2012 Best Green Large Vehicles

Need to haul a lot of people or stuff, preferably without burning a ton of fuel? Here are the best green large vehicles to consider. 

GUIDE TO GREEN CARS, Summer 2012

Compiled by Megan Phelps, Emily Glover and Hannah Kincaid 

Many of us get a lot of work done with our vehicles, whether it’s hauling wood chips and compost to our gardens or transporting a carload of kids to and from events. It’s amazing how much you can do with a small sedan or hatchback, and many of those cars get great gas mileage. But sometimes a smaller vehicle just isn’t going to cut it.

If you need a big, workhorse vehicle for your daily routine, you might despair of getting decent fuel economy. But wait! No matter what type of vehicle you’re looking at, there’s significant variation among models in terms of their miles per gallon — and even small differences in mpg can add up to big savings over the course of a year, especially in large vehicles (read “Small Differences Can Equal Serious MPG Savings” in Buying a Green Car).

The 2012 Best Green Large Vehicles chart further in this article shows the 2012 vehicles that weren’t fuel efficient enough to make it into our profiles section but that get great mpg compared with other similar vehicles. For more about what the chart’s metrics mean, read “What the Numbers Mean” in The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide.

 

  Mazda 5 Minivan Blue    2010 Toyota Tundra Black   Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Silver 

The 24-mpg Mazda 5 minivan
Photo by Mazda 

The 18-mpg Toyota Tundra
Photo by Toyota 

The 21-mpg Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid seats up to eight and has tons of cargo space.
Photo by Chevrolet 

Most Efficient Cars, Most Efficient Pickups, Most Efficient SUVs

 


 

MPG 

Annual
Fuel
Cost (Gasoline) 

Price Range 

Seating 

Passenger Volume 

 
 EPA Scores 

ACEEE
Green
Score
 

NHSTA
Safety
Rating
 

Bonus
Info.
 

City 

Hwy 

Combo 

Low 

High 

Air Pollution 

Greenhouse
Gas
 

Large Cars 
Honda Accord
(4 cyl.)

23

34

27

$2,100

$22,200

$32,600

5

106
cu. ft.

8

6

43

5 stars

IIHS Top Safety Pick

Hyundai Sonata
(4 cyl., 2.4 L)

24

35

28

$2,000

$20,600

$29,000

5

103.8 cu. ft.

5

7

44

5 stars

IIHS Top Safety Pick

Small SUVs 
Ford Escape Hybrid (FWD,
4 cyl.)

34

31

32

$1,750

$31,400

$35,700

5

99.4
cu. ft.

7

7

43

3 stars

 
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (2WD)

25

31

27

$2,100

$19,600

$24,100

5

97.5
cu. ft.

5

6

42

not rated

 
Honda CR-V (2WD,
4 cyl.)

23

31

26

$2,150

$23,100

$30,600

5

104.1 cu. ft.

5

6

42

not rated

IIHS Top Safety Pick

Hyundai Tucson

23

31

26

$2,150

$20,000

$27,300

5

101.9 cu. ft.

5

6

42

4 stars

IIHS Top Safety Pick

Mid-Sized SUVs 
Toyota Highlander Hybrid

28

28

28

$2,000

$39,400

$45,700

7

145.4 cu. ft.

7

7

38

4 stars

IIHS Top Safety Pick

Lexus RX 450h

32

28

30

$2,000

$46,100

$47,700

5

139.7 cu. ft.

7

7

42

4 stars

 
GMC Terrain
(4 cyl.)

22

32

26

$2,150

$26,400

$33,800

5

99.6
cu. ft.

6

6

42

4 stars

IIHS Top Safety Pick

Chevrolet Equinox (FWD)

22

32

26

$2,150

$24,300

$31,800

5

99.7
cu. ft.

6

6

42

4 stars

IIHS Top Safety Pick

Large SUVs 
Cadillac Escalade Hybrid (2WD
and
4WD)

20

23

21

$2,700

$74,800

$86,800

8

108.9 cu. ft.

5

4

30

4 stars

 
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid (2WD
and
4WD)

20

23

21

$2,700

$52,700

$55,500

8

N/A

5

4

30

4 stars

Similar to GMC Yukon 1500 Hybrid

Small Pickups 
Chevrolet Colorado (2WD,
4 cyl.)

18

25

21

$2,700

$18,300

$29,200

6

N/A

6

4

37

not rated

Similar to GMC Canyon

Toyota Tacoma (2WD,
4 cyl., manual)

21

25

22

$2,550

$17,700

$27,700

3

56.1 cu. ft.

5

3

37

4 stars

 
Nissan Frontier (2WD,
4 cyl., manual)

19

23

21

$2,700

$19,600

$33,300

4

87.7
cu. ft.

5

4

35

not rated

 
Suzuki Equator (2WD,
4 cyl., manual)

19

23

21

$2,700

$20,100

$30,300

4

87.7
cu. ft.

5

4

35

not rated

 
Standard Pickups 
Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid (2WD
and
4WD)

20

23

21

$2,700

$40,600

$50,600

5

N/A

5

4

30

4 stars

Similar to GMC Sierra Hybrid

Chevrolet Silverado C15 XFE (2WD)

15

22

18

$3,150

$35,500

$35,500

3

N/A

5

3

31

not rated

 
Toyota Tundra (2WD,
6 cyl.)

16

20

18

$3,150

$26,100

$26,100

3

N/A

5

3

30

4 stars

IIHS Top Safety Pick

Ford F-150 (2WD)

16

22

18

$3,150

$24,300

$50,000

3

64.8
cu. ft.

6

3

32

4 stars

IIHS Top Safety Pick

Minivans 
Honda Odyssey

19

28

22

$2,550

$29,000

$44,300

7

172.5 cu. ft.

5

5

37

5 stars

IIHS Top Safety Pick

Mazda 5

21

28

24

$2,350

$20,400

$24,800

6

97.7
cu. ft.

5

5

40

not rated

 
Passenger Vans 
Chevrolet Express 1500

13

17

14

$4,000

$30,000

$48,300

8

N/A

6

1

24

not rated

 
GMC Savana 1500

13

17

14

$4,000

$29,900

$31,800

8

171.8 cu. ft.

6

1

24

not rated

 
Ford E-150 Wagon

13

17

15

$3,750

$29,800

$32,200

8

N/A

2

1

23

not rated

 

 





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