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10 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs

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NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- An SUV is like an old Macy Gray album or Sex And The City episode: It seemed like a good idea in the early 2000s, but looks like an embarrassing, frivolous waste now.

Automakers are trying to change that.

Suburban assault vehicles gave way to car-based crossovers years ago, but their mileage is finally catching up with conservative car buyers. A lot of drivers out there still want SUV-style space -- or at least more room than their subcompact or sedan -- but don't want to sacrifice that small-car mileage.

With gas prices triple what they were in the SUV-happy market of a decade ago, we went to TrueCar for suggestions about how to own an SUV without streaming money directly into the gas tank. The following vehicles offer the space drivers loved when they were singing I Try in traffic, but the mileage they craved since Sex and the City hit the big screen:

10. 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid/Chevy Tahoe Hybrid
MSRP: $53,000
Combined miles per gallon: 21.5

General Motors (GM) lowered the mileage on these twin behemoths, but the hybrid model is only about three miles per gallon better than the standard engine. At a $12,000 premium over the base model, that's about $4,000 per saved gallon. The V-8 engine, seating for eight and more than 100 cubic feet of maximum cargo space are a minimal consolation at the pump, which may explain why only 3% of SUV buyers purchase vehicles this size anymore.

9. Audi Q5 Quattro Premium Plus
MSRP: $40,775
Combined miles per gallon: 23.3

While the Quattro's 57.3 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded pales in comparison with a large SUV, creature comforts such as LED lights, wood inlays, leather seats, rain-sensing headlights, power tailgate and a two-panel panoramic sunroof are admittedly sweet perks. A remote transmitter that opens your garage door and turns on house lights isn't so shabby either.

8. 2012 Mercedes Benz 4MATIC ML 350 BlueTec
MSRP: $50,490
Combined miles per gallon: 23.3

It's about $1,000 more than the standard version, but the turbodiesel engine is four miles per gallon better while hitting the same 0-to-60 times (7.3 seconds). That's about the only area where the ML350 exercises restraint. A heated leather steering wheel, heated seats, dual climate control, an entertainment center with a 7-inch LCD screen and in-dash memory card reader are just some of the toys that come with the sale price.

7. 2012 Kia Sorento EX
MSRP: $26,950
Combined miles per gallon: 26.6

The Sorento's mileage is ample for the price, but so is just about everything else about it. Not only does the Sorento have the largest passenger cabin of its similarly sized competitors, but its 37-cubic-foot maximum cargo volume is cavernous for a midsize SUV. Features such as a 10-speaker sound system and rear camera display only sweeten the deal.