USA Today reports that improved fuel efficiency leads SUVs to a comeback. The most fuel-efficient crossover on the highway is at Courtesy Chevrolet.
2011 Chevrolet Equinox
Meticulous craftsmanship and upscale styling combined with a flexible interior and class-leading highway fuel economy(5,6) sets Equinox apart from the rest. With 32 MPG highway and a highway driving range of up to 600 miles, Equinox beats Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and even Ford Escape Hybrid. Inside, there's comfort for five and the most rear-seat legroom in its class, along with advanced safety and security features for added peace of mind.
Chevrolet Equinox Beats Ford Escape Hybrid
Automobilemag.com said, "Impressive [highway] fuel economy and smart packaging give the Equinox the opportunity to become a segment leader." And at 32 MPG, Equinox stands out from the rest by offering highway fuel economy that Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and even a Ford Escape Hybrid can't match.
A fuel-saving 6-speed automatic transmission and a 2.4L ECOTEC 4-cylinder engine with direct injection means up to 600 highway miles between fill-ups. The 2.4L engine also features an ECO button that allows you to switch to a fuel-saving mode, which can increase your vehicle's fuel economy when compared to normal operation.
As reported by USA Today, sport-utility vehicles and crossovers in November hit their highest share of new vehicle sales in eight years compared with sales of cars and pickups, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
The analysis of Edmunds.com data for November sales since 2002 shows an uptick for SUVs and crossovers (SUV-style vehicles on a car chassis) to 32.4% of new vehicle sales last month, up from 29% a year ago and 25.9% in 2008.
With gas prices rising — now more than $3 a gallon for regular nationally — the comeback is a sign that family haulers are beginning to shake their image as gas guzzlers.
"SUVs are getting slowly but surely more fuel-efficient," says Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Edmunds.com, a car-shopping site. "It's just becoming easier and easier to justify buying them."
SUVs took their share gains from car sales. While pickups' percentage of total sales has remained relatively stable — it was 13.9% last month — cars generated 47.5% of new vehicle sales in November, down from 51.6% in November 2009.
Behind the SUV's comeback:
• Rising gas prices not too high. Regular gas averaged $3.06 a gallon Wednesday in AAA's daily survey, up 20 cents from a month ago and 45 cents from a year ago. But it remains far from the $3.50-a-gallon level that Alec Gutierrez, Kelley Blue Book's lead valuation analyst, says it would take to start dramatically crimping SUV demand.
• Better fuel economy. Many new SUVs no longer have heavy truck frames, but are car-based, with unibodies that integrate that frame and body. That cuts weight and raises gas mileage.
Example: The new Ford Explorer, now a unibody crossover SUV, is rated about 5 miles per gallon better on the highway than the outgoing truck-based model.
Crossover SUVs had half the sales share industrywide of traditional SUVs in 2002, General Motors says. Now crossovers outsell them 3-to-1.
• Pent-up demand. Families that put off new vehicle purchases are starting to open their wallets. "Pent-up demand is slowly being released," GM's Tom Henderson says.
For families, the rolling box is a necessity. "They have always needed 'utilities,' whether it was minivans or sport-utilities or car-based crossovers," Ford Motor sales analyst George Pipas says.
While 2010 auto sales through November are up 11.1% vs. the same period last year, SUV and crossover sales are up 19.3%, Autodata reports. And December results may widen that.
"Trucks and SUVs typically have stronger sales in December because of snowy and icy conditions," says Jesse Toprak, a TrueCar.com vice president.
Contact us to test drive one of the new Chevrolet fuel-efficient SUVs today at Courtesy Chevrolet.
Via USA Today
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