Hatchbacks With Best MPG of 2020

Small cars are generally known for their superior fuel economy, and hatchbacks have some of the best mpg figures of any vehicle. With so many choices, though, you may need a little help sifting out the good from the great. We review each model on offer and let you know exactly how far they travel on a tank of gas, or a fully charged battery in the case of electric and hybrid cars, as well as every other factor you should consider when making a purchase.

Whether you’re buying new for 2020, or saving a buck by looking at used models from 2019 and 2018, you will find all the information to make a smart choice right here, including comparisons of each car to see how they stack up against the competition.

Common Specifications and Engine Types

Once upon a time, a standard gasoline generator was your only option. It still is an option, in four-cylinder configuration, but we can also pick from hybrid or electric powertrains. So, what does each bring to the table?

  • Gasoline - Still the most common powertrain on the market, this configuration is losing popularity due to the increasing cost of fossil fuels, concerns about carbon emissions, and lower overall economy.
  • Hybrid - By pairing a four-pot with a motor and a battery pack, the standard combustion engine does a little extra work for you. This improves mileage by up to 50% on some models, which is bound to bring a smile to your face. These vehicles also usually benefit from a tax rebate in the USA.
  • Electric - Still a relatively new technology, these powertrains rely purely on their motors to power the wheels. They deliver the best miles per gallon of any powertrain, although they technically do not use liquid fuel. The main downsides are lower overall range due to limited battery capacity and long charge times when “refueling.”

The Most Efficient Hatchback

In terms of pure economy, the Hyundai Ioniq EV is the most fuel-efficient hatchback in the segment. Although it is limited to a total range of 170 miles, it boasts the highest mileage of 145/121/133 MPGe across the city/highway/combined cycles. Charging the 28 kWh battery on a Level 1 outlet takes a mind-numbing 35.5 hours, but upgrading to a Level 2 reduces this to six hours.

Other Hatchbacks With the Best mpg

There are a number of other options on the market if you consider more than just efficiency. That is not to say that these vehicles have poor mileage by any means of the imagination.

  • Toyota Prius - A well-known name in the high-value market, the Prius is powered by a four-cylinder paired to one or two motors, depending on the drivetrain you opt for. Boasting extremely competitive figures of 58/53/56 mpg in its cheapest (app. $24,000) base trim, it is still an extremely popular choice.
  • Toyota Corolla - Another offering from the Japanese manufacturer, the Corolla receives a four-cylinder engine and either a manual or an automatic gearbox. In its most efficient guise, it achieves 32/41/35 mpg.
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV - A fully electric machine from the Americans, the Bolt’s motor develops 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, while delivering 127/108/118 MPGe. It is a little pricier than the competition, though, with a starting MSRP of around $37k.

What to Consider Before Buying

While the market for this type of vehicle has not been as lucrative as several others, namely SUVs or pickups, it still has a lot to offer. Here are just some of the advantages and disadvantages attributed to the segment:

Pros

  • Ideal size for dealing with city traffic and parking lots
  • Generally very low starting price
  • Excellent mileage figures
  • Impressive cargo capacity
  • Hot hatches can be fun to drive

Cons

  • Not as appealing as larger, more stylish autos
  • Less spacious passenger accommodations
  • No off-roading capabilities
  • High-tech hybrid/EV models are pricey

FAQs

What hatchback gets the best gas mileage?

The Hyundai Ioniq grabs the crown in terms of sheer mileage, with 145/121/133 MPGe, but its limited range of 170 miles is hard to ignore. By comparison, the Prius covers an intimidating 632 miles on a single tank.

What is good fuel economy in mpg?

Looking at hatchbacks, one of the most efficient styles, anything above 30 mpg combined is pretty decent. The Mazda 3 falls just short of this at 29 combined. The hybrid models aim for an average of 50 miles to a gallon, while EVs should never get less than 100.
BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2020 Honda Fit
9.1
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
10
MPG
10
Interior
8
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#2
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV
9.1
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
10
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#3
2020 Nissan Leaf
8.6
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#4
2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
8.5
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
9
MPG
7
Interior
8
Infotainment
10
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#5
2019 Chevrolet Volt
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
10
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
8
Safety
9
Value
#6
2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
10
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
7
Value
#7
2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback
8.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#8
2019 Volkswagen e-Golf
8.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
7
Value
#9
2020 Kia Rio5
8.3
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
8
Safety
8
Value
#10
2020 BMW i3
#10
BMW i3
8.3
BuzzScore
7
Design
8
Performance
10
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
8
Safety
7
Value
#11
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
8.1
BuzzScore
7
Design
6
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#12
2018 Ford C-Max Hybrid
8.1
BuzzScore
6
Design
7
Performance
10
MPG
7
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
8
Safety
9
Value
#13
2020 Hyundai Ioniq EV
8
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
7
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#14
2019 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback
7.9
BuzzScore
7
Design
6
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
8
Reliability
8
Safety
8
Value
#15
2020 Toyota Prius
7.8
BuzzScore
6
Design
5
Performance
10
MPG
7
Interior
7
Infotainment
10
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#16
2019 Toyota Prius c
7.5
BuzzScore
7
Design
5
Performance
10
MPG
6
Interior
6
Infotainment
10
Reliability
8
Safety
8
Value
#17
2020 Toyota Prius Prime
7.5
BuzzScore
6
Design
5
Performance
10
MPG
7
Interior
6
Infotainment
10
Reliability
9
Safety
7
Value
#18
2019 Fiat 500e
#18
Fiat 500e
7.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
6
Performance
9
MPG
6
Interior
7
Infotainment
8
Reliability
8
Safety
7
Value
#19
2018 Ford Focus Electric
7.3
BuzzScore
7
Design
6
Performance
8
MPG
7
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
7
Safety
6
Value
#20
2020 Mitsubishi Mirage
6.8
BuzzScore
5
Design
5
Performance
10
MPG
5
Interior
6
Infotainment
7
Reliability
6
Safety
10
Value