Hybrid SUV

Top Hybrid SUV Options for 2011

Hybrid SUVs do not have the same market exposure as Hybrid cars, but they are still an excellent choice for environmentally-conscientious consumers.

A Hybrid SUV provides owners with near identical functionality to the non-hybrid version. Since many of the components are the same, the cost is also similar. Best of all, these vehicles offer excellent fuel efficiency, allowing drivers to travel much longer before refilling their gas tank. Four of the best hybrid SUV choices have been listed below.

2011 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV

Ford Escape Hybrid SUV

At $29K – $34K, the Escape is the cheapest Hybrid SUV on the market. It is also the most fuel efficient SUV, delivering 32mpg, which is the same economy as many smaller cars. The Escape has roomy seating for five people and a four wheel drive option.

The Hybrid Escape costs more and is a little clumsier compared to the gas version, but the low fuel economy will help the vehicle to pay for itself eventually. There are two vehicles that look almost identical to the Escape: the Tribute 2010 and Mercury Mariner. All Escape SUVs have problems with rollover safety and braking for long distance, but the rest of the crash protection is excellent.

2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV

Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV

If you thought the 5-seat Ford Escape was fuel efficient at 32mg, the Highlander is a 7-seater with 26mpg. It is currently the most fuel-saving 7-seater SUV. The Highlander has a standard all-wheel drive, although it is not made for off-road driving. Crash scores are excellent on this vehicle.

There is an optional 3rd row that is only large enough for fitting children. However, testers have found the rest of the Highlander to be incredibly comfortable and roomy. It costs $34K – $41K and uses gas very efficiently. The Highlander Hybrid SUV only costs $9000 extra than the gas-only version and the money would be paid back in less than a year or two of regular driving.

2011 Lexus RX 450H

Lexus RX 450H Hybrid SUV

If you want an economic and luxurious SUV, the RX450H is the best choice. Although it does not have the power of new Mercedes and BMW hybrids, this vehicle has much better fuel economy. It uses 30mpg for front-wheel drive, with only 1mpg less for all-wheel drive. The RX450H has excellent security ratings, a lavish 5-seater cabin, and lots of rear cargo space. If you want a SUV that looks good on both the outside and the inside, the RX450 is the vehicle for you.

2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid SUV

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid SUV

The Tahoe costs from $50K to $53K, making it the most expensive of the four choices. However, it can sit up to 8 people and is capable of towing extremely heavy loads. The Tahoe has often been compared to the Cadillac Escalade and the GMC Yukon, but it is over $20K cheaper. The Tahoe interior is loaded with posh leather and an extensive GPS navigation system. The 22mpg is small for a hybrid, but very impressive for a huge 8-seater SUV. The crash protection ratings for the side and front are good, but this tall vehicle is likely to roll over compared to any other hybrid SUV.

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