5 Best Money-Saving, Mileage-Boosting Cars of 2013

With the rising price of gas, fuel efficiency is arguably the most important thing to consider when buying a new vehicle. And, if saving money is something you can stand behind, then this guide will surely help you set off in the right direction.

The choice may seem daunting. After all, there are a ton of midsize cars for sale, and while hybrid vehicles will deliver higher gas mileage, they also come with a higher price tag. Choosing one of these midsize vehicles will help you save money at the pump and at the dealership.

Nissan Altima
The Nissan Altima made the shortlist on Motor Trend’s 2012-2013 Midsize Sedan Comparison list of six vehicles. On their list, the Altima came in fourth. However, it’s in first place on our list based on its impressive fuel efficiency. With a 27 mpg rating in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, this vehicle gets the best gas mileage of all the midsize vehicles we’ve reviewed. The 2013 Nissan Altima also tied with four other vehicles for fifth place on the U.S. News Car Rankings: Affordable Midsize Cars.

2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV $24,880 27/38 mpg

Photo of 2013 Nissan Altima via Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.
Photo of 2013 Nissan Altima via Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.

Ford Fusion
Most reviews focus on the flashy new design of the 2013 Ford Fusion. Motor Trend even refers to the Ford Fusion as an “Aston Martin amid a sea of cereal boxes.” U.S. News was even more impressed, declaring it the “2013 Best Midsize Car for the Money” and the “2013 Best Midsize Car for Families.” Here, we’re ranking it in second place simply due to the gas mileage achieved by the Nissan Altima. If you like the styling of the Ford Fusion but desire better gas mileage, you might consider paying a little extra for its hybrid sibling.

2013 Ford Fusion SE $25,290 25/37 mpg

Photo of 2013 Ford Fusion via Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.
Photo of 2013 Ford Fusion via Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.

Honda Accord
Motor Trend gave this vehicle a second place ranking with high praise, dubbing the 2013 Honda Accord “The ultimate pure family sedan.” We’re giving the vehicle third place on our list because of its gas mileage, superior styling and affordability. The Honda Accord may be a popular vehicle, but the new Ford Fusion has it beat on fuel efficiency. Paying about $3,000 more up front for a Ford Fusion or a Nissan Altima will get you slightly better gas mileage.

2013 Honda Accord (EX-L) $22,470 27/36 mpg

Photo of 2013 Honda Accord via Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.
Photo of 2013 Honda Accord via Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.

Toyota Camry
The fourth place position—based on fuel economy—was tied for highway mileage, but the Camry took the lead with its slightly better city mileage. Another very popular vehicle, the Toyota Camry has moved down the list in terms of fuel efficiency compared to the latest offerings from Ford and Nissan. To make the situation worse, the Toyota Camry is priced higher than the Nissan Altima which—you guessed it—has better fuel efficiency.

2012 Toyota Camry XLE $25,570 25/35 mpg

Photo of 2012 Toyota Camry XLE via Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.
Photo of 2012 Toyota Camry XLE via Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.

Kia Optima
Fifth place goes to the Kia Optima with 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. For almost the same price, the Nissan Altima offers higher gas mileage and better ratings from U.S. News. Perhaps this is why Motor Trend left the Kia Optima off their list. The Kia Optima remains on our list for one reason: it may not be the pinnacle of fuel efficiency, but it certainly beats most midsize vehicles in its class.

2013 Kia Optima EX $24,425 24/35 mpg

This year offers buyers a range of options when considering new vehicles. If efficiency, affordability and performance top your list, consider these midsize options.

About the Writer: Troy Simpson – Troy is a gear head and car specialist who freelances in his spare time.

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