Guide to the Most Fuel Efficient vehicles in Canada

Each year, Natural Resources Canada (NRC) recognizes the most fuel-efficient cars sold in Canada by class. Here are the most fuel-efficient cars according to the NRC’s Fuel Consumption Rating Tool.

Each year, Natural Resources Canada (NRC) recognizes the most fuel-efficient cars sold in Canada by class. Here are the most fuel-efficient cars according to the NRC’s Fuel Consumption Rating Tool. According to NRC: Conventional vehicles, including hybrids, typically use a gasoline or diesel internal combustion engine exclusively as the source of energy for motive power. Although conventional hybrids use both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, the battery is charged from the engine during driving; they cannot be plugged-in.

Choosing the right vehicle for you

There are many things to consider when you buy a new vehicle: price, comfort, styling, environmental factors and more. Choosing the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your everyday needs can save you money and help the environment. Consider that fuel consumption can range from less than 2.0 gasoline liters equivalent per 100 km (Le/100 km) for a battery-electric vehicle to more than 20.0 liters per 100 km (L/100 km) for a large SUV.

So driving 20,000 km a year can cost from less than $500 to more than $4,000. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions can range from 0 to more than 9 tonnes, depending on the vehicle you buy.

Today, consumers can choose from a wide range of powertrains, as Manufacturers continue to improve the fuel efficiency of gasoline and diesel engines. A diesel engine is even more efficient than its gasoline counterpart, but gas provides a better selection. Hybrid-electric vehicles, or hybrids, use both a conventional internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which is more energy efficient than a traditional powertrain, especially in city driving. Hybrids have battery packs that are charged with electricity generated by the vehicle. They can’t be plugged in to recharge. When hybrids are operating in electric-only mode, they emit no CO2 or other emissions. The typical hybrid offers fuel savings and CO2 reductions of 20 to 40% over gasoline-only vehicles.

Electric vehicles offer the most fuel-efficient choices. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are hybrids that have high-capacity batteries that can be recharged by plugging them in. When operating in electric-only mode, PHEVs produce no tailpipe emissions.

Battery-electric vehicles (BEV) use electric motors that draw electricity from onboard rechargeable batteries. They are the most fuel-efficient vehicles available, with an average combined consumption rating of 2.3 Le/100 km. BEVs produce no tailpipe emissions.

The NRC’s picks for most fuel-efficient conventional vehicles are:

Type of vehicle most fuel-efficient in class Estimated Annual Fuel Cost

Vehicle class Conventional vehicle Electric vehicle
Two-seater FIAT 124 Spider
1.4 L, 4 cylinder, 6-speed manual
Mazda MX-5
2.0 L, 4 cylinder, 6-speed automatic with select shift
smart EQ fortwo coupe
60 kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
Minicompact MINI Cooper Convertible
1.5 L, 3 cylinder, 6-speed manual
n/a
Subcompact Chevrolet Spark
1.4 L, 4 cylinder, continuously variable
BMW i3/i3s (120 Ah)
125/135 kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
Compact Toyota Prius c
1.5 L, 4 cylinder hybrid, continuously variable
Volkswagen e-Golf
100 kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
Mid-size Toyota Prius
1.8 L, 4 cylinder hybrid, continuously variable
Hyundai IONIQ Electric
88 kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
Full-size Hyundai IONIQ Blue
1.6 L, 4 cylinder hybrid, 6-speed automated manual
Tesla Model S 75D
386 kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
Station wagon: Small Kia Niro FE
1.6 L, 4 cylinder hybrid, 6-speed automated manual
Chevrolet Bolt EV
150 kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
Station wagon: Mid-size Volvo V90 T6 AWD
2.0 L, 4 cylinder, 8-speed automatic with select shift
n/a
Light trucks
Vehicle class Conventional vehicle Electric vehicle
Pickup truck: Small Chevrolet Colorado
2.8 L, 4 cylinder diesel, 6-speed automatic
GMC Canyon
2.8 L, 4 cylinder diesel, 6-speed automatic
n/a
Pickup truck: Standard Ford F-150
3.0 L, 6 cylinder diesel, 10-speed automatic with select shift
n/a
Sport utility vehicle: Small Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD
2.5 L, 4 cylinder hybrid, continuously variable
Hyundai KONA Electric
150 kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
Sport utility vehicle: Standard Lexus RX 450h AWD
3.5 L, 6 cylinder hybrid, continuously variable
Tesla Model X 75D
386 kW electric motor, 1-speed automatic
Minivan Chrysler Pacifica (Stop-Start)
3.6 L, 6 cylinder, 9-speed automatic
Honda Odyssey Touring
3.5 L, 6 cylinder, 10-speed automatic with select shift
 

(Information Source Natural resources Canada,)