Saving Money Long Term: The Top Five Fuel-Efficient Toyotas

July 15th, 2022 by

A close-up shows the driver-side headlight on a white 2022 Toyota Avalon XLE.

It’s certainly not uncommon these days to see people replacing their old vehicle with one of those fuel-efficient cars you likely hear so much about, especially from those friends who own one and don’t know quite when to stop talking about it. Why wouldn’t you want to look into the fuel-efficient cars that are available? Less fuel being burned is simply less money being spent in your wallet. A common misconception that people tend to have, however, is that larger vehicles, especially those with enormous amounts of power, don’t have excellent fuel efficiency because their large and menacing sizes may not initially suggest such. Of course, this is wholly untrue, and thanks to implementations of powertrains such as diesel and turbocharged engines, there’s plenty of fuel efficiency in a wide range of vehicles.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most fuel-efficient Toyota models you can currently buy. As a note, we won’t be including EVs into the mix, and this is for the sole purpose that an EV doesn’t burn fuel. Instead, EVs rely on battery charges, which do not apply; however, hybrids are included. If you are in the market for a fuel-efficient vehicle, allow us at Haley Toyota of Richmond, conveniently located in Midlothian, VA, to show you the vast array of fuel-efficient models that Toyota has to offer.

#5 — The 2022 Toyota Avalon XLE

The Avalon is impressively fuel-efficient, even more so considering that it’s the least efficient vehicle on this list. Although the Avalon doesn’t utilize a turbocharged engine, it harnesses a powerful 3.5L V6 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The estimated fuel economy ratings for this engine are 22 MPG (miles per gallon) in the city and 32 MPG on the highway with the XLE model, but succeeding trims get 22 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. With these ratings, you can purchase an Avalon and not worry about too many gas station trips, regardless of whether you’re driving in the city or on the freeway.

As we mentioned, the Avalon is rather powerful, too, thanks to its 3.5L V6 engine. Because the Avalon equips this engine with every trim, your 2022 model will get 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, regardless of your choice. Ultimately, when combined with everything else that makes the Avalon such an intriguing purchase (i.e. its incredible suite of safety features and host of notable tech, such as a 9-inch infotainment center equipped with Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Auto, Amazon Alexa, and more), it’s nearly irresistible.

A white 2022 Toyota Camry LE is shown on a rooftop with people taking things out of the trunk.

#4 — The 2022 Toyota Camry LE

The Camry is a midsize sedan with a lot to offer in terms of capability and fuel efficiency. It’s worth noting that both engines come paired with the same smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain that comes standard with the 2022 Camry is a 2.5L I-4 engine that can achieve a maximum output of 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. When configured inside the XSE trim, every other trim receives a minuscule difference with its 206 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. With this powertrain, the 2022 Camry, in its base configuration, gets EPA-estimated ratings of 28 MPG in the city and 39 MPG on the highway. This is phenomenal, but if you want more power at the cost of some efficiency, then you’ll want to opt for the second available powertrain

Should you equip your 2022 Camry with the available 3.5L V6 engine, which can be fitted in every trim except the LE and SE, you can expect a significant performance boost. The 3.5L V6 engine outputs 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, which is about 46% and 43.5% more horsepower and torque than the base engine. As mentioned, this kind of performance increase comes at the cost of some fuel efficiency, but even with the V6, you can still expect a respectable 22 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway.

#3 — The 2022 Corolla L

For a vehicle that costs far less than $25,000, the 2022 Corolla is incredibly fuel-efficient, and you also get a choice between two available powertrains, one of which can be paired with a manual transmission. The base engine inside the Corolla is a 1.8L I-4 engine paired with a Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT,) and is standard in the first three of the five available trim levels. This engine earns greater fuel efficiency numbers than the more powerful option when linked to its manual transmission – thanks to the 1.8L I-4’s EPA-estimated ratings of 30 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway. As for the performance you can expect with this I-4 engine, you’ll get 139 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque. It’s worth noting that both engines only support an FWD drivetrain, but this has the added benefit of excellent fuel economy ratings.

The second engine available on the Corolla is a 2.0L I-4 engine that not only improves performance over the base engine but achieves greater fuel efficiency when linked with the same CVT and not the available 6-speed manual transmission. This engine is only available on the two top-tier trims for the Corolla: the XSE and SE. Utilizing this engine will net you 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, which is a sizable upgrade, and it garners an EPA-estimated rating of 31 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on the highway. If you opt for the manual transmission, this will be lowered to 29 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway.

#2 — The 2022 Corolla Hybrid LE

Hybrids are generally fuel-efficient vehicles because they mate a gasoline-powered engine to an electric motor and battery. The results ultimately speak for themselves, and the Corolla Hybrid is just one of a few examples of how a Toyota Hybrid vehicle can vastly outdo its regular gasoline counterparts. There are a couple of downsides to opting for a 2022 Corolla Hybrid; most notably that it’s pricier and achieves lesser performance with its 1.8L I-4 engine linked to the aforementioned battery and motor. Fuel efficiency, on the other hand, is undoubtedly superior. Aside from that, many aspects of the Corolla Hybrid are shared with the regular Corolla, such as its 13.1 cu.ft. of cargo space, or its 8-inch infotainment center, albeit this comes standard, whereas it’s an upgrade for the Corolla. Purchasing the Corolla Hybrid is also a straightforward process, and this is because there’s only one trim level, the LE.

The performance penalty that comes with the hybrid powertrain may seem drastic, but it’s not too bad, especially compared to the standard engine found on the Corolla. For example, the Corolla Hybrid achieves 121 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque, which is only a 13% and 16.6% decrease in horsepower and torque, respectively. The real difference stems from its EPA-estimated ratings of 53 MPG in the city and 52 MPG on the highway. Comparatively, against the base Corolla engine, this is a 76.6% increase in city mileage and 37% increase in highway mileage—that’s the difference a hybrid can make.

One of the most popular fuel-efficient cars, a white 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE, is shown parked outside of a coffee shop.

#1 — The 2022 Prius L Eco

When discussing hybrids, there’s no name more recognizable than the Prius. The Prius, in many ways, formally kicked off the hybrid vehicle craze, which continues to rise each year. Prius models have remained a constant since their implementation into the American market over twenty years ago, and for a good reason—Prius models are phenomenal hybrids. Of course, the performance might not be for everybody, with its 121 hp and 120 lb-ft of torque, but it does outperform the Corolla Hybrid, albeit at a minimal price increase.

The efficiency of the Prius has always been its main draw. Unlike the 2022 Corolla Hybrid, the 2022 Prius can be implemented with either an FWD or AWD drivetrain, whereas the Corolla Hybrid is restricted to FWD. Yes, AWD affects fuel efficiency, but not drastically, as its 51 MPG in the city and 47 on the highway are still highly sustainable. It only gets better with the FWD models and the estimated 58 MPG in the city and 53 MPG on the highway you’ll get. Since this is the only powertrain available for the Prius, the type of trim you opt for won’t change performance or efficiency, which may disappoint those looking for more power, but certainly helps those in it for fuel efficiency. Hybrids aren’t for everybody, but if you’re shopping around for fuel-efficient cars, we here at Haley Toyota of Richmond welcome you to come in and let us show you everything these amazing hybrid vehicles have to offer.