25 Most Fuel Efficient Cars in Canada in 2020


Morgan Gregory

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Saving money on fuel while getting where you need to go has become a top desire among Canadian car buyers. Whether you want to help preserve the environment, save money, or both, when you need a new car this list will help you decide what type, size class and model is best for you. 

The most fuel efficient gas-powered, hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and electric vehicles (BEV) are listed by size class. The cars are categorized based on Natural Resources Canada (NRC) size classifications which are based on interior volume (passenger + cargo volume). Fuel economy data is sourced from NRC’s fuel consumption testing.

Most fuel efficient cars comparison

  • Fuel economy is quoted in litres per 100km (L/100km) or in the case of PHEV and BEV, (Le/100km).
  • Yearly Fuel Cost is based on an annual driving distance of 20,000 km, and an average fuel price of $1.09 per litre.
  • Federal purchase incentives of $2,500 for PHEV and $5,000 for BEV apply unless otherwise indicated. The incentive is not included in the listed base price. 
CarTypeSizeBase MSRPCityHwyCombCity (Le)Hwy (Le)Comb. (Le)Yearly fuel cost
Tesla Model 3BEVMid-size$54,600.001.61.81.69$387.00
Tesla Model S Long Range PlusBEVFull-size$111,600.001.92.11.99$468.00
Chevy BoltBEVSubcompact Hatchback$44,998.001.92.22.04$463.00
BMW i3 (120 Ah)BEVSubcompact Hatchback$44,950.001.92.32.08$481.00
Hyundai IONIQ HybridHybridFull-size$25,399.004.244.11$1,092.00
Toyota Prius PrimePHEVMid-size$32,990.004.34.44.351.8$749.00
Toyota Corolla HybridHybridCompact$24,790.004.44.54.45$1,170.00
Toyota PriusHybridMid-size$27,990.004.44.74.54$1,170.00
Toyota Prius AWDHybridMid-size$28,990.004.54.94.68$1,222.00
Mitsubishi MirageGasCompact Hatchback$13,498.006.65.66.15$1,612.00
Honda FitGasSubcompact Hatchback$21,090.0075.96.51$1,690.00
Kia RioGasCompact Hatchback$18,245.007.25.96.62$1,716.00
Honda Civic HatchbackGasFull-size Hatchback$24,190.007.766.94$1,794.00
Hyundai ElantraGasMid-size$18,849.007.85.66.81$1,768.00
Chevy SparkGasSubcompact Hatchback$14,298.007.96.27.14$1,846.00
Chrysler Pacifica HybridPHEVMinivan$52,090.0087.97.962.9$1,218.00
Kia Forte 5GasFull-size Hatchback$22,245.00867.1$1,846.00
Toyota CamryGasMid-size$26,490.008.15.77.02$1,794.00
Volvo S60 T8 AWDPHEVCompact$66,400.008.477.773.2$1,519.00
Subaru Impreza 5-door AWDGasSmall Station Wagon$22,995.008.46.67.59$1,976.00
Mazda MX-5GasSports Car$33,100.0096.67.92$2,291.00
Fiat 124 SpiderGasSports Car$34,795.0096.77.97$2,054.00
BMW i8 RoadsterPHEVSports Car$169,900.009.288.663.4$1,794.00
Honda OdysseyGasMinivan$36,290.0012.28.510.54$2,756.00
Chrysler PacificaGasMinivan$37,795.0012.48.410.6$2,756.00

Subcompact cars

2020 Honda Fit

  • Base MSRP: $21,090
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 7.0 / 5.9
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,690
  • Engine: 1.5L 4 cyl

The Honda Fit is a stylish, small hatchback that has had excellent fuel efficiency since it came to Canada in 2006. It now features what Honda calls the 2nd row “Magic Seat,” which gives you many options for cargo and passengers. Honda offers the Fit with a manual transmission at a lower price (base MSRP $16,390), but the efficiency is not as good (8.1 / 6.6, $1,924).

