5. Jeep Compass and Patriot

EPA combined estimate: 25 mpg

We weren't fans of the Jeep Compass when it last passed through the CNET garage, but it (and its fraternal twin, the Jeep Patriot) makes our list with 25 combined mpg.

Take a First Look at the 2012 Jeep Compass or spin the clocks back and check out our full review of the 2009 Jeep Compass Limited.

Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

4. Kia Sportage

EPA combined estimate: 25 mpg

Although in our full review we recommend that you wait for the turbo version of this sporty SUV, fuel savers can already take advantage of the Sportage's 28 mpg on the highway.

Check out the full review of the 2011 Kia Sportage.

Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

3. Chevrolet Equinox

EPA combined estimate: 26 mpg

The Equinox is a handsome SUV that sits quietly in the middle of Chevrolet's SUV lineup with a combined 26 mpg when equipped with the smaller of its engine choices.

Curiously, Chevrolet also counts the 26 mpg HHR as an SUV, but we prefer to think of it as more of an awkward wagon.

Photo by: Chevrolet

2. Hyundai Tucson

EPA combined estimate: 26 mpg

Hyundai/Kia makes a second appearance on this Top 5 list with the Hyundai Tucson, which just barely beats its Kia cousin, thanks to its smaller 2-liter engine. We think we'd still take the more powerful Kia in this case.

Photo by: Hyundai

1. Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

EPA combined estimate: 27 mpg

Once we'd dismissed our delusions of rally-bred glory, we quickly realized that the light Mitsubishi Outlander was top of its class in fuel efficiency, even in our all-wheel-drive trim. Stepping down to front-wheel drive easily pushes the Outlander Sport to the top of our Top 5 list.

Check out the full review of the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

The odd birds: Mini Cooper Countryman and Nissan Juke

EPA combined estimate: 31 mpg (Mini) and 27 mpg (Nissan)

One's a tiny SUV that's technically classified as a passenger car, the other's a tall car that somehow slips into the SUV category, and we'll bet that you can't tell us which is which. Either way, the Nissan Juke and the Mini Cooper Countryman may top your fuel sippers list, if you consider them SUVs at all.

Check out the full review of the 2011 Nissan Juke.

Photo by: BMW and Nissan
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