What is Good MPG for a Used Car

What is Good Mpg for a Used Car

Achieving strong fuel efficiency means that you need less gasoline to cover a greater distance per mile. Fuel efficiency is quantified in miles per gallon (mpg). For example, if your car has a fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon, it can travel 30 miles on one gallon of gas.

The fuel efficiency is typically greater on highways than in city driving since city driving involves slower speeds, idling, and higher revolutions per minute (rpm). As per Autolist, the majority of vehicles get at least five additional miles per gallon on the highway compared to the city.

Methods to Calculate a Car’s Fuel Efficiency

Gas mileage can also be measured in terms of gpm, which represents the amount of gallons required to travel 100 miles in a vehicle. The gallons per mile (gpm) assist in calculating the fuel efficiency of a vehicle while considering other factors.

Vehicle Type: Smaller engines tend to achieve higher fuel efficiency than larger ones due to the weight of the vehicle. A smaller engine results in a reduced weight and requires less gasoline.

Fuel Type Used: As per Car from Japan, using high-quality fuel can reduce friction in your car’s engine and impact its fuel efficiency.

Fuel Octane: The rating of the fuel octane can impact the gas mileage. This value indicates the rate at which the engine consumes fuel based on the ratio of fuel reduction to additive. Using a higher octane fuel results in a reduced combustion process, leading to more efficient operation of your vehicle.

Driving Conditions: In general, you tend to get higher fuel efficiency on highways compared to city streets. The fuel efficiency often increases by approximately three to five miles per gallon when driving on the highway.

Driving Style: Elaborates Instacar, drivers who drive aggressively and exceed the speed limit usually have inferior fuel efficiency compared to those who travel at a slower pace. When you accelerate rapidly from a complete stop, it consumes more fuel compared to gradually reaching the desired speed.

Hybrid Fuel Economy

A hybrid is an additional fuel-efficient car to take into account. This choice utilizes a combination of a gas and electric engine for operation. The electric motor often powers the vehicle at moderate speeds or when idling before transitioning to the gasoline engine. Hybrids can function with more efficiency and cleanliness than machines driven by gasoline. While they initially started as tiny vehicles, combinations are now also offered in larger cars and SUVs.

According to Green Car Reports, the condition of the car also has an impact on fuel efficiency. A more recent or properly cared for vehicle generally achieves superior fuel efficiency compared to one with a high mileage or in a state of poor drivability. Regularly replace the oil and its filter and ensure that the tires are well inflated in order to improve fuel efficiency.

Kind of Vehicle

While it may be tempting to consider a vehicle that achieves 50 miles per gallon on the highway as fuel-efficient, it is important to note that your driving habits may not align with those of the vehicle in question. Evaluate the fuel efficiency rating for each particular category of car for comparison.

For example, the 2019 Porsche Boxster has a combined fuel efficiency of 25 mpg, whereas the 2019 Honda Accord LX obtains 31 mpg combined. The Accord may appear to have superior fuel efficiency, but the sports car’s 25 mpg combined is a respectable figure.

Top Fuel-Efficient Cars for Passengers

The EPA states that these fuel-efficient passenger vehicles are the top performers in each category. They are listed with the combined mileage.

The Smart EQ Fortwo (coupe) achieves a fuel efficiency of 108 miles per gallon.

Minicompact: The Fiat 500e achieves a fuel efficiency of 112 miles per gallon.

Compact: The BMW i3 achieves a fuel efficiency of 113 miles per gallon.

Volkswagen e-Golf achieves a fuel efficiency of 119 miles per gallon.

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric achieves a fuel efficiency of 136 miles per gallon.

Tesla Model S Long Range achieves a fuel efficiency of 111 miles per gallon.

Compact Car: The Chevrolet Bolt EV achieves 119 miles per gallon.

Top Fuel-Efficient Non-Electric Passenger Cars

Given that most of the vehicles mentioned earlier are electric let’s consider the top-performing gasoline-powered or hybrid automobiles in terms of fuel efficiency. They are also displayed with the combined mpg.

The Fiat 124 Spider and Mazda MX-5, both two-seaters, have a fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon.

Mini compact: The MINI Cooper Convertible achieves a fuel efficiency of 31 miles per gallon.

The Chevrolet Spark, a subcompact car, achieves a fuel efficiency of 33 miles per gallon.

The Toyota Prius C Hybrid achieves a fuel efficiency of 46 miles per gallon.

The Toyota Prius Eco Hybrid achieves a fuel efficiency of 56 miles per gallon.

The Hyundai Ioniq Blue Hybrid achieves a fuel efficiency of 58 miles per gallon.

Kia Niro FE Hybrid, a compact station wagon, achieves a fuel efficiency of 50 miles per gallon.

Medium-Sized Station Wagon: Volvo V90 Front-Wheel Drive achieves a fuel efficiency of 27 miles per gallon.

Fuel-Efficient Performance Cars

When it comes to muscle vehicles, they generally generate more horsepower in comparison to a roadster. For example, the Mazda MX-5 Miata achieves a combined fuel efficiency of around 30 miles per gallon, according to the EPA, despite being lighter than many compact hatchbacks. Nevertheless, the Mercedes-AMG C63 S is equipped with a turbocharged V-8 engine that generates 503 horsepower and delivers a combined fuel efficiency of 20 mpg.

Top Fuel-Efficient SUVs, Trucks, and Vans

Additional cars that typically have lower miles per gallon (mpg) are SUVs, trucks, and vans. Do not anticipate achieving more than 20 miles per gallon overall with a non-hybrid vehicle, and the majority of them provide less than 30 miles per gallon on the interstate.

The top-performing fuel-efficient non-electric vehicles achieve the following EPA-estimated combined figures:

Compact Truck: Chevrolet Colorado 2WD Diesel and GMC Canyon 2WD Diesel have a fuel efficiency of 23 miles per gallon.

Regular Pickup: Ford F150 Pickup 2WD Diesel achieves a fuel efficiency of 25 miles per gallon.

Compact SUV: The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD has a fuel efficiency of 40 miles per gallon.

Lexus RX 450h AWD Hybrid, a typical SUV, achieves a fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon.

Minivans such as the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna 2WD have a fuel efficiency of 22 miles per gallon.

How to Determine Your Fuel Efficiency

Certain automobiles have displays that provide you with real-time fuel efficiency figures. While this is a useful method of telling you, the most effective approach to determine your mileage is to drive the vehicle for around 100 miles with a full tank. Next, fill up the tank with gasoline.

Calculate the quotient of the distance you traveled in miles and the quantity of fuel you consumed. For instance, if you traveled a distance of 100 miles with a complete tank and refueled with five gallons of gasoline, your fuel efficiency would be 10 miles per gallon.


When considering fuel efficiency, it is crucial to be aware of the expenses incurred each time you use your vehicle. As the typical method of assessing fuel efficiency, mpg is a useful way of deciding if a car will help you save money on fuel. Additionally, knowing how to determine your miles per gallon (mpg) will assist you in becoming a more effective driver.

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