Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and gas efficiency never really seem to go hand in hand. You can go down the road in any town or city across the country and see trucks and SUVs sitting on the side of the road with a "For Sale" sign stuck in the window. Even automobile dealers are getting hit hard with the rising cost of fuel. Recently my father bought a new truck, with 10% of the price reduced, simply because of the cost of fuel.
I, however, love SUVs. I love how they look, feel, and handle. It could be because of the prestige and status that seems to be associated with these vehicles. Luckily, mostly due to the fact that there are so many people who do love these types of vehicles, and also due to the reality of rising gas prices, many automakers are creating more fuel efficient SUVs. There are a few guidelines that the potential customer should keep in mind before purchasing a SUV.
- Two-wheel or Four-wheel? When you are purchasing an SUV, be aware that while the four-wheel drive option allows for better traction and handling, it decreases the fuel-efficiency of the vehicle. The two-wheel drive option on your new SUV will save you money at the pump.
- Fuel type. Consider the type of fuel you will be using. Do you want to have a diesel? Maybe you want a regular engine where you can fill up at any gas station across the country? Or maybe you would like to go with a hybrid? Each of these options has their own attractions and drawbacks. Diesels typically offer more power, but are very limited in their mileage. Hybrids offer an extremely attractive mileage range, but are typically more limited in power. Regular gas engines are the most common and while they aren't as fuel-efficient as a hybrid engine, they do have more power.
- Style. Style refers to not only how things look, but also how it is put together. When you purchase any SUV you want to get one that is designed around a truck frame for stability and reliability. However, the car-based SUVs are more fuel-efficient. Take a look at the miles per gallon that each style offers. Fuel efficiency among the different models range from 34/30 MPG for the hybrid styles and 22/27 MPG for the more traditional style of SUVs.