The old gas guzzling image of the SUV is being left behind as a slew of recent models show fuel efficiency is now one of the top priorities for drivers and manufacturers.
Hybrid vehicles in particular are at the forefront of this trend, with big motoring names pouring resources into ensuring that going green no longer means compromising on performance.
There are always going to be other factors, but if outright efficiency is your main criteria for finding the right SUV, then the following should make your list of top the five:
1. Ford Escape Hybrid 2012
Ford’s latest hybrid is placed by numerous car sites including Edmunds as a top SUV choice for sheer miles-to-the-gallon efficiency. Its 2.5-litre engine utilises green technology that Ford has been developing for over a decade to achieve a superb 34 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway.
2. Lexus 450 RX
Fitted out with a 3.5-litre engine, going from 0 to 60 in 7.8 seconds, the Lexus packs a punch while coming in not far behind the Ford in terms of pure efficiency at 32 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway.
3. Mazda CX 5
Using Mazda’s own SKYACTIV technology, the CX5 crossover SUV has a 2.0-litre engine that produces 155 hp. Praised by consumers and industry experts on its release earlier this year it also averages 30mpg.
4. Nissan Juke
A hatchback SUV which is nippy and stylishly designed, the Juke is also among the skimpiest in fuel consumption at 27 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway. Its 1.6-litre engine and 188 hp translates into an impressively sporty drive.
5. Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Evening out at 28mpg in city and highway conditions, the Toyota packs plenty of power with a 3.5-litre engine, while also being the model with the most cargo space. At the higher end of the SUV price range, this model delivers what it what it promises to.
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