SUVs are very versatile vehicles for transporting passengers and cargo, and now you don't have to sacrifice fuel economy to get the space and all-weather traction you want. In fact, many SUVs now have fuel economy on par with large sedans. Not surprisingly, there are hybrids and diesel SUVs leading several key categories, but as you'll see below, the most fuel-efficient SUVs are hybrids and small models with regular gasoline engines.

Among Consumer Reports' more than 50 vehicle tests are fuel-economy measurements. Our fuel-economy numbers are derived from a precision flow meter and are rounded to the nearest mile per gallon.

Overall mileage is calculated from equal portions of city and expressway driving. SUVs are bought and tested with all-wheel drive. (Learn more about how Consumer Reports tests cars.)

Below, we spotlight the top most fuel-efficient SUVs based on the overall fuel economy test results, omitting electric vehicles. Complete test results can be found by clicking through to the model pages.

See our list of the most fuel-efficient cars.


Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4

For years the RAV4 has consistently been among the top-ranked small SUVs. The current RAV4’s cabin is quieter, the ride is smoother, it has a suite of advanced safety features, and it offers a frugal hybrid version. The energetic 2.5-liter four-cylinder and smooth six-speed automatic returned 24 mpg overall in our tests of an AWD version. The hybrid version gets a terrific 31 mpg overall. Handling is responsive and very secure. Inside, the controls are clear and intuitive. Though the XLE comes with automatic climate control and a sunroof, you must step up to the Limited trim to get adjustable lumbar support and the more comfortable faux-leather seats. Access is very easy, and the rear seat is roomy. For the 2017 model year, automatic emergency braking is standard. 

Read the complete Toyota RAV4 Hybrid road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE

31

26

36


Lexus RX

Lexus RX

The RX has avant-garde exterior styling and lots of advanced safety features. Its 3.5-liter V6 is linked to an eight-speed automatic, delivering ample power and a commendable 22 mpg overall. The fuel-thrifty 450h hybrid gets an excellent 29 mpg overall. Inside, the RX is very quiet and well-finished. Ride comfort is plush, whether you get the base car on 18-inch tires or more uplevel versions with 20-inch tires. Handling, however, is ponderous and devoid of any sporty feel but ultimately secure. The mouselike controller and distracting interface require a steep learning curve. Rear passengers get lots of leg and knee room. For 2017, the Lexus Safety System+, which includes automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning, is standard. 

Read the complete Lexus RX road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Lexus RX450h

29

24

33


Lexus NX

Lexus NX

Based on the Toyota RAV4, the compact NX delivers a less opulent driving experience than the typical Lexus. Handling is responsive, but the ride is more firm than cosseting, and cabin noise isn’t particularly hushed. The NX 200t’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder works well and delivers 24 mpg overall. The NX 300h hybrid returns 29 mpg overall, making it one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs we’ve ever tested, but it feels a bit underpowered. Snazzy details lend the interior some appeal, but a number of cheap touches remain. Front cabin room is tight, and the styling compromises rear visibility and crimps cargo space. The infotainment system’s fussy touchpad is frustrating and distracting to use when driving.  

Read the complete Lexus NX road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Lexus NX 300h

29

23

34


Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V

Based on the Fit subcompact, the HR-V gets a versatile, cargo-friendly rear seat that flips up or folds down flat and low. Considerably smaller and less expensive than the CR-V, the HR-V is loud and the ride is stiff. Handling is responsive and secure. Power comes from a 141-hp four-cylinder driving either the front or all four wheels. But the HR-V feels underpowered, an impression amplified by the continuously variable transmission. The Honda’s trump card is its excellent 29 mpg overall, very flexible interior, and generous rear seat and cargo room. The front seat is short on support, however. Available premium features include heated leather seats, a sunroof, and keyless entry, and a rearview camera is standard. We prefer the LX trim over the EX for its simpler audio controls.

