Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Wagons and Hatchbacks for 2011
If you're shopping for a hatchback or wagon that offers great fuel economy, the good news is that there are more solid picks than ever from which to choose. Hybrid technology is clearly here to stay, and the number of hybrid models on the market just keeps growing. Diesel — that familiar old standby — is another option, with many manufacturers rolling out diesel models that sip lightly at the fuel pump. With the lively Nissan Leaf, there's also an electric car in the mix.
These 10 hatchbacks and wagons are the most fuel-efficient models on the market. Our rankings were determined using the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) miles-per-gallon ratings for city and highway travel. We tapped the EPA's combined fuel economy formula: 55 percent of city mpg rating plus 45 percent of highway mpg rating. The rating for each vehicle below is expressed in mpg as a city/highway/combined ratio.
Note that the Leaf tops our list with a combined rating of 99 mpg. The Leaf uses no gas, but its ratio reflects the EPA's "mpg equivalent" figures, which assume that 33.7kW-hrs is equivalent to one gallon of gasoline energy. Also, keep in mind that the Golf, Jetta and A3 have a powertrain in common, which explains why they have the same mileage ratings.