Regardless of whether you’re driving a Hummer, riding a bicycle, or working a pair of sneakers, fuel prices will affect your finances just like the rest of us. Think about it, if the cost of a barrel of crude increases, this will affect the cost of gas. This, in turn, will increase the costs of transportation, which will lead to increased prices on produce. In other words, you will be paying more for a head of lettuce because the retailer had to pay more money to transport it.
Even your electrician will charge more for his services because he will have to cover his increased overhead. The conclusion is that, when gas prices rise, all other prices rise, and since cars are selling better than hotcakes, fuel supplies will be under even more pressure in the future. This problem is extremely painful for drivers who require spacious vehicles that have an unquenchable thirst for petrol.
If we can’t control car sales, though, how can we prevent gas prices from increasing? Using fuel efficient cars, of course. Vehicle efficiency standards, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s goal, should reach a goal of 54.5 miles per gallon for company fleets by 2025. We may still be far from that goal (light trucks and personal vehicles obtained an average of 25.4 miles per gallon), but we’re itching towards this goal, all thanks to fuel-efficient crossovers.
Is there such a thing as fuel efficient SUV?
Many people believe that owning a sport utility vehicle (SUV) means spending a boatload on gas and driving a car so clumsy that it can’t get out of its own way, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Thanks to huge technological leaps, the SUV has become more efficient than ever before. Fuel efficient SUVs and crossovers are adept for heavy-duty tasks and promise incredible mileage.
New technologies implemented in vehicles like the Mazda CX-5 or Ford Edge, among others, increase fuel efficiency by shutting down parts of the engine or using alternative-fuel sources. Although fuel efficient SUVs aren’t exactly lean, green machines, they represent a huge step forwards towards a greener, healthier environment. We have compiled a list of fuel efficient SUVs that don’t compromise on power or space.
10 Fuel Efficient SUVs & Crossovers
Below we will review the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive sport vehicles & hybrids on the market this year to help you decide on the best option for 2016.
10. Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid
Miles per gallon: 30 / 34 / 31 | Cost: $21,600 – $29,900
Subaru introduced its first hybrid, XV Crosstrek Hybrid, in 2014. Although the vehicle offers more power than the gas-only version, it also weights approximately 400 pounds more, so the performance of the two vehicles is similar. As far as fuel-efficiency is concerned, the hybrid is rated at 29/33 mpg on the EPA cycle (in the city). The gas version of the vehicle is rated at 26 mpg. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid stands at 160 horsepower combined and torque peaks at 163 lb-ft.
What we really liked about this car, apart from the improved fuel economy and great torque, was its noise-suppression package. The vehicle carries an acoustically laminated windshield and a generous layer of sound-deadening material.
9. Hyundai Tuscon Eco (2016)
Miles per gallon: 29,5 | Cost: $21,400
Hyundai has a long history in the vehicle market and a devoted following. The company has proven time and time again that its creativity with lightweight aluminium is invaluable for creating powerful cars, with good mileage, at minimal costs. The Hyundai Tuscon Eco, with its four-cylinder turbocharged engine handles 175 horsepower while maximizing fuel efficiency.
The final results is an all-wheel drive vehicle that exceeds 27 miles per gallon (the same as the premium front-wheel-drive versions). Other features of the Hyundai Tuscon Eco include side-mirror turn signals, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, 61.9 cubic feet of carbo space with the seats down and 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
8. Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (2016)
Miles per gallon: 17-21 | Cost: $63,500-$91,300
The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a supremely comfortable car that delivers more than enough power to help you and your passengers drive around town safely. The fuel efficient SUV is equipped with a 362-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 (standard), or a 429-hp twin-turbo 4.7-liter V-8 and a 240-hp 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 (optional). Another standard feature of the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is the seven-speed automatic & 4wd drive.
This elegant SUV may be posting better EPA numbers with its new V-8, but it’s still lagging behind hybrids that can average 30-40 mpg. However, if you are less interested in mileage, and more interested in comfort and class, then the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a good choice.
7. Lexus NX 300h
Miles per gallon: 37,1 mpg | Cost: $21,400
There are quite a few things we enjoy about the Lexus NX 300h, but we have also discovered several features that have detracted from our overall experience with the car. This means that, while a good contender for the fuel efficient SUV market, the vehicle still has a long way to go if it is to compete with other rivals.
The SUV’s advantages generous backseat space, seamless cabin construction, great high-tech features and class-best fuel economy. On the downside, the Lexus NX 300h has a small cargo capacity, distracting remote touch interface and sluggish acceleration.
