The 10 Best Gas Mileage Cars Under $10,000

by Nick Versaw Updated December 30, 2021

Shopping for a new vehicle with good gas mileage that doesn’t break the bank?  We know how overwhelming it can be to find a car that checks off all the boxes on your list, so, we decided to do some research to find great gas mileage cars that are easy on the eyes and affordable. This means you’ll get to save money now and later! Sounds like a win-win in our book.

Don’t worry; we won’t keep you waiting. Here are the top 10 best gas mileage cars under $10,000. 

2009-2013 Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius one of the best gas mileage cars under $10000

  • Type: Four-door, five-seat hatchback
  • Median price: About $10,000-$11,000
  • EPA combined fuel economy: 50 mpg
  • Awards: IIHS Top Safety Pick (both years)

Like its predecessors, the 2009 – 2013 Toyota Prius’ is a market leader for vehicles of its type. It has excellent fuel economy and a sizable cargo area. It gets 51 mpg in the city and 48 on the highway. In 2012, Toyota also introduced the Prius Plug In Hybrid which was essentially a duplicate of the Prius Hybrid except it had a larger battery and could go about 13 miles in electric mode at speeds of up to 62mph. A perfect blend of tech features, practicality and fuel efficiency, the Prius is an easy choice for anyone looking to buy a new car. Regardless of which one you choose, going with a Prius will save you money and you’ll have one of the most fuel-efficient hybrids out there for under $10,000. 

Pros: 

  • Incredible fuel efficiency:  It’s no secret that the Prius has amazing fuel efficiency. With models of this car averaging 46 to 50 mpg, drivers can expect to save hundreds in fuel costs with this vehicle. 
  • High tech features: While it appears to be a humble economy car, it comes with high-tech features like keyless entry, rearview camera, Bluetooth capabilities, voice-activated navigation system, and auxiliary jack. Newer models came fitted with a touchscreen interface and iPod/USB connectivity. 
  • Strong safety scores: Priuses from this time all come with safety features like anti-lock brakes with brake assist, traction control, front-seat side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. 

Cons:

  • Vehicle acceleration: Electric vehicle mode only allows drivers to accelerate up to 25mph using only electric power.
  • Interior styling: While the straightforward controls of the Prius maximize cabin space, some drivers might find the dash a bit too busy or might not like the styling of gauges and other instruments. 
  • Uncomfortable driving position: Taller drivers report that the driving position is poor, with a steering wheel that’s placed a bit too far away and lacks the ability to telescope.

2007-2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

honda civic hybrid one of the best gas mileage cars under $10000 (1)

  • Type: Four-door sedan
  • Median price: $7,350
  • EPA combined fuel economy: 44 mpg
  • Awards: IIHS Top Safety Pick (2010) 

 These hybrids have an EPA combined fuel economy of 44 city and highway mpg. It’s a 5-passenger car with decent space both upfront and in the back. With two main trim levels to choose, from, drivers can pick the Honda Civic hybrid best suited to their needs. Unfortunately, these interiors tend to feature multiple plastics which some think makes it look cheap rather than have the stylish interior of comparable cars.  If fuel efficiency is what you’re looking for, this car fits those needs and your budget!

Pros: 

  • Spacious Interior: Although the Civic hybrid is a compact car, many drivers report a roomy interior with plenty of space for the whole family to go for a ride.  
  • Great crash test scores: The Honda Civic hybrid has always received five stars for its protection of passengers in frontal impacts and four stars in side impacts. 
  • Available in two trim levels: Choose between the standard Civic hybrid and the natural gas GX.

Cons:

  • Limited trunk space: Although the interior is roomy, the trunk space leaves much to be desired.  
  • Elevated road noise: Road noise is elevated, even for drivers cruising at moderate speeds. 
  • Cluttered dashboard: Many drivers report that the dashboard is cluttered, and the layout seems random. 

2017 Ford Fiesta

ford fiesta one of the best gas mileage cars under 10000

Type: Four-door sedan/ hatchback 

Median price: $10,800

EPA combined fuel economy: 31 mpg 

Awards: Kelly Blue Book Five-Year Cost to Own Award 

They say good things come in small packages, and the 2017 Ford Fiesta is no different. This small compact car packs a punch. The standard version of the Fiesta offers lively handling and precise steering that make simple trips to the post office feel adventurous. The sporty ST model brings even more to the table with its sport-tuned suspension sharpening the car’s reflexes. In addition, it was awarded the KBB five-year cost-to-own award due to a fair purchase price and low maintenance costs.  If you’re looking for a vehicle that’s eco friendly with a sporty and fun vibe, then this is the car for you. 

Pros: 

  • Full of safety features: All models come fitted with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, and driver knee airbags. It also Includes the 911 Assist function. 
  • Functional interior: The interior consists of high-quality materials such as heated leather seats, a Sony audio system, and ambient lighting. 
  • Technology offerings:  Younger drivers will enjoy the Sync’s voice recognition system for hands-free smartphone use, turn-by-turn navigation directions, and a 6.5-inch touch screen.

Cons:

  • Limited space: The compact shape of the Ford Fiesta results in limited cargo space and a cramped backseat for riders. 
  • EcoBoost engine/ST only available for manual transmission models: Drivers of automatic cars will be disappointed to know that the EcoBoost engine and ST model are only available for manual transmission models. 
  • Unreliable transmission power shift: At times, the automatic transmission can be unpredictable, with problems stemming from the dual-clutch transaxle. 

2015 Nissan Versa Note

nissan versa note one of the best gas mileage cars under 10000 (1)

Type: Four-door subcompact hatchback 

Median price: $7,500 – $9,000

EPA combined fuel economy: 32 mpg 

Awards: Autotrader’s list of “10 Best Cars for Recent College Graduates”

Along with its great fuel economy, the 2015 Nissan Versa Note is a subcompact car that is surprisingly roomy and easy on the eyes. Although its exterior styling gives it a sporty feel, some drivers felt it could use some improvement with its horsepower levels. What this little car lacks in horsepower, it certainly makes up in features. Even base models of the Note have Bluetooth connectivity, and added features include heated seats, a 360-degree parking camera, and keyless ignition. Don’t be afraid of piling all your friends in for a trip to the beach. Rear passengers will be happy to know that the Note boasts a whopping 38.3 inches of rear legroom.  If you’re a budget-conscious shopper in search of a hatchback that won’t break the bank, the Note is a perfect choice.

Pros: 

  • Adult-friendly backseat: The backseat welcomes adults on the taller side, offering riders plenty of head and legroom. 
  • Ample cargo space: Get ready to pack your bags and head out, because this hatchback boasts 18.8 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats. If you choose to lower the seats, this jumps to 38.3.

Cons:  

  • Lacking interior: Although the exterior is impressive, the interior is full of plastic nodules with a rather basic dashboard. 
  • Non-adjustable steering wheel: Drivers might find the driver’s seat to be uncomfortable due to the Note not having a telescoping steering wheel. 

2013- 2015 Fiat 500 Pop

fiat 500 pop one of the best gas mileage cars under 10000

Type: Two-door subcompact hatchback/convertible 

Median price: $6,000

EPA combined fuel economy: 34 manual/ 30 automatic 

Awards: Best In Class In JD Power APEAL Awards – JD Power(2013/2015)

While the Fiat 500 Pop is far from a family-friendly car, this pint-sized two-door economy vehicle is full of surprises. Not only will adults find its spacious interior welcoming, but its retro styling and Italian flair make it a joy to drive around town. Available in both hatchback and convertible versions, five trim levels, and 3 engines, drivers can enjoy an economical car without sacrificing style. The Fiat averages 34 mpg for manual transmission and automatic drivers aren’t too far behind with an average of 30 mpg. Drivers looking for a little extra speed can spring for the 500 Sport, Turbo, and Abarth versions, although the standard 500 Pop can hold its own. If affordable, fun and good on gas is what you’re looking for, the Fiat 500 is a perfect choice for you. 

Pros:

  • Manual transmission offers great fuel economy: Like driving a stick? Drivers who choose the manual transmission can enjoy a combined EPA of 34 mpg.
  • Stylish exterior: The stylish exterior pays homage to its Italian roots with unique features and chrome exterior trim. 
  • Roomy for two adults: To the surprise of many drivers, two adults can fit into the front seats with ease and be comfortable for the duration of the ride.

Cons:

  • Limited headroom with a sunroof: Should you opt for the sunroof, this will cut into the already limited headroom if you opt for the sunroof. 
  • Nonexistent rear seating: The rear seating is non-existent, meaning this car is only really suited for two passengers.  
  • Disappointing acceleration: On average, the Fiat 500 Pop takes about 10 to 12 seconds to get from 0 to 60mph, slower than the average economy car. 

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Eco

Chevrolet Cruze Eco one of the best gas mileage cars under 10000

Type: Four-door compact sedan

Median price: $8,000 – $11,000 

EPA combined fuel economy: 33 mpg 

Awards: #1 in 2014 Affordable Cars – US News & World Report 

Are you looking for a car you can “cruze” around in? The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Eco is a quality car you should never underestimate. One of the best-selling cars in the Chevrolet lineup, the Chevrolet Cruze Eco is a great choice for anyone looking for a compact sedan. The Eco model is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which results in a 138 horsepower. Although the Cruze is a bit slower compared to other compact cars in its class, the EPA combined fuel economy of 33 mpg definitely makes up for it. In addition, drivers praised the cabin’s lack of road, wind, or engine noise. If you’re looking for a tech-friendly car, you won’t be disappointed. The Cruze comes with keyless ignition, a 7-inch touchscreen, Pioneer stereo, navigation system, and voice recognition. 

Pros: 

  • Comfortable ride: Enjoy a cushioned ride in the quiet cabin free from road, wind, or engine noise. The suspension setup protects riders from feeling potholes and other dips in the road. 
  • Upscale interior features: The interior comes with many technological features, and a number of quality soft-touch plastics characterize the dashboard. 

Cons: 

  • Falls short compared to the competition: When compared to other models in the compact car class, the Chevy Cruze can feel a bit outdated with its standard shape and design. 
  • Slow acceleration: While the Cruze Eco has respectable fuel efficiency, it comes at the cost of faster acceleration. This car will also require longer stopping distances and poorer handling when compared to other Chevrolet Cruze models. 

2000-2014 Honda Insight

Honda Insight one of the best gas mileage cars under 10000

Type: Four-door hatchback

Median price: $6,990

EPA combined fuel economy: 40 mpg

Awards: Kelly Blue Book Five Year Cost to Own Award 

Honda is a fan favorite for cars with excellent gas mileage, and the Honda Insight is yet another loyal member of its reputable fleet. The Honda Insight was the first introduction of hybrid vehicles to the American market, and it’s given more budget-conscious drivers a way to go green without breaking the bank. As a four-door hatchback that seats 5, many families have purchased this vehicle for trips around town and longer commutes. Newer models come fitted with Eco Assist, Honda’s program to help you drive more efficiently. With three trim levels to choose from, drivers can spring for upgraded sound systems or Bluetooth connectivity in later models.

Pros: 

  • High fuel economy: Allows drivers to have a fuel-efficient vehicle without overspending.
  • Stylish Interior: The Insight’s interior cabin is a perfect blend of modern and practical. All controls are easy to use and within the driver’s reach. Drivers will also enjoy a navigation system, simple buttons and touch-based controls. 
  • Low ownership cost: The low retail price of the Insight regularly earns it a spot on the Kelly Blue Book Five Year Cost to Own list. 

