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Top 10 Top Ten Fuel Efficient 2012 SUVs and Crossovers

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2012 brings a few shakeups in the rankings of fuel efficient SUVs and crossovers, but hybrid vehicles are still the winners. Look for smaller, more efficient direct gasoline injection crossovers to start making more inroads next year.

If you're in the market for a SUV this year, though, you can't wait for new technology to arrive. Here's a list of the top ten most fuel-efficient 2012 SUVs and crossover vehicles, according to the EPA:

1. 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid

CC-BY CarImges/Flickr

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 $30,570, Escape Hybrid is more than just a fuel-efficient SUV, it's a very useful, attractive one at that.

2. 2012 Lexus RX450h

Photo © Lexus

3.5 liter V6 gas/electric hybrid, 6AT, FWD: 32 mpg city/28 mpg highway

3.5 liter V6 gas/electric hybrid, 6AT, AWD: 30 mpg city/28 mpg highway

The Lexus RX450h returns unchanged after a makeover for 2010, with more power, more efficiency and more luxury. List prices start at $45,235 for the most fuel efficient luxury SUV on the planet.

3. 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Photo © Toyota

3.3 liter V6 gas/electric hybrid, CVT, 4WD: 28 mpg city/28 mpg highway

The Highlander Hybrid returns basically unchanged for 2012. Available with a third row of seating, Highlander Hybrid is a great minivan alternative. The muscular, efficient SUV starts at $39,410.

4. 2012 Nissan Juke

Photo © Nissan

1.6 liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline, 6AT, FWD: 27 mpg city/32 mpg highway

1.6 liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline, 6AT, AWD: 25 mpg city/30 mpg highway

The Nissan Juke was all-new for 2011, and returns unchanged for 2012. The smallest, sportiest SUV in the Nissan lineup starts at $19,990.

5. 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Photo © Mitsubishi

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline, 6AT, FWD: 25 city/31 highway

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline, 6MT, FWD: 24 city/31 highway

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline, 6AT, AWD: 23 city/28 highway

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport made its debut in 2011, not to be confused with the larger and less efficient Outlander. Outlander Sport returns for 2012 with base prices starting at $18,795.

6. 2012 Honda CR-V

Photo © Jason Fogelson

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline, 5AT, FWD: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline, 5AT, AWD: 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway

The most popular SUV on the market got a complete makeover for 2012, and continues to lead. The Honda CR-V comes with base prices starting at $22,295.

7. 2012 Hyundai Tucson

Photo © Hyundai

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline, 6AT, FWD: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline, 6AT, AWD: 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline, 6MT, FWD: 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway

The Hyundai Tucson got a complete redesign for 2010, and returns unchanged for 2012. Base prices for the 2012 Tucson start at $19,145.

8. 2012 Jeep Compass

Photo © Hyundai

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

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

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder, CVT, FWD: 23 mpg city/27 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5MT, 4WD: 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, CVT, FWD: 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, CVT, 4WD: 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway

Not only is the 2012 Jeep Compass the most fuel efficient Jeep ever built, it's also one of the most affordable Jeeps on the market. Starting at $19,295, the Compass packs a surprising punch and off-road prowess into a small package.

9. 2012 Jeep Patriot

Photo © Jeep

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

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

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder, CVT, FWD: 23 mpg city/27 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5MT, 4WD: 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, CVT and AutoStick, FWD: 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, CVT and AutoStick, 4WD: 21 mpg city/26 mpg highway

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder, CVT, 4WD: 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway

The Jeep Patriot combines old-school Jeep looks with great efficiency and affordability. Starting at $15,995, it is the least expensive Jeep model in the current lineup, and one of the coolest-looking.

10. 2012 Ford Escape (gas only)

Photo © Ford

2.5 liter inline 4-cylinder, 5MT, FWD: 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway

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

2.5 liter inline 4-cylinder, 6AT, AWD: 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway

3.0 liter V6, 6AT, FWD: 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway

3.0 liter V6, 6AT, AWD: 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway

Ford's Escape will be all-new for 2013, but the outgoing model is still hanging around for 2012. Base prices for the 2012 Ford Escape start at $21,440.

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