Special Report

The 20 Most Fuel-Efficient New SUVs

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The U.S. auto industry has seen significant changes in the last decade – most notably perhaps, the emergence of commercially successful electric vehicles. But while the EV market is years away from maturity, other recent shifts in the industry are now clearly established, including the dominance of the SUV.

SUVs and crossovers are now the dominant auto segment in the U.S., overtaking sedans in unit sales for the first time in 2015. Just four years later, SUVs outsold sedans by a two-to-one margin. So far this year, two of the three best-selling vehicles in the U.S. are crossover SUVs – and only one of the five best selling models is a sedan. (Here is a look at the best-selling car in America.)

Historically, SUVs have offered greater versatility, capability, and interior space than sedans – though these advantages often came at the expense of fuel economy. This is no longer the case, however. As hybrid engines and smaller crossovers have proliferated the market, driving an SUV does not necessarily mean more trips to the pump. And with gas prices hitting an all-time high in 2022, fuel efficiency is top of mind for many prospective buyers. 

Using data from the Environmental Protection Agency, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 20 most fuel-efficient SUVs and crossovers on the market, ranked by best available combined miles per gallon. We only considered vehicles for the 2023 model year, excluding plug-in hybrids and EVs. 

For any vehicle, fuel efficiency is subject to a number of factors. Some of them are contingent on driving habits, but those related directly to the vehicle itself include weight, ground clearance, aerodynamics, drivetrain, and engine size. 

All of the 11 highest ranking vehicles on this list are hybrids, which combine a traditional internal combustion engine with one or more electric motors powered by batteries. Hybrid batteries, which charge automatically, offer supplementary power, resulting in reduced fuel usage. Some of the hybrid vehicles on this list can top 40 miles per gallon. 

The nine SUVs on this list not available in hybrid models generally have smaller three- or four-cylinder engines. Combined fuel economy for these non-hybrid models often tops 30 mpg. 

Automakers on this list include Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Kia, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen – though most of the highest-ranking SUVs by fuel economy are made by Japanese and Korean companies. (Here is a look a the car brands Americans hate the most.)

Click here to see the most fuel efficient SUVs on the US market.

Click here to see our detailed methodology.

20. Mazda CX-30
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 22-26 city; 30-33 highway; 25-29 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder; 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×4; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,550 – $1,750
> Base MSRP: $22,950

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19. Subaru Crosstrek
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 22-28 city; 29-33 highway; 25-30 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder; 2.0 & 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): AWD; automatic & manual transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,500 – $1,750
> Base MSRP: $23,645

18. Buick Encore
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 26-29 city; 29-31 highway; 27-30 combined
> Available engine(s): 3 cylinder; 1.2 & 1.3 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,500 – $1,650
> Base MSRP: $25,900

17. Kia Seltos
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 25-29 city; 30-35 highway; 27-31 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder; 1.6 & 2.0 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,450 – $1,650
> Base MSRP: $22,840

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16. Volkswagen Taos (tied)
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 25-28 city; 32-36 highway; 28-31 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder; 1.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,450 – $1,600
> Base MSRP: $24,155

15. Chevrolet Trailblazer (tied)
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 26-29 city; 30-33 highway; 28-31 combined
> Available engine(s): 3 cylinder; 1.2 & 1.3 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,450 – $1,600
> Base MSRP: $22,100

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14. Hyundai Kona
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 20-30 city; 27-35 highway; 23-32 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder; 1.6 & 2.0 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,400 – $2,400
> Base MSRP: $22,140

13. Toyota Corolla Cross
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 29-31 city; 32-33 highway; 30-32 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder; 2.0 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,400 – $1,500
> Base MSRP: $23,060

12. Nissan Rogue
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 28-30 city; 34-37 highway; 31-33 combined
> Available engine(s): 3 cylinder; 1.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,350 – $1,450
> Base MSRP: $27,360

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11. Hyundai Santa Fe
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 21-36 city; 25-31 highway; 24-34 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder & 4 cylinder hybrid ; 1.6 & 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,300 – $1,850
> Base MSRP: $28,450

10. Lexus RX 350
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 21-37 city; 28-34 highway; 24-36 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder & 4 cylinder hybrid ; 2.4 & 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,500 – $2,300
> Base MSRP: $48,550

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9. Toyota Highlander
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 21-36 city; 28-35 highway; 24-36 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder & 4 cylinder hybrid ; 2.4 & 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,250 – $1,850
> Base MSRP: $36,420

8. Kia Sorento
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 22-39 city; 25-35 highway; 24-37 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder & 4 cylinder hybrid ; 1.6 & 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,200 – $1,850
> Base MSRP: $29,990

7. Hyundai Tucson
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 23-38 city; 28-38 highway; 25-38 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder & 4 cylinder hybrid ; 1.6 & 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,150 – $1,750
> Base MSRP: $26,700

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6. Lexus NX 350
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 22-41 city; 28-37 highway; 25-39 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder & 4 cylinder hybrid ; 2.4 & 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,400 – $2,200
> Base MSRP: $43,965

5. Ford Escape
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 23-42 city; 31-36 highway; 26-39 combined
> Available engine(s): 3 & 4 cylinder & 4 cylinder hybrid ; 1.5, 2.0 & 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,150 – $1,700
> Base MSRP: $27,500

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4. Toyota Venza
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 40 city; 37 highway; 39 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder hybrid ; 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,150
> Base MSRP: $34,120

3. Toyota RAV4
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 25-41 city; 32-38 highway; 28-40 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder & 4 cylinder hybrid ; 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,100 – $1,600
> Base MSRP: $27,975

2. Honda CR-V
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 27-43 city; 32-36 highway; 29-40 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder & 4 cylinder hybrid ; 1.5 & 2.0 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,100 – $1,550
> Base MSRP: $31,610

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1. Kia Sportage
> Fuel efficiency (MPG): 23-42 city; 28-44 highway; 25-43 combined
> Available engine(s): 4 cylinder & 4 cylinder hybrid ; 1.6 & 2.5 liter displacement
> Available drivetrain(s): 4×2 & AWD; automatic transmission
> Est. annual fuel cost: $1,050 – $1,750
> Base MSRP: $25,990

Methodology

To identify the most fuel-efficient new SUVs and crossovers, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on estimated miles per gallon from the Environmental Protection Agency. SUVs are ranked on the highest EPA combined MPG available for each name plate. In the case of a tie, when possible, the vehicle with the highest combined MPG floor, or the lower estimated annual fuel costs, ranks higher. We considered all small and standard size SUVs for the 2023 model year in our analysis and did not include electric vehicles or plug-ins. 

Though SUVs are ranked on the most efficient combination of engine and drivetrain for combined city and highway driving, we also provide the range of fuel efficiency for each nameplate for all models available. 

Estimated annual fuel costs are also from the EPA and assume 15,000 miles of driving – 55% city and 45% highway – with fuel costs of $3.42/gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, $3.88/gallon for mid-grade unleaded gasoline, and $4.19/gallon for premium.

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