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Car buyers typically associate excellent fuel economy with sedans and smaller vehicles. However, automotive technology has advanced to give trucks and SUVs better fuel efficiency. So, what’s the best SUV for gas mileage? We’ll run through your best options in this comprehensive guide.
What SUVs Count for This List?
SUVs come in two different types — there’s the full hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Full hybrids have a gasoline engine and an electric motor working together to power your car. There’s no need to recharge your vehicle at an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. The other type is a plug-in hybrid SUV. These vehicles have larger battery packs to give you a more extended range on the electric motor. You can use a charging station to replenish your battery.
What’s the Best SUV for Gas Mileage for Full Hybrids?
Driving yourself to work and the kids to soccer practice just became a lot easier with these five fuel-efficient SUVs on the market. Most are hybrids that take advantage of modern technology.
1. 2023 Kia Niro – 49 mpg
What’s the best SUV for gas mileage? It’s the Kira Niro. This hatchback SUV blurs the lines between sedan and SUV with its compact size. Kia first produced the vehicle in 2016 and has since created full hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric variants. The traditional hybrid gets a whopping EPA-estimated 49 mpg in the city and on the highway. Plus, the SUV features regenerative braking to increase the fuel economy even more.
T-2. 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid – 42 mpg
For second place, we have a tie. Let’s start by continuing with the Kia theme. The Kia Sportage Hybrid is one step below the Niro and above the Sorento for fuel mileage, boasting 42 or 44 mpg when you get the LX FWD model. The all-wheel drive (AWD) trim gets about 38 mpg. Plus, the Sportage Hybrid brings a mean streak to the table with 226 horsepower on its 1.6-L turbocharged engine.
T-2. 2024 Lexus UX Hybrid – 42 mpg
The Lexus UX Hybrid is one of the luxury SUVs to appear on this list. Toyota’s luxury division’s SUV gets about 42 mpg with the four-wheel drive trim. Plus, it’s hard to beat the Lexus interior. Each vehicle from this brand has comfortable seats and ergonomic controls to make your rides smoother.
Another benefit of driving a Lexus is its safety features. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Lexus UX a Top Safety Pick+ rating due to its excellent crashworthiness and avoidance.
T-4. 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – 40 mpg
Next, we have Lexus’ cousin in the SUV world — the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. When you think of the best SUV for gas mileage and overall performance, it’s hard to beat the RAV4. The 2023 hybrid trim offers a combined 40 mpg on the city and highway. Additionally, the RAV4 Hybrid Woodland trim is terrific for guys who like the outdoors and want to take the family off-road. You get an enhanced suspension without compromising fuel mileage.
T-4. 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid 40 mpg
Honda is a renowned automaker for its durable and fuel-efficient vehicles. The Japanese automaker has taken the CR-V to the next level with the hybrid trim, giving it a combined 40 mpg. The CR-V gets its best mileage in the city, boasting 43 mpg. Its 36 mpg on the highway is a little less desirable than we’d like, but it’s still stellar.
What’s the Best SUV for Gas Mileage for Plug-in Hybrids?
The following section for the best fuel-efficient SUVs details the plug-in hybrids. When buying a car, checking the electric range and the gas range is essential to know how far your vehicle lasts on the road. These vehicles take efficiency to the next level with large electric motors and plug-in capabilities.
1. 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE – 94 mpg-e
What’s the best SUV for overall gas mileage? The Toyota RAV4 Prime SE clears the competition with 94 miles per gallon equivalent (mpg-e). The exact fuel efficiency you get depends on the weather, your driving habits and other factors. Regardless, this RAV4 leads the SUV pack in fuel economy. Will any future models surpass the RAV4 Prime SE? Evolving technology likely says yes, but we’ll have to wait and see.
2. 2023 Lexus NX 450h+ F Sport – 85 mpg-e
Let’s stay in the Toyota and Lexus world and look at the Lexus NX 450h+ F Sport. That model may sound like a mouthful, but it’s worth saying when you see the 85 mpg-e rating. This Lexus is one of the most impressive vehicles because it combines speed, safety and efficiency. We already know how safe and efficient the Lexus models are. Still, you also get 304 total horsepower with this hybrid SUV. Not many SUVs can exceed that mark.
3. 2023 Lincoln Corsair GT – 78 mpg-e
Lincoln marks the first American automaker to join the list, with its Corsair Grand Touring (GT) trim taking the top spot. The Corsair GT has a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and a complementary electric motor to enhance your luxury ride. The Ford and Lincoln houses aren’t necessarily known for their fuel efficiency. However, when asking what’s the best SUV for gas mileage, you must consider the Lincoln Corsair GT.
4. 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid – 74 mpg-e
Mitsubishi is one of the oldest automakers still in existence. Did you know they’ve been around since 1870? To be fair, Mitsubishi does more than build cars. The company has electrical services and involves itself in general trading. We’re glad Mitsubishi makes cars because the Outlander Hybrid is a terrific, fuel-efficient SUV. You get 74 mpg-e and a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
5. 2023 Mini Countryman SE – 73 mpg-e
Mini is famous for its Cooper, but the real star is with the Countryman SE. This compact SUV is one of the smallest on the market — barely qualifying it as an SUV. However, it still counts for this list with its 73 mpg-e. The small size comes in handy because it’s easy to charge. Mini says it takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge your Countryman SE. The vehicle has 17 miles of electric range, increasing its total capacity to 300 miles.
What’s the Best SUV for Gas Mileage? Full and Plug-in Hybrids
Fuel efficiency is a much higher priority than it was a decade or two ago. While these vehicles are more expensive, getting a fuel-efficient SUV could save more money in the long run. What’s the best SUV for gas mileage? Look for the most efficient machines at Toyota, Kia, Lexus and Honda. However, Mini, Mitsubishi, Ford and Lincoln hold their own with excellent SUVs.