SUVs With the Best Gas Mileage


When most people talk about SUVs, they’ll inevitably talk about how much fuel they chug down and these days, people are becoming more interested in finding a vehicle that gets the job done without a big penalty in fuel economy. Finding an SUV that gets good fuel economy isn’t a tough task these days, with many manufacturers accommodating customers who are in the market for a vehicle that combines fuel economy with all of the qualities they look for in an SUV. Below are five SUVs that fit the bill for those interested in saving a bundle at the pump.

2010 Ford Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid comes on the scene with new, beefed up styling and a hybrid drivetrain capable of delivering excellent fuel economy. The drivetrain features two electric motors combined with a 2.5L I4 engine that delivers a combined 177hp. Combined with a continuously variable transmission, the Escape Hybrid is able to see 34 mpg in the city and 31 mpg during highway driving. New for 2010 is an optional rearview camera and an automatic parallel parking feature that makes a challenging chore for some a breeze. MSRP for the Escape Hybrid is at around $31,500.

2010 Mercury Mariner Hybrid
The Mariner shares the same platform as the Ford Escape, but it sets itself apart with sleeker body cladding, a chrome waterfall grille and at $29,995, a slightly lower price tag. Inside, the Mariner features luxurious accommodations that suggest a near-luxury feel. The Mariner’s hybrid drivetrain helps the small SUV deliver up to 34 mpg in city driving and up to 31 mpg in highway driving. The only downside is that it costs $7000 more than the gasoline powered version of the Mariner.

2010 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid
21 mpg city and 22 mpg highway may not seem all that impressive – at least until you realize that these numbers are coming from a full sized SUV with a V8 motor. The Chevy Tahoe Hybrid surprises those who see SUVs as supreme gas guzzlers with very good fuel economy stats, gained with the help of an innovative two mode hybrid drivetrain that links two electric motors to a 6.0L V8. This engine also comes with an engine management system that actively reduces the number of cylinders in operation during light loads. While this means that you don’t have to sacrifice power and towing capacity for good fuel economy, it all comes at a steep price. At $50,720, the Tahoe Hybrid is the most expensive SUV so far, a distinction that may put off those who are looking for a less expensive option.

2010 Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander is an excellent choice from a brand that is well known for reliability and good quality. A new addition for the Highlander is a 187hp I4 engine that delivers up to 20 mpg in city driving and up to 27 mpg on the highway. The Highlander is also available with third row seating and a “stow-away” third seat for the second row. At around $25,500, the Highlander is a very good buy for those looking for a combination of good fuel economy, reliability and seating capacity.

2010 Honda Pilot
Starting at $27,000, the Honda Pilot is the well-known auto manufacturer’s contribution to the midsized SUV arena. While it isn’t lacking in features, it is lacking in engine choice, as the only one available is a 3.5L V6 that delivers 250hp. Working with a 5 speed automatic transmission, the Pilot delivers up to 17 mpg in city driving and up to 23 mpg during highway driving. Not particularly impressive considering the fuel economy of hybrid SUVs, but it is better than most. Optional features include a power tailgate, Bluetooth connectivity and XM Satellite Radio.

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