What is a good fuel economy?

9 minute read Published on Apr 7, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

What is a good fuel economy?

Fuel economy is essential for many people when they pick a car. With worries about the environment and gas prices increasing, knowing what makes for good gas mileage can save you money and help the planet. But what does good gas mileage mean, and why does it matter for driving and the Earth? In this blog, we will talk about what fuel efficiency means, show you some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles, and look at how new technology like hybrid and electric cars is changing our ideas of what good gas mileage looks like.

What is good gas mileage?

In Canada, we measure how good a car’s gas mileage is by using litres per 100 kilometres (L/100km), not miles per gallon (MPG) like in the United States. To figure out what good gas mileage looks like in Canada, you need to look at the average fuel consumption figures for vehicles in various categories and consider the type of driving you do most often in the city, highway, or a mix of both.

Let’s break down what counts as excellent, good, and average gas mileage for cars, trucks, and SUVs:

Fuel-efficient passenger cars

  • Cars that use less than six litres of gas for every 100 kilometres are excellent at saving fuel. These are usually tiny cars, hybrids, or electric cars.
  • If a car uses between six and eight litres for every 100 kilometres, it’s doing pretty good on gas. This includes smaller and some medium-sized cars.
  • Cars that need eight to 10 litres to go 100 kilometres are average; they’re not the best, but not the worst. This group usually has bigger cars and smaller SUVs.

Fuel-efficient SUVs and Trucks

  • Anything under eight L/100km is excellent.
  • If a car uses eight to 12 litres of gas for every 100 kilometres, that’s pretty good. This usually fits most medium-sized SUVs and some lighter trucks.
  • Cars that use 12 to 14 litres for every 100 kilometres are average—not too bad, not too great. This is what you’d expect from bigger SUVs and trucks.

What affects fuel economy?

Fuel economy is about how far your car can go on a certain amount of gas. How you drive and care for your car can change how much gas you use. By changing how you drive and look after your car, you can use less gas, reduce pollution, and spend less on gas. Here’s a look at some important things that affect your car’s gas mileage:

Driving habits

Driving, speeding up, and slamming on the brakes can make your car use more gas. If you drive more smoothly, like speeding up slowly, keeping your speed even, and slowing down gently, you’ll use less gas. Using cruise control on the highway to keep your speed steady can also help save gas.

Type of driving

Your driving type also affects how much gas your car uses. City driving usually uses more gas than driving on the highway. Here’s why:

City stop-and-go traffic

In the city, you often have to stop and start again, which uses a lot of gas because your car needs more power to speed up each time. Also, when you’re stuck in traffic, and your car is just idling (running but not moving), it’s getting 0 miles per gallon, which means you’re wasting gas. If you’re going to be stopped for a while, turning off your car can save gas. Some new cars turn off by themselves when you’re stopped to save fuel.

Highway driving

On the highway, you can drive at a steady speed, which helps your car use gas more efficiently. But, if you drive fast, your car will use more gas because it must work harder against the wind.

Vehicle type and condition

The kind of car you have and how you take care of it can change how much gas you use. Here’s a simple breakdown:

Type of car and how it’s kept

The style of your car, how big the engine is, and whether it powers all wheels or just some can affect gas use. Keeping your car in good shape by fixing problems immediately helps it use less gas.

How heavy your car is

Bigger, heavier cars need more gas to get moving. Even adding extra stuff to your car can make it use more gas.

Engine size and type

Big engines usually use more gas than smaller ones. Diesel engines can be better on gas than regular gas engines because they work more efficiently.

How the car uses its wheels (drivetrain)

Cars that use all their wheels (AWD or 4WD) can use more gas than cars that only use the front or back wheels (FWD or RWD) because they have to power more wheels.

Tire care

Keeping your tires properly inflated helps save gas. If tires are low, your car works harder to move. Also, using the right tires for the season and making sure they’re in good shape can help with gas mileage.

Changing oil

Using the type of oil your car’s maker suggests can make your car run better on less gas. Some oils have special stuff in them to help your engine run smoother and use less gas.

Use of accessories and electrical loads

Turning on the air conditioning full blast uses a lot of gas. If you’re driving slowly, opening the windows is better because it uses less gas. But if you’re going fast, using Air Conditioning is actually better because open windows make your car work harder against the air. Also, try not to use extra car gadgets like seat warmers or the defroster more than you need to because they make your car use more gas.

Cargo management

Carrying a bunch of stuff you don’t need in your car makes it heavier and uses more gas. Try to keep your car light by taking out stuff you don’t need. Also, things like roof racks or bike holders on your car can make it harder to move through the air, especially when you’re driving fast, which means using more gas. If you’re not using them, it’s better to take them off or use ones that attach to the back of your car to help save on gas.

How hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) are changing the fuel economy rating

Hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) are changing the game for how much fuel a car uses, offering greener choices compared to regular cars with just gas engines.


Hybrid vehicles mix a gas engine with an electric motor to use less fuel and reduce pollution. They’re great for city driving, where you stop and go a lot, because they can save energy when you brake and use it to power the car. This means the gas engine doesn’t have to work as hard, saving you fuel. They also have innovative features like turning off the engine when you’re stopped and using the electric motor to help when you speed up, allowing some hybrid models to use less than 5 litres of gas per 100 kilometres.

