Buyers of used cars want to be confident that their purchase satisfies a number of requirements. The used car should be affordable, but it also needs to be safe. Fuel efficiency also ranks high on the list of many used car buyers’ must-haves. With this in mind, we did some research and present our top 10 used vehicles that are cheap, safe, and good on gas.

How We Arrived at the List

To come up with these 10 vehicles, iSeeCars.com analyzed over 20,000 vehicles from model years 2011 to 2014 and 4.5 million used car listings from August 1, 2014 to November 1, 2014. To be a contender, passenger vehicles had to have fuel efficiency of 30 mpg or greater and a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) average safety rating of four or more stars.

Vehicles with lower fuel efficiency or an average safety rating less than four stars were excluded from further analysis.  The remaining vehicles were then ranked by average asking price to arrive at these lists – which just focused on 2013 models.

Top 10 Lowest-Priced Vehicles that have 30 MPG or Above and NHTSA 4- or 5-Star Safety Ratings

The following are the overall top 10 vehicles with mpg greater than or equal to 30 and a NHTSA safety rating of at least four stars. Average prices range from $13,157 to $15,588. These are the cheapest, safest used vehicles with good gas mileage.

Note that five are sedans, four are hatchbacks, and one is a wagon. Of the automakers represented, Hyundai accounts for three; Ford and Kia each have two models on the list and Nissan, Toyota and Scion each have one.

What, no crossovers, minivans, or SUVs on the list? They were included in our research, but none of them met the fuel efficiency needed to land in this overall top 10 list. For now, however, this has some good options for anyone in the market for a reasonably-priced, highly fuel-efficient sedan or hatchback with safe ratings by the NHTSA.

Cheapest 2013 Used Models That Are Fuel Efficient and Safe

Make/Model Body Type Avg Price Avg MPG Avg Safety Rating
Nissan Versa Sedan $13,157 33 4
Hyundai Accent Sedan $13,281 31.4 4
Toyota Yaris Hatchback $13,437 32.3 4
Ford Fiesta Sedan $13,525 33 4
Kia Rio Sedan $13,682 31 4
Scion iQ Hatchback $13,872 37 4
Kia Rio5 Wagon $14,012 31.4 4
Hyundai Accent Hatchback $14,317 31.4 4
Ford Fiesta Hatchback $14,560 33 4
Hyundai Elantra Sedan $15,588 32 5

 

Top 5 Lowest-Priced Hatchbacks that have 30 MPG or Above and NHTSA 4- or 5-Star Safety Ratings

Next, we decided to look only at the five cheapest, safest, most fuel-efficient used hatchbacks. Here the list is a bit different and includes one five-star NHTSA safety-rated vehicle, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback. One model from each of two Japanese makers—Toyota and Scion—are represented, two models are from Korean automaker Hyundai, and one comes from American automaker Ford. Average prices of the hatchbacks on this list range from $13,437 to $17,987.

Cheapest 2013 Used Hatchbacks That Are Fuel Efficient and Safe

Make/Model Body Type Avg Price Avg MPG Avg Safety Rating
Toyota Yaris Hatchback $13,437 32.3 4
Scion iQ Hatchback $13,872 37 4
Hyundai Accent Hatchback $14,317 31.4 4
Ford Fiesta Hatchback $14,560 33 4
Hyundai Elantra GT Hatchback $17,987 30 5

 

Top 10 Lowest-Priced Sedans that have 30 MPG or Above and NHTSA 4- or 5-Star Safety Ratings

Finally, we take a look at the top 10 affordable, safe, fuel-efficient, used sedans. Five are from Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia, three from Japanese automakers Honda and Nissan, and two from American automaker Ford.

An interesting thing to note is that five of these sedans carry the five-star NHTSA rating for safety. Prices range from $13,157 for the 2013 Nissan Versa to $24,473 for the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

Cheapest 2013 Used Sedans That Are Fuel Efficient and Safe

Make/Model Body Type Avg Price Avg MPG Avg Safety Rating
Nissan Versa Sedan $13,157 33 4
Hyundai Accent Sedan $13,281 31.4 4
Ford Fiesta Sedan $13,525 33 4
Kia Rio Sedan $13,682 31 4
Hyundai Elantra Sedan $15,588 32 5
Nissan Sentra Sedan $15,939 33.4 4
Honda Civic Sedan $18,263 33.5 5
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Sedan $21,781 37.2 5
Kia Optima Hybrid Sedan $23,719 37.5 5
Ford Fusion Hybrid Sedan $24,473 42 5

 

Bottom line: If you’re in the market for a good, affordable and safe used vehicle that’s also good on gas, all things considered, you can’t go wrong with these vehicles.

 

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