My daily commute is 120 miles round trip. I need an SUV to travel the interstate in bad weather, especially in snow. I also need luxury, high mileage, blind spot monitoring, a backup camera and hands-free calling. I’d like a nice CD player as well.
Two strong candidates for your driveway are the Lexus RX 450h and new-for-2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid. The all-wheel-drive Lexus RX 450h hybrid has EPA ratings of 32/28 mpg city/highway, and the Q5 Hybrid with standard AWD is rated at 24/30 mpg.
Both offer luxury and the features you desire, including a blind spot monitor, rearview camera, hands-free phone operation and a premium sound system. The 450h has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, and the Q5 has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; both require premium gas, which offsets some of the money that the hybrid systems will save.
Other luxury SUVs that offer the same features include the non-hybrid Q5, which at a starting price of $35,900 is $15,000 less than the hybrid version, the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque and the Mercedes-Benz ML350 Bluetec diesel. The EPA ratings on those three models are 20/28 mpg, which aren’t great compared to many sedans but are among the higher ratings for luxury SUVs.
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