The common perception about SUVs is, they are reserved for the upper echelon of the society because of their price tag and insatiable fuel consumption. The advent of new breed of SUVs which offer the same comfort features and fuel economy is however fast changing that notion. Here’s the countdown of 9 most economical (price and fuel consumption wise) SUVs of the year. The prices quoted in the article are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) without options, destination charge, or other fees.

1)  Ford Escape

Ford Escape

The first hybridized SUV to roll out in 2004, Ford Escape occupies the number 1 spot on the list for comfort, price tag and fuel economy unmatched by any of its peers. The price tag is $22,594, which can increase if additional options are added. There are three engines to choose from, all of which are optimized for fuel efficiency. As for MPG Ford Escape’s impressive figures are MPG: 22 City / 31 Highway. Safety feature includes the motion-activated liftgate, but it’s class exclusive; it also comes equipped with interior tech like Ford Sync.

2)  Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4

Consisting of a four cylinder engine and automatic six speed transmission, Toyota’s RAV4 is smooth handling and steering all the way. Spacious and comfortable seating for 5 and exceptional amount of cargo space make this vehicle a crowd favorite. The price tag is also very affordable $23,342 and will give you MPG: 24 City / 31 Highway.

3)  Lexus RX 450h

Lexus RX 450h

Lexus is a brand name we associate with luxury and class. Remaining true to their reputation they have churned out their latest offering Lexus RX 450h! The price tag on this vehicle is slightly higher than the ones on the top at $39,660, but it duly makes up for it by offering features like well finished interior, very secure and quick responding emergency handling and navigational system that’s very user friendly.  MPG : 22 City / 31 Highway.

4)  Nissan Juke SV

Nissan Juke SV

Nissan Juke is one funky looking SUV but underneath all the gloss is functionality and affordability at its best. Available for $18,990 and sporting 188-horse powered turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, this is one awesome piece of machinery. Safety features include torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system and it can seat 5 passengers. MPG: 18 City / 31 Highway.

5)  Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5

Agile and quick handling, responsive and light steering and a long list of standard features make Mazda CX-5 a very efficient and logical choice in the small SUV category.  It’s available in 2.0 liter and 2.5 liter four cylinder engines. The purchaser has a choice of front or all-wheel drive. The interior is spacious and comfortable, and it seats 5 passengers comfortably. The price tag is $21,195 and MPG: 19 City / 32 Highway.

6)  Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Toyota Highlander is one SUV that’s stuffed full of conveniences. 7 passenger seating, gas/electric all-wheel-drive hybrid system, 3.5-liter V6 delivers solid performance! Handling is responsive, smooth and secure, the interior finish is very esthetically pleasing, but the most appealing part of this vehicle has to be the price tag which is $29,020 and an unbeatable MPG: 23 City / 29 Highway.

7)  Subaru XV Crosstrek

Subaru XV Crosstrek

Subaru XV Crosstrek has Impressive height that gives it a robust and off vehicle look. It exudes the off road vehicle aura without being overly big or clunky. 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes it a bit weak than its other off road counterparts, but it makes up for it by offering a very impressive mileage per liter. MPG 19 City / 34 Highway. The price tag is $21,995.

8)  Buick Encore

Buick Encore

Buick Encore is comprised of very esthetically pleasing features and will definitely hit a note with younger audience. It’s a tad smaller than other entries on the list like Toyota’s RAV4 but doesn’t lack anything in functionality. It’s very maneuverable and the cabin fixture almost makes it stealthy, yes it’s that noiseless. Underneath the hood is 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine and has six speed automatic acceleration. It’s available in both front and all wheel configurations as per purchasers liking. The price tag is $24,200 with an MPG: 16 City / 32 Highway.

9)  Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60

This is my personal favorite and a very viable European import. Straight from Swedish manufacturer comes Volvo XC60! This vehicle is a class apart with 6 speed shiftable automatic transmission and a whole host of safety features like blind spot information system, tire pressure monitoring, pre-collision safety system and stability control make it an ideal family SUV.  The price tag considering all the amenities is not that high at $34,350, with a very impressive MPG: 19 City / 25 Highway.  The interior is well finished and high quality having 5 passenger seating capacity and lots of cargo space. This is indeed worth every cent!

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