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Best SUV gas mileage: Ranking SUVs with the best MPG ratings

A buyer's guide to new SUVs with the best gas mileage. Listing the SUVs that can haul and tow without guzzling at the pump.

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When you're thinking about buying a new car, working out what is the best gas mileage for SUVs becomes tremendously important. After all, the modern automobile industry has produced few vehicle classes with overall worse fuel economy than the sport utility vehicle.

Some of the compensating factors that will influence your decision to buy an SUV could be in the areas of horsepower, interior luxury and even cost. That being said, SUVs with the best gas mileage would make this class of cars more affordable and practical.

The good news is that several new SUVs have increased their fuel efficiency up to 30 miles per gallon. Reply! will help you the reviews and information to help you make informed buying decisions when you're in the market for SUVs with the best gas mileage. Below is your guide to new SUVs rated at 30 mpg or better.

Ford Escape Hybrid

Ford EscapeThe new Ford Escape Hybrid gets 34 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is tops in the SUV class. With a starting price of $30,570, the base Ford Escape Hybrid model has a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that delivers a respectable 177 hp, as well as an electric motor that pushes 94 hp. It's not as powerful as gas-only SUVs, but its ride is smooth and that 34 mpg is elite even for smaller sedans.

While overall performance may be a bit lacking, the Escape Hybrid has notably quick acceleration. However, the Escape Hybrid tends to make loud and weird noises, which is uncharacteristic of hybrid engines. This may only be a minor drawback, as those fuel economy ratings are hard to deny. 

The Ford Escape Hybrid scored a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute For Highway Safey, passing all crash tests. Safet features include electronic stability control, 4-wheel ABS and front and side airbags. If you like the Ford, but want something a bit bigger, check out this comparison of the Ford Escape and the Ford Edge. 

Lexus RX 450h

If you're ready to step up to a luxury hybrid SUV, the new Lexus RX 450h gets 32 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, with a base price of $45,235. This Lexus has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that tears open the road with an impressive 295 hp. This isn't the pokey ride that often characterizes a hybrid, this is a performance vehicle. 

Lexus RX450The Lexus RX 450h is far and away one of the most attractive vehicles on the road right now. Even with all that horsepower, it still manages to be the second most fuel-efficient vehicle on this list. The EPA considers the new Lexus RX 450h to be a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle, which means it's at least 90 percent cleaner than the average models currently on the road.

And because this is a luxury model, the interior is well-appointed and comfortable, with modern ammenities and comfortable seating. The front seats are heated and ventilated and the back seats offer plenty of legroom. Unfortunately, some reviewers say the infotainment system is cumbersome and too distracting to use while driving. Still, this is a Lexus, so everything is made with quality, and reported technology deficiencies may be subjecive to individual drivers. 

Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5At 155 hp, the Mazda CX-5 doesn't have the horsepower of the Lexus, nor does it quite manage the efficiency of the Ford, with 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. But those efficiency rankings are still excellent for the compact crossover segment, and the area where the Mazda does manage to walk all over the competition is in its affordable base price of $20,695. For the price, this may be your best choice for SUVs with the best gas mileage. 

This compact crossover from Mazda is freshly designed from the ground up, an entirely new type of car with no borrowed components from other Mazda vehicles. The CX-5 has a sleek and stunning design with a boxy body that sets itself apart from other vehicles on the road.

This isn't a clunky ride either; despite the limited horsepower, this light body ride has quick and sporty performance that falls in line with the rest of the Mazda lineup. This is thanks in part to the Mazda SKYACTIV powertrain technology, which includes a lightweight manual transmission, a body shell design that is eight percent lighter and 30 percent stiffer than previous designs and a chassis that is 14 pecent lighter than previous designs. This is how to sustain performance with exceptional fuel economy. 

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Each of these SUVs has its advantages and its drawbacks. The Ford takes the prize for overall efficiency, while the Mazda gets mileage that's nearly as good for almost $10,000 less. The Lexus has luxury and power going for it, which makes it even more surprising to find it on a list of models with the best gas mileage for SUVs, although you might want to think twice when you're looking at its sticker price. Use Reply! to find local price quotes and set up test drives for SUVs with the best gas mileage. 

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About the Author

Alex Gabriel is a content editor at Reply! with several years of digital marketing and and copywriting experience. A native of Portland and graduate of the University of Oregon, Alex has a passion for test-driving new cars he can’t afford. Click here to connect with Alex on Google+.