Best Fuel Efficient SUV

With the specter of gas prices, environmental propriety, and economic well-being hanging over the country, fuel economy is becoming more of a persistent question in today’s auto market, and so it is necessary for consumers to become more knowledgeable and aware about the complex issue of gas mileage.

SUVs in particular have come under fire as a luxury, so they are beginning to transform into more fuel conscious products. New technologies that have redefined the SUV market include hybrids, which are also the most efficient SUVs on the road. Hybrids combine a traditional combustible engine with an electric motor, creating an efficient vehicle that uses the best of both worlds.

The Ford Escape, the Mazda Tribute, and the Mercury Mariner are the class of the SUV hybrids, achieving 34 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is around 32 mpg combined.

All three vehicles are based off of a similar design and contain a four cylinder, 2.5L engine. The starting MSRP for the Ford Escape Hybrid is $29,860. The Mazda Tribute Hybrid, which is mostly sold in California, starts at $29,175, and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid starts at $30,105. These vehicles can cost up to several thousand dollars more than the starting MSRP of their gas-dependent versions.

The standard Ford Escape, for instance, costs between $21,000 and $27,000, depending on the trim, but only gets a 22 city/28 highway mpg split at best.

It will often take several years for hybrids to make up in fuel economy what they eventually cost by any reasonable mileage estimate without a tax credit or subsidy, which can be received depending on the model, but hybrids also tend to maintain a higher resale value.

They are adept vehicles for those who plan to use the SUV extensively. In the future, more efficient vehicles and robust technology will continue to make the hybrid a better value for the dollar.

But hybrids are not the sole proprietors of efficient SUV fuel economy either. The standard Mazda Tribute, which starts at $20,090, gets 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The GMC Terrain is better on the highway at 32 mpg and starts at $24,250.

Both the Jeep Compass ($18,720) and the Jeep Patriot ($17,795) get 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway; for those consumers who have fuel economy on their minds, these vehicles represent excellent value for their dollar.

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