12 Cars With Low Drag Force (With Pictures)

Aerodynamics has become more of a selling point for cars. The more aerodynamic a car is, the easier it moves through air—and the higher the potential fuel efficiency. A car’s aerodynamics are usually measured by its drag coefficient denoted as Cd.

A lower Cd means the vehicle has low drag and requires minimal fuel to push through the air.

In this article, we will explore popular cars with the lowest coefficient of drag (Cd).

Let’s dive into it!

1. Tesla Model S

Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that Tesla vehicles are among the most technologically advanced cars on the market.

Specifically, the company designs its vehicles for optimal aerodynamic performance.

When designing the Model S electric sedan, Tesla engineers focused on making the vehicle highly aerodynamic to reduce drag. This, in turn, minimizes the power needed to move the car through the air.

This is one of the key reasons why the Model S ranks among the most efficient cars available.

According to our research, the Tesla Model S has a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.208. This figure is consistent with results from prominent magazines and websites.

2. Toyota Prius

In the realm of eco-friendly vehicles, the Toyota Prius stands as a legend.

It was the first hybrid car to break into the mass market, offering unparalleled fuel efficiency at the time.

The Prius continues to be one of the most efficient cars on the market, due in part to its aerodynamic design.

According to research reports, the Prius boasts an official drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.24.

This is among the lowest Cd ratings in the industry and contributes to the Prius’s exceptional fuel efficiency.

Like other vehicles on this list, the Prius incorporates features that enhance its aerodynamic qualities.

For instance, the Prius features a unique teardrop shape, allowing it to slice through the air with minimal resistance.

Well-designed rooflines and underbody panels also contribute to the vehicle’s low drag coefficient.

3. Tesla Model X

On an average day, you’d rarely find SUVs on lists like this one. Due to their large, boxy designs, SUVs are generally among the least aerodynamic vehicles out there.

However, the Model X is no ordinary SUV. In addition to being one of the first mainstream all-electric SUVs, the Model X is highly aerodynamic.

The aerodynamic efficiency of the Model X can be attributed to the absence of a large front engine requiring cooling.

It also benefits from Tesla’s focus on aerodynamic design. The body of the Model X is so streamlined that it experiences minimal drag.

To provide a specific figure, the Model X has a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.25, which is particularly impressive for an SUV of its size.

For comparison, the Cd rating of the Model X is only slightly higher than that of the Model S, despite the considerable difference in size between the two vehicles.

4. Kia Optima Hybrid

Hybrid vehicles are often designed with the goal of maximizing fuel efficiency, and the Kia Optima Hybrid is no exception.

The Optima allows drivers to cover long distances using only battery power, thereby reducing fuel consumption.

Another factor contributing to the Optima Hybrid’s efficiency is its low drag coefficient. With a Cd rating of 0.25, this vehicle ranks among the most aerodynamic cars on the market.

Design elements play a crucial role in achieving the Optima’s low drag. The sedan features an active front grille and a unique front air curtain to optimize airflow.

It also has a specially designed rear bumper that reduces drag while the vehicle is in motion. All these features collectively contribute to the car’s low drag coefficient.

5. Hyundai Ioniq

The Ioniq is Hyundai’s answer to Toyota’s bestselling Prius hybrid vehicle.

It boasts similar (and impressive) fuel economy numbers like the Prius and has great aerodynamic efficiency as well.

The Ioniq models have several curves and creases designed to better channel airflow around the vehicle.

There’s also a three-stage active front grille that enhances airflow while driving. Taken together, these features help the Ioniq achieve a lower drag force.

Our research shows the Hyundai Ioniq has 0.24 drag (Cd)—same as the Toyota Prius.

If you ever want an alternative to the Prius, the Ioniq might be a great choice.

6. BMW 5 Series EfficientDynamics Edition

BMW has a long history of building highly aerodynamic cars. In fact, this list will likely see more than BMW model.

