Following up on the Best New Car Hybrids, here we have the best SUV hybrids. Though despite their large size, the pack to choose from here is... Well it's rather thin. The best of the bunch are 30 MPG SUV but this does not apply across the board.
So some work will have to be done here to explain things here but we'll start with the best. For our money that's the 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid. With its 34 City and 31 HWY MPG it also makes our list for best SUV under 30,000.
If you want to be picky, an argument could be made for its sister vehicle, the Mercury Mariner, but either way for the price and MPG it had the best package in a small field. Price is what kept the 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid a for sale favorite. At almost 40,000 it was far from being among cheap SUVs for sale.
And while the 2011 Lexus RX 450H is not exactly among the cheap SUVs for sale either, it is at least a Lexus. Priced about the same as a fully loaded 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid for sale, the RX 450H is also among the SUVs that get over 30 MPG city. Something the Highlander can't exactly say the same.
Rounding out the bottom of our list, the best for its size is the 2011 GMC Yukon Hybrid which hasn't changed much since it went on sale in 2008. Getting a modest 20 MPG city and 23 highway, finding a 2008 Yukon Hybrid for sale or newer model is probably the best way to be 'big and green'.
A startling truth to this list is how the SUV market is still waiting for its Prius. The 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid is pretty respectable in the numbers, and is our only model that fits on the best SUV under 30000 list, but it needed some new car incentives by Ford to squeak by.
Automakers need to push the boundaries and do better than a 30 MPG SUV if the fuel issue is really to be addressed in America. While many will convert to the smaller cars, there is only so far a typical American family is willing to compromise. How do you get three kids, the dog, in the adults in a Prius? The answer is you don't.
Until automakers can do better than mileage in a care sized similar to that of the 2011 Lexus RX 450H, Hybrids will only be useful for some of us. Maybe the government will finally get a clue and press for more new car incentives on more eco viable SUVs. Till then, it's the best of a very small field.