If you need a big car, but you don’t want to destroy the planet or shell out mountains of cash for gas, then this list is for you! Here we rank the most popular SUVs based on their gas mileage, eco-friendly features, and cost-effectiveness.
Important Notes: Mileage quoted here is based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated ratings, and actual mileage will vary. All mileage estimates are miles-per-gallon (MPG) consumption based on 2-Wheel or Front Wheel Drive. Fuel efficiency goes down by about 2 MPG as you switch to 4-Wheel/All-Wheel Drive.
13. 2017 Chevrolet Trax
Engine: 1.4L 4-cylinder, Turbocharged, 138HP
Mileage: 25 MPG city/ 33 MPG hwy/ 28 MPG combined
The Chevy Trax is the baby of the crossover SUV group. Edmunds rates this one as an easy-driving, affordable runabout. Reportedly the Trax offers respectable passenger space and excellent crash scores, too.
12. 2016 Jeep Compass Sport
Engine: 2.0L DOHC with Dual VVT, 158HP
Mileage: 23 MPG city/ 30 MPG hwy/ 25 MPG combined
Jeep's affordable 2017 Compass sports the same engine and mileage as the 2017 Patriot. Compass brings above-average off-roading capabilities with its Freedom Drive II, but the ride is still choppy overall, says Edmunds. The main difference from the Patriot is the Compass's styling, which offers luxury looks for a bargain price.
11. 2016 Nissan JUKE S
Engine: 1.6L 4-cylinder DOHC, Turbocharged, 188HP
Mileage: 28 MPG city/ 32 MPG hwy/ 29 MPG combined
A funky hatchback-crossover SUV, Nissan’s JUKE is on the smaller side. The JUKE comes with a continuously variable valve timing system to increase fuel economy. However, while Nissan’s estimated mileage numbers are decent, the speedy turbocharged engine reportedly raises fuel consumption in practice, reports The Car Connection.
10. 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder Auto (AV-S6) with CVT, 166HP
Mileage: 24 MPG city/ 30 MPG hwy/ 27 MPG combined
Mitsubishi’s Outlander is one of the most affordable SUVs on this list, and still offers drivers a decent combined city/ highway fuel economy compared to the competition. The lower price comes at a sacrifice of speed and comfort on the highway, but this crossover is deemed perfectly adequate for community driving, according to Car and Driver. We’re still excited to see the 2017 Outlander Sport PHEV come on the market in 2017. Although it will be in a higher price bracket, the plug-in version has been wildly popular in Europe.
9. 2017 GMC Terrain SL
Engine: 2.4L i-4 with VVT, 182HP
Mileage: 21 MPG city, 31 MPG hwy, 25 MPG combined
GMC’s 2017 Terrain SL comes with two engine options: the 4-cylinder engine, which is a bit weaker but produces better fuel consumption, or a slightly less-efficient V6 engine that brings 301 horsepower and keeps up with the big boys. Both engines have VVT technology to achieve decent emissions ratings. With the 4-cylinder engine, the 2017 Terrain is a good mid-priced option for front-drive customers who want to use this large and comfy SUV for urban driving or long-distance cruising, says The Car Connection.
8. 2017 Chevrolet Equinox L
Engine: 2.4L 4-cylinder DOHC, 182HP
Mileage: 21 MPG city/ 31 MPG hwy/ 25 MPG combined
The Equinox is a practical, reasonably-priced family crossover that has sold 2 million units since its introduction in 2005, says Car and Driver. The 2017 Equinox is one of the largest models in this group, and for this reason is less fuel efficient than others in its class. Still, its VVT technology brings 182 horsepower at 6,700 rpm, which outshines many of its competitors. For those who can wait, the 2018 Equinox promises three turbocharged engines and a 400lb weight reduction that is expected to greatly improve fuel efficiency.