The car has a class leading coefficient of drag of 0.22 Cd.

The BMW 5 Series EfficientDynamics Edition car is built for lower fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Thus, it benefits from aerodynamic design elements that also reduce its drag force.

One of these design elements includes the special kidney grille featuring active shutters.

The 5 Series saloon also uses unique alloy wheel design for better aerodynamics.

Unlike their steel counterparts, alloy wheels are lighter and reduce vehicle weight for better efficiency.

7. Honda Insight


Many people don’t know this, but the Honda Insight preceded the Toyota Prius.

The only difference between them?

The Prius caught on and became mainstream while the Insight was considered a fringe car.

Honda returned the Insight after a long hiatus, and the new hybrid boasts an improved design and better aerodynamics.

The Insight has a 0.25 Cd rating, which is just 0.01 higher than that of the Prius.

Make sure to also read our article about cars with adaptive cruise control.

8. Mazda Mazda3

Sometimes, automakers sacrifice performance and impressive looks for increased aerodynamics.

Not the Mazda Mazda3; this vehicle has great aero efficiency because of its unique design.

Aerodynamic design elements on the Mazda3 include an effective underbody and the streamlined suspension components.

The average Mazda3 vehicle has a 0.26 Cd rating. While this is the highest of any vehicle on the list, it’s better than most vehicles.

9. BMW 7 Series L

Like we said earlier, BMW’s design philosophy emphasizes on aerodynamic efficiency.

The 7 Series, like its sister 5 Series, benefits from several design elements for an impressive drag force rating.

From research, the BMW 7 Series has a 0.24 Cd rating. This is quite a feat, as the 7 Series is bigger than most saloon cars, the 5 Series included.

One factor responsible for the low Cd figure of the BMW 7 Series is the active air suspension.

Tweaking the suspension settings lowers the height of the vehicle and improves aerodynamic performance.

The 7 Series also has grille shutters and front air curtains, all of which help enhance its aerodynamic qualities.

Please also read our article about popular cars with strong headlights.

10. Mercedes-Benz CLA BlueEfficiency

At this point, it’s okay to believe German automakers have a special relationship with aerodynamic performance.

Like their rival BMW, Mercedes-Benz subjects its vehicles to long hours of wind tunnel testing to enhance aerodynamics.

Upon its release in 2013, the CLA BlueEfficiency car had one of the lowest drag force (Cd) ratings on the market.

The vehicle’s 0.22 Cd figure was much better than most models in production, inspiring similar aerodynamic vehicles.

Among other things, the BlueEfficiency model benefits from Mercedes-Benz’s unique grille design. It also exploits the exhaust silencer and rear spoiler for higher aerodynamic performance.

Also read our article about popular cars with Wankel engines.

11. Audi A4 2.0 TDI Ultra

The Audi A4 Ultra range is aimed at fleet owners that desire minimal fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Reports suggest the Ultra cars were designed using technology from Audi’s racecars, which prioritize aerodynamic efficiency.

The Audi A4 Ultra has a 0.23 Cd rating. This ranks it among the most aerodynamic cars on the list.

12. Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

According to various reports, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class saloon is perhaps the most aerodynamic car available.

It has a drag force rating of 0.22 Cd along with a compact-sized frontal area of 2.19m2.

A close analysis of the A-Class sedan reveals the reasons for its stunning aerodynamic efficiency.

Thanks to bleeding-edge computer-aided engineering simulations, the A-Class has an exceptionally aerodynamic exterior.

It features a completely sealed underbelly, and a significantly reduced frontal area that allows it to cut through the air with the lowest resistance of any car in its class.

Front and rear wheel spoilers do a perfect job of routing the air around the wheels, and the aerodynamically tuned wheels and tires help reduce friction.

You can even buy the optional shutter system that reduces airflow coming through the engine bay for a superbly aerodynamic car with the lowest drag coefficient in the industry.

Please also check out our article about the best and worst years of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

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