SUVs With Best MPG of 2020

A few decades ago, you could either choose between an economical, basic runabout or a larger truck with the fuel-efficiency of a boat - nowadays, an SUV with the best gas mileage figures is actually a possibility. Times have changed and there are a number of modern sports utility vehicles that offer space, pace, and thrifty consumption in equal measure.

Our reviews uncover the pros and cons of each so that you know exactly what you’re spending your money on. Where fuel-efficiency is concerned, you can find out about each car’s official mileage, how far they travel on a full tank, and how their economy matches up to the competition.

Our rankings of the most economical models is a carefully considered one, taking into account aspects that might not be top of mind for the average buyer. Even if affordability is your main priority, you will also want to know about available safety features, build quality, warranty coverage, and ride/handling. Our experienced team addresses all of these categories to help you with your decision.

Best SUV gas mileage

With all the new technology available to us, cars now achieve never before dreamed of mileage figures. The advent of the hybrid powertrain has been a particularly impressive leap forward in this area. Thanks to this, heavier machines such as crossovers can travel further than small sedans could a couple of decades ago, though they’ll never be the most efficient machines of all time.

These more practical family haulers may never be quite as economical as their smaller contemporaries. However, it is still possible to reach over 100 miles per gallon in the combined cycle, but only a select few have managed this impressive feat, such as the Kia Niro EV and the Hyundai Kona EV, which get the top mpg in this rather broad segment. Still, their compact nature means they are not as practical. But, to claim they have the best gas mileage is a bit of a misnomer, since they run purely on electricity.

Fuel efficient SUVs

The majority of models on the market fall quite short of the top-rated all-electric forerunners. However, within this category, you’re unlikely to find any options that disappoint. There are some more honorable mentions, such as the Audi e-tron. While not reaching the 100 mpg mark, it is still our top scorer. Better still, in terms of range alone, is the Jaguar I-Pace. It achieves an EPA-estimated 80/72/76 mpg for city/highway/combined cycles; though it scores half a point lower overall in our books, it is near the top of the list of SUVs with good gas mileage.

But, mileage is not all there is to efficiency. Sometimes, just keeping costs down is enough. To this end, many automakers have equipped their more popular nameplates with MHEV systems. Their overall mileage has not been improved dramatically, but the cost of running them is much lower. Some noteworthy names include the acclaimed Honda CR-V and the ever-popular Ford Escape, which both still boast pretty good SUV mpg of 40/35/38 and 43/37/40, respectively.

If non-traditional automobiles are not your cup of green tea, though, there are plenty of great pure gasoline, or even diesel, choices out there. If the initial capital outlay is a prime factor for you, cheaper options such as the Honda HR-V, Nissan Kicks, and Mazda CX-3 still boast combined numbers of over 30 mpg. That is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

While not the SUVs with the best mpg figures, some worthy mentions include:

  • Lexus UX
  • Subaru Crosstek
  • Kia Soul EV

Advantages and Disadvantages to Going Green

Pros

  • Eco-friendly - Naturally, these powertrains have lower carbon emissions. Eco-conscious consumers will find this highly appealing.
  • Excellent fuel economy - Part from just sparing the environment, these machines also spare your wallet.
  • Progressive - Hybrid and electric vehicles were once oddities on the road. Now, they are becoming more commonplace, and not driving one is a sign that you have not moved with the times.
  • Access to AWD - It is rare to see a crossover that does not at least offer AWD. This makes them more versatile and able to handle road conditions that two-wheel-drive automobiles struggle with.

Cons

  • Expensive - While you may save more in the long run, many consumers cannot afford the higher initial capital outlay that these machines ask for.
  • Less fun - The focus on efficiency means that quick acceleration and overall fun are not areas of focus.
  • High maintenance - Hybrids have complicated systems that are pricey to repair. This only further impacts their affordability.

FAQs

What is the most fuel-efficient SUV?

The SUV with the best fuel economy on the market currently is the Hyundai Kona EV. Although it relies purely on electricity, it gets 132/108/120 MPGe. As with most electric vehicles, though, it has a relatively short maximum range - just 258 miles. But, this is still further than any of its competitors.

What is considered good fuel economy for a crossover?

These larger machines generally drink a bit more freely from the tank since they usually need a stronger powertrain to move them. As such, combined figures of 30-32 mpg are actually considered pretty good. Naturally, this is vastly improved upon by tacking on some hybrid components or going all-electric. Most MHEVs manage around 40 mpg, while the futuristic EVs usually aim for 70 or above.

How expensive is a hybrid?

Going green is cheaper than ever before, especially in the USA. True, the price to drive one off the showroom floor is definitely higher than if you opt for a standard gasoline variant. However, looking at the big picture, you save a lot more than you spend in the long run. Dealers in the US also often offer tax rebates for these automobiles. Although, if you want to keep costs down, you do not have to buy a brand-new 2020 or 2021 edition. Looking back just a year to the 2019 iteration saves you quite a bit, as hybrids have been around for the last ten years. You’re certainly not strapped for choice here.
BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime
9.3
BuzzScore
9
Design
10
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#2
2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
9.1
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#3
2019 Audi e-tron
9.1
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
10
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#4
2020 Audi e-tron Sportback
9
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#5
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid
8.9
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
10
Interior
7
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#6
2021 Toyota Venza
8.9
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
10
MPG
7
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#7
2019 Kia Niro EV
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#8
2020 Jaguar I-Pace
8.5
BuzzScore
10
Design
10
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
8
Reliability
8
Safety
6
Value
#9
2020 Hyundai Kona EV
8.4
BuzzScore
7
Design
9
Performance
10
MPG
7
Interior
8
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#10
2020 Ford Escape Hybrid
8.3
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
7
Reliability
9
Safety
7
Value
#11
2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid
8.1
BuzzScore
8
Design
6
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#12
2020 Lexus UX Hybrid
8.1
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
10
MPG
6
Interior
6
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#13
2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
7.5
BuzzScore
7
Design
6
Performance
8
MPG
7
Interior
7
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
7
Value
#14
2019 Kia Soul EV
7.4
BuzzScore
6
Design
6
Performance
7
MPG
7
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
6
Value