Choosing a family car with the best gas mileage means exploring outside the world of standard gasoline engines. While gas-powered sedans have become much more frugal than in years past, the emergence of hybrid solutions, plus the turbodiesel renaissance that is sweeping America, have transformed the efficiency landscape. It's now possible to transport a growing family in comfort while also turning in the kind of fuel mileage numbers that would have previously only been possible in a compact car.
Let's take a quick look at 10 family cars with the best gas mileage.
Family Cars With The Best Gas Mileage - 01 - 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid
The 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid takes the most popular family sedan on the market and adds a gasoline/electric drivetrain to create an ultra-efficient daily driver. Matching a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine to a single electric motor allows the Toyota Camry Hybrid to develop 200 horsepower and return fuel mileage figures of 43-mpg city and 39-mpg highway. It also helps that the Camry Hybrid is available in both the well-equipped LE trim as well as the decked-out XLE edition, and that the car can be further loaded up with features such as a moonroof, a navigation system, and the Entune smartphone interface.
Family Cars With The Best Gas Mileage - 02 - 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid
The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid is an all-new design, and as the name suggests it brings plug-in technology to the table for the first time in the mid-size sedan's history. The Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid offers equipment such as LED headlights, a navigation system, and the ability to monitor its state of charge via your mobile phone - all right out of the box. It also delivers 196 horsepower via its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine and single electric motor design. The Plug-In Hybrid is capable of traveling exclusively on battery power for short distances, it provides 47-mpg in stop and go driving and 46-mpg during highway cruising - and you can charge its battery via a wall outlet, if you desire.
Family Cars With The Best Gas Mileage - 03 - 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Turbodiesel
The 2014 Mazda Mazda6 has been lauded as a beautiful replacement for what was already one of the best-driving mid-size sedans available. The revamped Mazda MAZDA6 is also notable for being the first passengers car to bear the brand's Skyactiv turbodiesel technology under its hood. With an on-sale date fast approaching, the MAZDA6 will be bringing a 2.2-liter, turbodiesel four-cylinder engine to American shores with gusto, where it will produce 173 horsepower and just over 300 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with this motor, and fuel mileage is expected to be in the range of 30-mpg city and 40-mpg on the highway once it has been officially tested by the EPA.
Family Cars With The Best Gas Mileage - 04 - 2014 Ford Fusion Energi
The 2014 Ford Fusion Energi is another plug-in hybrid sedan, one that mixes outstanding style with the Blue Oval's most aggressive gasoline/electric drivetrain to date. When we say aggressive, we don't mean that the Ford Fusion Energi is a muscle machine - we are talking about model's ability to run as a full electric automobile for up to 21 miles of driving. With the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gas engine kicking in the car offers 195 horsepower, and like the Accord it can be connected to an electrical outlet in order to recharge its battery system. Fuel mileage for the Fusion Energi is listed at 44-mpg city and 41-mpg highway when operating in hybrid mode.
Family Cars With The Best Gas Mileage - 05 - 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI
The 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI adapts the brand's well-respected turbodiesel engine technology to its largest sedan platform, creating a long-range cruiser that is well-suited for family duty. The Volkswagen Passat TDI also contributes an enjoyable driving experience to go with its thrifty fuel consumption. The vehicle's 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine is good for 31-mpg around town and 43-mpg on the highway when matched with its standard six-speed manual transmission, with slightly lower numbers associated with its available dual-clutch automated manual gearbox. This is especially impressive given the vehicle's respectable 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque.
Family Cars With The Best Gas Mileage - 06 - 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid
The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is a new entry to the Avalon full-size sedan stable. Coming on the heels of the car's complete redesign, which saw it abandon its previously-dowdy image in favor of a much more modern look, the Toyota Avalon Hybrid enjoys the upper range of Avalon trim levels. This means that the battery-assisted car gets access to the same high end gear (heated front and rear leather seats, three zones of automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control) that are available with the gas-only Avalon. Motivating the Avalon Hybrid is a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that works together with an electric motor to produce a total of 200 horsepower. Fuel mileage for the big car is an excellent 40-mpg in stop and go driving and 39-mpg on the highway.
Family Cars With The Best Gas Mileage - 07 - 2013 Buick LaCrosse eAssist
The 2013 Buick LaCrosse eAssist is somewhat unique in the world of hybrid cars, as it's what is termed a 'mild' hybrid design. This means that the Buick LaCrosse eAssist can't actually travel on electric power alone, but rather uses its battery-driven motor to kick in during certain types of driving in order to improve fuel mileage. It certainly works - and is standard on the first two LaCrosse trim levels, as the premium family sedan enjoys efficiency figures of 25-mpg in city driving and 36-mpg on the highway. Total system power for the Buick (which comes with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine) is rated at 182 horses and 172 lb-ft of twist.
Family Cars With The Best Gas Mileage - 08 - 2013 Toyota Prius v
The 2013 Toyota Prius v is an up-sized, almost-van edition of the Japanese brand's vaunted Prius hybrid hatchback. The vehicle gains additional cargo space, a bit more room in the rear seat, and a taller roofline, but what doesn't change is its drivetrain: the Toyota Prius v sticks with the tried and true hybrid design offered by its smaller namesake. This means a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine that works together with not one, but two electric motors to produce 134 horsepower and 154 lb-ft of torque. The extra bulk of the Prius v lowers its fuel mileage some compared to its sibling, but the results are still quite good, as the vehicles provides 44-mpg in city driving and 40-mpg on the highway.
Family Cars With The Best Gas Mileage - 09 - 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI
The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI might be a mouthful to say, but it's one of the most efficient and useful compact family vehicles available in the United States. The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI comes with an enclosed cargo area that makes 33 cubic feet of cargo space available behind the rear seats - a figure that doubles should the back row be folded forward. Ensuring both power and thrift is the VW's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel mill, the same unit found under the hood of the Passat TDI producing the same 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices for the Jetta SportWagen TDI include a six-speed manual and a six-speed, dual-clutch automated manual, and fuel mileage is listed at 30-mpg city and 42-mpg highway.
Family Cars With The Best Gas Mileage - 10 - 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid
The 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid is an attractively-styled mid-size sedan that combines the brand's focus on cramming in as much standard gear as possible with a reasonable starting price. The Kia Optima Hybrid comes with a substantial quotient of premium features, such as the Uvo vehicle interface and dual automatic climate control. It also provides a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine and a single electric motor that together can be relied on to produce 199 horsepower. Fuel mileage for the Optima Hybrid - which is offered with a traditional six-speed automatic transmission - checks in at 36-mpg around town and 40-mpg during highway cruising.