With fuel price and pollution levels skyrocketing every year, hybrid vehicles emerge as an eco-friendly solution. To stay relevant, automakers are focusing on innovation and fuel efficiency more than ever. The result is amazing– you can find a new hybrid or plug-in hybrid setup in a large number of lineups now.
In this article, we are going to list down the most fuel-efficient hybrid SUVs available in the current market, ranked according to their prices.
Is there such a thing as a fuel-efficient hybrid SUV?
Hybrid SUVs are much more fuel efficient than their non-hybrid counterparts. A fuel-efficient hybrid SUV runs with the help of its combustion engine and electric motors, so expect the consumption to be on the lower side.
Two types of most fuel-efficient SUV
We can divide the most fuel-efficient SUVs into two broad categories: Hybrid & Non-Hybrid.
Hybrid SUVs, as we mentioned, use both a combustion engine and one or more electric motors. It doesn’t solely rely on gasoline for power, so naturally, the efficiency is high. Hybrids and EVs have a higher initial cost, but they help you save fuel cost in the long run.
Non-hybrid SUVs can hardly compete with hybrids, as their fuel efficiency is way higher. However, there are a few small and midsize SUVs that run on gasoline, yet their fuel economy numbers are quite high. For example, Kia Niro, Kia Sportage, and Ford Escape.
Are electric vehicles rated for fuel economy?
Yes, electric vehicles (all-electric) are rated for fuel economy, but in a slightly different manner. ‘MPG’ reflects how many miles a vehicle can cover with one gallon of fuel. For electric vehicles, ‘MPGe’ is used to reflect the equivalent electric consumption. The higher the MPGe, the more efficient the vehicle is. If compared with a regular hybrid SUV, an EV offers better fuel economy.
Top 10 Hybrid SUVs with best fuel efficiency
- 2022 Lexus NX Hybrid
- 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
- 2022 Lexus UX Hybrid
- 2022 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
- 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid
- 2022 Toyota Venza
- 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid
- 2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
- 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
- 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid
Most Fuel Efficient Hybrid SUV Comparison Table
1. 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid (Annual fuel cost: N/A)
Price: $28,545, Type: Midsize
- Engine- It’s powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, coupled with one electric motor. The combined output is 226 hp.
- Fuel economy- It offers 42 mpg and 44 mpg for city and highway respectively.
- Towing capacity- The maximum towing capacity is 2000 pounds.
- Cargo space- There is 39.5 cubic feet available for cargo behind the rear seats, expandable up to 73.7 cubic feet.
The interior of the Kia Sportage Hybrid makes you feel the difference. The cargo area is large, the legroom is massive, and the cabin is equipped with a big display unit and luxurious trimmings.
2. 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (Annual fuel cost: $1000)
Price: $30,790, Type: Compact
- Engine- It comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, paired with two electric motors. The combined output is 219 hp.
- Fuel economy- It offers a fuel economy of 41 mpg and 38 mpg respectively, for city and highway. Combined economy is 40 mpg.
- Towing capacity- It has a maximum towing capacity of 1750 pounds.
- Cargo space- The base cargo area behind rear seats is 33.5 cubic feet, extendable up to 69.8 cubic feet.
The cabin is well-equipped and practical, with ample storage areas located all around. Even the base version gets access to premium features like dual-zone climate control, and as you go higher, the list of luxurious offerings increase. The cargo area is also spacious enough for a compact vehicle.
3. 2022 Ford Escape Hybrid (Annual fuel cost: $1550)
Price: $31,415, Type: Compact
- Engine- Ford Escape’s hybrid powertrain comes with a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine paired with two electric motors. The combined output is 221 hp.
- Fuel economy- It offers 43 mpg and 37 mpg on city and highway respectively. The combined fuel economy is 40 mpg.
- Towing capacity- The maximum towing capacity is up to 1500 pounds.
- Cargo space- The base area behind the rear seats is 30.7 cubic feet, expandable up to 60.8 cubic feet.
Divided in two rows, the cabin is spacious and comfortable. It gets standard cloth upholstery, with faux-leather available for the highest trim level. However, the heavy plastics can be a big turnoff.
4. 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid (Annual fuel cost: $1650)
Price: $32,835, Type: Compact
- Engine- It runs on a 2-liter four-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors. Combined output is 212 hp.
- Fuel economy- It offers 40 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
- Towing capacity- It can maximum tow up to 1500 pounds.
- Cargo space- The cargo area located behind rear seats is 33.2 cubic feet, and if you fold down the rear seats, it gets expanded to 68.7 cubic feet.
The cabin of the Honda CR-V Hybrid is capacious, with well-designed seats keeping up the comfort levels. The beautiful accents add a tasteful touch to the interior. CR-V has a large cargo space, so loading up lots of luggage shouldn’t be an issue.
