The hybrid SUV is one
of the most popular alternative vehicles to market so
Each manufacturer knows
that having a hybrid SUV in the lineup will insure profitability
and future growth.
As some auto manufacturers
raced to get their hybrid cars to market, others focused
on their hybrid SUV lineup instead.
Take Ford for example, which has not pushed a single gasoline-electric
hybrid car to market, but does have one hybrid SUV in showrooms
under their own brand (Escape
Hybrid SUV) and one hybrid SUV under the Mercury
brand name (Mariner
Hybrid SUV). To Ford's credit though, they have just
presented two Florida agencies with five Ford Focus Fuel Cell
Vehicles (FCV) based on hydrogen technology, so the commitment
to going green is there.
photo above is of a Mercury Mariner Hybrid in front
of a Ford Escape Hybrid.
The Ford Escape Hybrid SUV was named the 2005 North American
Truck of the Year at the North American International Auto Show
in Detroit. In addition, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV has
been endorsed by the Sierra Club and promoted in newsletters
as the ultimate green machine.
Toyota also has one hybrid SUV now available under their
own brand (Highlander
Hybrid SUV) and one hybrid SUV under the Lexus
brand name (RX400h
Hybrid SUV). The Highlander Hybrid SUV is the
world's first 7-passenger hybrid vehicle, making it the
largest SUV from any manufacturer to have hybrid technology.
In addition, the Lexus RX400h Hybrid SUV is the world's
first hybrid luxury vehicle. This hybrid SUV is so popular
that you can't simply drive down and pick one up as there
is a long waiting list for this model.
Coming a little late to market, General Motors has five
different hybrid SUV models coming out in the near future.
The lineup includes the Chevy
S3X SUV Hybrid, Chevy
Equinox Hybrid SUV, Chevy
Tahoe Hybrid SUV, GMC
Yukon Hybrid SUV and the Saturn
VUE Hybrid SUV. All are expected to roll out
in 2006 or 2007.
The S3X, Equinox and Saturn VUE SUV share the same Theta
platform and mild hybrid systems. The Chevy Tahoe and GMC
Yukon SUV are heavier and incorporate full hybrid systems.
Also coming to market in 2006 for the 2007 selling season
is the Mazda
Tribute Hybrid SUV. Since Ford owns 33-percent
of Mazda, most likely the Tribute Hybrid SUV will be based
upon Ford's Escape Hybrid SUV technology.
One hybrid SUV of note that hasn't found a roll out date
yet is the BMW
X5 Hybrid SUV (or SAV as they are calling it,
which stands for Sport Activity Vehicle). The most exciting
feature of this SUV is the use of high-performance super-capacitors
under the floorboard that give the SUV more torque than
any other SUV in its class plus a 15-percent fuel efficiency
The hybrid SUV is here to stay. There is no turning back
now. Consumers want it. Manufacturers profit from it. The
environment benefits from it. In a few years, the hybrid
SUV will eclipse all other SUVs and simply be called "That
SUV in our garage."