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From an eight-seater Chevrolet Suburban to a hybrid Ford Escape, vehicles used by Utah's government and community leaders average around 22 miles per gallon on the road.

Some chose their cars as an example, and others simply liked the color.

Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson touts his natural gas Honda Civic as chipping in to lower dependence on foreign oil and improving the city's air quality.

"Before you vote for somebody, you ought to ask what they've done in their private lives to show their commitment to these issues," said Anderson, who bought his car used from a green-car rental company in California. His white civic is "very innocuous — you look in a parking lot and you wonder why you bought a white car."

Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, selected his old Honda Insight almost five years ago because he was curious about the technology.

"I was the first member of Congress to buy a hybrid, and I did it mainly because I'm the high-tech senator," Bennett said.

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and his wife upgraded his 1978 sports car to a Dodge Durango on their toddler's behalf, he said.

"We wanted a little bit bigger vehicle," Matheson said of his sand-colored SUV. "I picked a color that you couldn't tell when it's dirty."

Whether their car choices clash with their public personae or seem to be perfect fits, they offer a glimpse into the private lives of some of Utah's most well-known personalities.

E-mail: kswinyard@desnews.com