The day of the super sized gas guzzling SUV may not be over, but it’s certainly in a state of change. Thanks to today’s energy conscious environment, and a real push from government, auto makers are struggling to meet demands for better fuel efficiency. This is no small task, as consumers are overwhelmingly unwilling to sacrifice their 8 passenger SUV. Buyers want an automobile with better gas mileage, as long as it’s still an SUV.

SUV sales have dropped in the last two years, but that drop is measured against an overall decline in all auto sales. It is unclear whether the drop is from an overall dissatisfaction with the model, or simply a result of tighter purse strings. What ever the cause, the SUV of the future will offer slightly better fuel efficiency without sacrificing anything in the way of luxury and size.

In 2009, Kelly’s Blue Book named the 8 passenger Tahoe Hybrid the best new family vehicle, and GMC is speeding up it’s hybrid development to be able to deliver these SUVs faster and with higher quality. In spite of improvements, the Tahoe only boasts a 25% increase in fuel efficiency. That 25% increase is actually very good compared to most hybrid SUVs, which only improve their mileage by about 18%.

8 passenger hybrids are becoming more and more common. The Dodge Durango Hybrid and the Chrysler Aspen Hybrid are both good choices for an eight-passenger SUV. Both have boosted their fuel efficiency to approximately 22 mpg. The Durango starts at about $40,000, and the Chrysler Aspen comes in at around $35,000.

There are many 8 passenger SUVs in today’s market, both hybrid and standard. With the many options to choose from, spend some time shopping the different dealers to make sure you get the best value.

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