Used Cars: Late Model Hybrid SUVs under $15k

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Forget About It!
Forget About It!

As the demand for more innovative forms of alternative vehicle fuels continues to grow, the availability of high-quality, late-model, used, hybrid-powered SUVs follows suit. Many consumers are under the incorrect assumption that a fuel conserving hybrid propelled SUV is out of their financial grasp but these low-priced late-models prove otherwise. Used car websites like are swamped with top-quality, late-model hybrid powered SUVs. Allow them to help you locate the right SUV at the right price.   


2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

2008-GMC-Yukon-Hybrid-i01This full-size SUV is available in only one trim level. Rear parking assist with a rear-view camera, 18-inch alloy wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control, power folding heated side view mirrors, tinted windows, fifty-fifty split third row seating, power adjustable front seats, leather seating surfaces, keyless remote ignition, an auto dimming rear-view mirror, a navigation system, hybrid display, and nine-speaker Bose audio system with CD/MP3 player and auxiliary audio jack are all listed as standard equipment. The only stand alone options are a sunroof and head rest mounted DVD entertainment system for the rear passengers.


Yukon interiorThe Yukon is available in either two or four-wheel drive models. Both are equipped with a 6.0-liter V8 internal combustion gasoline engine and a pair of 60-kilowatt electric motors that serve to form an electrically variable transmission. The combination of the big V8 and the electrically variable transmission deliver 332-horsepower and 367 lb.-ft. of torque. The battery which powers the electric motors is recharged primarily using the engine’s alternator but also utilizes kinetic energy stored during braking and engine deceleration to maintain a consistent power level. On the bottom-end, the Yukon can accelerate up to 25-mph under only electric power, using cylinder deactivation technology to conserve fuel as higher speeds are reached. The rear-wheel drive Yukon achieves 21 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, when equipped with the rear-wheel drivetrain and 20 mpg city/20 mpg highway with the four-wheel drive setup. Maximum towing capacity for the Yukon, with four-wheel drive, is 6,000-pounds.


In addition to its full-size design, the Yukon offers numerous safety features as standard equipment. Included are a full length side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, electronic stability and traction control, and a rear view camera. In governmental crash resting the Yukon scored a perfect five-stard in sll side and frontal impact testing.


As expected, the interior of the Yukon is spacious and elegant. The center mounted control stack is straightforward and easy to use with all of the necessary buttons in all of the right places and instrumentation is simplistic with great visibility Soft, plush leather seating surfaces, with configurable seating options help to maximize cargo space and passenger comfort. Eight passengers can ride comfortably in the Yukon.


2008 Lexus RX 400h

RX 400hThe RX 400h is a mid-size luxury SUV that is available with front or all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is particularly advantageous if you live in an area that experiences severe winter weather; especially snow and/or ice. As is the case with most hybrid SUVs, it is offered in just one trim level. Fortunately Lexus knows a lot about luxurious trim. That is just one of the things that makes this used sport utility vehicle such a great bargain at under $15k. Steering wheel mounted transmission paddle shifters, audio controls, and cruise controls, automatic dual-climate control, power adjustable front seats, 17-inch wheels, power rear lift-gate, heated power adjustable side view mirrors, sliding and reclining second row seating, cloth seating surfaces, eight-speaker premium audio with an integrated six-disc CD player/changer, are all listed as standard equipment. Optional trappings include a Premium package that features leather seating surfaces, a sunroof and driver’s seat memory function, a power tilting and telescoping steering column, and leather interior trim accents. The Premium Plus package adds 18-inch wheels, an upgraded 11-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, adaptive Xenon headlamps, a navigation system with LCD touchscreen and backup camera, headrest mounted rear passenger DVD entertainment system, and lavish interior wood grain trim.


400 h interiorThe 2008 Lexus RX 400h uses a 3.3-liter V6 internal combustion gasoline engine combined with electric motor generators to provide the horsepower. The front-wheel drive version utilizes the gas burner with two electric motors and the all-wheel drive version employs a system with three electric motors. In the front, one electric motor acts as a starter while the other provides the motive force. A separate electric motor drives the rear wheels on the all-wheel drive variant. The combination of gas and electric power sources delivers 268-horsepower through a specially designed continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Lexus can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 7.5-seconds, when outfitted with the front-wheel drive only system, and 7.3-seconds when equipped with the all-wheel drivetrain. Towing capacity fot the 400h is 3,500-pounds when equipped with all-wheel drive.


2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

MarinerThe Mariner is a compact hybrid SUV that si also available in standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. It lists full power accessories, a six-speaker audio system with steering wheel mounted auxiliary controls, and in dash CD player/changer, and MP3 player input jack, leather wrapped steering wheel, faux wood grain interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, power adjustable driver’s seat, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, and a trip computer as standard equipment. The Hybrid Premium package adds rear parking sensors, heated leather seating surfaces, an upgraded seven-speaker premium audio system, an LCD touchscreen with a DVD -based navigation system, and hybrid energy flow/fuel consumption display, and a retractable rear cargo cover. Hybrid exclusive 16-inch aluminum wheels were also available as a stand alone option.


Mariner interiorThe Mariner is powered nu a 2.5-liter internal combustion gasoline engine working in tandem with a pair of electric motors (on front-wheel drive vehicles and three motors on all-wheel drive). The gasoline engine is used to recharge the Mariner’s battery pack with kinetic energy, from braking and engine deceleration, being accumulated as well. The total output for the propulsion system is 177-horsepower and it uses a CVT to delegate power to the appropriate sector. The CVT on the Mariner is somewhat unique in that it uses a helical gear set instead of the more common belt-drive. The third electric motor that powers the rear wheels of the Mariner is designed to operate only when a certain degree of slippage is detected. It is not an all-wheel drive vehicle in the most conventional sense and therefore not particularly beneficial in adverse winter weather conditions, etc. The EPA has dealt the 2008 Mariner a fuel efficiency rating of 34 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, when equipped with front-wheel drive only. The all-wheel drive variant gets 29 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.

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