If you’re looking for the best 2013 3 row SUVs with good gas mileage, be prepared for some trade-offs. First, the most fuel-efficient SUVs capable of transporting seven passengers will either be hybrids or will likely have smaller, four-cylinder engines – but not always. In addition, they’re usually front-wheel drive (four-wheel and all-wheel drive fuel economy numbers are slightly less).
For three-row SUVs that really demonstrate their worth on the road by eking out every last drop of fuel, you’re likely not going to be getting into some of the super-large family haulers such as the(which doesn’t come as a hybrid). Still, there are a number of choices that should prove sufficient to meet individual family needs.
Here are six of the most fuel-efficient of the current crop of 2013 SUVs. To qualify, the estimated fuel economy rating from the EPA has to be at least 21 mpg. Fortunately, there are several that exceed that, two that meet it, and a whole lot more that are close.
combined. That’s a simple number to remember. It’s also the highest-rated SUV with three row seating in terms of gas mileage. The Highlander Hybrid is powered by a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine mated with automatic transmission. Prices range from $39,970 to $46,170. Curious about the regular Highlander? In two-wheel drive configuration, the four-cylinder Highlander gets 20/25/22 mpg while the V6 version gets 18/24/20 mpg.
advanced 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection and six-speed automatic transmission, third-row seats are an extra-cost option. The Sorento LX and SX have standard third-row seats, and are powered by a non-advanced four-cylinder engine that gets 21/30/24 mpg and 3.5-liter V6 engine, getting 20/26/22 mpg, respectively, in front-wheel drive. Starting price for the 2013 Kia Sorento EX is $26,950.
mileage – if that’s what you’re looking for. The new turbocharged, direct-injected 240-horsepower 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine in the Explorer, which is only available in front-drive configuration, attains an EPA-estimated 20/28/23 mpg fuel economy. Towing suffers a bit, only up to 2000 pounds, not the 5000 pounds in V6-equipped Explorers. Pricing on the 2013 Ford Explorer starts at $29,100.
passenger space. A continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, and the Pathfinder is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that gets 260 horsepower. More importantly, for families looking for a midsize SUV with good fuel economy, the Pathfinder delivers an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. With four-wheel drive, the numbers are 19/25/21 mpg. Pricing starts at $28,650.
EPA at 20/23/21 mpg in two- and four-wheel drive configurations. The same fuel economy ratings hold true for the Escalade’s corporate siblings, the 2013Hybrid and Hybrid. Starting price for the 2013 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is $73,850.
achieves an estimated 18/25/21 mpg fuel economy – and can still tow up to 5000 pounds. The Hyundai Santa Fe, which is the larger version of the five-passenger Santa Fe Sport and replaces the outgoing, goes on sale soon. Pricing has not yet been announced.
Four of these SUVs are also Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS): the 2013, Ford Explorer, Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe.