Photo (cc) by kevin dooley
If you read 5 Ways to Cheap (or Free) Roadside Assistance you already know I have clunker. You also know that my clunker doesn’t always run – but that may not be the worst thing.
Every year cars are getting leaner and more fuel-efficient and the 2013 models are leaving my car in the dust. For example, the 2013 Smart Electric Drive Coupe gets an impressive 122 mpg in city driving conditions. Meanwhile my 2002 Jeep Liberty gets a whopping 16 mpg.
And while electric cars are the champion of gas savings, you don’t have to plug in to get decent gas mileage. If you’re in the market for a new car this year, there are plenty of cheaper standard-model cars and hybrids that will take you the farthest for the least amount of gas.
1. The 2013 Toyota Prius C
Edmunds gave this hatchback-style hybrid a “B” rating for having great gas mileage, but some noticeable problems. For example, wind noise inside the car is still a bit of a problem this year. I have ridden in 2012 and older models of the Prius and can attest that it isn’t a quiet ride, but for an affordable hybrid, I’d be willing to overlook that one downside. Here are some notable specs:
- Achieves 53 mpg city and 46 mpg highway, according to FuelEconomy.gov.
- Retails at base for $19,080
- It costs only $30 to fill the tank, and each tank gets 428 miles according to FuelEconomy.gov
- Received “Good” (highest mark) and for safety by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
2. 2013 Ford C Max Hybrid FWD
Personally, I think the Ford C Max Hybrid series looks similar to the hip hatchback style of the Prius. If you like the look of the Prius, but were hoping for a smoother ride, this might be a good car for you. Edmunds says that the Ford C Max Hybrid maneuvers well, accelerates quickly, and comes stocked with features. Plus, the gas mileage and price point aren’t too shabby either:
- 47 mpg in both city and highway, according to FuelEconomy.gov
- Retails at base for $25,200
- $43 to fill a tank that can get 571 miles
- 2.0L Atkinson-cycle I-4 hybrid engine with 141 horsepower, according to Ford
3. 2013 Lexus RX 450H
This isn’t the first year luxury car manufacturers have jumped on the fuel efficiency bandwagon, but Cars.com says that Lexus revamped their hybrid model, the Lexus RX 450H, for 2013. According to them, this model has a few impressive features, like a redesigned console with maple wood trim, optional all-wheel drive, and an impressive 10 standard airbags. It is an impressive vehicle, but it is also the most expensive on our list. Here are the specs:
- Retails at base for $46,310
- 32 mpg city, 28 mpg highway
- $60 to fill the tank; gets 470 miles to a tank according to FuelEconomy.gov (Premium gas is recommended for this model.)
4. 2013 Honda Fit (Automatic)
Car and Driver named the 2013 Honda Fit one of their 10 best cars for 2013. The roomy and intelligently designed interior was one of the favorite features of the magazine’s editors. According to them, you can store as much behind the front seat of the 2013 model as you can in the back of a typical SUV. If storage is your thing, this might be a good option for you, but here are some other important specs to consider: