Most Fuel-Efficient 4WD SUVs

© Toyota Motor Sales USA, © Subaru of America, © Volvo Cars North America, © General MotorsFuel-Efficient SUVs
Sport-utility vehicles and crossovers remain the hottest automotive segment in America — their versatility makes them an attractive alternative to sedans, minivans and wagons. That said, those who need an SUV or crossover don’t have to forgo good fuel economy. With hybrids, electrics, diesels and even highly-efficient gas engines, the current SUV lineup offers plenty of fuel-efficient choices. Since most SUV buyers are looking for all-wheel drive, the following vehicles are the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive SUVs available. Note that vehicles are in ascending order by combined EPA city / highway mpg fuel-economy ratings. Plug-in hybrids list combined MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) and combined mpg. The sole all-electric SUV beats all competitors and lists only MPGe.

© Doug Berger/NWAPA25. 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
26 mpg city / 27 mpg hwy / 27 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $51,960
There was a time that a hybrid was just about improved fuel economy, but a vehicle like the MDX Sport Hybrid is an example of the performance that a hybrid system can provide. This 3-row luxury SUV was refreshed for the 2017 model year with updated styling and an array of high-tech features, but most impressive is the hybrid powertrain. The MDX Sport Hybrid uses a 3.0-liter V6 engine teamed with one electric motor on the front axle and two additional electrical motors on the rear. Total output is 321 horsepower while handling is further enhanced by the system’s ability to direct power to individual rear wheels.

© Subaru of America24. 2018 Subaru Outback
25 mpg city / 32 mpg hwy / 28 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $25,895
One of the original crossovers, the Subaru Outback combines SUV utility with the comfort and convenience of a wagon. Last redesigned in 2015, the Outback has remained true to its original formula, but the latest model is the largest ever offered. With more space as well as more capability than ever, all Outbacks come standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, Active Torque Vectoring, Hill Descent Control, Incline Start Assist, and an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Also available is Subaru’s innovative EyeSight suite of advanced safety features. The Outback is still powered by a horizontally-opposed Boxer engine — in this case a 175-horsepower 2.5-liter teamed with a continuously variable transmission.

© Nissan North America, Inc.23. 2017 Nissan JUKE
26 mpg city / 30 mpg hwy / 28 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $22,100
Within the popular small crossover segment where many models are starting to look the same, the JUKE still stands out from the crowd. This small crossover grabs attention with its sculpted headlights, unique silhouette and overall muscular lines. While small on the outside, inside is a surprising amount of room for rear-seat passengers and cargo. JUKE backs up its sporty, unique look with an economical 188-horsepower 1.6-liter direct-injected turbocharged 4-cylinder engine under the hood.

© Jaguar Land Rover22. 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar
26 mpg city / 30 mpg hwy / 28 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $49,900
The fourth model in the Range Rover lineup, the Velar features an all-new design using Jaguar Land Rover’s Lightweight Aluminum Architecture. Velar utilizes flush-fitting door handles and flush glass and rear LED light clusters for a clean, elegant look, while super-slim Matrix-Laser LED headlights incorporate animated direction indicators. A bold grille dominates the front end, and available copper-colored accents enhance the hood vents, lower fascia blades and side vents. The new Velar will be available with three powertrains, the most fuel efficient being a 2.0-liter TD4 turbodiesel that produces 180 horsepower and an impressive 317 lb-ft of torque at 1500 rpm.

© General Motors21. 2018 Buick Encore AWD
26 mpg city / 31 mpg hwy / 28 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $26,840
Redesigned for 2017, Encore is Buick’s best-selling vehicle with a revised appearance that includes new front and rear fascias, a new hood, front fenders, headlights, winged grille with Buick tri-color insignia and new taillights with LED lighting. The small crossover is available in several trim levels, but the Encore Sport Touring is the most fuel efficient, powered by a 153-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter engine with direct injection and start/stop technology, combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

© Subaru of America20. 2018 Subaru Forester
26 mpg city / 32 mpg hwy / 28 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $22,795
Subaru updated the Forester crossover for 2017 with revised exterior styling, new driver assistance technology, added interior comfort and improved fuel economy. Exterior changes include redesigned headlights, a new front bumper for normally-aspirated trims, a new hexagonal grille and rear LED combination lights. Offered with either a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine, powertrain improvements increase fuel economy for the 2.5 liter to 26 / 32 / 28 mpg for the Forester 2.5i with CVT and standard all-wheel drive.

© Jaguar Land Rover North America19. 2018 Jaguar F-PACE 20d AWD
26 mpg city / 33 mpg hwy / 29 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $46,275
Jaguar leaped on the SUV craze with the all-new 2017 F-Pace midsize crossover, joining other luxury brands already deep into SUVs as sales continue to climb. F-PACE has three engine choices, but the fuel-economy champ is a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel motor that produces 180 horsepower, 318 lb-ft of torque and delivers 29 mpg combined. A torque on-demand all-wheel-drive system is standard, with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics that maintains a rear-drive bias but transfers torque to the front wheels as needed.

© American Honda Motors18. 2018 Honda HR-V 4WD
27 mpg city / 31 mpg hwy / 29 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $21,670
Honda introduced the HR-V last year and it is the smallest of the Honda crossover lineup. With a surprisingly spacious interior, the HR-V can handle cargo of myriad shape and size with its configurable second-row “Magic Seat.” Power comes from a 138-horse engine teamed with a continuously variable transmission, offering reasonable performance in this very competitive market segment as well as impressive fuel economy.

© Mazda North American Operations17. 2017 Mazda CX-3 AWD
27 mpg city / 32 mpg hwy / 29 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $21,210
Mazda added a new subcompact crossover for 2016, with the CX-3 joining the lineup as the smallest crossover alongside the compact CX-5 and midsize CX-9. Mazda CX-3 boasts a dynamic design, signature Mazda sporty driving characteristics and an available sophisticated i-ACTIV AWD system. Powered by a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine combined with the SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic transmission, the CX-3 AWD delivers impressive fuel efficiency of 29 mpg combined.

© Subaru of America16. 2018 Subaru Crosstrek
27 mpg city / 33 mpg hwy / 29 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $21,795
Subaru made a brilliant move a few years ago when it took the compact Impreza and with few alterations converted it into the very popular XV Crosstrek, now known simply as Crosstrek. In fact, the Crosstrek now outsells the Impreza. Subaru introduced the second-generation Crosstrek for the 2018 model year and while there’s a new chassis and fresh styling, Subaru kept the same popular formula with a spacious interior and full-time all-wheel drive. Power comes from a 2.0-liter Boxer engine putting out 152 horsepower, available with either a 6-speed manual or Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission.

© American Honda Motor Co., Inc.15. 2017 Honda CR-V
27 mpg city / 33 mpg hwy / 29 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $25,345
The Honda CR-V has been one of the best-selling SUVs in America for the last 20 years, and Honda hopes to continue this trend with the all-new 2017 CR-V. In addition to new exterior styling and a more spacious interior, the CR-V is powered by its first-ever available turbocharged engine. The CR-V EX and higher trim levels are powered by a new direct-injection turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces a plentiful 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque while delivering the best fuel economy for a non-diesel and non-hybrid SUV.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA14. 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
30 mpg city / 28 mpg hwy / 29 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $36,270
Toyota debuted an all-new Highlander for the 2017 model year with updated styling, new features and upgraded powertrains. One new powertrain is a more powerful and more efficient hybrid system. At the heart of the Highlander Hybrid is a new direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 engine teamed with an electric motor at each axle to produce a combined 306 horsepower driving all four wheels. Although most will buy the hybrid for its fuel efficiency, the Highlander also has plenty of capability, including a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA13. 2017 Lexus RX 450h AWD
31 mpg city / 28 mpg hwy / 30 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $53,035
One of the first luxury crossovers on the market, the RX is the best-selling Lexus model ever. The RX received a complete makeover for 2016 with all-new styling; most noticeable is the brand’s large, bold spindle grille which dominates the front end. The RX features a sophisticated hybrid system that combines a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine with two electric motors — one on the front axle, one on the rear — to create an electric all-wheel-drive system that generates a total of 308 horsepower, providing excellent performance in addition to great fuel economy.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA12. 2018 Lexus NX 300h AWD
33 mpg city / 30 mpg hwy / 31 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $38,335
Lexus joined the growing compact luxury SUV segment with the all-new NX for the 2015 model year. Available with a turbocharged engine or hybrid powertrain, the fuel-efficient hybrid version gets highlighted here. The all-wheel-drive NX hybrid features a gas-electric powertrain that combines a 2.5-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor driving the front wheels as well as an electric motor powering the rear wheels for additional traction. The NX is designed to offer sporty handling in addition to impressive fuel economy.

© General Motors11. 2018 GMC Terrain Diesel
28 mpg city / 38 mpg hwy / 32 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $34,710
General Motors introduced the 2018 GMC Terrain earlier this year with a new design that features a bold grille, sculpted headlights and C-shaped rear light graphics. Like it’s Chevrolet Equinox sibling, the Terrain is offered with several turbocharged powertrains, most noteworthy being the all-new diesel. Available on SLE and SLT trims, the 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine offers both efficiency as well as performance, generating 240 lb-ft of torque at a very low 2000 rpm.

© General Motors10. 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel
28 mpg city / 38 mpg hwy / 32 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $30,685
Earlier in 2017 Chevrolet introduced an all-new Equinox for the 2018 model year with updated styling, the latest in high-tech safety technology and an optional fuel-efficient diesel powertrain. Equinox has one of the few diesel options among small crossovers: a 1.6-liter turbocharged unit that produces 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, teamed with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The diesel is one of three turbocharged motors available on the new Equinox.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience9. 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
34 mpg city / 30 mpg hwy / 32 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $29,030
The RAV4 is one of the best-selling SUVs in America, and Toyota completely redesigned the small crossover for the 2016 model year. As part of that remake, Toyota added a hybrid RAV4 to join the growing number of hybrids in the Toyota portfolio. All RAV4 Hybrids are 4WD — the gas engine combines with an electric motor to drive the front wheels, while an additional electric motor provides power to the rear wheels. One of the first crossovers, the RAV4 debuted 20 years ago; the RAV4 Hybrid is the eighth hybrid model from Toyota, and it also happens to be the most powerful and fuel-efficient RAV4 ever.

© Nissan North America, Inc.8. 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid AWD
31 mpg city / 34 mpg hwy / 33 mpg combined 
Base MSRP: $27,990
The Nissan Rogue is completely redesigned for 2017, and for the first time Nissan offers a hybrid version of its popular crossover. The 2017.5 Rogue Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine teamed with an electric motor and Nissan’s Xtronic continuously-variable transmission. The 2.0-liter gasoline engine produces 141 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque; the electric motor is rated at 40 horsepower; the combination creates a net system output estimated at 176 horsepower. The Rogue Hybrid includes an Idle Start/Stop system and an Intelligent Regenerative Braking system.

© Mercedes-Benz USA7. 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE550e
43 MPGe combined / 21 mpg combined
Base MSRP: $66,700
Last year Mercedes-Benz joined the growing list of plug-in SUVs with the new GLE550e 4Matic Plug-in Hybrid. This midsize luxury SUV is powered by a direct-injection 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine combined with an electric motor, for a total combined output of 436 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque delivered through a 7-speed automatic transmission. Electricity gets stored in a lithium-ion battery for an electric-only range up to 12 miles and a top speed of 80 mph in electric mode.

© Porsche Cars North America6. 2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
46 MPGe combined / 22 mpg combined
Base MSRP: $79,900
Who would have thought that a Porsche would be one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs in America? The high-performance Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine producing 333 horsepower combined with a 95-horsepower electric motor, for a total system output of 416 horsepower with peak torque of 435 lb-ft available between 1250 and 4000 rpm. Power gets delivered through an 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission and Porsche Traction Management active all-wheel drive. The Cayenne S E-Hybrid will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds with a top track speed of 151 mph. When fully charged, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid can operate in electric-only mode up to 14 miles with a top speed of 78 mph.

© BMW of North America5. 2017 BMW X5 xDrive40e
56 MPGe combined / 24 mpg combined
Base MSRP: $64,650
The plug-in hybrid version of BMW’s midsize premium SUV arrived for the U.S. market in the fall of 2015 as the first plug-in hybrid from the German brand. At the heart of the X5 xDrive40e is BMW’s 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine teamed with an electric motor integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission, for a total system output of 308 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. Intelligent all-wheel drive is standard. On a full charge the lithium-ion battery offers an electric-only range of 14 miles and can propel the plug-in X5 from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.

© Volvo Cars North America4. 2018 Volvo XC60 T8 PHEV
59 MPGe combined / 26 mpg combined
Base MSRP: $52,900
Volvo introduces an all-new XC60 for the 2018 model year, and in addition to new styling and features, the premium crossover is now available with the same powerplants as its larger sibling, the XC90. The most fuel-efficient of them all is the T8 plug-in hybrid. The T8 utilizes a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged engine of the T6 sending power to the front wheels, while an electric motor powers the rear wheels. The two sources combine to deliver up to 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. The immediate torque of the electric motor helps the XC60 T8 reach 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. The T8 can also be plugged in, and with fully charged batteries can travel up to 18 miles on electric power only. The T8 powerplant adds about $8,000 to the price of the T6; however, the hybrid is eligible for a federal tax credit of around $5,000, as well as a state tax credit depending on where the car is registered.

© Volvo Cars of North America3. 2018 Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV
62 MPGe combined / 27 mpg combined
Base MSRP: $64,950
The plug-in hybrid version of Volvo’s premium 7-seat SUV, the XC90 AWD PHEV is powered by Volvo’s T8 Twin Engine system that delivers a combined 400 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged gasoline engine in the front and an electric motor at the rear. This big SUV claims impressive performance — the XC90 AWD PHEV will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and has an all-electric range of up to 14 miles. The high-performance T8 powertrain is available on all trim levels of the XC90.

© BMW of North America2. 2018 MINI Cooper S E Countryman
65 MPGe combined / 27 mpg combined
Base MSRP: $36,800
MINI has introduced its first plug-in hybrid in the shape of the Cooper S E Countryman. One of the larger MINIs on the market, the Countryman is a four door offering reasonable cargo space, ALL4 all-wheel drive and now a fuel-efficient but powerful hybrid powertrain. Under the hood is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine teamed with an electric motor for a combined 221 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. When fully charged, the hybrid Countryman can run for 24 miles and reach speeds as high as 77 mph using the electric motor only. This plug-in MINI is also eligible for up to $4,000 in federal tax credits.

© Tesla Motors1. 2017 Tesla Model X 75D AWD
91 MPGe city / 95 MPGe hwy / 93 MPGe combined
Base MSRP: $83,000
The Model X is currently the only production electric SUV on the market, and this sleek vehicle offers more than simply impressive fuel economy. According to Tesla, the AWD 75D has a range of around 237 miles on a full charge and can reach 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. There’s seating for seven, and access to the rear seats is via top-hinged Falcon Wing doors. Thanks to the absence of an internal combustion engine, the Model X offers a large front trunk in addition to a rear cargo area. Last year there was a six-month wait to be a Model X owner; now buyers should be able to take delivery within a couple weeks.


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