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 overall are hybrids and small models with regular gasoline engines.

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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 cabin is reasonably quiet, and the ride is compliant and controlled. It has a suite of advanced safety features and offers a frugal hybrid version. The energetic 2.5-liter fourcylinder engine and smooth six-speed automatic transmission 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. Forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking are standard. An all-new RAV4 is coming soon for 2019.

Read the complete Toyota RAV4 Hybrid road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE

31

26

36


Chevrolet Equinox Diesel

Chevrolet Equinox Diesel

The Equinox is one of the roomiest compact SUVs available, and offers the latest infotainment and safety technology. Most versions use a 1.5-liter, turbo four-cylinder, but this engine doesn't make the Equinox particularly swift. The uplevel engine is a muscular 252-hp, turbo four-cylinder mated to a nine-speed automatic. A diesel version returned 31 mpg overall in our tests, but adds engine clatter and vibration. We found that the Equinox does a good job of absorbing bumps and pavement imperfections, and it also has responsive and secure handling. The cabin is quiet and the controls are straightforward to use, including the MyLink infotainment system. Unfortunately, the interior has a lot of cheap-feeling hard plastic. However, the seats are quite comfortable. Forward-collision warning with low-speed automatic braking, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning are available. 

Read the complete Chevrolet Equinox road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Chevrolet Equinox LT (Diesel)

31

22

41


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 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 legroom and knee room. The Lexus Safety System+, which includes automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning, is standard. A three-row, seven-passenger RX L model is new for 2018.

Read the complete Lexus RX road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Lexus RX450h

29

24

33


Lexus NX

Lexus NX

The compact NX delivers a less opulent driving experience than the typical Lexus. Handling is responsive, but the ride is rather firm and cabin noise isn't particularly hushed. The NX 300'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 fussy touchpad used for most controls is frustrating and distracting to use. The Lexus Safety System+ is standard and includes automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist. Blind-spot monitoring is optional.

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, cargofriendly 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. 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



Subaru Crosstrek

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

The Crosstrek is an appealing option for buyers who don't need the room of a compact SUV. It has better fuel economy, improved ride comfort, and reduced cabin noise compared with the previous generation. The 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission. This combination gets the job done, but it won't set your heart on fire. But its 29 mpg overall is quite frugal for an AWD vehicle. The Crosstrek has secure handling, though it isn't sporty to drive. The infotainment system is capable and user-friendly. Subaru's optional EyeSight driver-assist system includes automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning with lanekeeping assist. Other available safety features include blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. The Crosstrek is an appealing option for buyers who don’t need the room of the Subaru Forester SUV.

Read the complete Subaru Crosstrek road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Subaru Crosstrek Premium

29

20

39


Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V

The CR-V is one of the better models among small SUVs, thanks to its roomy cabin, good fuel economy, and competent handling. The base engine is a 184-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and EX and above trims sport a 190-hp, 1.5-liter turbo. Both are mated to a continuously variable transmission that works well. Fuel economy is impressive at 28 mpg overall for the EX. Handling is nimble and surefooted, and the firm ride is steady. Road noise is well-suppressed, and the cabin is reasonably quiet. The interior is very comfortable and roomy, particularly the rear seat, although the seats in the base LX are less supportive. EX and above trims get a standard 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, as well as standard automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning.

Read the complete Honda CR-V road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Honda CR-V EX (1.5T) / LX (2.4L)

28/27

20/19

37/36


Mazda CX-3

Mazda CX-3

Mazda's entry in the mini-utility segment delivers agile, fun-todrive 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 engine 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. Blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control are available. Forward-collision warning with city-speed automatic emergency braking is standard for 2018.

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 uneven. 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 headroom is snug. Available safety features include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot warning. A front-wheel-drive version and a high-performance 375-hp GLA45 are available. The infotainment system is complicated and takes time to master but now features compatibility 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


Nissan Rogue Sport

Nissan Rogue Sport

Measuring a foot shorter than the familiar Rogue, the new Rogue Sport gives Nissan a competitor in the subcompact- SUV category. All trims use the same pleasant, though not overly powerful, 141-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission. In our tests we got 26 mpg overall, which doesn't stand out in the class. The Sport handles responsively and rides in a refined manner, with cabin noise kept to reasonable levels. Connectivity features include the available NissanConnect navigation/app system with a 7.0-inch color touch screen and Siri Eyes Free. Plus, the Sport offers a 360-degree-view camera, which is helpful for negotiating tight parking spaces. Rogue Sports built after February 2018 have standard forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

Read the complete Nissan Rogue Sport road test.

Make & Model

Overall MPG

City MPG

Highway MPG

Nissan Rogue Sport SV

26

19

34