Best Hybrid SUV

We are looking for a new car. We live in Pittsburgh on top of an icy hill and need AWD. We want a SUV that is roomy (need room for two car seats and an additional butt). However, our biggest concern is to be green and we want something that with great MPG. Our 2004 Vibe gets about 30 MPGs and we would like to improve on that. Oh and our limit is less than $40,000.
Checking out the Ford Escape Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Others, Thoughts? Also, why aren’t any of these on local dealer lots? Will I have to order it?

I don’t think there are any others. Of those the Highlander would be my choice, but good luck getting one you like for under $40k. You can check dealer inventory on the toyota configuration web site.

Seems like the Highlander has been getting the “highest” marks, but I also know of a few Escape hybrids that work as a cab and pretty happy with it. The Mariner is just an Escape that has been badged Mercury.

I wouldn’t get a hybrid for he sake of getting one. If you get 30 plus mpg with your vibe, what is the sense of spending $40k just to get 28 mpg in a Highlander( the older models). I guess it is true. Consumers buy what advertisements say they should, not what is actually the best. There are NO SUV hybrids that do better then small economy cars. If you want room and awd expect to pay more and not improve over what you have. Look at a RAV which gets similar mileage to a Highlander hybrid. It can cost $10 k less. Keep your Eco car and use the bigger only when necessary.

Here’s a list of hybrids available. Click on the year and scan down the list until the SUVs start showing up.

Mercury Mariner is not available in 2012, but you might find a 2011 model. I suggest that you drive the Escape ad Highlander to see which one you like best. You don’t need to look further, unless you want an Infiniti or Lexus.