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2014-13 Earth Aware CUV/SUV Buyer's Guide written by Martha Hindes

2014 Earth Aware Vehicle Buyer's Guide
Featuring Top 10 Green SUVs & CUVs

by Martha Hindes

Road & Travel Magazine's Top 10 Picks

Audi Q5 Hybrid

Mazda CX-5

Chevrolet Spark EV

Mitsubishi Mirage

Jeep Grand Cherokee

The year 2014 could be a fantastic or frustrating one for hypermiling crossover vehicle fans — those who specialize in wringing every possible bit of energy, and distance, from a vehicle fuel source. A tantalizing group of cutting edge, fuel-starving green SUVs and CUVs peeks out from the pages of glossy automotive magazines. They leap off the fluid screens of internet blog sites. They highlight conversations of tree hugging enthusiasts over their water filtering bottles as they travel, with tender footsteps, across fields, ford streams, climb rocks and breathe in the essence of the clean air they are determined to protect. Those futuristic vehicles—that might have made the Jetsons green with envy—hint at the extraordinary research, development, and cost, from car companies trying to find new, previously unimaginable ways to cut the energy footprint of getting from here to there.

Combined with the promise of an ecologically sound means of transport, they seem to be the perfect answer for an increasingly clogged environment that conservationists avow desperately needs cleaner, less earth sullying vehicles. These trendy, coveted and ultimately usable people haulers seem to have it all — the perfect size and shape for a number of travel needs from hauling some goods to carrying a small group of people to subbing as a mobile office or at times a service vehicle, such as a green taxi.

Some have been around long enough to be readily available — for a price. Others are just out of reach, or are limited to specific areas such as California, Oregon, New York, or New Jersey.

For those of us determined to join the migration away from yesterday's polluting technologies, here's ROAD & TRAVEL's top 10 picks of 2014 (and some 2013 with new additions for 2014) green SUV/CUV vehicles that can help ease the transition. Some are greener than others, such as electric-only. But they require a balancing act between the desired green effect, the ability to use them effectively and to pay the up-front cost. For our selection of 2014 choices, read on.