List of Small SUVs

by Rob Wagner

Compact sport-utility vehicles have been on the automotive market since the 1950s, but usually feature passenger-car amenities. Measuring between 167 and 190 inches long, the compact SUV generally seats five people comfortably, with adequate cargo space. Compact SUVs come as two- and four-wheel-drive models, placed either on an automobile or truck frame.

Ford Escape

The Environmental Protection Agency lists the Ford Escape Hybrid as the most economical SUV produced in 2010 for the 2011 model year. The Escape gets 24 mpg in urban driving and 31 mpg on the highway. It features a Duratec 171-horsepower 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder power plant. A 240-horsepower 3-liter V6 is offered as an option without the hybrid technology. A 330-volt sealed nickel-metal battery complements the 2.5-liter internal combustion engine. A regenerative braking system stores energy to power the Escape as well. The Escape is 174.7 inches long and Ford places the body on a 103.1-inch wheelbase. The cargo capacity is 66.3 cubic feet with the rear seats down

Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 broke ground in 1994 as the first crossover sport-utility vehicle by placing it on a Toyota Corolla passenger car frame to give it a more car-like ride and performance. Yet the styling is truck-like. The 2010 RAV4's 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder engine generates 179 horsepower to achieve 22 mpg in urban driving and 28 mpg on the highway. Toyota placed the RAV4 on a 104.7-inch wheelbase. Cargo capacity with the rear seats folded is 73 cubic feet. It measures from bumper to bumper at 181.9 inches. Standard equipment includes a roof spoiler and six-speaker stereo

Honda CR-V

Sharing many of the Escape and RAV4 design characteristics is the Honda CR-V, with a 2.4-liter in-line four to provide 180 horsepower. Its fuel efficiency is on par with the RAV4: 21 mpg in the city and 28 in the country. Its dimensions are a 179.3-inch length and 103.1-inch wheelbase. Yet cargo capacity for the CR-V is generous at 72.9 cubic feet with the seats folded. The CR-V is equipped with alloy accents on the doors and dashboard and computer readout of the vehicle's average and instantaneous fuel consumption as well as the mileage left on the remaining fuel in the tank.

Hyundai Tucson

The 2010 Hyundai Tucson records better fuel efficiency than the RAV4 and CR-V and manages to remain within range with its horsepower rating. A 2.4-liter in-line four gives the Tucson 23/31 mpg and it still manages 176 horsepower. Its wheelbase is similar to its compact SUV competitors at 103.9 inches, but the Tucson is a shorter model at only 173.2 inches from nose to rear. Cargo capacity with he rear seats folded is 55.8 cubic feet.

About the Author

Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.

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