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Best SUVs for fuel economy for summer 2011

Consumer Reports News: June 08, 2011 08:38 AM

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What are people buying? You might be surprised. Even with national gasoline prices hovering around $4 a gallon, we find shoppers are gravitating toward new small and midsized SUVs, based on a recent survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. While traditionally versatile vehicles, SUVs are often not the thriftiest choices. But as in every vehicle class, there are some that are better than others, and below we highlight the most fuel-efficient models in our ratings.

These lists feature our latest tests of the most fuel-thrifty small, midsized, luxury, and large SUVs currently on the market. But since there is more to choosing a car than fuel economy, we’ve also noted models that are recommended, which means they meet Consumer Reports strict requirements for performance, reliability, and safety.

Small SUVs
Recommended Model Price MPG
Ford Escape Hybrid $32,575 26
  Nissan Juke SV $23,300 24
Toyota RAV4 (4-cyl.) $25,405 23
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES $23,995 23
Midsized SUVs
Recommended Model Price MPG
Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited $47,225 27
Chevrolet Equinox 1LT (4-cyl.) $26,350 21
  GMC Terrain SLE1 (4-cyl.) $26,745 21
Hyundai Santa Fe Limited (V6) $31,330 20
Kia Sorento EX (V6) $32,390 20
Kia Sorento LX (4-cyl.) $26,590 20
Luxury & Large SUVs
Recommended Model Price MPG
Lexus RX 450h (hybrid) $53,576 26
  Volkswagen Touareg TDI (diesel) $49,505 24
  BMW X5 35d (diesel) $62,375 22
Lexus RX 350 $47,381 21

For more information on saving fuel, see our guide to fuel economy.

Liza Barth

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