Best Used Compact Cars To Buy If You Value Fuel Economy

Buying a car used typically means paying a fraction of the original sticker price, but you want to know that you’re getting into a car that isn’t going to cost you even more down the road. This can mean looking into car maintenance and repair costs, but also how fuel-efficient your car is going to be. Fuel is one of the most expensive parts of car ownership, and it seems like more time than not we are stopping to refill our tanks. Cost is one of the big factors people consider when buying a car, even if they are buying a used car, so why not look at cars that have a just as good rating for fuel economy as they do a used-car price?

2015 Kia Forte

You can buy a 2015 Kia Forte for less than $10,000 and appreciate the car’s fun styling, quality touches, and overall good fuel economy. Owners reported giving an average of 29mpg, but owners have been a little less than satisfied according to Consumer Reports.

Blue Kia Forte
Kia Forte | Kia

2015 Hyundai Elantra

The new Hyundai Elantra is impressive, but the older models can hold their own. They are one of the more underrated compact sedans that you can buy, and although many people seem to forget the Elantra as an option even if it one of the best choices. Of course, it’s on this list for having good fuel economy, it gets an average of 30mpg and owners brag about the comfortable ride quality.

Hyundai Elantra | Hyundai

2015 Toyota Corolla

It shouldn’t surprise you that the Toyota Corolla made the list no matter what model years we are looking at. The Corolla offers some intense safety features and combined with the low price it is a great choice for a driver’s first car, not to mention it gets a reported 31mpg.

Toyota cars lined up in a dealership's parking low
Toyota Corollas lined up in a dealership | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

2015 Mazda3

The Mazda3 seems to have a fan group all of its own, and it’s well-deserving of it. It is sporty, spacious, and it gets pretty decent gas mileage, with an average of 30mpg.

2015 Honda Civic

The Honda Civic seems to be the go-to car for first-time car buyers and commuters. They are inexpensive, reliable, and the 2015 model is especially fuel efficient. You can expect to get an overall user-reported average of as much as 31mpg.

A close-up of the K24 engine in the 2013 Honda Civic Si.
Honda Civic Si K24 engine | Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The 2020 Nissan Sentra Still Falls Short Compared to the Honda Civic

After about five years most cars have depreciated enough that they are worth a bargain, but they are still new enough to look modern and have a lot of safety features and technology that we want. All of these cars are great options for getting the fuel economy you want, in a used car that is well-priced.