2020 Chevy Spark

  • Base MSRP: $14,298
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 7.9 / 6.2
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,846
  • Engine: 1.4L, 4 cyl

The Chevy Spark is the 2nd most economical subcompact car available in Canada, and it is economical in terms of space and cost as well. Only 3.365m long, the Spark is great for darting about city streets and parking almost anywhere. If you really want to save a few dollars, the base manual MSRP is only $9,998, though it sacrifices some efficiency (8.0 / 6.2 and $1,872). 

Electric: 2020 BMW i3 (120 Ah)

  • Base MSRP: $44,950 
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 1.9 / 2.3
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $481
  • Engine: electric motor (134 kW)

The most economical, small electric car is the BMW i3. This subcompact has rear doors that open opposite from the front ones, making it easy for your passengers to hop in and out. The BMW i3 is perfect for the young couple that wants a stylish, passenger friendly electric car for busy days and nights in the city. 

Compact

2020 Mitsubishi Mirage

  • Base MSRP: $13,498
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 6.6 / 5.6
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,612
  • Engine: 1.2L 3 cyl

The Mirage also comes with a manual transmission (base MSRP $12,298), though fuel efficiency is not as good (7.1 / 5.8, $1,690). Mitsubishi proudly states the Mirage looks cool everywhere. While style may be in the eye of the beholder, every buyer will like the standard 10 year powertrain warranty.  

2020 Kia Rio

  • Base MSRP: $18,245
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 7.2 / 5.9
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,716
  • Engine: 1.6L 4 cyl

As with a few other small cars on this list, a manual transmission is available (base MSRP $15,495, 7.8 / 6.0, $1,820), but the automatic transmission — Kia calls it an IVT — gets better gas mileage. An efficient car with great standard features, like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats, the Rio is surprisingly roomy, making it a great choice for a small family. 

Hybrid: 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

  • Base MSRP: $24,790
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 4.4 / 4.5
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,170
  • Engine: 1.8L 4 cyl, and electric motor

Though the Toyota Corolla is not the best-selling vehicle in Canada right now, it remains the best selling vehicle of all time world-wide. With such a reputation, it is not surprising that Toyota would name the new hybrid simply the Toyota Corolla Hybrid. If you love the Corolla and you have been dreaming of a hybrid version, it is time to hit a Toyota dealership. 

Electric: 2020 Chevy Bolt

  • Base MSRP: $44,998
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 1.9 / 2.2
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $463
  • Engine: electric motor (150 kW)

The Bolt offers a strong combination of efficiency, range and space. Chevy estimates that a full-charge will take you over 400 km, and there is cargo space to take a few bags or some sporting equipment with you. Chevy has packed the Bolt with a 10.2 inch touch-screen display and an 8 inch driver Information centre, making the Bolt very attractive to a small family that loves tech. 

Mid-size cars

2020 Hyundai Elantra

  • Base MSRP: $18,849
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 7.8 / 5.6
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,768
  • Engine: 2.0 4 cyl

The Elantra comes with an automatic or manual transmission. The manual costs less at a base MSRP of $17,149, but the fuel economy (9.1 / 6.3, $2,054) drops it 23 spots on the list of the most fuel efficient mid-size cars. Hyundai has tuned the engine well so that the automatic transmission Elantra tops a very competitive segment. 

2020 Toyota Camry

  • Base MSRP: $26,490
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 8.1 / 5.7
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,794
  • Engine: 2.5L 4 cyl

When you look at the size of the Camry, it is shocking to see that it is the 2nd most efficient mid-size car. Somehow, the 2.5L engine and transmission produce good power and good fuel economy. The Toyota Camry continues to surprise and satisfy many Canadian buyers, with more than 130,000 sold to Canadians since 2012.  

Hybrid: 2020 Toyota Prius

  • Base MSRP: $27,990
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 4.4 / 4.7
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,170
  • Engine: 1.8L 4 cyl and electric motor

When you think of efficiency without a plug, the Toyota Prius comes to mind right away. The Pruis has led the hybrid pack since 1997, and when it hit Canada in 1999, the only other hybrid option was the very small, 2 door Honda Insight. If you like to be absolutely sure something is efficient and reliable before you buy it, you should be driving a Prius. 

