Today’s car market presents a unique set of challenges for buyers. Historically high gas prices, chip shortages, and inflation have created an influx of demand for fuel-efficient vehicles and a supply that’s struggling to keep up. Inexpensive cars with good gas mileage are hard to find, but a Honda dealership may be a good place to start. Affordability has been a mainstay of Honda vehicles for years, and part of keeping a vehicle affordable is managing the cost to power it. That is why the Honda lineup is full of cars that aren’t too thirsty, ranging from EVs and hybrids to traditional gasoline engine cars.
#1 – Honda Civic Sedan
The Honda Civic Sedan is a goliath amongst economy cars, becoming a staple on our roadways due to its winning combination of affordability, adaptability, and reliability––the holy trinity for budget shoppers. It earned its reputation as a car that runs forever years ago and continues to uphold its good name today. The newest generation of Civic debuted for the 2022 model year with a brand new look that deserves an award for Most Improved. What hasn’t changed is the Civic’s low cost to fuel. The original Honda Civic debuted in 1972 and got 39 MPG on the highway and 27 MPG in the city, good even by today’s standards. The 2022 Civic is larger and faster than its predecessor, but its fuel economy has seen gains too, getting up to 32 MPG in the city and 42 MPG on the highway.
#2 – Honda CR-V Hybrid
Crossovers are becoming the new go-to family car, and things like safety and comfort are typically at the forefront of a driver’s mind when they’re thinking of the best vehicle to tote their brood around in. Fuel efficiency is a no-brainer too. A fuel-efficient vehicle means less money spent on gas, fewer stops on road trips, and lower emissions––you’ve got your kids’ futures to think about, after all. The 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid is a vehicle that masters the balance between less and more. The five-seater is big and spacious, providing 68.7 cu.ft. of cargo space. Despite its roominess, the CR-V Hybrid’s fuel economy is top-notch, especially in the SUV segment. Thanks to its hybrid powertrain, it gets 40 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway.
#3 – Honda Civic Hatchback
Take the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan, throw a fifth door on the back, and you’ve got yourself one of the hottest hatches in today’s market. Its body style creates much more usable cargo space, with 24.5 cu.ft. compared to the Civic Sedan’s 14.8 cu.ft. While that extra cargo space is great for a weekend trip, the hatchback body style is slightly heavier and less aerodynamic than its sedan counterpart. The lightest 2022 Civic Sedan has a curb weight of 2,877 lbs, while the lightest 2022 Civic Hatchback weighs in at 2,928 lbs. All of this adds up to a small hit in fuel efficiency, but for those who need the extra room, it’s not a bad deal. The Civic Hatchback’s fuel economy still comes out at up to 31 MPG in the city and 39 MPG on the highway.
#4 – Honda Accord Hybrid
Where the Civic is spritely and spirited, the Accord is composed and refined. The big sibling sedan is larger, falling into the midsize class. It also has a more sophisticated lineup of engine options, including a hybrid powertrain that elevates fuel efficiency to a new level. Using two electric motors and a gasoline engine, the Accord Hybrid gets up to 48 MPG in the city and 47 MPG on the highway. It’s powerful too, making 212 hp and 232 lb-ft of electrically-powered torque, so this vehicle’s got pep from the moment you step on the pedal.
#5 – Honda Insight
The Insight is another hybrid offering from Honda, falling into the compact size class. It was the first hybrid to be sold in the United States, and it’s come a long way since its debut in 1999. The original Insight looked something like a caricature of a car, with its rear wheel spats and exaggerated hatchback body style. Today’s Insight sports a more modern exterior and a moderately zippy powertrain that can get from 0 to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. As far as fuel economy goes, the Insight is the top dog in Honda’s 2022 lineup, getting 55 MPG in the city and 49 MPG on the highway.
#6 – Honda Clarity
The Honda Clarity has worn so many different caps, it could be legally classified as a hat rack. During its six-year run, it was produced as an EV, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. The last may be a new one for a lot of readers, and that’s because they’re rare in the United States due to the very limited network of hydrogen refueling stations. If you’re outside of California, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll see one. However, hydrogen fuel cell technology creates a zero-emissions vehicle that generates its own electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen, with heat and water being the only byproducts of the chemical reaction.
The Clarity Fuel Cell’s range is about 360 miles, while the plug-in hybrid version gets 110 MPGe per the EPA. Despite being a car that embraces alternative fuels, the Clarity was given the ax in 2021. The timing of its discontinuation feels odd, given the clean energy movement is in full swing right now, but Honda has stated it wants to focus on the development of upcoming EVs. Perhaps an “out with the old, in with the new” mindset will help provide some clarity in today’s tumultuous market.
#7 – Honda e
If you haven’t heard of the Honda e, it’s probably because it isn’t sold in the United States. It’s part of Honda’s global brand, available in the European and Japanese markets. It’s a zero-emissions EV with a range of 137 miles, designed specifically with city driving in mind. The ultra-tiny, super adorable Honda e is the only fully-electric offering from Honda in 2022. It’s not fast––it clops in at 152 hp for its speediest variant––but with that face, the Honda e is clearly not trying to be a hot rod. Sadly, it doesn’t look like this sweet little EV will be coming to the United States anytime soon. Still, with Honda’s pledge to offer 30 EVs globally by 2030, we can expect to see plenty of new––maybe even small and cute––electric vehicles sporting the “H” badge in the coming years.
#8 – Honda Prologue
Speaking of new EVs from Honda, the Japanese manufacturer recently announced the upcoming Honda Prologue, set to debut for the 2024 model year. The aptly-named Prologue will kick off what feels like a new era for Honda, one that is more future-focused. The Prologue is an SUV that shares its platform and Ultium battery pack with Chevy’s adventurous new SUV offering, the Blazer EV. Details on the Prologue are limited, but it is slated to be the beginning of what should be a fruitful collaboration resulting in millions of EVs produced at prices that are widely affordable.
A Greener Chapter
If the current cost of owning and driving a car has got you down, you’re not the only one. Fuel-efficient vehicles are a hot commodity right now, but Honda is not alone in committing to an inventory that relies less on gas in the very near future. Hopefully, we’ll see the market start to stabilize before too long, but in the meantime, Honda’s fuel-friendly lineup is here to help us weather the storm.