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Ford Escape Hybrid
Base price: $27,445 - $29,215
Mileage: 30 mpg Hwy, 34 mpg City

The Ford Escape Hybrid is one SUV that really needs no alternative. With a fuel-efficient, four-cylinder engine and a Prius-like full-hybrid system, the Escape delivers small-car fuel economy with crossover SUV utility.

Consumer Reports faults it for long braking distance, though. Blame low-rolling-resistance tires. Getting AWD also knocks fuel economy down quite a bit. Even then, it offers the highest mpg among all-wheel-drive SUVs.

Unfortunately, supplies are tight. If your local Ford dealer is demanding over-sticker pricing, walk away. The Escape Hybrid is good, but not that good.

NEXT: Saturn Vue Green Line

Last updated May 15 2008: 12:21 PM ET