Electric Vehicles

Electric cars don’t use gas at all; they run on electricity stored in batteries. They’re very efficient, turning more than 60% of that electrical energy into power for the car, compared to about 20% for gas cars. They also use regenerative braking to save energy, making them very efficient. They don’t produce any pollution from the car itself and are cheaper to run because electricity costs less than gas. Some electric cars are so good that their energy use is less than two litres of gas per 100 kilometres.

As battery tech and how we charge cars improve, hybrids and electric cars are becoming more important in making transportation greener and more efficient.

Most Fuel-Efficient Cars By Type of Vehicle

The best gas-saving cars can be really different depending on what kind of car you’re looking at, from small cars to big SUVs and trucks. Saving gas is important for helping the planet and saving money in the long run. We will show you some of the top gas-saving cars for different types of vehicles.

Compact cars (hybrids)

Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, and Honda Insight are known for their exceptional fuel efficiency, often achieving well below 5 L/100km in combined driving conditions.

Compact cars (non-hybrids)

Mitsubishi Mirage, Chevrolet Spark, and Hyundai Accent are among the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid compact cars, offering impressive efficiency for traditional gasoline engines.

Midsize Cars

Toyota Camry Hybrid, Honda Accord Hybrid, and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid lead this category with their balance of efficiency, comfort, and performance.

Sport Utility Vehicles or Crossovers

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV are top performers in the SUV category, with the RAV4 Hybrid and Escape Hybrid often achieving fuel consumption rates below 6 L/100km.

Pickup Trucks

The Ford F-150 Diesel, Chevrolet Colorado Diesel, and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel are some of the best fuel-efficient trucks as they do better than trucks that run on regular gas. However, new truck models like the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are coming out, which are smaller and use less gas, perfect for easier jobs.

Why are fuel-efficient vehicles better for your carbon footprint?

Cars that use less gas help a lot in reducing pollution because they burn less fossil fuels, which are the main cause of CO2 emissions and global warming. These cars work smarter by making their engines run better and wasting less energy, so they don’t need as much gas and don’t pollute as much.

Electric cars (EVs) are even cooler because they run on electricity, which can come from clean sources like the sun or wind. Driving an electric car gets even better for the planet as we use more renewable energy.

Some smart cars and EVs even have a trick called regenerative braking. Instead of wasting energy when you slow down, they save it and use it again, which saves even more fuel.

Even though making electric cars, especially their batteries, can create more pollution at first, these cars make up for it by being much cleaner to run over their lifetime. So, overall, cars that use less gas or no gas at all are much better for the environment, helping us fight climate change and move towards cleaner ways to get around.

How does driving a fuel-efficient car affect your car insurance premiums?

Driving a car that’s good on gas can help you pay less for car insurance, especially if you don’t drive a lot and choose full coverage. Insurance companies like drivers who don’t drive much because they’re less likely to get into accidents. So, if you have a fuel-efficient car and you’re not driving it all over the place, you might get a discount. Also, if you have comprehensive coverage that includes protection for things like theft and non-collision damage, having a fuel-efficient car might make insurance companies think you’re a careful driver, which could lower your payments. Basically, if you have a gas-saving car, don’t drive a ton, and pick full coverage, you could save money on insurance on top of helping the environment.

In conclusion

Knowing what makes for good gas mileage isn’t just about saving money when you fill up your car. It’s all about making the most of having a car. Driving a car with the best fuel economy can save you money on car insurance, significantly if you don’t drive a lot. It can make going on road trips cheaper and better for the earth. Choosing the most fuel-efficient vehicle is smart for your wallet and the planet. It means less pollution, saving money, and doing your part to help the environment as you drive.

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What is good fuel economy per 100km?

Good fuel economy per 100km is typically below six litres for passenger cars, indicating efficient fuel use and cost savings.

Is 10 litres per 100km good?

Ten litres per 100km is considered average for larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks but is on the higher side for smaller passenger cars, where lower figures are more desirable.

What is a good average fuel economy for a car?

An excellent average fuel economy for a car is between five to eight litres per 100 kilometres, which reflects a balance of performance and fuel efficiency for most passenger vehicles.

What is acceptable fuel economy?

Acceptable fuel economy varies by vehicle type but generally falls within the range of eight to 12 litres per 100 kilometres for most passenger vehicles, including mid-size SUVs and some larger sedans, balancing performance with fuel consumption.

What is a vehicle’s fuel economy?

Fuel economy is how efficiently a vehicle uses fuel, measured by how far it can travel on a certain amount of gas or diesel, like miles per gallon (MPG) or litres per 100 kilometres (L/100km).

How can I calculate my car’s fuel consumption?

To calculate your car’s fuel consumption, divide 100 by the distance in kilometres and then divide by the litres of fuel used.

How can I give my car a better fuel economy?

Improve your car’s gas mileage by driving more smoothly, avoiding rapid acceleration and hard braking, keeping tires properly inflated, removing unnecessary weight, and doing regular maintenance.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.