What's the lowest acceptable gas mileage for a compact SUV? Poll results

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2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016

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We've driven a lot of compact crossover utility vehicles in recent months.

It's a hot category in the new-car market, with all light trucks getting better fuel economy than in past years—and gasoline prices continuing below $3 per gallon in most of the U.S.

So we wondered what readers felt would be acceptable fuel economy in a compact SUV.

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Well, never let it be said that our Twitter followers aren't aggressive in expecting greater efficiency from all categories of vehicle.

We asked what the "lowest acceptable" gas mileage for a compact SUV would be in a Twitter poll.

More than four out of 10 respondents (41 percent) pegged that lowest-acceptable figure at 40 mpg combined, or higher.

For the record, the higher-mileage end of the current crop of compact crossovers runs at 32 mpg combined for the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and 30 mpg combined for one version of the Honda CR-V.

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel hasn't yet received its full EPA gas-mileage ratings, so it's unclear where it'll fall in that range. (Its highway rating will likely be quite high, but the city rating is less clear.) The upcoming Honda CR-V Hybrid may also do better as well.

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The next most popular answer for minimum acceptable mileage was 30 mpg combined, with 34 percent of respondents picking it.

In between those two, 35 mpg picked up 11 percent of respondents—looking to the near future, conceivably.

Honda CR-V Hybrid introduced at 2017 Shanghai auto show

Honda CR-V Hybrid introduced at 2017 Shanghai auto show

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Finally, 14 percent of respondents said 25 mpg was the minimum acceptable. Perhaps they're the ones who actually drive late-model crossovers?

In any case, progress in fuel efficiency is likely to continue improving, at an incremental rate.

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So far, all the plug-in hybrid crossovers are from luxury brands—BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo—rather than affordable mass-market makes.

The sole all-electric crossover, meanwhile, is the Tesla Model X, with a price starting a bit under $100,000 and moving up from there.

We didn't include the qualification "affordable" in the survey, but perhaps we should have.

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