PHEV: 2020 Toyota Prius Prime

  • Base MSRP: $32,990
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 4.3 / 4.4
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $749
  • Engine: 1.8L 4 cyl and electric motor

Alongside the original Prius sits the Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid version of Toyota’s well-known, efficient vehicle. The Prius Prime costs a bit more up-front, but it uses less gasoline, a savings of about $400 per year, even including the cost of charging the battery. If you drive only short distances and keep acceleration reasonable, this Prius Prime is the Toyota for you. 

Electric: 2020 Tesla Model 3

  • Base MSRP: $54,600
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 1.6 / 1.8
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $387
  • Engine: electric motor (188 kW)

Tesla has made a name for itself in the automotive world with electric cars. The least expensive Tesla, the Model 3 Standard Range Plus with rear-wheel drive and one electric motor, has a base MSRP low enough so that you receive the federal incentive of $5,000. If you like to have what is new, be environmentally responsible, and drive something fast, the base Model 3 is the perfect choice.   

Full-size cars

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback

  • Base MSRP: $25,490
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 7.7 / 6.0
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,794
  • Engine: 1.5L 4 cyl, turbo-charged

It is odd to see a Honda Civic in the category of full size cars, but the hatchback version of the Civic has the interior space to make the cut.  Honda claims the manual transmission version, with a base MSRP of $24,190, gets the same efficiency, but Natural Resources Canada rates it slightly worse (8.0 / 6.2 and $1,872). Whatever the case, the Civic Hatchback is true to the Civic name, as it is efficient and fun to drive. 

2020 Kia Forte 5

  • Base MSRP: $22,245
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 8.0 / 6.0
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,846
  • Engine: 2.0L 4 cyl

Kia is advertising the Forte 5 as all-new for 2020. Like the Civic Hatchback, the Forte 5 is full-size due to the space created by its shape. The Civic is more fun to drive, but the Forte 5 offers great utility in a stylish new package. If you pride yourself on your Canadian love of compact hatchbacks that offer lots of space and utility, check out the new Forte 5. 

Hybrid: 2020 Hyundai IONIQ

  • Base MSRP: $25,399
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 4.2 / 4.0
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,092
  • Engine: 1.6L 4 cyl and electric motor

Hyundai calls the IONIQ “Canada’s most fuel efficient car,” which it is, unless you count cars that have a plug-in. The IONIQ gets excellent gas mileage due to its hybrid system and due to its aerodynamic shape (only the Tesla Model S cuts through the air more easily). It even comes standard with a quick-shifting automatic, dual-clutch transmission, rare in this type of car. 

Electric: 2020 Tesla Model S

  • Base MSRP: $111,600
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 1.9 / 2.1
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $468
  • Engine: 2 electric motors (sizes not available)

The base Tesla Model S, called the Long Range Plus, does not qualify for the $5,000 federal incentive due to its high price. Part of this Tesla’s excellent fuel efficiency comes from its shape, with Tesla claiming it is the most aerodynamic car on the planet. Full of luxury, dripping with style, extremely efficient, and extremely fast, the Model S Long Range Plus is an attractive package for anyone who can afford it. 

Sports cars (two-seater)

2020 Fiat 124 Spider

  • Base MSRP: $34,795
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 9.0 / 6.7
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $2,054
  • Engine: 1.4L 4 cyl, turbo-charged

The Fiat 124 Spider is the child of Fiat and Mazda. Basically, the 124 Spider is a Mazda MX-5 with a Fiat engine and Fiat body. The 124 Spider comes with a manual transmission, though you can get an automatic with slightly worse gas mileage (9.3 / 6.5, $2,080) for an extra $1,495. If you think Mazdas are fun to drive and are built well, but you have always loved Italian styling and engines, this car is for you. 

2020 Mazda MX-5

  • Base MSRP: $33,100
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 9.0 / 6.6
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $2,291
  • Engine: 2.0L 4 cyl

The Mazda MX-5 is built on the same assembly line as the Fiat 124 Spider, but it gets better gas mileage with the automatic transmission (the manual gets 9.0 / 7.0, $2,349, and has the same MSRP). If you want the most efficient and fun to drive sports car with a manual transmission, buy the Fiat 124 Spider. If you want the most efficient and fun to drive 2 seater with an automatic transmission, buy the Mazda MX-5. 

