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Consumer Reports: Gas Mileage of SUV's, CUV's, Wagons, MiniVans and Pickups


Ford Escape Hybrid, Saturn Vue Green Line rated best in fuel economy for small, midsized SUVs

SEE ALSO: Compare Overall EPA MPG: For All SUV's
SEE ALSO: Compare Overall EPA MPG: For All Mini Vans
SEE ALSO: Compare Overall EPA MPG: For All Wagons
SEE ALSO: Compare Overall EPA MPG: For All Pickups

YONKERS, NY February 9, 2007; If the spring brings increasing gas prices as it often does, Consumer Reports’ Best & Worst SUVs, Trucks, Minivans, Wagons 2007 can help consumers save money by identifying fuel-sipping sport-utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and more based upon CR’s own independent fuel-economy testing.

“With more crossovers, hybrids, and car-based SUVs entering the market, it’s now much easier to find an SUV that gets gas mileage similar to a midsized sedan,” said Consumer Reports’ Automotive Editor Rik Paul. “You can save hundreds of dollars a year at the gas pump simply by doing your research before you buy.”

For consumers concerned about stretching their fuel dollars, some small SUVs tested by Consumer Reports returned 23-26 mpg overall. That is on par with a typical family sedan. Those models included the Ford Escape Hybrid, the Saturn Vue Green Line, and the Toyota RAV4 (4-cyl.)

Small SUV gas guzzlers, which posted figures as low as 15 miles-per-gallon, include the Kia Sorento LX, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, and the Jeep Liberty Sport.

Consumer Reports’ overall fuel economy results are calculated by an equally weighted average of city, highway and one-day trip mpg ratings. CR’s city mpg tests are stop-and-go driving simulations, which have 18 stops, a total of 4 minutes of idle time, and speeds up to 40 mph. CR’s highway mpg tests are run on a section of highway near CR’s testing facility. Two testers make eight 5-mile runs at a constant 65 mph. The tests are run in both directions to limit the effects of wind and grade differences. CR’s one-day trip test represents a mixed driving cycle. Five different engineers drive vehicles back-to-back on the same day over a 31-mile route (155 miles total) that includes 26 percent freeway, 11 percent two-lane highway, and 63 percent varied rural roads with corners and mild elevation changes.

Here’s a quick look at the best and worst in each category from among all the vehicles CR has tested based on overall mpg ratings:

Best Small SUVs
  • Ford Escape Hybrid, 26 mpg
  • Saturn Vue Green Line, 24 mpg
  • Toyota RAV4, (4-cyl.), 23 mpg
Worst Small SUVs
  • Kia Sorento LX, 15 mpg
  • Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, 15 mpg
  • Jeep Liberty Sport, 15 mpg.
Best Midsized SUVs
  • Lexus RX400h, 23 mpg;
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited, 22 mpg;
  • BMW X3 3.0si, 19 mpg;
  • Nissan Murano SL, 19 mpg;
  • Toyota Highlander Limited (V6), 19mpg.
Worst Midsized SUVs
  • Jeep Commander Limited (5.7, V8), 13 mpg;
  • Land Rover LR3 SE(V8), 13 mpg;
  • Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer (V8), 14 mpg;
  • Hummer H3, 14 mpg;
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo (4.7, V8),14 mpg.
Best Large SUVs
  • Consumer Reports testing results showed no vehicles with unusually good ratings for fuel economy in this category.
Best Large SUVs
  • Dodge Durango Limited(5.7, V8),12 mpg;
  • Nissan Armada LE, 13 mpg;
  • Cadillac Escalade, 13 mpg.
Best Pickups
  • Toyota Tacoma (V6), 17 mpg;
  • Chevrolet Colorado LS (5-cyl.), 16 mpg;
  • Honda Ridgeline RTS, 15 mpg;
  • Nissan Frontier LE (V6), 15mpg.
Worst Pickups
  • Dodge Ram 1500 SLT (5.7, V8), 11 mpg;
  • Dodge Ram 1500 SLT (4.7, V8), 12 mpg;
  • Nissan Titan SE (5.6, V8), 13 mpg;
  • Chevrolet Avalanche LT (5.3, V8),13 mpg.
Best Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • Toyota Prius, 44 mpg;
  • Toyota Yaris (manual,) 34 mpg;
  • Honda Fit Sport(manual), 34 mpg.
Worst Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • Consumer Reports testing results showed
    no hatchback vehicles with unusually poor ratings
    for fuel economy in this category.
Best Hatchbacks and Wagons
  • Volvo XC70, 19 mpg;
  • Dodge Magnum SXT (V6), 19 mpg;
  • Subaru Outback VDC, 19 mpg;
  • Mazda6 s, 19 mpg.
Best Minivans
  • Toyota Sienna XLE, 19 mpg;
  • Honda Odyssey EX, 19 mpg;
Worst Mini Vans
  • Ford Freestar SEL, 17 mpg;
  • Kia Sedona EX, 17 mpg;
  • Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, 17 mpg;
  • Saturn Relay 3, 17 mpg.