top 5 selling hybrid suvs of 2013

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As of July 2013, sales of hybrid SUVs in the U.S. lagged behind those of both standard SUVs and other hybrid vehicles. Hybrid SUVs are not as fuel-efficient as smaller hybrids or electric cars, nor are they as powerful as many standard-fuel SUVs, so they fall into a bit of a gray area. However, if you enjoy the styling and space an SUV affords, but want to reduce your footprint (and save money at the pump), a hybrid may be the right fit for you. A handful of popular models sold relatively well through the first half of 2013.

5 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

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Rounding out the five most popular hybrid SUVs is the Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid, which had sold 227 units through June. Available in either two- or four-wheel drive versions, the Tahoe hybrid is powered by a 6.0-liter V-8 engine that is rated for up to 332 hp. Its lower in-town fuel efficiency of 20 mpg is counterbalanced by 32 mpg on the highway. The Tahoe hybrid retains the classic SUV appearance of its non-hybrid counterparts; people will recognize it as a Tahoe before they see it as a hybrid.

4 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

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Booking 294 U.S. sales through June, the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is the fourth most best-selling hybrid SUV in 2013. The hybrid Cayenne in all-wheel drive vehicle that can generate an impressive 380 horsepower. All that power cuts into fuel efficiency, though: Its EPA estimate mileage is 20 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. The Cayenne, as one would expect of a Porsche, is smaller and sportier than the rest of this group, with available seating for five passengers.

3 Audi Q5 Quattro Hybrid

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As of June 2013, the Audi Q5 Quattro hybrid had sold 524 units. The Q5 is a four-wheel drive vehicle with a 2.1-liter TFSI—turbo fuel stratified injection—engine rated at 245 horsepower. In the city, the Q5 hybrid gets 24 mpg; on the highway, 30 mpg. When it comes to design, the Audi Q5 Quattro hybrid boasts a slim, modern profile but retains some elements to remind drivers, as well as pedestrians, that it’s still an SUV.

2 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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The second most popular hybrid SUV is the Toyota Highlander hybrid. As of June 2013, 2,960 of these hybrids were sold in the U.S. The Highlander Hybrid runs on all-wheel drive and boasts a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 280 horsepower. This SUV has an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 28 mpg, both in the city and on the highway, and offers seating for seven.

1 Lexus RX 400/450h

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The top-selling hybrid SUVs in the U.S. are currently the Lexus RX 400h/450h models. As of June, they racked up 4,898 sales in the U.S. The Lexus RX hybrid models operate on all-wheel drive and get an EPA-estimated 28 mpg on highways and 32 mpg in cities. They can be driven in gas-only or electricity-only modes, as well as a true hybrid mode. In electricity-only mode, the RX has a comparatively limited range.

Trent Jonas accepted his first freelance assignment in 1988 from "The Minnesota Daily" and has been writing professionally ever since, primarily as a copywriter. He has experience in advertising and entrepreneurship, as well as writing on legal and travel topics. Jonas has a Bachelor of Arts in English writing from the University of Minnesota and a Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law.

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