Best 'Green Choice' SUVs That Are CR Recommended

These models get great fuel economy or have a long electric range, and are among the vehicles with the lowest tailpipe emissions

A 2021 Toyota Rav 4 Prime being charged with a blue charger plugged into it
A Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV being charged.
Photo: Toyota

The sheer number of cars on America’s roads makes them a key culprit of global warming and fouling the air with smog-forming pollutants. But advances in vehicle technology are increasingly providing cleaner, greener choices, even for consumers shopping for gas-powered vehicles. These innovations include gains in fuel efficiency made possible by advances in gas-powered engines and gas-electric hybrid technology, as well as by all-electric vehicles (EVs), which produce no direct emissions.

To help consumers find these cleaner options, Consumer Reports launched the Green Choice program to identify the new cars, SUVs, and minivans with the lowest greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions. 

While EVs may be the best choice for a buyer looking for vehicles with the lowest tailpipe emissions, you can still reduce your impact considerably by choosing the right gas-powered car or truck. About a quarter of CR’s recommended cars earn the Green Choice designation, including midsized vehicles and even some larger hybrid SUVs and minivans. And some models that aren’t recommended are among the greenest vehicles available.

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Our new Green Choice designation highlights the top 20 percent of vehicles on the market with the cleanest emissions. Green Choice cars, SUVs, and minivans are indicated in our ratings by a green leaf icon and are gas-powered, hybrid, or electric. The new rating was developed in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program, which rates vehicles for levels of greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions. Green Choice allows consumers to make a more informed decision when shopping for a new vehicle. We also indicate which cars meet the Green Choice standard in our online ratings and model pages.

The compact SUVs below carry our Green Choice designation. While all have been tested, not every one is recommended. Some didn’t score high enough to be recommended, while others have below-average reliability according to our Annual Auto Surveys.

If you’re a CR member, this article and the list below are already available to you. But if you haven’t signed up, click below and become a member to access the list and all of our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Members can read our highly detailed road tests, which expand on the summaries included here. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

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Jon Linkov

I owe my career to two fateful events: my father buying a 1965 Corvette and my purchase of an Audi A4 rather than a Chevy Tahoe. The Corvette jump-started my love of cars, and the Audi led me to automotive journalism, track days, and amateur car repair. In my free time I cycle as much as possible, no matter the season.