Automakers continue to put out an increasing number of hybrid SUV models. Consumer demand has spoken, as there are ten models of 2011 hybrid SUVs to choose from. They range from the compact SUV class all the way up to the large and luxury SUV classes.
Even Porsche offers a hybrid SUV. Their Cayenne Hybrid offers EPA estimated fuel economy of 21-mpg city and 25-mpg highway, while still producing 380 horsepower. In comparison, the base Porsche Cayenne with a 300 horsepower V-6 engine and eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission gets 16-mpg city and 23-mpg highway. It has a starting price of about $48,000. Prices for hybrid SUVs start at about $35,000 for a Ford Escape Hybrid ranging to over $67,000 for the Cayenne Hybrid.
The 2011 hybrid SUVs include:
– Audi Q7
– BMW X6
– Cadillac Escalade/ESV
– Chevrolet Tahoe
– Ford Escape
– Mazda Tribute (sold only in California)
– Mercedes-Benz M-Class
– Porsche Cayenne
– Toyota Highlander
– Volkswagen Touareg
The most fuel-efficient hybrid SUV models are the Ford Escape and its sister model, the Mazda Tribute. The Escape and Tribute have EPA estimated fuel economy of 34-mpg city and 31-mpg highway. Fuel economy minded SUV buyers may also wish to consider a diesel powered SUV. Diesel powered engines are capable of obtaining fuel economy similar to some hybrid SUV models. Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen all offer diesel powered SUV models.
Turbocharged engines are also becoming more prevalent in the SUV marketplace. Once reserved to performance minded SUV models from the likes of BMW and Porsche, automakers such as Ford and Kia now offer turbocharged SUV models. Lincoln, Mazda, Mini, Subaru, and Volvo also offer SUV models with turbocharged engines.
Turbocharged engines offer greater performance, less weight, and more fuel economy than many normally aspirated engines. An increasing number of automakers such as Ford and Volvo have shunned V-8 or V-6 engines in favor of smaller turbocharged engines. The new Ford Explorer will offer a turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 237 horsepower later in the 2011 model year.
By the 2013 model year, several more automakers will offer hybrid SUVs including Subaru. Consumers will likely continue to see an increasing number of hybrid SUV models. The greater fuel economy of these engines will help auto manufacturers to meet stringent 2016 U.S. fuel standards.
The 2011 hybrid SUVs offer buyers a wide range of choices. Be sure to carefully consider your needs, budget, and preference before making a new SUV purchase.