Hope

Because you said “vehicle,” we assume you’re open to something other than a car. That’s good, because the only six-passenger car available these days is the Chevrolet Impala, which has EPA ratings of 18/30 mpg city/highway — hardly great. The Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic wagon comes with three rows of seats — including a two-seat, rear-facing jump seat for seven-passenger capacity — but the EPA estimates are 19/27 mpg.

2012_sorento

The Kia Sorento, a seven-passenger crossover SUV, should be more economical. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with gasoline direct injection is standard on the Sorento EX and optional on the LX model, and it earns EPA ratings of 22/32 mpg. The latter figure is highest among vehicles that seat six or more people.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid doesn’t match the Sorento’s highway rating, but it gets 28 mpg from the EPA for both city and highway driving. Other seven-seat SUVs you might consider include the Ford Explorer with the optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine (20/28 mpg), the four-cylinder Mitsubishi Outlander (23/28 mpg) and the four-cylinder Toyota RAV4 (22/28 mpg).

We caution that these fuel economy estimates may prove optimistic depending on traffic conditions and how you drive.

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Answered by Rick Popely on May 30, 2012 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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