6. Honda CR-V (2015)
Miles per gallon: 30,5 | Cost: $23,445
The Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape and Honda CR-V are the family cars of their time. At present, the CR-V is the top-selling small crossover in the United States. Over 194,000 models were sold in July simply because this fuel efficient SUV does such a great job in the city. If you set the CR-V to all-wheel-drive mileage will drop to 25 mpg without forfeiting on performance.
The interior of the new Honda features leather finish, moon-roof, heated seats, a navigation system with easy controls on the steering wheel, rear-view windows, and Pandora-connected information display. Did we also mention the 70 cubic feet of maximum cargo space? All in all, the Honda CR-V is a great choice if you’re looking for a fuel efficient SUV.
5. GMC Terrain (2016)
Miles per gallon: 22-32 | Cost: $23,975-$35,725
The 2016 GMC Terrain SUV may have an opulent feel but it is actually one of the most affordable compact SUVs and crossover SUVs available on the market. The fuel efficient SUV has an elegant interior lined with premium quality leather, spacious seating for both rows, and good noise suppression but it seems to have disappointed several clients due to its underpowered engine.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that GMC Terrain is a pretty good combination between efficiency, style and utility. The car’s bold design is distinctively GMC, and fans of the brand will naturally love it. The car earned an EPA-estimated 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is satisfactory for its class, especially when you compare it with the V6-powered Terrain that averages at 17/24 mpg.
4. Chevrolet Trax (2015)
Miles per gallon: 30 | Cost: $20,120
Number four on our list of best fuel efficient SUVs is the 2015 version of the Chevrolet Trax, a compact SUV. If the term of compact SUV doesn’t sound familiar to you, don’t worry. This year’s model appeared as a downmarket complement to the Buick encore. Both vehicles are built on the same frame.
The Chevrolet Trax looks a lot like the Chevy Sonic and is the beefed-up version of the Chevy subcompact. The fuel efficient SUV is equipped with a 1.4-liter fuel-sipping engine and several interesting perks including an OnStar communication system with 4G hotspot,48.4 cubic feet of storage with the seats down, and the Chevrolet MyLink that gives a driver access to host apps through a 7-inch touchscreen. All of these features make the Chevrolet Trax feel like the dream car for urban needs. However, you should know that the all-wheel-drive version of the car drops mileage to less than 25 mpg.
3. BMW X3 xDrive28d (2016)
Miles per gallon: 27-34 mpg| Cost: $49,000
The first thing we have to mention about BMW’s X3 xDrive28d is the fact that it has exceptional fuel economy that rings at 30 mpg combined (27 for city and 34 for highway). This is performance is possible with the vehicle’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that produces around 180 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque.
Many consider the xDrive28d a leading light among compact luxury crossover SUVs because it represents the perfect combination between comfort, power, utility and efficiency. Sure, the vehicle may be a tad expensive, but what would you expect from a nearly flawless product?
2. Mazda CX-5 (2016)
Miles per gallon: 26-35 mpg | Cost: $32,700
Don’t let the exterior of this tiny SUV fool you. It may look a lot sportier like other fuel efficient SUVs on the market but under its hood lies a 4-cylinder, 155-horsepower engine and plenty of interior space. The Mazda CX-5 also has superb fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, making it the perfect choice for environmentally conscious individuals.
On the downside, this fuel efficient SUV generates a lot of road noise, which slightly ruins its refinement. Like most fuel efficient SUVs, the CX-5 crossover isn’t a perfect vehicle, but its strength, spacious cargo room, and great features make it a worthy contender.
1. Volvo V60 (2016)
Miles per gallon: 31 | Cost: $35,950
Topping off our list of best fuel efficient SUVs we have the 2016 Volvo V60, a vehicle that looks a lot like a wagon, a sleek and stylish wagon. This fuel efficient SUV uses a 240-hp turbo-four with front-drive models and V60s with 250-hp turbo five-cylinder for 4×4 drive. Many critics were sceptic about this crossover-y model, especially since Volvo already has a similar XC70, but the car does not disappoint.
Overall, the high-riding Volvo V60 has a remarkably different aura than the standard V60, and a superb interior equipped with the world’s most comfortable chairs. Other interior features include stitched leather upholstery, a sunroof, Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity and navigation screen.
As you can see, there are plenty of fuel efficient SUVs that you can choose from. Some traditional, others bold, but none of them boring. Auto manufacturers are giving it their all to create cars that cater for all tastes, so when shopping for such a vehicle, the question is no longer “what is the most fuel efficient SUV?”, but “does this fuel efficient SUV have everything I want?” The best fuel efficient SUV models are probably the models of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, but you should also be able to find a more affordable model from the 2005-2010 generations.