Tesla Model X Tops List of 2017 Fuel-Efficient Sport Utility Vehicles

No longer do you have to sacrifice fuel economy to have the space and versatility of a sport utility vehicle (SUV), as the Tesla Model X 90D was named as the top sport utility vehicle (SUV) in 2017 for fuel efficiency by Consumer Reports. The second and third place scores went to the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid XLE and Lexus RX 450h, respectively.

And, with the Tesla Model X, you can also contribute to significant global carbon emissions reductions.

As the Tesla Model X is an electric vehicle, Consumer Reports used a MPGe, or mile-per-gallon equivalent, to compare the Tesla Model X 90D to other SUVs. Their fuel economy numbers were derived from indicators using a precision flow meter and are rounded to the nearest mile per gallon (mpg). Overall mileage is calculated from equal portions of city and expressway driving. This fuel economy test was one of more than 50 vehicle measurements that Consumer Reports accumulated.

Source: Tesla

The only electric SUV existing now, the Tesla Model X has a price tag starting at $88,000. This SUV has an overall Consumer Reports rating of 92 mpg miles per gallon, three times more efficient than the average petrol-based SUV, making it more cost-effective in the long run.

We’ve known for a long time that the Tesla Model X is an appealing vehicle. Tesla describes the quality of this SUV as “uncompromised,” an incredibly safe, fast, and most capable SUV. It offers all-wheel drive and a 100 kWh battery providing 295 miles of range. Seating for up to seven adults and their gear and Ludicrous Mode speed, with acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in as quick as 2.9 seconds, make it a very appealing choice in the SUV market. So, too, do its falcon wing doors, which are unique in the car and SUV marketplace.

Several other factors make the Model X favorable, perhaps even more so than this excellent Consumer Reports fuel economy rating. Like all Tesla vehicles, the Model X has the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver. Other safety protections, too, make this EV quite appealing. The floor-mounted battery lowers the center of gravity so that the risk of rollover is about half that of any vehicle in its class. The battery structure strengthens Model X against side impact intrusions. And without a gasoline engine, the large front trunk (i.e. “frunk”) acts as a giant impact-absorbing crumple zone. (Note: Hyperlink of the frunk is to a Model S safety example.)

The news about Tesla Model X’s SUV fuel efficiency comes at a time in which automakers, led by the U.S. Big Three, have lobbied U.S. President Donald Trump to lessen the Obama administration’s efforts to enforce vehicle fuel efficiency rules through 2025. The automakers made their ennui clear this week in a letter to President Donald Trump, pleading for him to review the policy, which they say could put thousands of jobs at risk.

In 2016, the Tesla Model X earned the title of “most significant vehicle,” according to EV Volumes.

Source: Consumer Reports

Carolyn Fortuna

Carolyn grew up in Stafford Springs, CT, home of the half-mile tar racetrack. She's an avid Formula One fan (this year's trip to the Monza race was memorable). With a Ph.D. from URI, she draws upon digital media literacy and learning to spread the word about sustainability issues. Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Google+