When it comes to finding a family vehicle that delivers good gas mileage, the station wagon is hard to beat. Compared to SUVs and minivans, the reduced weight and height of a wagon makes it vastly more efficient. Keep reading to compare the top five most fuel-efficient 2012 wagons so you can find the one that best meets the needs of your family.
As the title insinuates, the Lancer Sportback takes a sporty approach to the wagon body style. As with all Mazda models, the Lancer is a good option for those who want a little extra oomph under the hood. Base models receive a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 164 horsepower. A 168-hp 2.4-liter is also available. At its best, the Lancer Sportback delivers 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Maximum storage capacity is listed at 52.7 cubic feet. A healthy list of available tech features also helps sweeten the deal. Base price for the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback is set at $17,095.
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With standard all-wheel drive and an outdoorsy design, the 2012 Subaru Impreza brings a little ruggedness to the wagon vehicle class. The vehicle boasts a capable 2.0-liter engine that is good for 148 horsepower. This power plant translates to an estimated 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. With the rear seat down, the Subaru Wagon offers up to 52.4 cubic feet of storage. Strong safety scores are an added bonus. Initial asking price for a 2012 Subaru Impreza Wagon is $17,995.
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For those shopping in the upscale vehicle market, the Audi A3 Wagon offers a good combination of luxury, comfort and utility. While the vehicle comes standard with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, those concerned about fuel efficiency will want to check out the turbodiesel upgrade. For a base price of $20,250, the TDI offers an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. For about $3,000 less, the base Audi A3 delivers up to 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. At 39.0 cubic feet, maximum cargo capacity is a little on the small side. However, with the seats up, the Audi A3 is a winner with 20.0 cubic feet of storage.
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If the Audi A3 is a bit out of your price range, then the mechanically similar VW Jetta SportWagon may be a good alternative. Starting at $20,195 (or $25,540 for a TDI model), the Jetta wagon delivers the same great fuel efficiency and performance as its more expensive stablemate. Diesel models come standard with roof rails, keyless entry, heated mirrors, full power accessories, cruise control, air conditioning, vinyl upholstery, 10-speaker stereo and more. Fold the rear seats down, and you'll have access to a total of 66.9 cubic feet of storage.
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The Toyota Prius v is an all-new Prius variant that brings the power of hybrid technology to the wagon class. Based on the standard Prius, car shoppers can expect 44 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Base models start at $26,400 and come with keyless ignition, keyless entry, automatic climate control, cruise control, height-adjustable driver's seat, six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth and more. With the rear seats down, the Prius v manages 67.3 cubic feet of storage. Better yet, the front passenger seat can fold flat for even more storage.
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