SUVs Aren't All Gas Guzzlers

Many times when folks think of SUVs they envision big, heavy vehicles that guzzle gas on a grand scale. This is true of quite a few different sport utility vehicles -especially those of the early generations- but today there are several new options on the market that are more fuel efficient.

For the most part passenger automobiles in the United States are propelled by gasoline power plants but this is not the case in the European market where there are a number of exciting diesel powered models of various kinds. Unhappily for us regulations and red tape generally keep these models from making it stateside so for now we'll have to content ourselves with looking at the U.S. market models.

Fortunately there are a growing number of more fuel efficient SUV options than you would have found a few years ago for folks who want a rough road capable vehicle that has plenty of cargo storage space. If fuel economy is really high on your list you might want to shop for one of the small four cylinder powered SUV models like a Ford Escape or Toyota RAV4 which, while not the most hard core, rock climbing, mud bogging models, do have better ground clearance and AWD or 4WD as either standard or optional equipment.

In the larger SUV market you might want to check out the options for sale from VW and Audi who both have provided diesel powered models in various forms over the past several years. Some are more fuel efficient than others but one of the top models is the VW Touareg which is capable of achieving mile per gallon figures in the mid 30s according to the reports of some owners. Toyota also makes the Highlander Hybrid model for those in love with Prius style gas/electric power plants.

You'll find more limited options if you are looking for a more affordable early generation SUV that has decent fuel mileage figures. There are several Subaru models that, while not strictly SUVs are indeed AWD and can handle rougher road conditions than the average Honda Accord might be able too. If you simply need the traction of an SUV but not the off road abilities virtually any Audi or a Mercedes model with the 4Matic option would be a great choice for on road use.

A great way to help you figure out what is most important to you in your vehicle search is to make a list of your top "must have" features. If it is the ability to tow your boat than don't even bother checking out small SUV models. If it is the highest possible fuel mileage, some luxury features and good towing capacity then you know you'll want to look into some diesel models like the Touareg or Audi Q series.