Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Wagons and Hatchbacks for 2012


Hatchbacks are the go-to segment for car shoppers seeking choices with the most budget-friendly fuel economy. These days, the range of thrifty hatchbacks and wagons is more diverse than ever. It includes hybrids, electric cars and plug-in hybrids, in addition to good, old-fashioned gas-only models.

The 10 hatchbacks and wagons listed below are the most frugal 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 used 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.

The top three cars on our list (the Mitsubishi i-Miev, Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf) are electric cars, and the model in 4th place (Chevrolet Volt) is a plug-in hybrid. The ratios shown for these models reflect the EPA's "mpg equivalent" figures, which assume that 33.7 kilowatt-hours of electricity is equivalent to one gallon of gasoline energy.

  1. Mitsubishi i-MiEV

    1. Mitsubishi i-MiEV — 126/99/112

  2. Ford Focus Electric

    2. Ford Focus Electric — 110/99/105

  3. Nissan Leaf

    3. Nissan Leaf — 106/92/99

  4. Chevrolet Volt

    4. Chevrolet Volt — 95/93/94

  5. Toyota Prius

    5. Toyota Prius — 51/48/50 (tie)

  6. Toyota Prius C

    Toyota Prius C — 53/46/50 (tie)

  7. Honda Insight

    6. Honda Insight — 41/44/42 (tie)

  8. Lexus CT 200h

    Lexus CT 200h — 43/40/42 (tie)

  9. Toyota Prius V

    Toyota Prius V — 44/40/42 (tie)

  10. Honda CR-Z

    7. Honda CR-Z — 35/39/37

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