5 Fuel-Efficient Used SUVs That Don’t Run on Electricity
It’s a fact that hybrid and all-electric vehicles are the most fuel-efficient models on the market. But what if you scroll through the inventory of a used SUV dealership for your family’s next vehicle and you can’t find a used hybrid or electric SUV in your price range? Even if you unsuccessfully check out another used dealer’s physical lot, don’t worry; you still have options.
Although alternative fuel vehicles like HEVs, PHEVs and EVs are great for the environment with their low emissions and can save you money on fuel costs, they might not be the right option for you. you and your family’s next vehicle. Whether they don’t fit your budget, aren’t in stock at the local used SUV dealership, or aren’t what you’re looking for in general, gasoline and diesel vehicles have come and gone. a long way over the years. and are now more efficient and cleaner than ever. If you’ve found yourself at an impasse trying to find the perfect fuel-efficient SUV for your family’s commuting and after-school activities, check out these five great models that don’t run on electricity.
#1 – Chevy Trailblazer
While the gas-guzzling mid-size TrailBlazer of the early 2000s might be the model you’re looking at, it’s the Chevy Trailblazer subcompact crossover SUV, with a lowercase “b,” that we’re referring to. Besides being smaller and more fuel-efficient than its predecessor from the same reliable and trustworthy Chevrolet brand, this SUV wears the nameplate for a reason. It may only be its first generation, but the Chevy Trailblazer is an efficient and capable machine.
For you and your family’s commuting needs, saving money at the pump won’t be an issue with 2021 or 2022 models. 29 to 30 MPG combined, depending on model year. But for the most fuel-efficient, powerful and capable engine, you’ll need to upgrade to the optional EcoTec 1.3L 3-cylinder turbo engine. This powertrain can get you around 31 MPG combined and produce 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque for all the power you’ll need to easily tow up to 1,000 lbs.
If you’re looking for all-wheel drive with the Chevy Trailblazer for your family’s outdoor adventures on the trails, your only option is to upgrade to the 1.3L engine. And while you’ll likely see less fuel efficiency, this won’t be much. Estimated fuel economy for the all-wheel-drive powertrain is still an impressive 28 MPG combined. Don’t worry, though. The all-weather and trail capabilities you’ll gain with the all-wheel-drive and all-terrain features of the Trailblazer ACTIV model will make up for the 3 MPG you’ll lose.
#2 – Subaru Crosstrek
Speaking of trail capability, let’s take a look at the Subaru Crosstrek subcompact, which comes with standard all-wheel drive. While this Subaru model was available with a hybrid powertrain from 2014 through 2016 and again starting with the 2019 model year, we’re going to focus on the fuel-efficient, high-performance gasoline powertrain options for the Crosstrek from current second generation.
Similar to the Chevy Trailblazer, this crossover seats five passengers comfortably and is available with a few gas engine options. The base engine is a 2.0L boxer 4-cylinder rated at 30 MPG combined with the automatic transmission and 25 MPG combined if you choose the 6-speed manual transmission. Starting with the 2021 model year, the Crosstrek is available with a more powerful 2.5L boxer engine producing up to 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque to conquer the trails and tow up to 1,500 lbs. With all that power, the 2.5L boxer engine still delivers 1 MPG more than the all-wheel-drive Chevy Trailblazer powertrain. Plus, with the addition of Sport trim and X-Mode traction control, the Subaru Crosstrek will maneuver through snow, dirt and mud on and off trail with ease.
The Subaru Crosstrek subcompact and the Chevy Trailblazer are both similar in size and comparable in all road conditions, with the Crosstrek slightly ahead in fuel efficiency. But if you’re looking to fit the most cargo in the trunk, the Trailblazer takes the win for storage space behind the rear seats. The second-generation Subaru Crosstrek can haul a maximum of 55.3 cu. of cargo, while the Chevy Trailblazer only holds 54.4 cu. behind the front seats without passengers. However, it can carry just under 5 cubic feet. more than the Crosstrek behind the rear seat alone. While that might not seem like much, if it means you or your kids have to leave something behind on your next camping trip, you can opt out of that extra 1 MPG you’ll get with the Crosstrek.
