Tailgating “Green” With Hybrid SUVs

fordescapehybrid.jpgIn honor of Earth Day, April 22, 2008, I thought I would offer up some suggestions on how to make your next tailgate a little more environmentally friendly. (You can check out more tips on how to “go green” while tailgating in an upcoming article right here on tailgatingideas.com.)

We all know that tailgating requires you to arrive at the stadium in some sort of vehicle and most of us tailgate with either a pick-up truck or an SUV. You can tailgate without a tailgate but most people prefer the extra room and versatility a truck or SUV provides. Problem with that logic is most trucks and SUVs are gas guzzling monsters that produce more pollution than their “greener” brethren. So on this Earth Day 2008 I present to you the Top 8 SUV Hybrids with tailgating in mind.

mazda_tribute.jpg2008 Mazda Tribute – This All-Wheel drive hybrid gets 34/30 mpg and is a compact SUV known for its sporty handling and carlike ride. It’s always been more of a car masquerading as a truck but with a hybrid engine under the hood you can tailgate with the peace of mind you are not feeding the oil producing nations keeping America hostage.

2008 Ford Escape – Another All-Wheel drive hybrid getting 34/30 mpg is the Ford Escape. As far as hybrid SUVs go, history will note that the Ford Escape was the first hybrid SUV to hit the market. Being the first has its advantages in that most of the compact SUV hybrids are still trying to emulate the standard Ford put forth with this hybrid. Being the leader means you have a head start on the others who are trying to catch up.

2008 Toyota Highlander – The Toyota Highlander was one of the first mid-size “crossover” sport-utilities to appear on the scene. Now in hybrid form getting 27/25 mpg, this crossover SUV makes a greener alternative to the traditional tailgating SUV. Think of the Highlander as an elevated, oversize Camry wagon dressed for a tailgate party.

mercury_mariner_hybrid.jpg2008 Mercury Mariner – Although compact SUVs have been around for a while, Mercury’s foray into this market has been a bit late to the party. Don’t think for a moment that just because they got a late start that the Mercury Mariner Hybrid isn’t a great environmentally friendly tailgater. Despite being more of a luxury SUV, this hybrid SUV can still get 34/30 mpg which is comparable to the other competitor’s models.

2008 Lexus 400h – With its advanced gasoline/electric drivetrain, the Lexus RX 400h SUV marries the luxury and utility of Lexus’ RX midsize crossover vehicle with the improved fuel economy (26/24 mpg) and performance of a hybrid. At close to $40,000 potential buyers simply wishing to go green may also want to check out other, less extravagant hybrids if price is a consideration.

2008 Chevrolet Tahoe – Breaking the ice on the full-size SUV but still keeping it green is the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid. Combining the luxury and convenience of a full-size SUV while getting better fuel economy (21/22 mpg) than the regular Tahoe, this hybrid is the best of both worlds. Make sure to break out your checkbook because the Hybrid version will run you about $8,000 more than the Tahoe’s gas guzzling sibling.

saturn-vue-green-line.jpg2008 Saturn Vue Green Line – At under $25,000 the Saturn Vue Green Line is the cheapest hybrid SUV on the market. The gas mileage is not as good (27/32 mpg) as the the others but for the price you do get a tailgating SUV that saves room in your bank account to bring the chips and salsa.

2008 GMC Yukon – Although the General Motors group struggled out of the gate with hybrid technology in the past, they have made up for it lately with the GMC Yukon Hybrid. The fuel economy is not as great as other hybrid SUVs (20/20 mpg) but this is still a full-size hybrid tipping the scales at over 5,500 pounds. Size and convenience are the major selling points plus the peace of mind of knowing you are tailgating with a hybrid.