Cons:

  • Less room than competitors: Unfortunately, compared with its competition, the Insight lacks rear-seat room and cargo space.
  • Idling engine power issues: The Eco power capabilities result in the air conditioning and engine shutting off while the car idles. While it contributes towards power saving, it’s not convenient during the summer months.

2013 Audi A3 TDI Premium

audi a3 tdi one of the best gas mileage cars under 10000

Type: Five-door hatchback 

Median price: $9,000

EPA combined fuel economy: 42 mpg

Awards: #4 in 2013 Luxury Small Cars – US News & World Report 

Are you looking for a vehicle that feels luxurious but won’t break the bank? The Audi A3 TDI Premium is an excellent blend of luxury and fuel economy. You’ll love the hands-free technology and Bluetooth capabilities while enjoying the panoramic sunroof on a beautiful day.  Available in two trims (Premium and Premium Plus) you’ll get to enjoy features like dual-zone automatic climate control and buttery leather upholstery. Not to mention the ample space for riders in the backseat. You get almost 20 cubic feet of cargo space even with the rear seats up. With its impressive gas mileage of 42 miles per gallon, this car can handle long trips down the coast with ease. In addition, the A3 has a plethora of safety features to keep you and your loved ones safe and sound. 

Pros: 

  • Luxury interior: Drivers will enjoy dual climate control, leather seats, Audi concert radio with Sirius XM Satellite Radio, ten speakers, remote keyless entry, and halogen headlights. 
  • Cargo space: The hatchback delivers 19.5 cubic feet of luggage space, even with the rear seats up.

Cons:

  • Limited rear-seat room: The front seats have plenty of space, but taller adults will find the backseat of the Audi A3 cramped with little legroom.  
  • Lacks rearview camera: While the Audi is a luxury vehicle and offers rear parking sensors, it lacks a rearview camera. 

2012-2015 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring

Type: Four-door sedan/ hatchback

Median price: $10,000-$12,000

EPA combined fuel economy: 36 mpg

Awards: IIHS Top Safety Pick – 2015 

The Mazda 3 i Touring turns heads for all the right reasons. A perfect combination of cost and design, it’s a popular choice in the compact car class. This spunky sedan also comes in a hatchback option, turning a plain sedan into a sporty vehicle. Starting in 2012, the Mazda 3 comes with “Skyactiv” power train components, with a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine married to a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. This allows the car to reach 155 horsepower, helping the Mazda 3 go from 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds. The Touring also sports beautiful 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, sport seats, and dual climate control. So if you’re searching for a fun, sporty vehicle that saves you money on the gallon, give the Mazda 3 some thought. 

Pros:

  • Well-equipped interior: The interior is full of clearly marked gauges and controls, a touchscreen, and a navigation system. At night, drivers enjoy red and blue ambient lighting.  
  • Hatchback option: Drivers looking for more trunk space can spring for the hatchback to add nearly five cubic feet of luggage space. 
  • Quick acceleration: The new Skyactiv engine makes it possible for the Touring to go from 0 to 60 mph in under 10 seconds.  

Cons: 

  • Limited trunk space: With the Mazda 3’s large size, many are surprised to find that the sedan option lacks rear and cargo space. 
  • Road noise: Some drivers complained of road noise entering the cabin.
  • Unimpressive dash-mounted touchscreen: Although its specs are impressive, the unimpressive dash-mounted touchscreen seems like a bit of an afterthought and leaves much to be desired.  

As you shop for cars that get excellent gas mileage, don’t forget to check the price of insurance along the way. Although the type of vehicle you drive affects your insurance rate, factors like your age, gender, location, and driving history also impact the way insurers view you. 

So while you’re searching for affordable car insurance for your new vehicle, remember that Compare.com will allow you to see dozens of quotes all at once. Gone are the days of needing hundreds of tabs to check the price of insurance.

Start comparing real-world personalized quotes on Compare.com by entering your zip code down below. It’s free, fast, and all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the ride!

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