• Image Credit: Nissan

There was a time when gigantic, silver-sided gas gobblers roamed America's roadways. Vehicles grew larger and larger until over-sized SUVs became a stereotype, not just for the American automotive market, but for Americans as well. Then gas prices soared. The Great Recession hit. Cars, houses and bank accounts all shrank under the economic weight. 

Today, car buyers pass the pump and are struck with a case of deja vu. It's no glitch in the Matrix, prices really are, or in some parts of the country, at below $2 a gallon for unleaded. According to AAA, gas prices are down $1.23 per gallon over a year ago. Now this once-noble breed, almost driven to extinction, is making a comeback as gas prices return to pre-recession levels. 

As the nation eyes $2 a gallon on average, Americans are taking a second look at the SUV. Few vehicles combine sturdy off-road capability, towing capacity and interior space without a special operator's license. When gas costs are no longer a concern, why not go for that little extra room and capacity? 

Click through to see which SUVs are benefiting most from lower gas prices.

  • Image Credit: Nissan

Toyota Land Cruiser

Sticker Price: $80,155
Invoice Price: $71,739
Mileage: 13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway 

The Toyota Land Cruiser is a beast of an SUV. Sure-footed in rocky terrain, packed to the gills with features and roomy enough to seat up to eight full grown passengers it is little wonder the Land Cruiser name has been in production for 30 years. Driving at low speeds on rough or steep terrain, the Crawl Control system automatically controls the vehicle's engine and brakes which allows the driver to focus on steering. In early 2014, it cost $78.45 to fill up the Land Cruiser's tank. Today it costs $49.20. 

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  • Image Credit: Nissan

Toyota Sequoia

Sticker Price: $44,395 - $64,320
Invoice Price: $40,400 - $58,530
Mileage: 13 city mpg / 17 highway mpg

Toyota may be known for the reliable Camrys and green Prius, but they're heavy-weights in the SUV category as well. The Toyota Sequoia is a large SUV that is capable of towing a trailer while safely transporting the whole family in comfort. Anyone who takes on this tall order will be pleased to find it now costs $32.47 less to fill up the Sequoia's tank over a year ago.

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  • Image Credit: GMC

GMC Yukon XL

Sticker Price: $49,690
Invoice Price: $46,212

Mileage: 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway

Owners of a vehicle with "XL' in the title are probably singing the praises of cheap gas the loudest. A year ago, it would have cost $100.13 to fill up the 31-gallon tank. Now it costs just $62. The GMC Yukon XL gives customers the versatility and spaciousness they need when shopping for a vehicle with the towing and cargo carrying capabilities to meet their lifestyle requirements.

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  • Image Credit: Nissan

Nissan Xterra

Sticker Price: $23,660
Invoice Price: $22,673 - $28,980
Mileage: 16 city mpg, 22 highway mpg 

This rugged SUV, which has always been a bit more of a hardcore, purpose-built vehicle than the rest of the Nissan SUV range. With the availability of features like alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, roof rack, and skid plates, the Xterra really is a go anywhere vehicle. The Xterra was almost discontinued in 2011, when high gas prices made it even less attractive to buyers. Now that gas prices have fallen and a tank cost $25.95 less than it did a year ago, the Xterra might be able to poised for a comeback.

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  • Image Credit: Wieck

Infiniti QX80

Sticker Price: $63,250 - $66,350
Invoice Price: $58,823 - $61706
Milage: 14 city mpg, 20 highway mpg

Unlike some of the Asian SUVs on this list, the Infiniti QX80 has actually received some attention in the last few years. A slightly refreshed version was unveiled at last year's New York Auto Show. It was designed for towing a heavy trailer, carrying passengers in luxurious comfort and tackling serious off-road conditions. QX80 owners are saving $31.98 every time they fill up on $2 a gallon of gas. 

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  • Image Credit: Nissan

Lincoln Navigator

Sticker Price: $61,920 - $65,495
Invoice Price: $58,824 - $62,220
Mileage: 16 city mpg, 22 highway mpg

If sheer volume is your priority number one, then get to a Lincoln dealer. The cabin is huge, a whopping 159.5 cubes. Though you can now getting the Navigator with an EcoBoost engine, Ford's flagship green technology won't help too much with such a road beast. It has been completely updated for the 2015 model year, and with gas a $1.23 lower than this time last year, it's cheaper by $34.44 per tank, too. 

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  • Image Credit: Nissan

Cadillac Escalade

Sticker Price: $72,970 - $91,875
Invoice Price: $68,227 - $85,903
Mileage: 16 city mpg, 22 highway mpg

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is another behemoth refreshed just in time to take advantage of cheaper gas prices. Caddy owners can expect to save an addition $31.98 every time they fill up. It still contains the problematic CUE infotainment system, but the dodgy computer interface aside, the interior is roomy and comfortable. Classy and powerful, it looks great for a night on the town or can haul everything needed for a weekend getaway.

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  • Image Credit: Nissan

Land Rover Range Rover

Sticker Price: $83,495 - $186,495
Invoice Price: $76,398 - $170,638
Milage: 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway

One of our favorite vehicles here at Autoblog is also an unrepentant gas guzzler. That's okay though. With this year's lower gas prices, Ranger Rover owners will save $30.65 with every tank of unleaded. They also get Terrain Response four-wheel drive, four different off-road settings, and the best-designed interior money can buy. Lucky them. 

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  • Image Credit: Nissan

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Sticker Price: $29,995 - $64,595
Invoice Price: $29,556 - $61,392
Milage: 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway

The Jeep Grand Cherokee continues Jeep's legendary off-road prowess with the most recent iteration of the Grand Cherokee. It comes with nine trim levels, one of which, the 4x4 SRT version, gets a jaw-dropping 13 mpg in city driving. This time last year, it cost owners $79.45 to fill up their tanks. Today, it costs just under $50. 

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  • Image Credit: Ford

Ford Expedition

Sticker Price: $43,845 - $61,670
Invoice Price: $40,885 - $57,508
Mileage: 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway

Though full size SUVs lost some of their popularity during The Great Recession, the Expedition remains popular with large families, livery owners or anyone with a lot of toys to tow around. Though it now features Ford's EcoBoost V6 instead of the original 2007-era V8, the Expedition was, until recently, still a pain at the pump. Last year, Expedition owners were paying $90.44 for a tank of gas. Today, they pay $56.00.

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