For many drivers, the hatchback design is the perfect combination of utility and efficiency. By maximizing cargo room in a small package, the 2012 crop of hatchback vehicles is a good option for most people looking to save on gas mileage. Keep reading to compare the top five most fuel-efficient 2012 hatchbacks as rated by the EPA.
Note: Most of the vehicles on this list are hybrid and electric vehicles. If you are interested in gas-engine hatchbacks, other options with high mileage include the 2012 Volkswagen Golf, 2012 Hyundai Accent, 2012 Fiat 500 and 2012 Kia Rio.
With an estimated 36 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, the diminutive Scion iQ is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid hatchback for the 2012 model year. As an all-new model, the Scion iQ is a two-seater city commuter that is best for people who don't need a ton of storage space. While some reviews have described the 94-hp engine as sluggish, the trade-off for excellent mileage may be worth it for you. With a base price of $15,265, the Scion iQ is fairly affordable. A hefty list of standard safety features (including 11 airbags) adds to the value of the Scion.
Learn more about the 2012 Scion iQ.
The Lexus CT 200h is a luxury hatchback that runs off the same engine as the famous Toyota Prius. Across the hybrid market, the CT 200h is one of the sportier options available. Combine this with an estimated 43 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, and you've got a pretty enticing package for anyone shopping in the entry-level luxury market. Initial asking price for the Lexus hybrid is listed at $29,120. For that price, you'll get 17-inch wheels, keyless ignition, 10-way power driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, premium vinyl seats, Bluetooth, six-speaker stereo, CD player, satellite radio and auxiliary inputs.
Learn more about the 2012 Lexus CT 200h.
At $18,350, the Honda Insight is one of the most affordable hybrid vehicles on the road. While smaller than competitors like the Toyota Prius, the Insight still offers decent storage space thanks to its hatchback design. The 98-hp powertrain promises 41 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway. Standard features include keyless entry, full power accessories, automatic climate control, height-adjustable driver's seat, two-speaker stereo, CD player and auxiliary inputs.
Learn more about the 2012 Honda Insight.
The world's most fuel-efficient hybrid car also happens to be a hatchback. With an impressive 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway, the 2012 Toyota Prius should be on the test-drive list for anyone seeking an uber-efficient hatchback. Listed as a midsize car, the Prius offers a good amount of rear passenger and storage space. A base price of $23,520 undercuts most hybrid competitors. Standard features include full power accessories, height-adjustable driver's seat and 60/40 rear split seat. For about one thousand dollars more, you can add automatic headlights, keyless entry/ignition, cruise control and a six-speaker stereo.
Learn more about the 2011 Toyota Prius.
Don't let that three-digit gas mileage fool you…the Mitsubishi i-MiEV doesn't actually get 112 mpg. As an all-electric vehicle, this is the estimated equivalent number of miles you could drive with a gas-powered vehicle. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the latest entry into the burgeoning electric vehicle market. Compared to the current electric champ – the Nissan Leaf – the Mitsubishi offers a more affordable price tag ($29,000 MSRP or $21,000 with tax credits). The vehicle promises an estimated range of 85 miles before you'll need to recharge. With a 240-volt quick-charge dock, you can achieve this recharge in about six hours.
Learn more about the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV.