Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are very popular among car buyers because they offer many features that people want in the vehicle they drive–interior room, comfort, good highway visibility and the space to carry bulky cargo. When it comes to fuel economy, there is a great deal of variability among the many makes and models of SUVs on the market. For the 2013 model year, there are several SUVs that offer great features and excellent fuel economy.
The 2013 Mazda CX-5 front-wheel drive model offers one of the best highway mileage numbers of any SUV in America. According to fueleconomy.gov, the U.S. government’s fuel economy website, the four-cylinder, two-liter engine with automatic transmission runs on regular fuel, and gets 32 miles per gallon (MPG) on the highway, 26 MPG in the city and a combined 29 MPG. These mileage figures are all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates. The U.S. government estimates that the fuel cost for one year of vehicle operation will be $1950. This cost figure is based on the assumption that you will drive 15,000 miles in a year, and that about 55% of these miles will be city driving. It also assumes a cost of $3.75 per gallon of regular gasoline. According to “Car and Driver” magazine, the Mazda CX-5 is a compact SUV that offers a firm ride, adequate acceleration to go with the good fuel economy and the ability to accommodate bulky cargo. In addition to all of this, the car is a pleasure to drive.
The front-wheel drive 2013 Kia Sportage and the Kia Sorento, both with a four-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine and automatic transmission, run on regular gasoline and get 32 MPG on the highway, 22 MPG in the city and a combined 25 MPG. According to the U.S. government, annual fuel costs would be about $2250 for both SUVs. This fuel cost is based on the same assumptions described previously. Edmunds.com, the automotive information website, recommends the Kia Sorento as a good choice for car buyers who want a small to midsize crossover SUV. The standard versions (LX and EX) can seat five passengers, and the SX version adds a third-row seat for a seven-passenger capacity. With the rear seats folded down, the Sorento has about 72 cubic feet of cargo space. Safety features of the 2013 Sorento include stability control, antilock disc brakes and side airbags in the front seat. The U.S. federal government gave the Sorento a four-star rating (five stars is highest) for general crash protection.
The 2013 Ford Escape is another example of an SUV that can offer excellent fuel economy. The four cylinder, 2.5-liter engine with automatic transmission and front-wheel drive uses regular gasoline, and gets 31 MPG on the highway, 22 MPG in the city and a combined 25 MPG. The U.S. government estimates that it would cost $2250 per year to fuel this vehicle if the assumptions outlined above are used in the calculations. According to Edmunds.com, the interior of the Ford Escape offers passengers a generous amount of room, and the front seats are wide and comfortable. When the rear seats are folded down, there is about 68 cubic feet of cargo space. The Escape comes with many standard safety features that include antilock disc brakes, side airbags for the front seat and stability and traction control.
The 2013 Lexus RX 450h All Wheel Drive hybrid SUV can use electric power only, gasoline only or a combination of both. It has a six-cylinder, 3.5-liter gasoline engine that works together with the electric motors to produce 295 horsepower. According to Aol Autos, the Lexus RX 450h can produce eight-cylinder power with the economy of a four-cylinder engine. The fueleconomy.gov website rates it at 28 MPG on the highway, 30 MPG in the city and 29 MPG combined, and estimates that it will cost about $2100 per year for fuel. This rather good fuel economy is achieved even though the Lexus RX 450h has a relatively large engine that uses premium fuel. The contribution from the electric motors is what allows the Lexus SUV to keep gasoline consumption at an economical level. There is interior room for five passengers and when the rear seat is folded down, the Lexus offers a generous 80 cubic feet of cargo space.
Another SUV from Ford looks good when it comes to fuel economy, and gives car buyers the pratical advantages that make SUVs so popular. This is the 2013 Ford Edge with a two-liter, four-cylinder engine that has automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The Edge runs on regular gasoline, and according to the EPA it gets 30 MPG on the highway, 21 MPG city and a combined 24 MPG. The U.S. government estimates that the fuel cost for one year of operation would be about $2350, based on the assumptions outlined above. According to Edmunds.com, the Edge is a midsize crossover SUV that has a very attractive interior and many high-tech options. These options include adaptive cruise control which enables the driver to maintain a safe, predetermined distance behind the car ahead without turning off the selected driving speed. Other innovative options are blind spot warning and the Sync voice command system.
The 2013 Hyundai Tucson is one more option for those who want good fuel economy from an SUV. ConsumerReports.org gives the Tucson high marks for its sleek and smooth exterior styling that represents a departure from the squared off look that some SUVs have. The fueleconomy.gov website rates the four cylinder, 2.4-liter engine with automatic transmission and front wheel drive at 32 MPG highway, 22 city and 25 combined. Estimated fuel costs are $2250 per year.