Can You Buy a Car That is Fun and Fuel-Efficient?

Can You Buy a Car That is Fun and Fuel-Efficient?

The gasoline crisis has returned in a way we have not seen for decades. Will it end anytime soon? Is it a good time to buy electric, or is it still possible to find something affordable and fun while saving gas? Can you buy a car that is fun and fuel-efficient?

Is it time to buy electric?

So many new electric vehicles appear to be hitting the market today. From traditional car companies such as Chevrolet Bolt to new luxuries such as the Lucid Air, there seems to be no end to electric vehicles to choose from. Car and Driver state that an electric vehicle, though initially more expensive to purchase, saves on fuel costs in the long run. And according to the same magazine list of electrical vehicles, the cheapest and most fuel-efficient—or should we say “fuel-eliminating”—car you can own is the Nissan Leaf.

Photo of a Nissan Leaf
Can You Buy a Car That is Fun and Fuel-Efficient? Photo Credit:

So there you have it — Yes, you can purchase a fun and fuel-efficient, or more precise fuel eliminated car.

End of article.


Yes, electric cars are getting more affordable, and of course, owning one, in the long run, is also cheaper, yadda. Considering that the average price of fossil-burning vehicles has risen, according to KBB, to a whopping $47,000, it seems we’re all headed to an electric car future – cue Metallica, Fade to Black!

Wait, before you hand over your hard-earned American dollars to the electric car overlords

That song came out in 1984, almost 10 years after the American oil crisis. With Japanese engineering help, car manufacturers were still producing affordable gas-saving vehicles such as the Honda Civic, and the most cost-fuel-efficient vehicle of that era was the VW Rabbit diesel, which got 45 mpg.

You can almost say that the car was fun and fuel-efficient.

1977 VW Rabbit Diesel
Can You Buy a Car That is Fun and Fuel-Efficient? Photo Credit:

Lowering Fuel Prices and the return to high horsepower vehicles and higher MPGs.

Of course, as fuel prices began to lower, we started seeing car manufacturers returning to bigger cars, doubling in horsepower and lowering in MPGs. However, luckily, they didn’t stop making or developing small, affordable, and fuel-efficient compact vehicles.

Even amid the return of the Chevy Cameros, and Ford Hummers and introductions to SUVs, auto manufacturers were still developing sport compact vehicles that were small, fuel-efficient, and fast. They created legendary vehicles such as the 1976 VW GTI, or the 1986 Ford Escort Cosworth (Europe only), with a max speed of 149 mph, and mpg of 38.2.

he Ford Sierra RS Cosworth is a high-performance version of the Ford Sierra that was built by Ford Europe from 1986 to 1992. It was the result of a Ford Motorsport project with the purpose of producing an outright winner for Group A racing in Europe.[1]
From Wikipedia: Ford Sierra RS Cosworth is a high-performance version of the Ford Sierra that was built by Ford Europe from 1986 to 1992. It was the result of a Ford Motorsport project to produce an outright winner for Group A racing in Europe.[1]

Photo Credit:

Fast Forward to Today

Barely recovered from the pandemic, and with the U.S. blocking Russian oil plus, other goods and with the invasion of Ukraine, prices, and shortages, don’t seem to ease anytime soon. 

Due to current political or macroeconomic circumstances, there is a big demand for cheaper, fuel-efficient vehicles. And, as we covered at the beginning of the article, perhaps electric vehicles are the only and final answer to ride out the future of fluctuating rising fuel prices.

But, even though this may seem like a good time to buy electric vehicles, consider one particular electric vehicle’s cost, which was just announced: $170,000—almost more than half of the average price of a house in the US. Are we ready for 15-year car loans? Will electrical vehicles even last 30 years to make up for the cost of rising fuels?

If history is any indication, other options are worth considering that are affordable, fuel-efficient, and fun to drive. In the past year, we saw the return of great legendary sports cars such as the Toyota Supra and the Nissan 370z.

However, if you are looking for something sporty, family-friendly, fun, yet fuel-efficient, according to Hot Cars experts, these are some of the best hot hatchback options of 2022–2023 to save money on gas.

The top 5 fuel-efficient hot hatches

Hyundai i20 N

Hyundai I20 N
An engine that offers power and control, an active safety system that takes care of you, and connectivity that always keeps you informed. This is the i20 N: a model that offers you fun and comfort on every journey.