Read the complete Honda HR-V road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Honda HR-V LX

29

20

39


Mazda CX-3

Mazda CX-3

Mazda’s entry in the mini-utility segment delivers agile, fun-to-drive handling; a solid and substantial feel; and good fuel economy. The ride is firm but does a good job absorbing impacts, although noise levels can be high. The CX-3 is available with front- or all-wheel drive, and the sole powertrain is a 146-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic. It’s a smooth, willing mill but isn’t overly powerful. The infotainment system includes a 7-inch center display screen and a rotary knob to control phone and audio functions, but it takes time to get familiar with its operation. The rear seat is very tight, and cargo space is modest. This is the first nonluxury mini-SUV to offer blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

Read the complete Mazda CX-3 road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Mazda CX-3 Touring

28

20

36


Mercedes-Benz GLA

Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

Essentially a raised hatchback version of the CLA sedan, the GLA performed better in our tests than its sibling. It got 26 mpg overall from the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. But the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is unrefined, and power delivery is not even. This makes the GLA feel lethargic at first, then power comes on abruptly. Handling is nimble, but the ride is stiff and the cabin is loud. Visibility, particularly to the rear, is poor, and head room is snug. Safety features include a forward-collision mitigation system. Automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring are optional. A front-drive version and a high-performance 375-hp GLA45 are available. The infotainment system has become more complicated for 2017 but is now compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Read the complete Mercedes-Benz GLA road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

26

19

35


Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstrek

The Crosstrek is a small quasi-SUV version of the previous-generation Impreza hatchback, with a raised ride height that gives it enough clearance to slosh through deeply rutted roads. It may appeal to those people who live at the end of a dirt road and don’t want anything big and bulky. The cabin is rather noisy, the ride is stiff, and the 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine occasionally has to work hard, but fuel economy is a gratifying 26 mpg. The costlier Hybrid, which got 28 mpg, has been discontinued for 2017. In the end, the regular Impreza hatch may be a better choice: It’s quieter, quicker, cheaper, and better riding, even if its lower ride height makes cabin access a bit more difficult. A redesign based on the new Impreza arrives this summer.

Read the complete Subaru Crosstrek road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Subaru Crosstrek Premium

26

19

34


Mini Countryman

Mini Countryman

In spring 2017, a new Countryman based on the Clubman will go on sale in Cooper and Cooper S versions. Engine choices are a base 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder and a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder for the S. Front- and all-wheel drives are offered. In June an all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid version follows, with a promised all-electric range of 24 miles. This SUV-like Countryman has grown longer than the original, bringing in more interior space and flexibility. The optional Mini Driving Assistant system includes forward-collision warning with low-speed automatic emergency braking, pedestrian warning with brake assist, and automatic high beams. The outgoing Countryman ranks among the most fuel-efficient SUVs.

Read the complete Mini Countryman road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Mini Countryman S

26

19

33


Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester

Hitting the sweet spot among small SUVs, the Forester delivers a spacious interior, impressive safety equipment and crashworthiness, and outstanding visibility in a right-sized, affordable package. Fuel economy is excellent at 26 mpg overall, especially given the standard AWD. The ride is supple, and handling is very secure. Engine noise is pronounced at times. Controls are straightforward and easy to use. The infotainment and connectivity systems have finally been updated with an intuitive touch screen. Midtrim Foresters bring a lot of content for the money, but it’s easy to crest $30,000 with options packages. A feisty turbo comes with XT trim but compromises the value equation. The optional (and recommended) EyeSight system includes forward-collision warning. 

Read the complete Subaru Forester road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium

26

18

35


Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson

The Tucson is one of the better small SUVs, although neither of its powertrains is ideal. The base SE version gets a 164-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, routing through a six-speed automatic. This version is rather slow and can feel strained. More expensive trims get a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder that uses a seven-speed automated manual transmission. This more powerful setup returned 26 mpg overall, but it suffers from a vibration at very low speeds, such as in parking maneuvers. Ride comfort, handling agility, and noise suppression are commendable. The rear seat is roomy, and controls are easy to use. Advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring, are optional. 

Read the complete Hyundai Tucson road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Hyundai Tucson Sport (1.6T)

26

18

35