Although small sedans are becoming less popular than their truck and SUV counterparts, there’s no denying that they provide an efficient way to get around town. Many compact sedans on the market today use hybrid powertrains to squeeze every mile out of the tank, while others do not. But which compact sedan gets the best gas mileage of them all?
The compact sedan with the best gas mileage is a hybrid
As you can likely guess, the compact sedan that gets the best gas mileage is a hybrid. More specifically, it’s the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq. The Hyundai Ioniq is an odd-looking sedan that uses a hybrid powertrain to achieve an EPA-estimated 54 mpg in the city and 57 mpg on the highway. Yes, that’s more than the current Toyota Prius, but we’ll get to that later.
Those fuel efficiency numbers don’t mean much without a little context. Let’s just say that the Ioniq can wring out 654 miles on a single tank of gas. That means you could almost get from San Francisco to L.A. and back one tank.
The Ioniq does this by using a 1.6-liter engine paired with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. Together, the combination is good for 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, which is enough power for cruising around town and running errands. Just expect to win any races unless you’re racing a Prius or this next car.
The non-hybrid compact car with the best gas mileage is not what you would expect
As for the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid compact, the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage takes the cake. The Mirage G4 sedan is one of the smallest and cheapest new cars you can buy. The EPA estimates that the Mirage G4 can get up to 35 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, which is impressive.
However, keep in mind that it does this by using a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine that puts out an unimpressive 76 hp and 74 lb-ft of torque. For reference, that is as much power as a Honda Civic built in 1987. Meager power figures aside, the Mirage comes surprisingly equipped with a decent amount of tech features. Some of these include a touchscreen infotainment system, LED headlights, and automatic emergency braking.
The Mitsubishi Mirage is a decent car, but it’s really only good for getting the best mileage. The folks at MotorTrend put it best, “The thing is, unless you just gotta have nearly 40 mpg and something this small, there are better options out there.”
Yes, the Toyota Prius is still high on the list of fuel-efficient sedans
In case you’re wondering, the 2022 Toyota Prius comes second to the Hyundai Ioniq when it comes to fuel-efficient compact sedans. According to EPA, the Prius can achieve up to 54 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway. Even better, there are multiple trim levels for the Prius, which includes the option for AWD.
As for its powertrain, the Prius is powered by a 1.8-liter hybrid engine that makes 121 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque. It’s great for getting good gas mileage, but it’s pretty slow when you need to go in a hurry.
In that case, the Hyundai Ioniq offers a great blend of power and efficiency. Trucks and SUVs may be popular, but there’s no denying that a solid compact car can get you farther between fil-ups. Even if the next pump is over 500 miles away.