The Most Fuel Efficient SUVs With Third Row Seating

April 23, 2012

The sport utility vehicle is an all-purpose form of transportation. It fits the whole family, their gear, and even friends and pets. It has enough clearance to shrug off rough road and is low enough for kids to step into with ease. Until recently, SUVs had a major problem. They guzzled fuel. At one point the largest vehicles got about 7-10 miles per gallon.

Enter the fuel efficient SUV. With fuel economy in mind, manufacturers began designing electric/gas hybrid engines, and in some cases smaller, sportier body styles.

Below Are The Most Fuel Efficient SUVs With Third Row Seating:

1. Toyota Highlander hybrid

This unique body design has a loyal following. It now gives the owner a combined 28MPG, while remaining spacious and powerful. With a 3.5 liter V6 gas/electric motor engine, it generates 280 horsepower. The continuously variable automatic transmission senses how much power is needed and sends it to the front wheels. Toyota’s hybrid Highlander tops the list of large fuel efficient sport utility vehicles.

2. Toyota Highlander

The non-hybrid original, the Highlander is available in a 2 wheel drive 4 or 6 cylinder, or 4 wheel drive V8 engine. Interestingly, mileage estimates of 18/24MPG are comparable to the hybrid, but just use less gasoline to meet this standard.

3. Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe gets a combined (city/highway) 23 MPG on average with both the V4 and V6 engines. They generate 175 and 276 horsepower, respectively. Performance and fuel efficiency are aided by a multi-point fuel injection system and a breathy 16-24 valve train.

4. Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento falls into the mid-size sport utility category, but still delivers on space and power. Drivers can opt for the 191 horsepower V4 that gets around 29MPG on the highway, or for the beefier 3.5 liter V6 that gets around 26 MPG on the open highway.

Comparable to the Santa Fe in body size, style and engine performance, the 276 hp Sorento is a serious contender in the mid-size SUV category.

5. Cadillac Escalade hybrid

With a strong engine and rugged elegance, the Escalade hybrid makes this list with a combined 21MPG fuel economy. For those who have the budget, great mileage will not be the only bonus.

6. Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid

Less glamorous and more economical than the Cadillac, this Chevy is a top fuel efficiency contender at 21MPG combined. The Tahoe hybrid gives its driver 332 horsepower and 6200 ft.-lbs. of towing ability, plus a 100,000 mile warranty on the power train and hybrid components.

7. Audi Q7 diesel

Audi’s entrance into the SUV market was marked by unprecedented performance and handling in this class. The 225 hp luxury sport utility vehicle has a supercharged V6 engine that gets a combined 20MPG. It seats 7, has 20 inch wheels and is fitted with every modern gadget one can imagine.

8. Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevy Traverse is an affordably priced crossover vehicle designed with a graceful, conservative body style. With Chevy’s famous 100,000 mile power train warranty, a respectable 19 MPG combined and a full-sized third row, it is one of the best values in this class.

Today’s fuel efficient SUVs offer smart choices for every budget, and demonstrate why the market for these vehicles continues to grow.

Category: Most Fuel Efficient SUVs

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