5. 2022 Toyota Venza (Annual fuel cost: $1600)
Price: $34,455, Type: Midsize
- Engine- It’s powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with three electric motors. The combined output is 219 hp.
- Fuel economy- The estimated fuel economy is 40 mpg and 37 mpg, on city and highway, respectively.
- Towing capacity- It can tow up to 3500 pounds.
- Cargo space- There is 28.8 cubic feet available behind the rear seats. It can be expanded up to 55.1 cubic feet.
The interior is not the most spacious, but the cargo area is good for a small family. The seats are comfortable, and there is an updated infotainment system to keep the passengers engaged. Venza comes with Star Gaze panoramic sunroof, adding a touch of luxury to this lineup.
6. 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid (Annual fuel cost: $1200)
Price: $35,345, Type: Midsize
- Engine- It’s powered by a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. Combined output is 227 hp.
- Fuel economy- It offers 39 mpg and 35 mpg respectively, on city and highway.
- Towing capacity- It can maximum tow up to 3500 pounds.
- Cargo space- The base cargo area is 12.6 cubic feet.
Luxurious seats, small storage areas here and there, ambient lighting, and upgraded infotainment system– Sorento’s cabin has everything you’d expect it to have. The only issue is the third row, which is too small to accommodate an adult. If you fold it up, you’ll get some additional cargo space, because the base cargo area is way too small.
7. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (Annual fuel cost: $2100)
Price: $35,645, Type: Compact
- Engine- It’s powered by a 2-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with two electric motors. Combined output is 148 hp.
- Fuel economy- The combined city/highway fuel economy is 35 mpg.
- Towing capacity- It can maximum tow up to 1000 pounds.
- Cargo space- The available cargo area is 15.9 cubic feet, expandable up to 43.1 cubic feet.
The interior is practically designed, but this over-emphasis on practicality makes it somewhat bland. You can improve the not-so-bright atmosphere by opting for grey upholstery. It gets the StarLink infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen display.
8. 2022 Lexus UX Hybrid (Annual fuel cost: $1500)
Price: $36,825, Type: Compact
Why We Picked It: The 2022 Lexus UX Hybrid is targeted at a niche audience who doesn’t mind paying a hefty amount for the best mpg hybrid SUV. Fuel economy is great thanks to the hybrid powertrain, but you have to bear with harsh engine sounds. There are plenty of standard features to keep the passengers comfortable and entertained.
- Engine- The vehicle is powered by a 2-liter four cylinder engine, paired with two electric motors. The combined output is 181 hp.
- Fuel economy- It offers 41 mpg and 38 mpg respectively, on city and highway. The combined fuel economy is 39 mpg.
- Towing capacity- The maximum towing capacity is 3500 pounds.
- Cargo space- There is 21.7 cubic feet available behind the rear seats, expandable up to 40.4 cubic feet.
The thoughtfully curated interior is very much suited for a luxury vehicle. The driver’s seat and the front seats are spacious, with premium features such dual-zone climate control and ventilated seats to sweeten the deal further. However, the rear seats are not as capacious, and the cargo area is quite small.
9. 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (Annual fuel cost: $1750)
Price: $40,770, Type: Midsize
- Engine- It is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors. The combined output is 243 hp.
- Fuel economy- It offers 36 mpg for city and 35 mpg for highway.
- Towing capacity- It can maximum tow up to 5000 pounds.
- Cargo space- The base cargo area is 16 cubic feet, expandable up to 48.4 cubic feet.
With a capacious passenger area and high-quality materials used around the cabin, Highlander offers a premium experience. Even though the best features are reserved for the top trims, all models come equipped with thoughtful interiors and an engaging infotainment system.
10. 2022 Lexus NX Hybrid (Annual fuel cost: $1250)
Price: $43,025, Type: Subcompact
Why We Picked It: Lexus has finally entered the small SUV segment, and as expected, the result is marvelous. This subcompact ute oozes luxury from every angle, with ample driver-assist features to ensure safety and convenience. Considering its overall appearance and performance, we can say that it’s one of the best small SUVs and also the best electric hybrid SUVs you can get your hands on. It comes in both hybrid and PHEV variants, offering maximum fuel efficiency.
- Engine- It is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine along with two electric motors. Combined output is 239 hp.
- Fuel economy- It offers 41 and 37 mpg, on city and highway respectively. Combined fuel economy is 39 mpg.
- Towing capacity- It can maximum tow up to 2000 pounds.
- Cargo space- The general cargo area behind the rear seat is 22.7 cubic feet. It is expandable up to 46.9 cubic feet.
The cabin looks posh and modern, with the use of upscale materials everywhere. The seats are spacious and comfortable. If you need some added luxury, go for the panoramic sunroof and heated seats.
What’s the Most Fuel-Efficient SUV?
