Van

For years, growing families have been clamoring for a hybrid minivan. After all, who is more sensitive to fuel economy and gas prices than the legions of heroic parents hauling kids and groceries throughout suburbia? Despite the pent-up demand, it will be a few years—at best—before a hybrid minivan is available in the United States.

Tens of thousands of consumers have petitioned Toyota, the hybrid leader, to bring the hybrid minivan to the US, but the company has ignored the demands of all those parents and their pint-sized passengers. (The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the only seven-seater hybrid for now.)

Chrysler has hinted at the possibility of adding a hybrid system to a family-oriented people-mover like the minivan. There’s always the option of putting a diesel engine in the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. But that’s wishful thinking. For the time being, we have a E85 Dodge Caravan, an expensive electric conversion, conventional wagons, and…a waiting game.

Name Combined MPG Technology MSRP Available
2012 Toyota Prius v Review

2012 Toyota Prius v Review

The same DNA has the best-selling Prius, but with almost 60 percent more room.
42 MPG Hybrid $26,400 Now
2010 Kia Rondo

2010 Kia Rondo

Affordable small wagon with lots of cargo space, and decent fuel economy.
23 MPG Small Car $17,500 Now
Volvo V70 Plug-in Hybrid

Volvo V70 Plug-in Hybrid

Volvo appears serious about producing a plug-in hybrid wagon with 30 or miles of electric range.
MPG Plug-in Hybrid $0 Concept
2009 Mazda5

2009 Mazda5

Number one most fuel-efficient minivan on the market. Smaller than most.
25 MPG Small Car $18,000 Now
2008 Scion xB

2008 Scion xB

Good fuel efficiency for the little wagon. Urban and youthful.
25 MPG Small Car $16,000 Now
2008 Dodge Caravan E85

2008 Dodge Caravan E85

One of the true workhorse E85 vehicles.
18 MPG E85 Ethanol $22,400 Now
Mercury Meta One

Mercury Meta One

A hybrid transmission with a twin-turbocharged V-6 diesel engine calibrated to run on biodiesel.
MPG Diesel $0 Concept
The eBox

The eBox

The eBox is an electric vehicle conversion of the Scion xB.
MPGe Electric $70,000 Now