New 2020 SUVs are road trip ready, thanks to features, good fuel economy

Dave Kunz Image
Thursday, July 16, 2020
New 2020 SUVs are road trip ready, thanks to features, good fuel economy
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With many families taking road trips for their vacations these days, SUVs are proving very popular - and small SUVs help with the fuel budget.

When it comes to SUVs these days, small is good, as far as a lot of buyers are concerned. Many gravitate to the compact size classes, with models like the Toyota CH-R. It's gotten some updates for 2020, which should keep it a strong seller, especially among the Toyota faithful.

An all-new competitor comes from Hyundai this year, the Venue. Hyundai already had a number of SUV models in its lineup, but now it has one more, on the smaller end. It is compact, relatively affordable and packed with standard safety features. The looks are a little -- different. But a lot of people complain that all vehicles look alike today, so there. The Venue has a starting price of under $18,000.

If you prefer sleekness, another all-new entry this year is from Mazda, which has slotted its new CX-30 in between the popular CX-3 and popular CX-5. This new one carries all the usual Mazda attributes, including a sporty driving characteristic. And, Mazda's SkyActive system of efficiency traits make for pretty good fuel economy both around town and on the highway. It gets over 30 mpg there, according to the EPA. Base price for this new Mazda is just under $22,000.

Record number of SUV choices for 2020, from hybrids to luxury models

The smaller SUVs can do most everything, but some buyers do need the increased passenger and cargo space of a mid-size model. Here too, you can get pretty good fuel efficiency.

Toyota was one of the first crossover SUV brands with the Highlander nearly 20 years ago, and one of the first hybrid SUV brands with the Highlander Hybrid back in '06. For 2020, there's a completely new version of both, with the Highlander Hybrid having a base price of $37,520. Want luxury? In platinum trim, the interior nips at the heels of sister division Lexus' models, though you'll pay for it, with a Lexus-like price tag of over $50,000 with everything.

But you'll save money on gas, especially considering its carrying capacity. The EPA says the Highlander Hybrid is good for 35 mpg combined, and also 35 in the city. It has new efficiency under the hood this time with four cylinder power to go along with the electric drive system. Different selectable drive modes range from Sport to Eco, so you can customize your driving experience.

Like it or not, SUVs are now the dominant style of vehicles in U.S. showrooms. And gone are the days when "SUV" automatically means "lousy gas mileage."

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