The most fuel-efficient new SUVs available in the US are all hybrids, with massive diesel-powered models out of the picture. However, electrified technology remains expensive, so it is not an option that suits every budget. Fortunately, there are some SUVs that return excellent fuel economy without the need to carry around a heavy battery pack.
Best mileage overall: 2020 Nissan Kicks
What is its advantage: 33 mpg combined, 31 mpg city, 36 mpg highway.
what’s that for: Those who do not want to spend time at the gas station or mix with the crowd.
How much will it cost: $ 19,070
Why we chose Nissan Kicks: The Kicks has better gas mileage than any other non-electrified SUV on the market this year. It also claims a lower starting price of $ 19,000. Even if you opt for the top trim and add packages and options, you will spend less than $ 25,000. According to the EPA, the annual fuel cost is only $ 950. It is a frugal choice for all.
The downside to its efficient engine is acceleration, but the kicks make up for its huge cargo space. It has safety emergency 360, safety tech full suite such as automatic emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert.
You’ll have to jump up to a trim level to enjoy the NissanConnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the price remains affordable. And if you like the quirky look of kicks, then you can design up by adding accents from Color Studio.
Read our in-depth Nissan Kicks review
Best Benefits in a Luxury SUV: 2020 Lexus UX 200
What is its advantage: 33 mpg combined, 29 mpg city, 37 mpg highway.
what’s that for: The creatures that drivers want are as much as miles per gallon.
How much will it cost: $ 32,300
Why we chose the Lexus UX 200: This luxury crossover has the same combined fuel economy rating as the Nissan Kicks, but has a base price of around $ 32,000. The estimated annual cost to fill the tank at UX is the same as for kicks at $ 950.
However, it is a Lexus, so you can expect to find a more upscale and stylish interior in the UX 200. Infotainment systems include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Security System + 2.0, with advanced features such as traffic sign recognition and lane trace assistance, which are helpful to keep you focused in your lane, is standard.
Along with the kick, the UX 200 has an acceleration pokey. The ride is smooth though, and the SUV’s compact size means it can handle narrow urban roads and parking garages without having to make a driver.
Lexus offers a hybrid version, the Lexus UX 250h, which has better fuel economy (of course) and all-wheel drive, which is not available in this version. It’s not too expensive at the base price of $ 34,350, but it’s not a big jump ahead of the combined 39 mpg gas model. At current gas prices, opting for a hybrid will save you around $ 200 a year if you drive 15,000 miles every year.
Read our in-Lexus UX first drive
Best mileage in a three-row SUV: 2020 Kia Sorrento
What is its advantage: 25 mpg combined, 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway.
what’s that for: Drivers who drive everyone everywhere, but no one remembers to chip for gas.
how much it will cost: $ 26,990
Why we chose Kia Sorrento: You wouldn’t expect great mileage from a seven-seater SUV, but the Sorrento turns in admirable fuel economy numbers for the three-row. It starts at an affordable $ 27,000, though the price can go through $ 40,000 in high-end trims. In any case, you will pay about $ 1,300 per year for gas.
Sorrento features Kia’s user-friendly and feature-rich UVO infotainment system, with crisp graphics and physical knobs and buttons in addition to a touchscreen. Advanced driver assistance features are available, but they are not standard with the base model. You’ll love its strong predictive reliability score, safety score and Kia’s long warranty. Sorrento is a practical and sensible person-lover.
Read our in-depth Kia Sorrento first drive
Best mileage in a family SUV: 2020 Honda CR-V
What is its advantage: 30 mpg combined, 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway.
what’s that for: Families who want a small SUV that works without too much fuss or filler.
how much it will cost: $ 25,150
Why we chose the Honda CR-V: This is the latest in a long line of crowd-pleasing versions of this compact SUV. The CR-V’s great fuel economy and starting price around $ 25,000 helps it maintain its place in the hearts and minds of many shoppers. An annual fuel cost of $ 1,050 also helps.
There is a ton of room inside the CR-V, but it is small enough that a typical sedan can go anywhere. Honda sensing is a full complement of the brand’s safety technology, standard. The interior is very good for the price, although the base infotainment system is bare-bones. If you want smartphone connectivity, touchscreen and wireless charging then you have to upgrade. However, unlike some of its rivals, the CR-V is relatively functional to drive.