No, This Isn’t an Oxymoron — These Are the Most Fuel Efficient SUVs of 2012

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Let’s face it, even if you’re a car fanatic, there are other things you’d rather be spending your money on than gas (like your next car payment), and if you’re looking for the versatility of an SUV, you’re choices on finding a vehicle with good MPG gets even rougher. However never fear, because we’re here to show you the way to the Top 5 Most Fuel Efficient SUVs of 2012.

5 Nissan Juke (27 mpg city/32 mpg highway)

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The first thing you’ll notice about the Juke is the polarizing exterior design which is sure to get you some looks.Apart from the outside styling, thissubcompact cross-over sports SUV, contains a ton of a trendy interior features (such as the I-CON command module). The Juke’s high tech engine keeps this crossover fuel efficient, and manages to keep drivability hyper and fun. Though comfortable to sit in and drive, be prepared for limited cargo space.

4 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (28 mpg city/28 mpg highway)

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The classic Highlander gets a boost in MPGs with the help of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive. While the Highlander excels in functionality, you won’t be zooming in and out of traffic or pulling off anything fast or furious due to the underwhelming and uncomfortable steering. The other downside to the Highlander Hybrid is that the price tag might feel a bit high (38,000-44,000 average) when the Lexus hybrid SUV is close to the same price range and offers more extra features. Hands down though, this SUV is this is the ultimate family road trip machine, and more rugged feeling than the Lexus 450h.

3 Mini Countryman (27 mpg city/35 mpg highway)

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MINI brings the solid design and interesting look of the Cooper line into the roomy, powerful, four-door Countryman. Yes, the Countryman IS an SUV whether you want to believe it or not. Off-road capabilities and cargo capabilities will impress those going up to the mountains for a snowboarding trip, and still please urban drivers with that BMW refinement (the Countryman is actually based on the platform of BMW’s X1). Throw in an insanely peppy engine (if upgraded to the S), heavy customization, and that classic Cooper handling and it’s hard not to love this little-big crossover.

2 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid (32 mpg city/28 mpg highway)

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You might be surprised to hear that the Lexus RX450h is actually one of the best deals for your money. This is because for the price, you’re getting more bells and whistles along with luxury and comfort than most other competitor models around the same price range. The Lexus RX 450h is all about putting forth luxury first with a super quiet ride and cozy suspension. But due to these comforts, the Lexus RX 450h isn’t the most exciting vehicle to drive. It’s not going to ‘wow’ anybody with its looks or style (at least the Nissan Juke will turn some heads). It’s overly comfortable, yet lackluster drivability won’t fire up your emotions with anything close to excitement. Still, if its luxury and high MPGs you seek, the Lexus RX 450h is a clear choice.

1 Ford Escape Hybrid (34 mpg city/31 mpg hwy)

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The Ford Escape Hybrid has been around for quite some time, and this is the sort of situation that can either improve a vehicle or hold it back. Even though the Escape Hybrid is still the SUV with the best MPGs, the price you pay for this truck gets you a very ‘blah’ feeling SUV. The interior at base is not so grand, and the Escape Hybrid is neither as roomy nor as sporty as it should be, along with feeling a bit underpowered. This is a shame because other non-hybrid choices come close to the Escape Hybrid’s MPG, include much more amenities, and overall just seem like a better deal. Still, despite its now outdated design and engineering, the Ford Escape Hybrid is one of the most affordable Hybrid SUVs out on the market.

So there you have it, there are plenty of choices for great crossovers/trucks with good MPGs out there, so maybe it’s time to trade in that old gas guzzler for a sleek new ‘go-green’ SUV – or at least one that will save you some cash in the long run on gas.

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