Americans are known for choosing size over fuel economy when selecting vehicles. We like spreading out, fitting all our friends and equipment for fun without feeling squeezed, and we’re willing to pay more at the pump in exchange for space. However, today more Americans than ever are driving SUVs, and consumers are starting to demand both space and fuel efficiency.
Hybrid SUVs are leading the charge in fuel economy, but most are fairly new to market, meaning that they are sometimes hard to find used. However, even gas-powered SUVs have become more fuel efficient in recent years. Here are five SUVs that meet the needs of different types of drivers, without punishing you at the pump.
If You Want An All-Weather Vehicle: The Subaru Outback
If you live in a cold and snowy climate, chances are you see a good number of Subarus driving around. With standard all-wheel drive and an exceptional safety rating, the Outback will make even the most cautious drivers comfortable on slick roads. Because it has a smaller frame, the Outback also has great fuel economy, with the 2016 model achieving up to 25 miles per gallon city and 33 miles per gallon highway.
If You Want To Have Fun Behind The Wheel: The Mazda CX-5
SUVs can be large and clunky, so they aren’t known for being the most fun to drive. However, the Mazda CX-5 bucks that trend, delivering responsive handling and a zippy ride that will let you get in touch with your inner rally driver. Despite being a relatively small SUV, the CX-5 can comfortably fit five adults, all while achieving great fuel economy: The 2016 model gets up to 26 miles per gallon city and 35 miles per gallon highway.
If You Need A Third Row: The Toyota Highlander
Sometimes seating is a priority when you’re shopping for an SUV. The Highlander delivers, with seven- and eight-seat options. In addition to tons of space, the Highlander also offers a great ride and the excellent reliability that Toyota is known for. Toyota started making a hybrid version of the Highlander in 2006, so you might be able to find one used. However, even the gas-powered V6 is fuel-efficient for its size, with the 2016 model getting up to 20 miles per gallon city and 25 miles per gallon highway.
If You Have A Taste For Luxury: The Range Rover Sport
Land Rover was one of the original SUV brands, which built a reputation by getting fearless explorers where ever they needed to go. Today, the Range Rover Sport offers excellent off-road capability, luxury finishes, and an undeniable stylish look. The Sport has five different trims available, meaning that you can get a vehicle that is just right for you. Despite its solid build, the 2016 Sport still achieves up to 22 miles per gallon city and 28 miles per gallon highway.
If You Want Something Practical: The Honda CR-V
When it comes to SUVs usually you need to sacrifice space to get more fuel efficiency. However the Honda CR-V manages to have more cabin and cargo space than competitors, while also beating out their fuel efficiency by getting 26 miles per gallon city and 33 miles per gallon highway in the 2016 model. In addition, the CR-V’s affordable price, low ownership costs, safety, and reliability make it an overall appealing choice for families.