If you're looking for a spacious vehicle, then you may think your options are limited to gas-guzzling SUVs and minivans. However, there are several fuel efficient hatchbacks and wagons that offer cargo space approaching that of an SUV. For many car shoppers, these well-proportioned cars offer the perfect balance between enhanced storage and above-average gas mileage. Keep reading to review a few of the best fuel-efficient cars that also offer a good amount of cargo space.
1) 2015 Toyota Prius V Wagon
The 2015 Prius V is a variant of the very popular hybrid Toyota Prius. Outfitted with the same engine as the standard trim, the Prius V manages a very impressive 44 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, and 42 mpg combined. With the back seats up, the Prius wagon manages a solid 34.3 cubic feet of storage space. With the seats down, this number balloons to 67.3 cubic feet. Compare these figures with the competition, and the Prius V is hard to beat. However, an entry fee of $26,675 may have you looking for more affordable options.
2) 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI
Outfitted with a diesel engine, the VW Golf SportWagen delivers excellent fuel efficiency in a cavernous package. According the EPA, the Golf SportWagen TDI manages 31 mpg in the city, 43 mpg on the highway, and 35 mpg combined. Storage capacity comes in at 30.4 cubic feet with rear seats up and 66.5 cubic feet with rear seats down, which is slightly less than the Jetta SportWagen that it replaces. Add in a responsive driving experience and upscale interior, and the Golf SportWagen is a well-rounded vehicle that should continue the legacy of the Jetta predecessor. The base asking price for the 2015 Golf SportWagen TDI is listed at $25,415.
3) 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI
If you're willing to trade in a little bit of cargo space in favor of sporty performance, then the VW Golf hatchback may be a better option than the SportWagen variant. Starting at $22,345, this well-equipped hatchback promises up to 31 mpg in the city, 43 mpg highway, and 36 mpg combined. Storage with the rear seats up clocks in at 22.8 cubic feet, a considerable improvement over the Golf’s previous generation. Fold the seats down and you'll be rewarded with 52.7 cubic feet. These numbers are well above average for the compact vehicle class, and a 15 percent improvement over the 2014 model.
4) 2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid
It’s tough to design a compact wagon that’ll make passengers happy and comfortable, so Ford had to make some sacrifices with the C-MAX. The hatch area features just 24.5 cubic feet of cargo space (which, to be fair, is more than the next car on the list). Fold the rear seats down, and the capacity increases to 52.6 cubic feet. These numbers aren’t stellar compared to some of the bigger cars on this list, but they’re solid accommodations compared to most other hybrids on the market, since they tend to prize fuel economy above all else. The Ford C-Max Hybrid yields fuel economy ratings of 42 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, and 40 mpg combined.
5) 2015 Ford Focus Hatchback
The Ford Focus is available with a Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package that delivers 28 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway (base models promise 26 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway) with a combined rating of 33 mpg. In terms of storage, the Ford hatchback is one of the best cars for shoppers who need to seat more than two passengers. With rear seats up, the vehicle offers 23.8 cubic feet of storage. With rear seats down, the vehicle manages 44.8 cubic feet.