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Top 12 Top Twelve Fuel Efficient 2010 SUVs and Crossovers

The best gas mileage on the planet

By

If you're in the market for a SUV, fuel efficiency is probably on your list of important factors in your buying decision. Even within the category, there are efficiency winners and losers.

twelve most fuel-efficient 2010 SUVs and crossover vehicles, according to the EPA:

1. 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid

Photo © Ford

2.5 liter inline 4-cylinder gas/electric hybrid, CVT, FWD: 34 mpg city/31 mpg highway

2.5 liter inline 4-cylinder gas/electric hybrid, CVT, 4WD: 30 mpg city/27 mpg highway

The Ford Escape Hybrid has been the SUV mileage champ ever since it hit the scene in 2006. With a nice set of features and a list price that starts at $29,860, Escape Hybrid is more than just a fuel-efficient SUV, it's a very useful, attractive one at that.

3. 2010 Lexus RX450h

Photo © Lexus

3.5 liter V6 gas/electric hybrid, CVT, FWD: 32 mpg city/28 mpg highway

3.5 liter V6 gas/electric hybrid, CVT, AWD: 30 mpg city/28 mpg highway

The Lexus RX450h has received a makeover for 2010, with more power, more efficiency and more luxury. List prices start at $42,685 for the most fuel efficient luxury SUV on the planet.

4. 2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Photo © Toyota

3.3 liter V6 gas/electric hybrid, CVT, 4WD: 27 mpg city/25 mpg highway

The Highlander Hybrid returns basically unchanged for 2010. Available with a third row of seating, Highlander Hybrid is a great minivan alternative. The muscular, efficient SUV starts at $34,900.

5. 2010 Jeep Compass

Photo © Jeep

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual transmission, FWD: 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual transmission, FWD: 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual transmission, 4WD: 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder, CVT, FWD: 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway

Not only is the 2010 Jeep Compass the most fuel efficient Jeep ever built, it's also one of the most affordable Jeeps on the market. Starting at $19,350, the Compass packs a surprising punch and off-road prowess into a small package.

6. 2010 Jeep Patriot

Photo © Jeep

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual transmission, FWD: 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual transmission, FWD: 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual transmission, 4WD: 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder, CVT, FWD: 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway

The Jeep Patriot combines old-school Jeep looks with great efficiency and affordability. Starting at $18,425, it is the least expensive Jeep model in the current lineup, and one of the coolest-looking.

7. 2010 Chevrolet Equinox

Photo © Jason Fogelson

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, 6-speed automatic transmission, FWD: 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway

Equinox is all-new for 2010, with a completely redesigned body, chassis, interior and powertrain. About all that remains of the old Equinox is the name and the Chevy bow tie. Starting at $22,615, Equinox is designed to catapult General Motors back into contention in the compact SUV marketplace.

8. 2010 GMC Terrain

Photo © Jason Fogelson

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, 6-speed automatic transmission, FWD: 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway

The 2010 GMC Terrain makes its debut this year, sharing a powertrain and platform with the new Chevrolet Equinox. Terrain has a different interior, front end and rear end, along with a slightly more premium feel than Equinox. Starting at $24,250, it strives to be an upscale alternative in the world of efficient compact SUVs.

9. 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i

Photo © Jason Fogelson

2.5 liter Boxer 4-cylinder, CVT, AWD: 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway

2.5 liter Boxer 4-cylinder, 6-speed manual transmission, AWD: 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway

Outback underwent a major redesign for 2010, with a new powertrain, body and interior design. Starting at $22,995, the 2010 Subaru Outback remains affordable and efficient.

10. 2010 Ford Escape (gas only)

Photo © Ford

2.5 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual transmission, FWD: 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway

2.5 liter inline 4-cylinder, 6-speed automatic transmission, FWD: 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway

The 2010 Ford Escape makes a second appearance on this list, this time in conventional gas-only form. Starting at $21,020, the gas-only Escape starts to look like a tremendous bargain, and an efficient one at that.

11. 2010 Mazda Tribute

Photo © Mazda

2.5 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual transmission, FWD: 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway

2.5 liter inline 4-cylinder, 6-speed automatic transmission, FWD: 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway

A holdover from Ford's partial ownership of Mazda, the 2010 Mazda Tribute shares a powertrain, interior and most of its body parts with the 2010 Ford Escape and 2010 Mercury Mariner. Starting at $21,115, it is also an easy entry into the Zoom-Zoom family.

12. 2010 Toyota RAV4

Photo © Toyota

2.5 liter inline 4-cylinder, 4-speed automatic transmission, FWD: 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway

2.5 liter inline 4-cylinder, 4-speed automatic transmission, 4WD: 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway

The 2010 Toyota RAV4 returns unchanged since its 2006 third generation makeover. Still trim and efficient in 4-cylinder form, the Toyota RAV4 base prices start at $21,675.

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