While SUVs have garnered a bad wrap over the years for being oversized gas-guzzlers, automakers continue to improve overall fuel efficiency for this popular vehicle class. For 2011, several hybrid SUVs return to offer combined fuel efficiency above 30 mpg. Review the five 2011 SUVs with the most mpgs to determine which model is right for you.
2011 Ford Escape/Mariner/Tribute Hybrid (32 mpg)
This set of triplet hybrid SUVs remains tops in the SUV category of gas mileage. For the 2011 model year, a 2.5-liter gas engine remains mated to an electric motor to deliver a total of 247 horsepower. EPA estimates suggest 34 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. For added eco-conscious street cred, the Escape Hybrid also comes with seats fabricated from recycled materials. Good interior comfort and a number of standard upscale features add value. However, a base MSRP that hovers around $30,000 may deter some shoppers.
2011 Lexus RX 450h (30 mpg)
When it comes to mileage, the new Lexus RX hybrid is the king of the luxury SUV market. Fuel efficiency comes in at 32 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. These solid figures come courtesy of a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that mates to a pair of electric motors. Combined engine performance is 295 horsepower. Starting around $42,000, the Lexus RX 450h offers a wholly high-tech and luxurious SUV interior. Storage space is also a plus, with a total of 80.3 cubic feet available when the seats are folded down.
Learn more about the 2011 Lexus RX 450h.
2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (28 mpg)
The Highlander Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient SUV that is available with third-row seating. Considering the vehicle's large size, the 28 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway is exceptional. Like other hybrid SUVS, the Highlander slants toward luxury - a variety of high-tech and refined interior features come standard. Compared to the similarly priced Ford Escape Hybrid, the Highlander offers a bit more interior cargo space (total of 94.1 cubic feet). Base MSRP is set around $35,000.
Learn more about the 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
2011 Nissan Juke (29 mpg)
The Nissan Juke is a brand-new SUV for the year that promises a joyful ride and good gas mileage. Though the EPA places the Juke in the SUV category, it competes more directly with such models as the 2011 MINI Clubman and 2011 Scion xB. As a result, you should be prepared to sacrifice a bit of interior space in favor of fuel efficiency. The Juke's muscle comes in the form of a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four engine. Thanks in part to an available continuously variable transmission, estimates suggest 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Base MSRP is set at $18,960.
Learn more about the 2011 Nissan Juke.
2011 Mitsubishi Outlander (27 mpg)
The base Mitsubishi Outlander offers 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. However, the efficiency comes at the price of performance - the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine offers one of the lowest horsepower ratings in its class (168 hp). Still, the Outlander has several advantages, including a long vehicle warranty and seating for seven. A base price of $20,840 also makes it an affordable alternative to more expensive hybrid SUV options.
Learn more about the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander.