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15 Vehicles with a Longer Range than the Toyota Prius

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/9/2015 Austin Lott

With some 46,876 miles of interstate crisscrossing the United States, we've got a lot of pavement between here and there. Often when considering a long freeway jaunt, the conversation turns to efficiency as intrepid road trippers compare keys. "Should we take the hybrid? The diesel?" In such conversation the ubiquitous Toyota Prius often gets mentioned. As the de facto "MPG King," it's an easy pick when getting from A to B is the goal. But with an 11.9-gallon fuel tank, the spectacular efficiency can only take the Prius so far. About 514 miles according to the EPA's highway rating of a 2015 model (2016 ratings aren't yet available).


With the debut of the new and even more efficient 2016 Prius, we took a look at vehicles that would outlast your need for a pit stop on the outgoing, 2015 model. We noticed that vehicles usually featured some combination of stellar fuel economy, a massive fuel tank, or both. When comparing range, we did what you would do and calculated our numbers based on 90 percent of the capacity. You wouldn't run your tank dry for the sake of range, so neither did we. Then we calculated how much money that last 10 percent of range (and fuel) would represent if you were able to magically turn it back into cash. The "spare change," if you will. Here are 15 vehicles that outpaced the 2015 Toyota Prius.

The Math

2015 Toyota Prius© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Toyota Prius If you just want to read about cars, skip this and enjoy. For the numbers people: The "spare change" metric is calculated by multiplying the amount of fuel left in the final 10 percent of the tank by the average price for a gallon of gasoline or diesel. As of August 24, the national average (U.S. Department of Energy) for gasoline was $2.637; diesel was $2.561.

Ford Taurus 2.0L EcoBoost I-4

2015 Ford Taurus© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford Taurus With its 19-gallon fuel tank, the Ford Taurus boasts a cruising range of 547 miles, which beats the Prius by 33 miles. Even though we love the Taurus SHO and its twin-turbo V-6, the superior fuel economy of the turbocharged I-4 is hard to beat. Choose the Taurus with the four banger and you'd have $2.72 worth of spare change left over, enough for a pair of drinks at McDonald's and a small donation to Ronald McDonald House. Not bad, but you can do better.

Audi Q5 TDI

2015 Audi Q5 TDI© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Audi Q5 TDI Our first oil burner has both economy and capacity, which combine to give it a 552-mile cruising range. The Audi Q5 TDI is as finely appointed as it is efficient, which is to say generously. You don't lose anything getting the diesel Q5 over its gasoline alternatives except for maybe a few tenths of a second on your way to 60 mph. If you chose the shapely crossover over the Toyota, you'd be left with $3.14, which enough to buy a pair of donuts and two cups of cheap coffee. Just avoid the chain shops—you'll make your pal jealous because you'll only be able to afford one of each.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid

2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid 597 miles. The Toyota Avalon Hybrid would keep going for a not-insignificant 83 miles farther than the popular little Prius. The Avalon, in a near-luxury niche, knows that filling up too frequently can be annoying, so the fitted 17-gallon tank allows passengers to enjoy the airy interior for even longer. When you stop for food, the $5.61 of spare change will buy you a pair of hamburgers (or veggie burgers if that's your thing), but you'll be asking for water cups because $5 doesn't go as far as it used to.

Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

2015 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel Diesels are incredibly efficient on the highway, a virtue of their nearly instant torque. Chevrolet's compact Cruze with a turbodiesel is not only incredibly efficient but with a 15.6-gallon tank (large for the segment) a range of 646 miles also lets it keep going for 132 more miles after a Prius would have to stop. With the $7.35 left over you could add french fries (maybe onion rings?) to the burgers you'd get with the Avalon Hybrid, but you're still drinking water at most fast food joints.

Honda Accord Hybrid

2015 Honda Accord Hybrid© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid With a 15.8-gallon tank the Honda Accord Hybrid's range was bound to be impressive, but we were shocked when our TI-86 said "640." That's 126 miles farther than the Prius. Like the riders in the Cruze Diesel, you'd be limited at a burger joint, but $7.38 is enough for a pair of lattes at Starbucks with enough of a tip to avoid looking stingy.

BMW X5 xDrive35d

2014 BMW X5 xDrive50i© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 BMW X5 xDrive50i With a 22.4-gallon tank the BMW X5 xDrive35d doesn't have to be incredibly efficient to have a stellar range, but its diesel powerplant helps it to achieve a 625-mile cruising range. Although it only surpasses the Mileage Master Prius by 111 miles, the $9.17 left over would be enough to grab a bagel and some fancy cream cheese and enjoy a coffee—for two. Your Prius-owning friend will be glad you took the X5 (an X5 xDrive50i is pictured).

