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Fuel-Efficient Wagons: the 2013 Kia Soul vs. the 2013 Subaru Impreza Wagon

Author JoeC    Category Wagons     Tags
2013 Kia Soul

2013 Kia Soul

Today we are looking at two gas-powered wagons: the 2013 Kia Soul and the 2013 Subaru Impreza Wagon.

2013 Kia Soul

The Kia Soul offers a unique take on the wagon with sharp lines that make it look like something out of the future. In terms of fuel economy, the vehicle is rated at 25 mpg city and 30 mpg highway thanks to a 1.6L four-cylinder engine producing 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. A more powerful four-cylinder engine is available at higher trims, but fuel economy goes down a tad.

Besides its fuel efficiency, the vehicle’s draw is its low starting price of $15,175. Despite its low price, it comes standard with Bluetooth, satellite radio, and iPod connectivity. Kia clearly has consumers in mind when they built this.

2013 Subaru Impreza Wagon

The 2013 Subaru Impreza Wagon, available at Subaru South Orlando has a higher starting price at $19,165, but does have some advantages over the Kia Soul. First is a higher-powered 2.0L four-cylinder, producing 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. It too gets 25 mpg city, but has a better 33 mpg highway rating. The Subaru wagon also comes standard with all-wheel drive, making it a great choice for people who live in areas with lots of snow. Both vehicles have about the same cargo space and many features, though the Subaru doesn’t come with standard Bluetooth connectivity.

Bottom Line

While our last wagon competition was a clear winner, this one is a bit tougher. If cost is your biggest immediate concern, then you’ll be pleased with the Kia Soul. It’s affordable, stylish, and doesn’t penalize you for its lower cost by skipping on features. On the other hand, drivers interested in fuel economy and performance will want the Subaru Impreza. It’s got more power and many people, myself included, would have a hard time turning away from standard all-wheel drive. If you can’t make up your mind, the easiest way to make a decision is to take both out for a test drive.


Fuel Efficient Wagons: the 2013 Audi A3 TDI and the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI

Author JoeC    Category Wagons     Tags
2013 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI

2013 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI

Wagons aren’t as popular as they used to be, with many people now choosing trendy crossover SUVs. However, if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient vehicle with a lot of storage space, then a wagon is still your best friend. For 2013, the most fuel efficient options are actually diesels. Let’s take a look at the diesel wagons offered by Audi and Volkswagen.

2013 Audi A3 TDI

The 2013 Audi A3 TDI comes equipped with a 2.0L four-cylinder turbodiesel that produces 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Diesel engines provide tons of low-end torque power, and they’re also very fuel efficient. This Audi is rated at 30 mpg city and 42 mpg highway, which is going to be better than any gas-powered wagon on the market.

These luxury models start at $31,145, but are actually rather sparse in terms of features. You do get premium touches like leather seats and a 10-speaker sound system, but even getting Bluetooth will cost extra. In terms of cargo capacity, the vehicle has 19.5 cubic feet with all seats in place and a maximum available 39 cubic feet.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI

This vehicle is a mouthful, but actually seems to be a better buy than the Audi. The Jetta SportWagen TDI also comes equipped with a 2.0L four-cylinder turbodiesel producing an identical 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque with the same fuel economy rating of 30 mpg city and 42 mpg highway. The immediate difference is the Volkswagen has a much lower starting price at $26,590.

That’s not the extent of the differences, though. While it doesn’t have the leather seats, Volkswagen gives you more standard features like Bluetooth, heated front seats, satellite radio, and iPod connectivity. Looking at cargo space, there’s more of that too. You get 32.8 cubic feet with the seats up and 66.9 cubic feet total.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is both models come with the same engine offering the same power and same fuel economy. Audi gives you a recognized luxury nameplate, but actually skimps when it comes to features and costs a lot more. The extra space many people buy a wagon for isn’t really there either. It all comes down to driver preference, but the Volkswagen seems like the better buy.