PHEV: 2020 BMW i8 Roadster

  • Base MSRP: $169,900
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 9.2 / 8.0
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,794
  • Engine: 1.5L 3 cyl, turbo-charged, and electric motor

Due to the base MSRP, the $5,000 federal incentive does not apply to the BMW i8 Roadster, but you get a lot of speed, a lot of luxury, and a lot of unique style. The electric motor helps the Roadster to create sports car acceleration, the interior is beautiful, and the scissor doors (doors that open upward) make this 2 seater stand out from the crowd. If you want your car to be different and to be noticed, the i8 Roadster is a great choice. 

AWD cars

2020 Subaru Impreza 5-door

  • Base MSRP: $22,995
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 8.4 / 6.6
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,976
  • Engine: 2.0L 4 cyl

The Impreza 5-door automatic transmission keeps the engine running so efficiently that the manual transmission version sits 10 spots lower on the list of all-wheel drive fuel efficient cars (base MSRP $20,995, 10.1 / 7.7, $2,340). With either transmission, the Impreza 5-door all-wheel drive system drives through snow and ice with ease. But get the automatic if you want to save money on gas. 

Hybrid: 2020 Toyota Prius AWD

  • Base MSRP: $28,990
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 4.5 / 4.9
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,222
  • Engine: 1.8L 4 cyl and electric motor

The Toyota Prius is a hybrid with excellent economy and good cargo space, and now Toyota offers an all-wheel drive version. An electric motor powers the rear wheels, leaving the usual Prius hybrid engine to power the front wheels. This is great news for many Canadians, who prefer having power to all four wheels for daily commutes in winter, and who want to spend less money at the pump. 

PHEV: 2020 Volvo S60

  • Base MSRP: $66,400
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 8.4 / 7.0
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,519
  • Engine: 2.0L 4 cyl, turbo-charged, and electric motor

Volvo’s all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid base model is called the S60 R-Design T8 AWD, and it is a beautiful looking car, loaded with luxury and comfort. Due to the price, the plug-in hybrid R-Design does not qualify for a federal incentive of $2,500, but take this sleek Volvo for a test-drive and you might find you don’t care! 

Minivans

2020 Honda Odyssey

  • Base MSRP: $36,290
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 12.2 / 8.5
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $2,756
  • Engine: 3.5L 6 cyl

The Honda Odyssey has a 10 speed automatic transmission, a 3.5L 6 cylinder engine, and seats for 8 people. The 2nd row has a clever feature that lets you remove the centre seat and slide the other two seats sideways to suit whatever your passengers need. Though no minivan is as efficient as an efficient car, the Odyssey will give you the best efficiencies for gas-powered minivans. 

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

  • Base MSRP: $37,795
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 12.4 / 8.4
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $2,756
  • Engine: 3.6L 6 cyl

The Pacifica has a 9 speed automatic transmission, a 3.6L 6 cylinder engine, and seats up to 8 people. The Pacifica and the Honda Odyssey are both rated at costing $2,756 a year in fuel, but the Chrysler gets slightly better fuel economy on the highway. The Pacifica — made in Windsor, Ontario — is a great for the Canadian family that likes to hit the road. 

Electric: 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

  • Base MSRP: $52,090
  • City/highway/combined (L/100km): 8.0 / 7.9
  • Yearly Fuel Cost: $1,218
  • Engine: 3.3L 6 cyl and electric motor

The Pacifica is the only plug-in hybrid minivan Canadians can get, and it is made in Windsor, Ontario. If you want a hybrid plug-in vehicle with lower emissions and tons of space, the Pacifica is it. The Stow ‘N Go 3rd row feature is not available because space beneath the rear floor is needed for electric components, but there is still plenty of room for family and friends.  

What to read next

References

Over to you

We’re interested to know – is fuel economy the most important factor for you when buying a car? What size class of car are you looking for? How many L per 100km does your vehicle get? Let us know in the comments below!

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