The Most Fuel Efficient SUV

(That Is Not A Hybrid)

by Bill Flitter

Dad, Coffee Lover, Coach, First Car: '79 Camaro

Buying gas is not something I look forward to – especially living in California. The average price of gas in the metro where I live is $3 per gallon. And as a working parent–between commuting to work a few days a week (working from home is awesome!), running errands and shuttling kids between school and games–I need a big car that’s also fuel efficient. My family is currently considering a new SUV, and so we decided to look at the most fuel efficient SUV on the market in 2017.

Most Fuel Efficient SUV for the family

Most Fuel Efficient SUV For 2017

These 6 vehicles are the most fuel efficient SUVs on the market for 2017. You might like to know that the most fuel efficient SUV on our list is giving some hybrids a run for their money. As a Prius driver, I do appreciate that the engine doesn’t run at a stop sign – something the gas-powered SUVs can’t offer. 

6.) Subaru Forester

Most Fuel Efficient SUV - Subaru Forrester

The Subaru Forester has been spotted on more than one Best Of lists for SUVs, and in this case it’s due to a 26 overall mpg with standard all wheel drive. The 2018 has 170-hp, which puts it behind even the CR-V (starts at 184-hp). The starting price for the Forester is around $22k, but Consumer Reports warns that, “it’s easy to crest $30,000 with options packages.”  

5.) Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstrek - Most Fuel Efficient SUV

At one point, the Crosstrek did come as a hybrid, but that model was discontinued in 2017. What’s available now is what Consumer Reports describes as “a small quasi-SUV version of the previous-generation Impreza hatchback.” Great for mud, slush, snow and rain the Crosstrek has a 148-hp engine with a 26 overall mpg. So, less power than the Mercedes but with the same mpg. The Subaru Crosstrek seems great for those who love to go where no standard car dare follow.

4.) Mercedes-Benz GLA

Most Fuel Efficient SUV - Mercedes GLA

On the one hand, the GLA has available a 375-hp engine, which would blow away the Honda and the Mazda. However, that horsepower comes with a lower 26 overall mpg. But maybe the trade of a couple mpg is well worth the extra power? However, Consumer Reports states, “…the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is unrefined…power delivery is not even. This makes the GLA feel lethargic…the ride is stiff and the cabin is loud. Visibility, particularly to the rear, is poor, and head room is snug.” That’s not a great review for a vehicle that costs between $33 and $50,000.


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3.) Honda CR-V

There are thousands of different cars to choose from and SUVs are a popular choice. Which one of them is the best SUV for the money, though? CRV voted safest suv for 2017 and one of the most fuel efficient suv

What article on CUVs would be complete without mentioning the Honda CR-V? This compact SUV is a standard and a ‘must consider’ by anyone wanting to purchase a new CUV. The engine ranges from 184-hp to 190, depending on the trim, which results in a net difference of 1mpg. The EX trim has a 28 overall mpg and the LX has a 27 overall mpg, which puts it right up there with the CX-3 and the HR-V. Plus, it’s a lot bigger and the 2017 model is a complete update.

2.) Mazda CX-3

Most Fuel Efficient SUV - Mazda CX-3

The Mazda CX-3 appears on many Top and Best of lists when it comes to CUVs. In terms of fuel economy, the CX-3 has an overall mpg of 28. Where the HR-V has a 141-hp engine, the CX-3 has 146, so just a hairline more power with the same fuel efficiency. It’s price competes with the HR-V and overall, the reviews are a bit better for the CX-3 over the HR-V in terms of handling. Could be very worthwhile to test drive them both.

1.) Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V made its North American debut in 2015. The current model is sitting atop Consumer Reports most fuel-efficient SUV list, right behind a few hybrids. The Honda website states the mileage at 25 city, 33 highway, 28 combined. The HR-V is reasonably priced, starting below $20,000 and maxing out at just over $25k. Something to keep in mind is that the HR-V is quite smaller than the CR-V; it was based on the Fit subcompact where the rear seat that flips up or folds down flat and low.

Over to You

If you have any feedback you would like to share on the most fuel efficient SUV please add it in the comments. What do you like about it? Are you getting the suggest MPG?