• Jun 18th 2008 at 8:32PM
  • 8
Sport Utility Vehicles may be the anti-poster-child for the green movement, but there may not be a better choice for certain types of families. As a class of vehicle, the SUV has been around since the 1950s, and while sales may have peaked a few years ago, the tall wagon with good ground clearance and towing capability will always find a few buyers.

Fortunately, the SUV has gotten a little green lovin' in the form of hybrid drivetrains from major manufacturers, including the undisputed heavywight champion of the hybrid world, Toyota. Likewise, the Detroit 3 have gotten in on the hybrid SUV game, and the combatants come in all shapes, sizes and of course, prices. We decided to take a look at the top five hybrid SUVs to see what the fuss is all about. Read on past the break to find out what we found out. Note: if mileage figures are quoted, they are 2008 EPA numbers.

Which one is the best for you? Let's find out!!


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Responding to #1, I *tried* to buy a Highlander last weekend at Marietta Toyota in Georgia.

      However, this was the second dealership in a month (both Southeast Toyota Group) that lost my family's business due to lying, rude, stupid, ignorant, low-class staff (all the way from floor sales to GM).

      We went with an Acura RDX instead. And you know what? Over the life of a 3-year lease, the monthly payments + gas will still come out $9000 less for us. Nine THOUSAND dollars less.

      (the other Toyota situation resulted in my sister-in-law leasing a Honda CR-V, by the way)
      • 7 Years Ago
      @Josh L., yup, I'm not a fan of Southeast Toyota Group. They tack on a ridiculous fee above and beyond the standard port and transportation charges. According to my salesman, this is primarily to fund the end of season yacht parties for their top sales staff. And don't get me started on the ridiculous "Toyoguard" thievery. Still, I had a good experience with an individual salesman (was able to negotiate down to invoice - kickbacks + that ridiculous SETG fee + 300) in Athens and ended up buying a Sienna for my wife. I've since moved and had horrible experiences with Toyota of Augusta and have sworn off the brand for the time being.

      I drove the RDX a while back and was extremely pleased with it. Aside from the lack of available power passenger seats (a silly gripe), the ONLY problem I had with it was the 19 MPG combined economy. If they'd offered an option of the CR-V's 2.4L non-turbo (a very un-Acura thing to do) and gotten the same 23 MPG combined performance, then there'd definitely be one in the family. If Acura ponies up and adds a hybrid system mated to the 2.4L engine for say $3000 more and gets 30+ MPG combined, then this would EASILY top this list. Even so, as you point out, it is the best deal going right now in the near-luxury crossover market.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Finally, here's a company who's making a commitment to mass produce electric vehicles! Check out this website: http://bgelectriccars.com/
      • 7 Years Ago
      Megan Boris-

      Which SUV hybrid is the best for hauling trailers/boats/RVs though?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jayne, there are plenty of choices for vehicles that don't go over 25 mph (aka: neighborhood vehicles). I think we will say "Finally!" when someone makes that same car that you can take on the interstate and has the same range and price point.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Personally, I'd call the Highlander #1 since around here (Georgia) it is the ONLY one you can actually drive and purchase, at least for under $45K. Even if you dropped the price constraint, it is the only one available that gets 25 or better combined (ironically > $ == < economy in the world of hybrids). Given the price differential for the hybrid model Highlander, I'd NEVER buy one of these, so that leaves no options. I'd buy the Ford/Mercury/Mazda for sure, so your ratings there are right on, but since I can't...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Top five? More like only five.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd actually take the VUE. It's the best looking Hybrid SUV out of the 5....IMHO....

      Why is the Tahoe getting so much publicity? What about the GMC Yukon Hybrid? They're equally the same, so they should get equal publicity.....IMHO....