7. 2017 Lexus RX 450h
Engine: Atkinson-cycle 6-cylinder with Dual VVT-I and Lexus Hybrid Drive, 308HP
Mileage: 30 MPG combined city/hwy (estimate by Lexus)
The Lexus RX 450h hybrid is on the higher end of the price spectrum, and is predicted to drive a combined 30 miles per gallon, like the 2016 version. The car’s Dual VVT-I valve train greatly reduces hydrocarbon emissions, earning the Lexus RX 450h a Certified Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle rating. This is an excellent option for drivers looking for a powerful luxury midsize crossover SUV loaded with all the standard features, and that also rates highly on comfort and quality.
6. 2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Engine: 3.5L 6-cylinder Auto (AV-S6), 280HP
Mileage: 27 MPG city/ 28 MPG hwy/ 28 MPG combined
The Highlander Hybrid combines a 3.5L V6 engine with an electric motor to give you 280 total horsepower, higher than most others on this list. Toyota’s hybrid SUV offers a trade-off between slightly lower fuel economy and greater space- for a luxury price. Highlander’s fuel economy reportedly shines best on the highway, and the car carries a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle rating.
5. 2017 Ford Escape SE
Engine: 1.5L EcoBoost iVCT, Turbocharged, 179HP
Mileage: 23 MPG city/ 30 MPG hwy/ 26 MPG combined
The Escape SE toes the line with the best mileage and middling price from the three possible engine styles available in the Escape lineup. The SE’s EcoBoost engine combines direct fuel injection with turbocharging to increase efficiency and produce power comparable to larger engines. Ford’s eco-friendly design also uses over 10 lbs of scrap cotton from landfills as sound deadener, and the equivalent of 25 20oz bottles melted down in its carpets.
4. 2017 Hyundai Tucson Eco
Engine: 1.6L 4-cylinder, Turbocharged, 175HP
Mileage: 26 city/ 32 hwy/ 28 combined
The Eco is the second step on the Tuscon ladder, costing less than $1,500 more than the basic SE. For this price, you get better mileage on all counts, and the turbocharged engine provides increased horsepower and more torque than the Hyundai Tuscon SE. Whichever model you choose, Edmunds points out that the 2017 Hyundai Tuscon crossover SUVs are a bit smaller than others in their class.
3. 2017 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid AWD
Engine: 2.5L 4-cylinder DOHC with Dual VVT-i, 194HP with hybrid system
Mileage: 34 MPG city/ 30 MPG hwy/ 32 MPG combined
With all-wheel drive and hybrid-amplified fuel economy, Toyota's RAV 4 Hybrid has been showing competitors what a fuel-efficient SUV can achieve. The Rav4 Hybrid also offers space, an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle II rating, and a composed ride quality. The 2016 version is just as good, and you can pick one up for $1,000 less than the 2017.
2. 2016 Honda CR-V LX
Engine: 2.4L 4-cylinder, 185HP
Mileage: 26 city/ 33 hwy/ 29 combined
One of the most popular SUVs on this list, the 2016 Honda CR-V can cart your family everywhere while bringing the gas savings. Named one of the 16 best family cars by Kelley Blue Book, the 2016 Honda CR-V LX uses CVT in Sport Mode to keep gas consumption low. For drivers who want more size and speed and have wiggle room in their budget, it might be worth waiting for the larger, turbocharged 2017 version to come out.
1. 2016 Mazda CX-5 Sport
Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder with VVT, 184HP
Mileage: 26 MPG city/ 35 MPG hwy/ 35 MPG combined
The Mazda CX-5 Sport is a compact crossover SUV that doesn’t compromise style and handling for fuel economy, and is attractively priced too. The engine in Mazda’s best-selling sport CUV uses variable valve timing to increase fuel efficiency, and with 184 horsepower, you can “conquer more highway on less fuel,” says Mazda. The CX-5 Sport tops our list as the all-around most versatile, economically-priced, and fuel-efficient model out there.