If you’re on the hunt for a commuter car that is light on the budget and gas consumption, check out our list of the most fuel-efficient cars 2014.
The automotive landscape is certainly shifting as efficiency comes to the forefront. Burly V8s being replaced by frugal turbocharged fours. Electrons taking the place of petroleum for power. Unfortunately, this is currently coupled with gas prices gone wild, not to mention the average price of a new car. But what if you could take a step back in time and find yourself a vehicle that sipped on fuel, rather than chugged it, and kept your budget intact?
This list of most fuel-efficient cars 2014 is just that. A breakdown of eight-year-old automobiles that run on internal combustion but at a frugal pace, ranked by highway fuel economy. Now, this of course means going the used route, so be sure to check out our Used Car Buying Tips article as well as this discussion on understanding how age and mileage impact used car pricing.
If you can’t find something here that fits your bill, we have some other solid options to be found on this list of Best Used Subcompact SUVs For Under $10,000.
Known for its bargain-basement pricing – the 2014 Nissan Versa opened at just $12,000 when new – and roomy interior spaces, the sedan version of Nissan’s subcompact was rated for 31 mpg in the city and 39 on the highway. A 1.6L four-cylinder making 109 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque is your only engine option, but be sure to select the CVT as the 5-speed stick drops those figures a significant 4 mpg in both categories. Hatchback fans; check out the Note variant that offered nearly identical economy with sharper styling.
Slap a Union Jack on the roof of a 2014 Mini Cooper to channel your inner Austin Powers, while saving dollars at the pump. Rated for 29 mpg in city driving and 39 on the highway, the 3-door Cooper is as riotous to drive as it is to behold.
The turbocharged 1.5L three-cylinder motor put out 134 horses when new, good for a 7.3-second sprint to 60 with the 6-speed manual transmission. A note from critics – and personal experience – these little runabouts have a punishing ride, but you do get to enjoy go-kart-like handling along with that solid fuel efficiency.
Debuting slinky new design language in 2014, the highly regraded Mazda 3 comes in at 30/39 mpg in city/highway driving. That is for the 155-horse 2.0L four pot, not the more potent 2.5L version. Stick to the automatic and sedan configuration as the hatchback and manual transmission both ding fuel economy.
The good news? This base motor was not relegated to bottom-of-the-barrel trimlines. Identified by a lowercase “i” in the nameplate, find yourself a Mazda 3 Touring and enjoy available features like a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
It’s a bummer that Ford elected to stop making cars considering how good they were at it, particularly with the 2014 Focus. Highly tossable with handsome European styling, this model came from the final generation sold in North America. To achieve the fuel economy estimates of 28 mpg in the city and 39 on the highway, find yourself one fitted with the Super Fuel Efficiency (SFE) package. Only available on the sedan version, SFE items include aerodynamic wheel covers, low rolling-resistance tires, and a rear spoiler.
An old-time nameplate that resurfaced briefly in 2013, the Dodge Dart in Aero form performs well at the pumps with ratings of 28/39 mpg in city/highway driving, and that’s with the 6-speed manual. Nicely loaded, these models came with an 8.4-inch infotainment screen and auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The turbocharged 1.4L inline-four was good for a healthy 160 hp and 184 torques, and this subcompact earned top safety marks from NHTSA and IIHS. It also earned a spot on our list of most fuel-efficient cars in 2015.
The 2014 Toyota Corolla also comes with underbody panels designed to smooth airflow and a driver-selectable Eco mode to calm the throttle and ease air-conditioning compressor operation, all in the name of efficiency. Fitted with heated side mirrors and automatic climate control, find yourself an Eco Plus variant to add on fog lamps and alloy wheels.
Cracking the 40-mpg highway club, a 2014 Toyota Corolla LE Eco was also rated for 30 mpg around town. In this fuel-sipping Eco form, the Corolla came with a special version of the models’ 1.8L four-cylinder that actually made 10 more horsepower for a total of 140.
Like other automakers, Chevy improved efficiency on this Eco model by fitting the Cruze with aerodynamic body bits and lightweight wheels. But they also took the interesting step of trimming fuel tank capacity from 15.6 to 12.6 gallons because, of course, gas is heavy.
A theme with these older fuel sippers is that the manual transmission option was often thriftier with gas consumption that the automatic counterpart, unlike today. Such is the case with a 2014 Cruze Eco that achieves 28 mpg in city driving and 40 on the highway when equipped with the 6-speed stick. Models with the automatic transmission see those figures drop by 2 and 3 mpg, respectively.
Hitting 40 mpg on the highway in a 2014 Honda Civic requires the HF model. Short for Highly Frugal or possibly High Fuel Economy, the Civic HF runs a 1.8L inline-four making 143 hp mated to a CVT. Weight saving measures include the lack of a moonroof and power-adjustable seats, plus special lightweight wind-cheating aluminum wheels. Amenities like cruise control, a backup camera, and Bluetooth connectivity came standard along with the inherent commuter car goodness that comes with any Honda Civic.
Fitted with a tiny 1.0L three-cylinder engine sprouting an equally tiny turbocharger, you will find significantly better fuel efficiency with the 5-speed manual over the 6-speed automatic. This will allow you to more thoroughly enjoy the lively chassis characteristics these Fiestas received so much acclaim for. Check out our list of Best Commuter Cars for more reasons why the Fiesta is such a great little car.
See, Ford obviously shouldn’t have stopped making cars. Two of their most enthusiast-friendly cars make this list and neither of them are for sale anymore. Thankfully, you can get your hands on a used Fiesta in SFE form that was rated for 31 mpg in the city and 41 on the highway.
When your car weighs in at a shade over 2,000 pounds and is powered by a wheezing 74-horse 3-cylinder engine, excellent fuel economy is basically the default result. Certainly, Mitsubishi got this part of the car building equation correct, if only they had imbued the Mirage with just a touch more style.
Aside from a lack of style, the 2014 Mirage could be had with navigation and automatic climate control, the better to enjoy 36 mpg as you putter around town. And putter you shall, these little hatchbacks loaf to 60 mph in about 11 seconds, but hey, at least your gas tank is full.
Though they didn’t quite make the cut for list of most fuel-efficient cars 2014, there are a couple of cars from this model year that are pretty darn close from an MPG perspective, but more importantly are just fun throwbacks. One of them is the kooky Smart ForTwo coupe.
Powered by a three-cylinder engine with a single liter of displacement, this is a car that clearly did not see a lot of development time on American highways before being released. But, should you dare to tangle with 18-wheelers and the sea of Suburbans, you’ll find a solid 38 mpg out there. In it’s more comfortable habitat around town, the literally-named ForTwo is rated for 34 mpg.
The other is Scion’s iQ. Equal to the Smart car in style and oddity, it is in fact a wholly different car. Fitted with a 1.3L four-cylinder, this tiny hatchback is short for “intelligence quotient” and was rated for 36/37 mpg in city/highway driving. And if your tastes lean even weirder, don’t miss the Aston Martin Cygnet. Costing some $40,000 when new, this ultra-rare microcar started life as a Scion iQ and ended as a bespoke British bauble.