Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient SUVs

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

There was a time when shopping for an SUV meant giving up fuel economy in exchange for extra interior room and cargo space. While that still may be the case for some models, there are plenty of fuel efficient crossovers and SUVs available in today’s marketplace, some of which get over 30 MPG on the highway.

Compared to last year’s Top 10 list, fuel economy has gone up across the board. Just a year ago the most fuel efficient SUVs had a worst combined MPG rating of 25 while the best vehicle saw 30 MPG combined. This year, the most fuel efficient model stickers for 31 MPG combined while even models at the bottom of the list are posting a 2 MPG improvement to 27 MPG.

So if you’re in the market for a fuel efficient crossover or SUV then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve listed the Top 10 most efficient models, based on their combined city/highway rating.

The Subaru Forester features all-wheel drive and is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 170 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. It lands 10th on our list with a 24 MPG city, 32 MPG highway rating that’s good for 27 MPG combined. Priced from $22,820, the Subaru Forester’s price tag lands it on our list over other vehicles that also get a 27 MPG combined rating.

Also worth mentioning here are the Mitsubishi Outlander ($23,820), BMW X1 sDrive28i ($31,825) and Audi Q5 ($38,195), all of which also get a 27 MPG combined rating but which cost more than the Subaru.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Subaru Forester Review

The second cheapest car on the list is the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, priced at $20,295. Under the hood is the Japanese automaker’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. The small powerplant allows the Outlander Sport to get a 24 MPG city, 31 MPG highway rating that nets it 27 MPG combined.

The sole German car on the list is the Mercedes-Benz GLK250 Bluetec, which is powered by a 2.1-liter twin-turbo diesel four with 200 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. It comes as a price however, as the GLK250 Bluetec is priced from $39,905. What you do get however is 4MATIC all-wheel drive, 24 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. The GLK250 Bluetec gets a 28 MPG combined rating and is a great choice for diesel lovers.

SEE ALSO: Five-Point Inspection: 2013 Mercedes GLK 250 BlueTEC

The standard Subaru XV Crosstrek is good for 25 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway, giving it a combined rating of 28 MPG. Priced from $23,645, the XV Crosstrek comes with all-wheel drive standard and is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review – Video

Buick is the only American automaker that manages to crack the Top 10 list, with the Encore getting a 25 MPG city, 33 MPG highway rating. That means the budget-minded luxury crossover is good for 28 MPG combined. Powering the Encore is an Ecotec 1.4-liter turbo-four engine with 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. Best of all, the Encore is priced competitively with a starting MSRP of $26,010.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Buick Encore Review

The all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue provides 26 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway, giving it a 28 MPG combined rating. It’s also competitively priced at $23,350 with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine providing 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Standard on the Rogue is an Xtronic CVT that helps it achieve such great fuel economy.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Nissan Rogue Review

The Mazda CX-5 with its SkyActiv technology lands it on our list thanks to its 29 MPG combined rating. Priced from $22,190, the compact crossover SUV comes equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as standard that gets it 26 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway in front-wheel-drive form. Those figures drop slightly if you’re opting for an automatic transmission, getting you the same MPG in the city but 32 MPG on the highway. All-wheel-drive owners will see 25 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. The 2.0-liter powerplant is good for 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2014 Mazda CX-5

The funky crossover from Nissan has earned its place in the market over recent years, providing a sporty driving experience with competitive fuel economy. The Juke is good for a 27 MPG city, 32 MPG highway rating which means it gets 29 MPG combined. It’s also the cheapest car on our list, starting from just $19,800. Under the hood is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that nets 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO Review – Video

If you’re shopping for luxury, then the Lexus RX 450h should be at the top of your list. Priced from $47,320, the RX 450h is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to an electric motor helping provide a total system output of 295 hp. The result is a luxury SUV that gets 32 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway, good for a 30 MPG combined rating. Note that if you’re shopping for the all-wheel-drive variant, prepare to lose a bit of fuel efficiency in the city, as the RX 450h AWD gets a 30 MPG city, 28 MPG highway rating.

The most fuel-efficient crossover or SUV available on today’s market is the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Powered by the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine found in the standard XV Crosstrek, the hybrid variant also features an electric motor that gives it a total system output of 160 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. Its affordable too with a starting price of $26,820. Best of all, you’ll get 29 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway, making the XV Crosstrek Hybrid good for a 31 MPG combined rating.

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • Gus Gus on Jun 03, 2014

    Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4?

  • Drumpy Drumpy on Apr 16, 2015

    It is sad when 'mom vans' and glorified 'hatchbacks' are considered SUV's.... Show us some proper SUV's with some actual fuel economy stats!