#3 – Ford Escape
Moving on to compact SUVs, we bring you the Ford Escape. The Escape is another SUV available with a hybrid powertrain as well as its traditional gasoline variants. Like the previously mentioned models, it can also accommodate up to five passengers, but it has more space for them and up to 65.4 cu. cargo space for anything you might need to take on the road. Although you’d think a bigger vehicle would need more power under the hood than the subcompact SUVs on the list, the Ford Escape is still small enough to have fuel-efficient 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder engines.
The latest fourth-generation models, model year 2020 through 2022, feature a base 1.5L EcoBoost 3-cylinder turbocharged engine rated at 30 MPG combined with front-wheel drive and 28 MPG combined with front-wheel drive integral. The optional 2.0L EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder AWD powertrain can get the most out of both powertrains, up to 3,500 lbs, but loses fuel efficiency, dropping to an estimated combined fuel economy of 26 MPG, which is the lowest we’ve seen on the list so far.
Also, even though the Ford Escape is available with all-wheel drive, don’t expect to escape the pavement and into the woods with this SUV, as none of its versions are designed to handle more than a dirt road. well traveled. with a few potholes. Still, the Escape is a good option with comparable fuel economy, a bit more room, and a bit more towing power compared to the smaller Chevy Trailblazer and Subaru Crosstrek.
#4 – Toyota RAV4
Next on our list is another compact SUV. The Toyota RAV4, like the Subaru Crosstrek and Ford Escape, has been available with a hybrid powertrain since 2016. However, even though the RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime (plug-in hybrid) are two of the most fuel-efficient SUVs in Toyota, the standard RAV4 also deserves recognition for its efficiency. With an estimated combined fuel consumption of 30 MPG, the fifth-generation RAV4 with its 2.5L 4-cylinder engine equals the lower engine of the Subaru Crosstrek. But if you have a family and all their stuff to haul, the Toyota RAV4 might be the more attractive of the two, at 37.6 cu. of cargo space behind the rear seat and up to 69.8 cu. with the rear seats folded down when riding solo.
For added appeal, the fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 is rated to tow up to 3,500 lbs when properly equipped. As a bonus, if your family likes to live on the edge, unlike the Escape, the RAV4 is available with an Adventure version and an even more rugged TRD Off-Road version. So far, the Toyota RAV4 seems to be the most versatile model yet, but with added capabilities, the price is higher. Opting for the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road is going to cost you more than it might be worth, especially since the RAV4 is already the most expensive used SUV on our list to begin with.
#5 – Chevy Equinox
While the compact Chevy Equinox may not be available with the rugged looks and capabilities of the Toyota RAV4, this five-seater is perfect for a family commuter vehicle that can handle extracurricular activities that might take you off the sidewalk and into the streets. wood while camping. and fishing trip. Its size is just below the Ford Escape, but if you’re looking for a 2020 Chevy Equinox with the available 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, even though it offers a little less cabin space, it’s not missing. no power. It can produce 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque and can tow the same weight as the Escape and RAV4 when properly equipped.
Even better, the 2.0L engine will still get you around 25 MPG combined with front-wheel drive and 24 MPG combined with all-wheel drive. Plus, with a 9-speed automatic transmission, you’ll enjoy faster starting and a smoother ride compared to the 8-speed transmissions found on the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4. To top it off, the Chevy Equinox is the least expensive of the compact SUVs on our list. It costs only slightly more than the Subaru Crosstrek subcompact, making it the most valuable model on the list and giving you the most bang for your buck, which we can expect from Chevy.
Which used SUV to choose?
Ultimately, the choice is yours. You know your family’s needs better than anyone. Although we’ve just introduced you to five great fuel-efficient small SUVs without the need for electricity, there may be larger or even smaller models in your used SUV dealership’s inventory that grab your attention more. . You might even decide that your family needs more fuel efficiency than modern gasoline or even diesel engines can provide, and that’s fine too. No matter which SUV you choose for your family’s commutes and adventures, make sure it’s one you can rely on and backed by a brand you can trust. Saving money at the pump may seem essential, but keeping your family safe and on the road when needed is even more important.