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Best in class: Cargo and mpg
Best in cargo capacity & fuel economy: Fuel economy, cargo, haul
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Cars for teen drivers
Best in class
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Best fuel economy for the buck
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Best in cargo capacity & fuel economy

Last reviewed: October 2011

With today's ever changing gas prices, many car buyers are opting to trade cargo space for fuel economy by buying a smaller vehicle than they might have otherwise. To help buyers who are looking for both cargo capacity and fuel economy, our list below highlights vehicles we've tested that provide the best combination of the two. (Find out how you can compare these cars and get unlimited price reports with the Cars Best Deals Plus.)

In order to get on our list, a vehicle must meet benchmarks that vary depending on vehicle category. The vehicle must have achieved a minimum overall miles-per-gallon (mpg) figure in our real-world fuel economy tests, and have a minimum number of cubic feet of cargo capacity, according to our measurements. (For more on saving gas, see our guide to fuel economy.)

Within groups, vehicles are listed in order of fuel economy; those with identical economy figures are listed in order of cargo volume.

Make & model Fuel economy
(overall mpg)
Cargo volume
(cu. ft.)
MINIVANS Overall mpg = 18 or higher; cargo = 60 cu. ft. or more
Toyota Sienna XLE (FWD) 20 70.5
Toyota Sienna LE (4-cyl.) 20 70.5
Toyota Sienna XLE (AWD) 19 70.5
Nissan Quest SL 19 62.0
Honda Odyssey EX-L 19 61.5
SMALL SUVS Overall mpg = 21 or higher; cargo = 24 cu. ft. or more
Ford Escape Hybrid 26 38.0
Toyota RAV4 (base, 4-cyl.) 23 39.0
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE 23 25.5
Toyota RAV4 Limited (V6) 22 39.0
Subaru Forester 2.5X Premium 22 35.5
Mitsubishi Outlander LS (4-cyl.) 22 33.5
BMW X3 xDrive28i 22 33.0
Kia Sportage LX 22 28.0
Jeep Compass Latitude 22 26.5
Hyundai Tucson GLS 22 25.5
Nissan Rogue SL 22 24.5
Ford Escape XLT (4-cyl.) 21 38.0
Jeep Patriot Latitude 21 29.5
MIDSIZED/LARGE SUVS Overall mpg = 18 or higher; cargo = 32 cu. ft. or more
Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 27 37.5
Lexus RX450h (Hybrid) 26 33.5
Volkswagen Touareg TDI 24 34.5
BMW X5 xDrive35d 22 36.0
Chevrolet Equinox 1LT (4-cyl.) 21 33.5
Lexus RX350 21 33.5
Hyundai Santa Fe GLS (4-cyl) 20 38.5
Hyundai Santa Fe Limited (V6) 20 38.5
Kia Sorento EX (V6) 20 37.5
Kia Sorento LX (4-cyl) 20 37.5
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid 19 52.5
Mercedes-Benz GL320 Bluetec 19 45.5
Porsche Cayenne (base) 19 33.0
Honda Pilot EX-L 18 48.0
Toyota 4Runner SR5 (V6) 18 44.5
Ford Explorer XLT 18 42.0
Toyota Highlander Limited 18 37.5
Ford Edge SEL 18 36.5
Lincoln MKX 18 36.5
Lincoln MKT EcoBoost 18 36.0
Acura MDX 18 35.5
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo (V6) 18 35.5
Chevrolet Equinox 2LT (V6) 18 33.5
WAGONS/HATCHBACKS Overall mpg = 20 or higher; cargo = 24 cu. ft. or more
Volkswagen Golf TDI (MT) 38 25.5
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI (MT) 36 31.5
Nissan Cube 1.8 S 28 28.0
Ford Focus SEL 28 24.5
Volkswagen GTI (MT) 27 25.5
Hyundai Elantra Touring 26 29.5
Kia Soul Plus 25 24.5
Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 24 36.5
Volkswagen Golf 2.5 24 25.5
Mazda5 Touring 23 39.0
Scion xB 23 34.0
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen SE 23 31.5
BMW 325xi 22 26.5
Toyota Venza V6 20 33.0