Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs and Pickups for 2006

From Edmunds.com

People want more out of their trucks and SUVs than ever before. In the wake of rising gas prices, buyers aren't interested merely in things like power and cargo capacity; they've come to recognize the value of fuel-efficiency, and many are looking for vehicles that won't put too much pressure on the wallet at the pump. Manufacturers know an opportunity when they see it, and the past couple of years have witnessed the introduction of a number of hybrid SUVs.

For all you smart souls with an eye on the pump, we've compiled a list of the 10 most fuel-efficient pickups and SUVs currently sold in the U.S. Rankings are based on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) miles-per-gallon ratings for city and highway travel. More specifically, we used the EPA's combined fuel economy formula: 55 percent of city mpg rating plus 45 percent of highway mpg rating. The rating for each vehicle below is expressed in mpg as a city/highway ratio.

With exceptions for the Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda CR-V, Jeep Liberty Diesel, Lexus RX 400h, Subaru Baja, and Toyota Highlander, all ratings apply to base models equipped with a manual transmission — and for pickups, a regular-cab/standard-bed configuration. Likewise, all ratings apply to 2WD models, with the exceptions being the Jeep Liberty Diesel, the Mazda Tribute, the Mercury Mariner and the Subaru Baja.

Each model was allowed only one appearance on the list. The exceptions are the Ford Escape, the Mercury Mariner and the Toyota Highlander, which appear twice as a result of being available in both gas-electric hybrid and regular gasoline versions.

  1. Ford Escape Hybrid — 36/31
  2. Mercury Mariner Hybrid — 33/29
  3. Lexus RX 400h — 33/28
    Toyota Highlander Hybrid — 33/28
  4. Ford Escape — 24/29
    Ford Ranger — 24/29
    Mazda Tribute — 24/29
    Mazda B-Series — 24/29
  5. Honda CR-V — 23/29
    Saturn Vue — 23/29
  6. Subaru Baja — 23/28
  7. Mitsubishi Outlander — 22/28
  8. Hyundai Tucson — 22/27
    Kia Sportage — 22/27
    Toyota Highlander — 22/27
  9. Mercury Mariner — 22/26
    Honda Element — 22/26
    Jeep Liberty Diesel — 22/26
  10. Nissan Frontier — 22/25

Copyright Edmunds.com, Inc. All rights reserved. First published on www.edmunds.com and excerpted with permission.