We’ve all been there. The little gas light on your dashboard goes on and, a few minutes later, you’re standing next to a gas pump. Out in the rain or heat or cold. Watching those gallons (and dollars) click by. And click by. As you fill your tank.
With gas prices going up, if you’re like many car owners, maybe you, too, have been thinking about trading up for a more fuel-efficient car. Not sure what are some of the most fuel-efficient new cars on sale right now? GEICO is here to help!
Because whether you’re thinking of a new hybrid, or looking at a traditional gas-only vehicle, you’re in luck. The good news is that, due to new regulations and consumer demand, automakers are working hard to develop new cars with great fuel mileage.
The best part is that to get that great fuel economy, you don’t have to buy a stripped-down econobox anymore, either.
Gas Or Hybrid Cars – What’s The Difference?
So what’s the difference between a gas-only car and a hybrid? We’ve made it easy for you.
Whether they run off of unleaded gasoline or diesel, gas-only cars make up the vast majority of vehicles on the road today. These cars and trucks rely only on a fuel-powered, internal combustion engine to make them move. You fill up the gas tank, turn the key, and the car will run until the tank’s empty.
While hybrids and electric cars are getting a lot of the hype these days, there are a lot of great advantages to owning a gas-only car.
- Cheaper initial purchase price. Frequently, gas-only cars have a lower sticker price than their hybrid or fully-electric variants.
- Fill it up easily when it’s empty. With a gas-only car, refilling that gas tank is as easy as getting to a nearby gas station.
- Can be repaired anywhere. Any conventionally trained mechanic should be able to fix the car without needing specialized training or tools.
- Drives like a normal car. Just press the gas pedal and go. However, some gas-only cars feature automatic shut-off systems when the car is stopped (like at a traffic light) as well as temporary cylinder deactivation to help improve fuel economy. These systems won’t hurt your car, but do take some getting used to.
So what are some of the disadvantages of a gas-only vehicle?
- Higher emissions. Because gas-only cars depend on their fossil-fuel-burning engines to move the car, they have a slightly higher amount of emissions than hybrid cars that use a battery and electric motors in certain situations.
- Not as fuel efficient as hybrids. With the rising cost of gasoline, you’ll be spending more at the pump, and filling your gas tank more frequently than your hybrid-driving neighbor, increasing your cost per mile.
Hybrid vehicles have actually been around for almost 100 years. However, it wasn’t until the Toyota Prius in 1997 and the Honda Insight in 1999 that hybrid cars became widely available and trusted by buyers.
So what makes a car a hybrid? Hybrid cars are often powered primarily by a conventional gasoline engine. This engine not only moves the car, but also generates electricity that is stored in batteries within the car. Additional electricity is also generated by special brakes on the cars.
At lower speeds, this electricity is used to power an electric motor. The car simply turns off when stopped, then the electric motor moves the car while in stop-and-go traffic, for example. Once the car reaches a certain speed, the gasoline engine turns on and moves the car. In some cases (like sports cars), hybrid powertrains are used to supplement the gasoline engine for increased performance.
So what advantages do hybrid vehicles offer?
- Superior fuel economy. Because the gasoline engine is not used as frequently, fuel mileage on hybrid cars is greatly improved over gas-only vehicles.
- Gas stations everywhere. Like gas-only cars, hybrids also run off of gasoline, so they can be refueled almost anywhere, and don’t need to be plugged in like electric cars do.
- Long range between fill ups. With the extra fuel economy of hybrids, you can travel further before you’ll need to stop at a gas station.
What are some of the disadvantages of owning a hybrid car?
- Higher initial purchase price. Hybrid cars are typically more expensive than their gas-only counterparts due to the cost of technology like the electric motors and batteries.
- Driving feel is different. With features like the engine shut off when stopped, the sensation may take some time to adjust to. Additionally, regenerative braking (used to recharge the batteries) often feels different that conventional brakes you’ve used before.
- Expensive/complex to repair. Because of the additional hardware found in hybrid cars, they frequently require specialized tools and training for mechanics, often requiring owners to have their dealer make the repairs. Certain parts, like battery packs, can be expensive to replace if they break down.
- Smaller interior space. Many hybrids have slightly smaller interiors because of the addition of on-board battery packs. These are often placed under the floor of the car, but parts of the hybrid system may also take up some trunk space, too.
Now that you know the difference between the two, which is right for you? Whether you are looking for a gas-only car, or a new hybrid car, you have some great choices. Here are 11 new cars available for sale in the United States (as of 2022) that offer some of the best fuel economy. We’ve even broken them down between hybrid and gas only models.
Gasoline only models:
- Mitsubishi Mirage: 36 city/43 highway
- Hyundai Elantra: 33 city/43 highway
- Honda Civic: 31 city/40 highway
- Kia Rio: 33 city/41 highway
- Toyota Corolla Hatchback: 32 city/41 highway
- Hyundai Ioniq: 58 city/60 highway
- Toyota Prius: 58 city/53 highway
- Hyundai Elantra Hybrid: 53 city/56 highway
- Honda Insight: 55 city/49 highway
- Toyota Corolla Hybrid: 53 city/52 highway