2007 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I just bought this Escape Hybrid a couple weeks ago. Not only is it fun to drive, the mileage more than makes up for the slightly higher price. I get about 30 mpg, but mpg probably depends on how you drive. Faster acceleration means less battery use and lower mpg (my wife used it for a couple days and the onboard calculator showed 27.7 mpg). I have the FWD, so if you get 4WD, expect lower mileage. With the $2,600 tax credit, the hybrid only costs a little more than the 18 to 20 mpg regular Escape.
Best fuel economy of any SUV out there. Plenty of interior room, fun to drive, and looks great.
A fold down front passenger seat to provide more cargo room. Having a longer warranty period would be nice too.