The auto industry has been greatly affected recently by two factors. The first is the tremendous shortage of new cars. This is due primarily to a shortage of microchips needed for car electronics and navigation systems. Dealers have had near-record low numbers of cars on their lots. Major manufacturers have had to shut down assembly lines, and their revenues have been substantially battered.
The tight supply of new cars has driven consumers to buy used cars. That, in turn, has lifted their prices by double-digit percentages from 2021 to 2022.
An astonishing increase in gasoline prices is the other problem for America’s drivers. Prices topped $4 per gallon of regular nationwide and rose to a new all-time high. Geopolitical problems have pushed crude oil prices above $100 a barrel. Gas mileage has become a premium for buyers of both new and used cars.
To determine the car from five years ago that gets the best gas mileage, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed an analysis from Cars.com on 2017 model year vehicles that get at least 30 miles per gallon, based on Environmental Protection Agency estimates. The median price figure also came from Cars.com and is for February 2022, which means it missed part of the run-up in gas prices.
Not surprisingly, many of the most fuel-efficient cars we considered are hybrids. Of the 26 vehicles on our finalist list, 10 are gas-only cars, and even sport utility vehicles rank among the most fuel-efficient 2017 model year vehicles. Toyota and Honda have five vehicles apiece on the list, followed by Chevrolet with three.
In addition to offering savings on fuel, used vehicles generally offer significant discounts compared to newer models. Most of the cars we considered cost less than $25,000. However, due to supply issues, not all used vehicles offer savings compared to newer models.
The used car with the best gas mileage is the Hyundai Ioniq. Here are the details:
- Combined fuel efficiency: 58 miles per gallon
- Vehicle type: Hybrid car
- Median price: $18,990
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