Reliable and Fuel-Efficient Compact SUVs

These models—recommended by CR—blend SUV utility and small-car practicality with money-saving fuel economy

Hyundai Tuscon Hybrid 2022
Hyundai Tucson
Photo: Hyundai

The most popular SUVs are compact models. Their combination of small-car efficiency and station wagon utility is attractive to practical consumers. With that popularity comes opportunity for growth in the eyes of automakers. This means the selection of compact SUVs increases every year, so choosing the right one can be a daunting task.

Reliability is always a top consideration, and so is fuel economy. The list below includes hybrid and conventional SUVs that scored well in Consumer Reports’ road tests, have average or better predicted reliability ratings, and get 28 mpg overall or better. They’re all recommended, too, which means you won’t find any with poor reliability, low owner satisfaction, or missing safety features. We’ve listed them in order of their Overall Score, which is a combination of these factors. 

All of the models come standard with forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB), and we note whether blind spot warning (BSW) is either standard or optional.

Some of these models have our Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions.

More on SUVs

Though we tested more expensive all-wheel-drive versions of some of these, our recommendation extends to the more affordable two-wheel-drive versions (if offered).

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 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.

If you’re a used-car shopper, you can click through to the model pages for information on vehicles from older model years. CR members can also search our Used Car Marketplace for vehicles 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.

Sign up for CR’s Cars email newsletter to be notified when we post our latest road tests.

Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

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