Types of Hybrid SUVs

By John Walton

  • Overview

    Although they are decried as terrible gas guzzlers, SUVs remain popular for a handful of reasons. Among them is that they provide the person-and-cargo moving capability of a station wagon in a chassis that is more attractive to many. One way around the terrible gas mileage of the SUV is to go with a hybrid. Many models of hybrid SUVs offer mileage that compete with mid-sized cars, and some even rival compact cars fuel efficiency.
  • Ford Hyrbids

    The Ford Escape has a 2.5 L, 177hp engine and stands as the most fuel efficient hybrid SUV on the market. The vehicle gets 34 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway, a performance comparable to many conventional compact cars. The Mercury Mariner is a slightly upscale version of the Escape. The Escape starts at $29,300, and the Mariner at $29,800.
    Ford Escape
  • Toyota and Lexus

    The Toyota Highlander gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway on a 3.3 L V-6 270hp engine. Toyota's luxury subsidiary Lexus has a hybrid SUV in the 400h, with an engine that produces 295hp and delivers 27mpg in the city, and 24 mpg on the highway. The Highlander starts at $34,700, and the 400h at $42,000.
    Toyota Highlander

  • Saturn

    Saturn offers a hybrid version for its Saturn Vue compact SUV. It gets a respectable 28 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway from its 3.6 L V-6 262hp engine. This vehicle starts at $33,000.
    Saturn Vue
  • BMW

    BMW has a hybrid SUV set to be released in 2009, the X5. This gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway out of its turbo diesel engine, and is therefore not particularly impressive as hybrid characteristics go. It starts at $52,000.
  • General Motors

    Through its various brands, GM has a variety of hybrid SUVs on the market. The Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon are basically the same vehicle, getting an ordinary 21 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway on a powerful 332hp engine. They both start at $50,500. The Cadillac Escalade is also based on the Tahoe, but with more emphasis on luxury. It also weighs more and therefore gets inferior performance out of the same engineering with a 20 mpg average. It starts at $70,000.
    Chevy Tahoe
  • Chrysler

    As another company with multiple divisions, Chrysler also has a set of hybrid SUVs. The Chrysler Aspen's muscular 5.7 L V-8 Hemi engine barely manages to get 18 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. It starts at $68,000. The Dodge Durango is basically the same vehicle, but for a more reasonable $44,500. The classic Jeep Grand Cherokee also has a hybrid model.
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