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10 Fun Cars with Great MPG – Car and Driver

by Oct 26, 2022Blog0 comments

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In this time of expensive gas, these great-driving cars deliver lots of smiles to the mile along with lots of miles to the gallon.
There’s more than one way to push back against the high price of gasoline: you can drive less or you can drive for less. But there’s no reason to sacrifice your enjoyment behind the wheel in order to zip down the road more fuel-efficiently. Every car on this list achieves at least 30 mpg on the the EPA’s highway test cycle and embodies the fun-to-drive spirit we prize. Their EPA combined, city, and highway fuel-economy numbers accompany each entry.
We love the Giulia for its its strong and snarly 280-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, for its playful handling, and for its sexy looks. This is a car with character, enough to make us overlook the challenges we had getting our long-term Giulia Quadrifoglio serviced. Starting price: $44,945.
All about the Giulia
We’ve called the Audi S3 “small, sporty, and satisfying.” Now add “parsimonious” to that description. This compact all-wheel-drive bombshell packs 306 horsepower and refined road manners into a compact body shell. It shoots to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and still manages excellent fuel economy. If you’d like similar performance in a box, go for the Volkswagen Golf R, with which the S3 shares mechanicals. Starting price of the S3: $46,895.
All about the S3
The 2.0-liter turbo-four in the 330i overachieves in both fuel mileage and performance, delivering zero-to-60-mph sprints in the low- to mid-five-second range. Find a 330i with the Dynamic Handling package and 19-inch summer tires and you’ll have a spicy sports sedan. Starting price: $42,445.
All about the 3-series
The Civic Si is happiness on four wheels. Light on its feet and adequately peppy, its steering and brakes feel hard-wired to your nervous system. Plus, it a wears a taut, athletic suit of clothes and has a roomy cabin. Best of all, the Si self-selects for enthusiastic drivers: it comes only with a six-speed manual transmission. Starting price: $28,315.
All about the Civic Si
There’s lots of fun baked into the new Elantra N: a snorting 276-hp turbo-four; a sharp-handling, good- riding chassis; and the availability of a six-speed manual gearbox. The optional eight-speed dual-clutch automatic delivers slightly less fuel economy than the manual gearbox car (shown here), but still manages 30 mpg on the highway. Starting price: $32,945.
All about the Elantra N
If you just must have an SUV that’s easy on gas, then we want you to have one that’s also fun to drive. The funkadelic Soul Turbo is all that, which makes it a ride to consider. Our long-term Turbo turned in good enough performance numbers to keep us entertained and good enough real-world fuel economy to keep costs down. Starting price: $20,505.
All about the Soul
We can’t think of a better way to sidestep gas pumps than in a Miata, with the top down and the wind in your hair. We dare you to not love this tossable, zippy sweetheart of a two-seater. The manual-gearbox version’s fuel economy (shown here) sacrifices one mile per gallon combined and on the highway to the automatic-equipped model—a small price to pay for the joy of stirring a great gearbox. Starting price: $28,315.
All about the Miata
If you can look past the Mini line’s kitschy styling—which we admit can be a challenge—you’ll find cars that are both fun to drive and very economical. Many offer a manual gearbox, and every model—up to and including the hi-po John Cooper Works variants—crests at 30 mpg or well beyond on the highway. (The EPA numbers here are for the two-door hardtop with the automatic.) Starting price: $20,600.
All about the Mini Cooper
Want a muscled-up, sharp-handling, 10Best-winning sports car that delivers excellent mileage at a reasonable asking price? Here’s your answer. The base four-cylinder Supra busts out the fuel-economy numbers noted here. More good news: the EPA says that the 382-hp six-cylinder version is also a 30-mpg highway cruiser. Starting price: $44,315.
All about the Supra
We’re smitten by the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and if you love to drive, you will be, too. This feisty 241-hp box on wheels has a racer’s heart, a blueblood’s manners, and a distaste for gasoline. It’s swift, comfortable. and beautifully balanced, with the bonus of hatchback utility. The seven speed dual-clutch automatic posts the mileage seen here; the six-speed manual gives up but a single mile per gallon in city driving. Starting price: $30,540.
All about the GTI