The most fuel efficient SUVs available right now
Don’t want to sacrifice size for environmental consciousness? These options are for you.
– SUVs have become more fuel-conscious over the last 10 years
– Most of the improvements are due to the introduction of the hybrid engine
– Advanced technologies with the drive train have also improved efficiency
Most fuel efficient SUVs
Great mileage and SUVs are generally mutually exclusive. Hybrid technology along with the redesign of SUVs into crossovers, drive train improvements with advanced technologies, and better aerodynamics means that this is starting to change.
Let’s be honest though, a large heavy-duty SUV is never going to be fuel efficient. It’s the tradeoff you make for the other features. Listed below are the highest-rated fuel efficient SUV and crossover vehicles available today.
Nissan Kicks – Introduced in the 2019 model year, the Nissan Kicks replaces the Juke. The 1.6L inline 4-cylinder engine is highly efficient with an assist from the CVT and FWD. The Nissan Kicks delivers a fuel efficiency rating of 31MPG City, 36MPG Highway, and 33MPG combined.
Toyota C-HR – Considered a crossover by some, a car to me, and a small car to a reviewer on Edmunds, the Toyota C-HR’s great mileage may come due to its small size and lack of AWD. Its purchasers seem to be happy, and we all know how loyal Toyota drivers are! Somewhere right now a 1995 Corolla is still on the road and being raved about by its owner. This small car/crossover/SUV claims mileage of 27MPG City, 31MPG Highway, and 29MPG Combined.
Chevrolet Equinox – Another fuel efficient diesel SUV is the Chevrolet Equinox. The higher fuel efficiency comes in the 1.6L 4-cylinder diesel engine version. Get it while you can because production is coming to an end. Slow sales, likely because no one knew about it, have killed the diesel version of the Equinox. With a mileage of 28MPG City, 39MPG Highway and 32MPG combined, it’s unfortunate this is the end of the road for the Chevrolet Equinox.
GMC Terrain – The GMC Terrain is one of the larger SUVs in this list. The higher fuel efficiency rating comes in the 1.6L 4-cylinder diesel engine model. Fuel efficiency is derived primarily from it’s AWD capability to release the rear axle when not required. The GMC Terrain boasts mileage of 28MPG City, 39MPG Highway, and 32MPG combined.
Mazda CX-5 Diesel – The Mazda CX-5 Diesel is a small SUV with a 2.2L diesel engine with 168hp. With review ratings all over 8 the CX-5 diesel gains popularity with its decent mileage of 28MPG City, 31MPG Highway, and 29MPG Combined.
Lexus UX 250 – The Lexus UX 250 is a hybrid offering featuring 181 horsepower in a subcompact SUV frame. The UX 250 provides an efficient 41MPG City, 38MPG Highway, and 39MPG Combined mileage.
Nissan Rogue Hybrid – The Nissan Rogue’s fuel efficiency stems from the fact that it’s a hybrid. There have been some complaints of lethargic acceleration which makes some hesitant to trust it in city traffic driving, this tends to be a common complaint with some of the hybrids. Also not uncommon is that the Rogue is claimed to actually not have the high mileage of 33MPG City, 35MPG Highway, and 34MPG combined.
Audi e-tron – The Audi e-tron is touted as “the first purely electric SUV from Audi.” It comes with dual electric motors pushing 355HP. It has a “sport mode” which increases the horsepower to 402. No worries about lagging acceleration and lack of power here. The Audi e-tron is one of the pricier fuel-efficient SUVs starting at $75,795. But that price tag does come with TWO engines featuring a mileage of 74MPG City, 73MPG Highway, and 74MPG Combined.
Hyundai Kona Electric – The Kona is another fully electric SUV offering and it advertises very impressive mileage but sadly, only one engine with 147hp. The Hyundai Kona Electric is one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market boasting an incredible mileage of 132MPG City, 108MPG Highway, and 120MPG Combined.
Jaguar I-PACE – The Jaguar I-Pace is another all-electric SUV. The starting price is $65,500 and has received pretty high ratings from testers and drivers. Featuring two electric motors (notice a trend here?) for a total of 395hp, the I-Pace is still able to deliver mileage of 80MPG City, 72MPG Highway, and 76MPG Combined.
Kia Niro EV – A small electric SUV offering from KIA with 201hp on one engine. The Kia Niro EV delivers an impressive mileage of 123MPG City, 102MPG Highway, and 112MPG Combined.
Tesla Model X – The electric SUV offering from Tesla, the Model X, gets high ride ratings and features two electric motors as most of the SUVs with higher horsepower tend to. The Tesla Model X offers great mileage of 88MPG City, 93MPG, Highway, and 96MPG Combined.
Hyundai NEXO – The Hyundai Nexo is a fuel cell SUV powered by hydrogen. It looks nice and sounds pretty impressive, but again, it is not towing your boat. The Hyundai Nexo is only available in California but if you can get your hands on one, it has an impressive standard mileage of 65MPG City, 58MPG Highway, and 61MPG Combined.
The most fuel efficient SUVs tend to be the electric ones, but there are many trade-offs. Good mileage for an SUV can still be found in diesel models and quite a few crossovers.
A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:
If electric SUVs or crossovers aren’t your thing, here are some ways to get better fuel economy.
When is the best time of year to get a great deal on a new car? Find out here!