Most Fuel-Efficient Used Compact SUVs

These reliable 5-year-old models are a good option as new SUVs remain scarce and fuel prices stay elevated

2017 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Photo: Toyota

Buying a well-maintained used vehicle can be a smart move if you know what to look for. By the time a car is 5 years old, it has gone through the most significant part of the depreciation cycle. This means you’ll get many of the features found in brand-new models at a lower price.

Buying used is an even more compelling choice because of both high fuel prices and the global chip shortage that has caused shipments of new cars to be delayed or coming in at lower-than-expected volumes.

To help steer you to the best choice, we’ve assembled a list of the most fuel-efficient 5-year-old compact SUVs. All performed well enough in our tests to be recommended when new, and all have average or better reliability according to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Surveys, where we ask CR members to tell us about what went wrong with their cars.

These SUVs are also recent enough that their performance in our tests—such as acceleration, braking, and fuel economy—is on a par with brand-new models. And each one returned 25 mpg or better in our tests.

Plus, many were available with active safety features, such as forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and blind spot warning (BSW).


The vehicles listed below are ranked in order of their fuel economy results from CR’s tests when they were new. A few of these models include our Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions.

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 this list and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and appliances.

CR members can search our Used Car Marketplace for vehicles for sale in their area, sorting by the factors that matter most. The listings include CR reliability and owner satisfaction ratings, and most vehicles include a free Carfax report. Members can also access ratings and information on used vehicles going as far back as 20 years.

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We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.