Hybrid Budget Hunt: The Best 5 Fuel Efficient Hybrids Under $15,000

It’s hard not to dive right into the cliche note about hybrid vehicles and gas prices when talking about fuel economy. However, a wave of folks looking for more fuel-efficient transportation comes with record-setting gas prices. However, buying a new hybrid or EV isn’t on the table for everyone. Fortunately, hybrid technology has been in production for quite some time. So, there are some quality, affordable options on the used car market. Let’s take a look at what U.S. News considers the top five used hybrid vehicles under $15,000.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt sitting in driveway
Chevrolet Volt | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Taking up the number one seed is the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

The volt is a plug-in hybrid sedan with an impressive battery-only range of up to 50 miles. Of course, as with all plug-ins, the gasoline engine is used only when necessary for additional power or once the battery runs out.

The Volt has phenomenal fuel economy ratings of up to 35 MPGe city and 40 MPGe highway. U.S. News puts the average sale price of a 2011 Chevrolet Volt at just $6,152.

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid displayed during the second press preview day at the 2010 North American International Auto Show
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid | STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

Next on the list is the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, a mid-size sedan with plenty of room for all your loved ones and personal belongings.

With seating for up to five and a spacious trunk, the Fusion is a great candidate for the daily use of a family. Additionally, the drivetrain’s 156 horsepower output is plenty to get up and moving. Yet, it still allows the Fusion to see up to 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.

With an average selling price of $6,377, the Fusion is a superb budget contender.

2010 Toyota Prius

Truthfully, the next in line on the U.S. News list is the Mercury Milan hybrid. However, since it’s identical to the Ford Fusion, we’re going to jump down to the 2010 Toyota Prius.

The Prius is not just a hybrid; it’s the hybrid. Ask a stranger to name the first hybrid car they can think of, and you’ll likely hear the Toyota Prius as their immediate response. With its iconic styling and fuel economy ratings up to 51 mpg city and 48 mpg highway, it’s easy to see why.


With an average price range of $7,598 – $9,664, it’s easy to see why folks are drawn in to a used Prius.

2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid

2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid in blue on display at CIAS 2013 Canadian International AutoShow
Toyota Camry Hybrid | David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Once again, we’re jumping down a bit as the next in line was yet another Prius. So, we’re going with the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid for this slot. Its drivetrain is similar to the Prius, yes, but you get all the classic Camry goodness instead

This means you get four-door sedan styling instead of the quirky hatchback, allowing you to be a bit more lowkey about your fuel efficient ways. The Prius styling isn’t for everyone, so this is a great alternative. However, it does see quite a bit of dropoff in fuel economy. The 2011 Camry Hybrid gets up to 31 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.

With a price range of $11,008 – $12,444, it still falls decently below the budget of $15,000.

2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai onata hybrid car at its branch in Seoul front-end shot
2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid | JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images

Finally, the newest bunch of the budget hybrids comes down to the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

The Sonata offers a relatively upscale interior experience compared to cheaper offerings like the Ford and Chevrolet. Additionally, bumping it up to a newer model year gets newer features like remote door locking and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sees up to 36 mpg city and 40 mpg highway and has a price range of $10,748 – $12,947.

No matter which gas saver you buy, you’re sure to save money at the pumps

Even moving to a hybrid vehicle from a standard fuel-efficient sedan can result in thousands of dollars in fuel savings in trying times like these. So, no matter what vehicle you choose, you’re likely to be satisfied with the move to a hybrid.

Just be sure to have the vehicle looked over by a qualified mechanic and ensure you’re buying a trustworthy car. Beyond that, it’s all personal preference!

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