The Hyundai I20 N is the most fuel-efficient hot hatch on this list, returning a combined 33 MPG. It is Hyundai’s first hatchback, and it has not done badly. Its manufacturers were inspired by their winning car in the World Rally Championship, which makes it potent and eye-catching at first sight. The I20 N comes with a larger air intake, thicker bumpers, a rear diffuser, and a roof-mounted spoiler.

This vehicle is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 204 bhp. The 0-60 mph takes 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 143 mph.

  • Fuel Economy: 33 MPG.

Volkswagen Golf GTI

The new Golf GTI

The new Golf GTI comes with more strength and sophistication than ever. With a breakthrough in performance and technology and a more focused and sportier look, your ride can hardly be contained.

One of the most emblematic hatchbacks on the market. Its current version was launched in 2020 and has gained some features since then. But none of us can forget the legendary GTI of 1976, from which all subsequent models descended. The GTI is powered by a 2.9-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 245 hp.

This car takes 6.4 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph in the manual. And 6.2 with the dual-clutch automatic DSG. Its top speed is 155 mph.

  • Fuel Economy: 32 MPG.

Toyota Corolla Hatchback LE Hybrid

LE Hybrid
“The LE Hybrid adds a Premium interior package that includes a leather-trimmed steering wheel, leatherette upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, and heated front seats” (Taken from Car and Driver). 

This Toyota’s exterior design is fun and playful, while the interior is classic and youthful at the same time. It keeps the sporty vibe of its predecessor and the safety standards that have always characterized Toyota. Select models can have a manual transmission, and the sedan offers a unique fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain. The Corolla hatchback gets an EPA-estimated 31 mpg (about 9 cents per mile) combined with a six-speed manual transmission or up to an impressive 35 mpg (about 8 cents per mile) with the automatic. Its top speed, however, is a bit lower than the other cars on this list, achieving a maximum of 115 miles.  

Finally, its 1.6L, 3-Cylinder direct port-injected turbo engine delivers 300 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque.

  • Fuel economy: 31 mpg (about 9 cents per mile).  

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST
The new Ford Fiesta ST maintains the 1.5-liter 200 hp EcoBoost block, although it improves its maximum torque, which goes from 290 Nm to 320 Nm. Also on the menu is the six-speed manual gearbox, which transmits all power to the front axle.

The standard Ford Fiesta has been one of the most popular hatchbacks on the market, as its cost-benefit ratio is quite favorable. Well, the ST does not disappoint either. The car’s damping system stiffens the suspension to assist in tight cornering and then normalizes when as much grip is no longer needed. The car is powered by a 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder turbocharged engine, and it produces 200 hp.

It takes around 6.5. seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph and its top speed is 143 mph.

  • Fuel economy: 28 MPG.

Toyota Yaris GR

Yaris hatch
This model improved over the previous Yaris hatch, which never climbed higher than a low price. The new Yaris is an urban runabout that works for buyers of sedans on a budget.

This is the fastest hatch on this list. In fact, it takes a second less than all its rivals. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. But, like the others here, its top speed is 143 mph. The GR is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine that produces 260 hp. The car returns a combined MPG of 28. Like the Hyundai I20 N, Toyota also designed this car to give ordinary people the joy of driving a counterpart to the car that competed in the WCR.

  • Fuel economy: 28 MPG.

Ultimately the Choice is Yours

So can you buy a car that is fun and fuel-efficient? If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient car, then the answer is yes. Fun on the other hand is subjective, but based on looks, performance, and feel, I know which I would choose

On a final note, we hope soon we won’t need to compromise and, eventually, get an all-electric hot hatch here in the US. Hello Honda, I’m talking to you!

2020 Honda e 49
The 2020 Honda e  Photo credit:

Why Choose RCG?

If you’re planning to purchase one of the newest top 5 fuel-efficient vehicles or are lucky enough to find a classic hot hatch, RCG can assist in arranging pick-up and delivery anywhere in the US, regardless if it’s running or not.

For almost two decades, whether you’re buying from a car auction or a private seller, we’ve connected buyers with their dream vehicles, and we have the expertise to deliver them reliably and safely.

Don’t take any chances, contact us if you have questions or start a quote if you already found the car of your dreams.

About the Author

About the Author: Maria Pelaez

I am Content Creator at RCG and I cover the transportation and relocation industries. My background is in journalism and writing for Mass Media and podcasts; the experience of creating content for a transport logistics company in the United States has been rewarding. As a Colombian, I have had the chance to learn a lot about the American culture and all the people behind the transportation industry.


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