Ford Escape Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient hybrid SUV, offering 43/37 mpg city/highway.
Most fuel-efficient hybrid subcompact/ compact
- Lexus NX Hybrid
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
- Ford Escape Hybrid
- Honda CR-V Hybrid
- Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
Most fuel-efficient hybrid Mid-size
- Kia Sportage Hybrid
- Toyota Venza
- Toyota Highlander
- Lexus UX Hybrid
Most fuel-efficient Full-size
Full-size SUVs, especially non-hybrid ones, are not known for their efficiency. But if we have to pick the top few, these following vehicles would be on our list:
- Cadillac XT 6
- Chevrolet Suburban
- GMC Yukon
- Hyundai Palisade
- BMW X7
Most fuel-efficient petrol SUVs
Pure gasoline-only models can rarely match up to hybrids. But if you are inclined towards petrol SUVs and want to check out the most fuel-efficient models, here are a few that deserve your attention:
- Lexus UX 200 ( mpg city/highway)
- Kia Seltos
- Chevrolet Trailblazer
- Mazda CX-3
- Buick Encore GX
How Accurate Are Fuel Economy Estimates?
The EPA-estimated fuel economy is very close to the numbers offered by the automakers. In general the estimates are within 3% of the official reports given by the car manufacturer.
Define the different types of Fuel-efficient hybrid SUVs?
Fuel-efficient hybrid SUVs can belong to different classes, based on their size. You can also segregate them based on the powertrain– whether it runs on only gas, or whether it has a hybrid engine.
The usual rule is, the smaller the vehicle, the more efficient it is. Subcompact SUV is the smallest segment of sports utility vehicles. They are nimble, easy to handle, and the fuel economy numbers are really impressive. And if there’s electrification involved, nothing can be a sweeter deal than that.
Positioned between subcompact and midsize SUVs, a small or compact SUV is yet another fuel-efficient choice. Much like subcompact vehicles, a small SUV requires less power to run, so the fuel economy is quite good. The estimated fuel economy becomes higher if you look at hybrid or plug-in hybrid compact SUV models.
Midsize SUVs are pretty good at being fuel efficient. They are neither too big nor too small– so the fuel economy numbers are almost always lesser than subcompact or compact vehicles, but better than large SUVs. A hybrid midsize SUV is particularly a great option because the combination of an engine and electric motors really does wonders for its efficiency levels.
Large SUVs are not the best at being fuel-efficient. They are sturdy, reliable, great for off-roading, and can accommodate your entire family and their luggage, but they do need a lot of power to go from point A to B. But if you look closely, you might manage to come across a large hybrid SUV that offers the best of both worlds.
Luxury SUVs can encompass all the segments mentioned above– subcompact, small, midsize, and large. As luxury car users pay a hefty amount to experience a smooth and comfortable ride, it’s expected that the vehicles will offer good fuel economy. But it all depends on the automaker and the particular model you’re looking at. Today, the majority of premium car manufacturers have incorporated luxury hybrid SUVs and PHEVs under their wing to offer optimum efficiency.
What is the most fuel-efficient & safest SUV?
With a 5-star safety rating from NHTSA, Ford Escape Hybrid is the safest and most-efficient SUV.
What is the most fuel-efficient and affordable hybrid SUV?
Upcoming Kia Sportage Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient and affordable hybrid SUV. Apart from that, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid also offers both affordability and efficiency.
How do I know if a car is fuel-efficient?
The easiest way to identify a fuel-efficient car is to look at its fuel economy numbers. Besides this, check if the vehicle has a lightweight engine and a small axle ratio.
What SUV hybrid has the best gas mileage?
Upcoming Kia Sportage Hybrid, powered by a 1.6L 4cyl and electric motors, is the best gas mileage hybrid SUV. It offers 42 mpg and 44 mpg respectively, for city and highway.
Define the list of reasons why SUV is ‘eating’ more fuel
If you have noticed that your SUV is consuming more fuel than it usually does, chances are any of the following reasons are responsible:
When was the last time you took your car for scheduled maintenance? If your engine is not serviced properly from time to time, it tends to consume high fuel.
The quality of fuel has a huge impact on your fuel economy. Using cheap or artificial additives affects the fuel consumption, and in the long haul, the durability of your car’s engine.
When you load more than your car can handle, it can impact the total fuel consumption of your car. Try to maintain the load limit prescribed by the car manufacturer to maintain the overall health and longevity of your vehicle.
Idling is another reason your SUV might be eating more fuel. Start your vehicle only when you’re about to set out. If you think you’ll have to stand in traffic for long, turn off your engine and restart it when the signal goes green.
Highway driving with windows down
While driving on city roads, keep the windows down, and while on the highway, keep the windows up and AC on. When you open the windows on the highway, it shoots up drag. As a result, the SUV requires more power to run.