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

Comments

  • richsavvy richsavvy Posts:

    Cars on this list are hardly suitable for most buyers. The electrics are very expensive, provide poor driving distances before the need to refuel (charge) and are impractical to refuel (takes too long), and tend to be sluggish. Other conventional fuel vehicles cost so much that the cost savings in high mpg are likely to be offset by the high initial cost to buy. A better list would include more conventioinal, lower cost vehicles that offer the best mpg (mazda 3, honda civic and fit, toyota corolla, nissan sentra, kia forte, hyundai elantra, ford fiesta and focus, etc.) and better driving characteristics and so forth. An electric/hybrid vehicle that offered say 50+ mpg on the highway and cost under $20K with decent acceleration on the highway, comfort, and driveability is a much more desirable option. Does it exist??

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