Fluctuating prices at the pump don’t need to cause consumers angst with these fuel-efficient, five-passenger family crossovers that each get at least 30 mpg highway fuel economy.
2011 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ
The compact 2011 Chevrolet Equinox (LS, FWD), with an EPA rating of 32 mpg highway fuel economy, leads the quartet of crossovers for highway fuel economy. The Equinox also boasts the most front headroom (40.9 inches), rear seat legroom (39.9 inches), and cargo volume (31.4 cubic feet behind second row). The Equinox is powered by a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine mated with continuously variable transmission. For 2011, the Equinox has earned a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and an overall four-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Pricing begins at $22,995. Note that the GMC Terrain, upscale corporate sibling to Equinox, has the same basic stats – including fuel economy and safety ratings, and it starts at $24,500.
2011 Ford Escape Hybrid
2011 Ford Escape Hybrid
Ford Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid, on the other hand, beats the Chevy Equinox in city fuel economy with an EPA-estimated 34 mpg and is right on Equinox’s heels with a 31-mpg highway rating. It's powered by a 155-horsepower 2.5-liter in-line four and a 94-horsepower permanent-magnet electric motor (for a total of 177 net horsepower) paired with electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT). The Escape Hybrid’s front legroom of 41.6 inches and cargo volume behind the first row of 66.4 cubic feet tops the 41.2 inches and 63.7 cubic feet in Chevy Equinox, respectively. In the NHTSA’s testing, the 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid earned an overall three-star rating. It starts at $30,570.
2011 Hyundai Tucson
Another IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2011, the Hyundai Tucson GL achieves an EPA-estimated 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway fuel economy. Power comes from a 165-horsepower 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine matched with six-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic. Front legroom in Tucson is the same as Chevy Equinox (41.2 inches). The Tucson GL FWD starts at $18,895.
2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
In ES trim with two-wheel drive, the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is right in there with the best fuel-efficient crossovers at 31 mpg highway (five-speed manual or CVT transmission). Power comes from a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter MIVEC in-line four-cylinder engine. Cargo volume behind front seat with rear seats folded is 49.5 cubic feet and 21.7 cubic feet behind the rear seat. Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES starts at $18,495.
The NHTSA has not rated the 2011 Hyundai Tucson or Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.