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Honda and Toyota seem to have the corner on the market for hybrids, but it's Hyundai who gets it right when it comes to range: 666 miles. With an 18.5-gallon tank the Sonata Hybrid makes a great long-range cruiser and beats the Prius by 152 miles. The $10.02 is enough for a pair of fruit smoothies with enough left over to give your friend a few thoughts on the comparison between his Prius and your Hyundai.

Volkswagen Passat TDI

2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL The steady advance of technology has allowed automatic transmissions to surpass the manual not only in performance but also in efficiency. The Volkswagen Passat is one of the most logical choices for those who want the absolute best range. For the 2015 model, opting for the manual transmission will eke out a few extra mpgs on the highway, allowing the 18.5 gallons of diesel on board to stretch 733 miles, 219 more than the Prius. What can you do with the $12.75 of spare change? That's plenty for two combos at the local burger joint. We're talking burger, fries, and a drink. Your Toyota-owning friend will be telling you to pull over for a bathroom break long before the Passat will.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Maybe you want to take the path less traveled. I mean, really, really less travelled. As in, far off the beaten path. Your tool of choice should bear the name "Jeep," and for the iconic brand there's no better choice than the Grand Cherokee Diesel. Luxury? Check. Outstanding efficiency? Check (for the segment). Massive fuel tank? How's 24.6 gallons sound? With a 664-mile range, the Jeep can travel 150 miles farther than the Prius on the pavement. $12.81 is enough for a case of water and a box of granola bars, which should be plenty for the hike your Jeep friend is no doubt planning when you reach your remote destination.

Chevrolet Suburban

2015 Chevrolet Suburban© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Suburban What's a full-size body-on-frame SUV doing this far up the list? Well, with a 31-gallon fuel tank it was going to be hard for the big Chevrolet to place badly no matter the fuel consumption. The big Chevy managed a cruising range of 642 miles, beating the Prius by 128 miles and leaving the lucky passengers with $14.69. If you order off the dollar menu, you could feed a full load of passengers plus drinks all the way around, but only in a state without sales tax.

Porsche Cayenne Diesel

2015 Porsche Cayenne Diesel Around Corner© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Porsche Cayenne Diesel Around Corner If you want to make the biggest statement in your long-haul choice, the Porsche Cayenne Diesel might be it. A 26.4-gallon fuel tank, reasonable efficiency, and a sporting personality all combine in the luxury sport SUV, which will keep going 175 miles past the Prius for a total of 689 miles. The $15.45 worth of spare change would be enough to buy a pair of souvenir coffee mugs from your far-flung destination.

Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC

2014 Mercedes Benz E250 Bluetec© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Mercedes Benz E250 Bluetec Mercedes-Benz knows diesels. Numerous vintage E-Class models roll around with more than a million miles on the odometer. The 2015 E250 BlueTEC has a 21.1-gallon tank, which bestows a downright shocking 798-mile range. That's 284 miles farther than a Toyota Prius. That's more than twice the range of the average family sedan. You'll have $17.32 left over, which means you can get two cups of coffee in the morning (from Starbucks!) and a pair of combos for lunch at a fast food joint.

Chevrolet Silverado

2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Front Side View© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Front Side View As you may have guessed, when talking about cruising range it's the massive fuel tanks found on full-size trucks that dominate the game. Long Bed Chevrolet Silverado models get a 34-gallon tank, which makes for a 704-mile range, beating the Prius by 190 miles. You'll have plenty of spare change, though, as the difference works out to $21.78. What can you get? A pair of souvenir belt buckles, or maybe a couple different coffee mugs along your 704-mile route.

Ram 1500

2016 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel HFE© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel HFE You thought a diesel would boast the best range, huh? Well, the Ram 1500 HFE with a turbodiesel V-6 comes awfully close: a 32-gallon tank and some sweet diesel fuel economy combine for an 835-mile range, which is 321 miles more than a Prius. $28.35 worth of spare change will leave you mulling your options: lattes and bagels with fancy cream cheese for two in the morning and a pair of combos from a premium burger joint in the afternoon.

Ford F-150

2015 Ford F 150© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford F 150 The undisputed champion of range is the 2015 Ford F-150 with its most capable available engine, the turbocharged, 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. For a paltry $395 Ford will fit the popular pickup with a 36-gallon tank, which gives the F-150 a range of 842 miles. That's 328 miles more than the Prius. What can you do with the $33.31 left over? We know of a few restaurants with a two for $25 deal, where you pick off of a list of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. And with the $8.31 left over? Leave a nice tip.

15 Vehicles with a longer range than the Toyota Prius© Provided by MotorTrend 15 Vehicles with a longer range than the Toyota Prius

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