You should decide whether fuel economy or cargo space is more important because the winner in one category may not be the champ in the other.

For example, the Nissan Leaf electric car is among the most efficient, with EPA ratings equivalent to 106/92 mpg city/highway, but it has 24 cubic feet of cargo space. Even if that is enough cargo room, is an EV your cup of tea? The Volkswagen Jetta wagon with a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine earns EPA ratings of 30/42 mpg and offers a spacious cargo area with 66.9 cubic feet of room with the backseat folded. If you’re OK with driving a diesel, maybe that is a good choice.

2012_Toyota_Prius_v_Five

If you’d rather stick with gas, the Toyota Prius V has EPA estimates of 44/40 mpg and nearly matches the Jetta wagon with 67.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The regular Prius has higher EPA numbers, 51/48 mpg, but a cargo area with only 21.6 cubic feet.

The Cars.com Vehicle Recommender can help you decide. The Vehicle Recommender lets you set a fuel economy and price range, and it allows you to pick the major features you want on a vehicle to generate a shopping list of the most qualified candidates.

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Answered by Rick Popely on January 27, 2012 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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