40 MPG Cars – Affordable and Fuel Efficient

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2011 Chevy CruzeWith fuel prices continually rising, 40+ mpg cars are looking like a great option for consumers who can’t afford or don’t want hybrid technology. Without breaking the bank, these affordable fuel efficient cars range from $15,000 to about $20,000 and all provide 40 mpg or more highway mpg driving. Companies that have joined the 40-mpg club are Ford, Honda, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Chevrolet, and Smart.

Automakers are achieving the 40 mpg mark by using lighter-weight materials, modern gasoline powered engines with direct injection and six-speed automatic transmissions along with additional fuel-saving technologies such as low-rolling-resistance tires.

40 mpg Cars (gasoline) City mpg Highway mpg Price
2011 Ford Fiesta SE sedan w/SFE package 29 40 $16,110
2011 Ford Fiesta SE hatchback w/SFE package 29 40 $17,285
2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco* 28 42 $18,995
2011 Hyundai Elantra 29 40 $15,695
2011 Smart ForTwo 33 41 $15,440
2012 Ford Focus SE sedan w/SFE package 28 40 $19,655
2012 Honda Civic HF - 41 Debuts Spring
2012 Hyundai Accent - 40 Spring
2012 Hyundai Veloster - 40 Summer
2012 Kia Rio - 40 Fall
2012 Mazda3 - 40 Fall
40 mpg Cars (diesel) City mpg Highway mpg Price
2011 Audi A3 2.0 TDI 30 42 $30,250
2011 VW Golf 2.0 TDI 30 42 $23,225
2011 VW Jetta 2.0 TDI 30 42 $22,095
2011 VW Jetta SportWagen** 30 42 $24,995

*42-mpg Cruze requires a manual transmission
*42-mpg Jetta SportWagen requires a manual transmission

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  • Peter Anastopulos says:

    I will alert you the TDI’s you listed from VW group have issues.Everyone I know who has the Audi is having oil burning issues .This is due to to the cylinder heads.I just got rid of my Passat 2008 gas engine with with the TSI 2’0T because at 50k it started drinking oil like a drunk.Read the manuel you buy one of these vehicles it states plainly that this will be an issue gas or TDI.If it’s an issue why don’t you do something about it VW and not put these engines in about every model you make.The new A6 will come with this engine and if I paid 50k and had this problem I would be livid.Drove the Cruze Eco and thought it was a great small car and it reminded me of what BMW 3 series used to be .

  • francois says:

    Ahh, no hybrids. That’s cool as it’s good to group them in categories.

    However, you should add a table of hybrids. It would be very useful to compare their mileage and prices.

  • Chuck says:

    Why do they not include diesels? I am driving a VW TDI Jetta which averages 45 MPG in combined city/highway driving. I am sold on diesel. Longer lasting and easier to maintain. Just change filters and oil regularly. BTW, the car is a manual.

    • Derek says:

      CarReview has always been a strong believer in diesel powered cars and we have a long list of articles that cover all the positive aspects of diesel power. I will modify the list and update it with diesel powered cars that get 40 mpg or better.

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