Some 2016 cars are so fuel efficient their owners never need visit a gas station. They’re electric vehicles, of course, but some plug-in hybrids are nearly that miserly. Our Top 11 Fuel-Efficient New Cars are chosen for combined city/highway fuel-economy ratings and/or their electric equivalent, what the Environmental Protection Agency calls “MPGe.” With a couple exceptions, our selections are available in all 50 states. Some EVs, such as the Chevrolet Spark EV and Kia Soul Electric, are sold only in California and select states that follow its stringent emissions standards. (Note that base prices include manufacturer destination fees, which average about $900.)
1. BMW i3: iDrive electrically
Base price range: $43,395 – $47,245
Fuel economy ratings: 124 MPGe (electric only); 117 MPGe (w/range extender)
Its polarizing design looks like it was ripped out of Back to the Future: Part II, but there is no denying the technological prowess and green promise of the 2016 BMW
i3. In addition to its looks, the i3 stands out for giving buyers the option fo a model powered only by batteries or one that generates electricity on the run with the help of an onboard two-cylinder gas engine. The “range extender” gas engine charges the batteries that power the motor which drives the rear wheels. This effectively doubles the i3’s projected range to 150 miles from 81 on models without the gas engine. On paper, the vehicle’s 170-horsepower rating doesn’t sound impressive, especially for a BMW. Keep in mind the i3’s footprint is roughly similar to that of a subcompact car, and with a body shell made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, it weighs less than 2,700 pounds. This translates into 0-60-mph acceleration of 7-8 seconds depending on whether or now you opt for the gas generator. Its diminutive size and nimble handling make the 2016 BMW i3 a solid choice for upscale urban- and suburbanites who are environmentally conscious, yet fashion-forward.