg or 9.4/7.6 liters/100 km (city/highway)

Toyota Matrix

2006 Toyota Matrix

Toyota Matrix is a tall wagon with good interior headroom and an easy-to-clean cargo floor covered with a durable plastic. The 2008 and newer Matrix (model with the side airbags) scored well in crash tests. Similarly to the Corolla it is based on, the Matrix is reliable and easy to maintain. The EPA estimates for the automatic 2009 Matrix: 25/31 mpg or 9.4/7.6 liters/100 km (city/highway)

Toyota Camry (4-cylinder model)

2010 Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry is a reliable roomy and very comfortable family sedan with smooth and quiet ride. The Camry has plenty of rear-seat and cargo space. The Camry's low-maintenance 4-cylinder engine is very fuel-efficient, yet provides enough power for daily driving. The EPA estimates for the 2009 4-cylinder Camry with an automatic transmission: 21/31 mpg or 11.2/7.6 liters/100 km (city/highway)

Honda Accord (4-cylinder model)

2003 Honda Accord

Sporty sharp looking family sedan, the Accord has a spacious interior, precise handling and firm ride. The Accord's selling points are its excellent low-maintenance 4-cylinder engine, good cargo space, fresh interior design and good reliability records. The EPA estimates for the 2009 Honda Accord automatic: 21/30 mpg or 11.2/7.8 liters/100 km (city/highway)

Toyota RAV4

2011 Toyota RAV4

The RAV4 is a small, practical car-based SUV with sleek styling. Toyota RAV4 is fun to drive and easy to maintain. Available as 2WD or 4WD.
The EPA estimates for the 2007 4-cylinder 4WD automatic model:
20/25 mpg or 11.8/9.4 liters/100 km (city/highway)

Honda CR-V (2002 and up)

2002 Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V is a small, versatile, car-based SUV. It's fairly reliable and easy to maintain. The CR-V offers very practical interior with many well-thought amenities, including even a foldable picnic table.
The EPA estimates for the 2007 4WD automatic model: 19/26 mpg or 12.4/9.0 liters/100 km (city/highway)

Subaru Forester (non-turbo model)

2008 Subaru Forester

The Forester is a solidly built small car-based SUV (although it looks like a tall wagon) with an excellent all-weather handling and smooth ride. The Forester is maneuverable; it has good visibility, capable AWD system, decent towing capability and very good crash-test scores. The EPA estimates for the 2007 4WD automatic non-turbo model: 20/25 mpg or 11.8/9.4 liters/100 km (city/highway)

The mpg numbers are the US mpg, not imperial.

Check more top 10 lists at our blog, Testing Autos:
Top 10 used SUVs with good gas mileage
Top 10 cars with best mpg for under $10,000
Top 10 cars for under $5,000 with good gas mileage
Best used cars for long commutes
Top 10 sporty cars for under 15K
Top 10 used sports cars under $20,000