Thanks to new engine technology, reductions in weight and breakthroughs in aerodynamics, fuel economy is getting better and better. And that's a great thing, considering the constant rise of gas prices nationwide over the past few years.

It's pretty standard for cars to achieve 30-plus combined miles per gallon these days. In fact, even some of the bigger non-hybrid sedans and crossovers do so. As such, fuel economy is no longer what defines these cars. With such a big group of them now above the 30-mpg threshold, there is now room to make some distinctions when it comes to the actual quality and design of these vehicles.

We've put together a list of the best and worst vehicles that get 30+ mpg. Click through to see which fuel-efficient cars stand out from the rest, in good ways and bad.
Sticker Price: $21,295 - $23,625
Invoice Price: NA
Fuel Economy: 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway

Volkswagen has long offered the most diesels that aren't trucks. Indeed, you can buy TDI versions of the Passat, Golf, Beetle, Touareg and, of course, Jetta. The Jetta is the workhorse of the VW showroom, offering a sporty drive, roomy interior and, of course, great fuel economy for a great price.

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Sticker Price: $21,395 - $29,070
Invoice Price: $20,784 - $28,233
Fuel Economy: 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway

The Mazda CX-5 is one of our favorite crossovers here at AOL Autos, even when taking more expensive trim levels into account. Remarkably fun to drive, fuel efficient and starting at a low price, there's a lot to love about this agile utility vehicle.

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Sticker Price: $17,200 - $21,700
Invoice Price: $16,687 - $20,766
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg city, 37 mpg highway

This Hyundai Elantra continues to be the darling of both critics and consumers nationwide. It's available with tons of standard features, great looks and sweet fuel economy. Hyundai admitted to exaggerating the fuel economy of the Elantra last year, and its highway fuel economy figure dropped from 40 to 37. While it was a disappointing turn of events, the Elantra is still a great vehicle and easily gets 30+ combined mpg.

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Sticker Price: $66,900
Invoice Price: NA
Fuel Economy: 24 mpg city, 38 mpg highway

You may be surprised to learn that a big, heavy luxury car like the Audi A7 can achieve over 30 mpg. But when you employ a diesel powertrain, it's possible. The A7 TDI is arguably the perfect vehicle. Its exterior design is beautiful, interior is super comfortable and it drives like a sports car while achieving great fuel economy. Unfortunately, all of that comes with a $67,000 price tag.

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Sticker Price: $16,945 - $26,495
Invoice Price: $16,464 - $25,335
Fuel Economy: 29 mpg city, 41 mpg highway

Completely redesigned for the 2014 model year, the Mazda3 has been the recipient of numerous positive reviews. Fuel economy, driving dynamics and exterior design are all stellar. And starting at just $17,000, it's a good value, too.

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Sticker Price: $19,995 - $21,840
Invoice Price: $19,048 - $20,798
Fuel Economy: 31 mpg city, 38 mpg highway

The Honda CR-Z is supposed to be a combination of a hybrid and a sports car, but it's not really apt at either of these distinctions. It has an odd exterior design and doesn't drive particularly well, in addition to only being able to seat two people.

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Sticker Price: $28,900
Invoice Price: $27,229
Fuel Economy: 39 mpg city, 38 mpg highway

The Acura ILX Hybrid isn't the worst car on the road. But it's mediocre at best. The low-end luxury sedan is beyond boring to drive, has a cheap interior and comes with an exterior design that's about as exciting as a bare cubicle. There are much better luxury hybrids out there, like the Lexus ES 300h and CT 200h.

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Sticker Price: $15,665 - $17,850
Invoice Price: $14,882 - $16,958
Fuel Economy: 36 mpg city, 37 mpg highway

The only thing the Scion iQ excels at is parking. You can fit this thing into a shoe box. Beyond that, this car is a letdown. It was supposed to be a trendy, versatile, four-seat city car, but all it really amounted to was a cheap two-seater that's marginally better than the smart fortwo.

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Sticker Price: $13,270 - $17,930
Invoice Price: $12,341 - $16,675
Fuel Economy: 34 mpg city, 38 mpg highway

The smart fortwo is a good car in theory, especially for urban areas with tight streets and parking spaces. The execution is the problem. The fortwo is loud, has a cheap interior and really isn't as fuel efficient as you'd think a car this size would be. There are numerous other high-mpg vehicles between $10,000 and $20,000 that are a better choice.

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Sticker Price: $12,995 - $14,195
Invoice Price: $12,712 - $13,886
Fuel Economy: 34 mpg city, 42 mpg highway

Granted, the Mitsubishi Mirage does boast remarkable fuel economy numbers, especially for a non-hybrid. But this small hatch is held back by so many problems we can't possibly recommend that you purchase one. A super cheap interior and a woefully underpowered engine are just two issues with this car.

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