Bring the family with you: 10 most fuel-efficient SUVs and crossovers in 2022
Say hello to inflation; he’s back after a 40-year hiatus. Yes, the cost of everything is skyrocketing, including gasoline.
According to the American Automobile Association, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline Thursday is $4,318 a gallon, with premium fuel at $4,912. This is up from $2,815 and $3,393 a year ago respectively. This is an increase of 34.8% and 30.9%. And while authorities insist that the inflation rate in February was 7.9%, some figures suggest it is higher.
Fighting fuel inflation
But you don’t have to squeeze into a small vehicle to get good fuel economy. Fuel-efficient alternatives are available in everything from minivan to midsize to subcompact crossover.
We’ve rounded up the most fuel-efficient 2022 model year crossover utility vehicles, according to the EPA. None of these rigs are true anti-boulder SUVs. Fuel economy and off-roading don’t go together. But they can handle light off-road work, like traversing a field, navigating an unpaved road, or battling a ride in bad weather.
One caveat to our list: we’ve excluded battery electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) because about 40% of Americans don’t have access to regular charging. This list therefore only consists of vehicles powered by traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs), as well as hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) that couple and an ICE with a battery and do not need to be plugged in .
Most Fuel Efficient ICE Crossover Utility Vehicles
1. Ford Escape FWD HEV: 41 mpg
Cost to fill the tank: $51
Range: 582 miles
The Escape Hybrid delivers peak fuel economy of 45 mpg (beating EPA estimates) without much effort while proving beautifully balanced and agile, providing a relaxed and refined driving experience. The only downside is the interior ambience which doesn’t match that of other hybrid compact crossovers.
2. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD: 40 mpg
Cost to fill the tank: $52
Range: 580 miles
If you’re considering a RAV4, the hybrid model is the only way to go. It’s not only faster than non-hybrid models, it’s much more fuel efficient. Although its driving character tends to be a bit anonymous, it’s made up of a practical and functional interior as well as a decent tech package.
3. Lexus NX 350h AWD/Toyota Venza AWD: 39 mpg (tie)
Cost to fill the tank: $52
Range: 566 miles
MSRP: $42,625 (NX 350h); $32,890 (Venza)
All-new for 2022, Lexus refines the design of the NX by stripping away the excesses that have plagued the brand’s look. It also has a new infotainment user interface that is much easier to use. The NX 350h is lively, responsive and entertaining. Meanwhile, the Toyota Venza looks like a Lexus. Its driving dynamics are a bit lackluster, despite sharing its platform and running gear with the RAV4. And yes, it trades space for style, but what’s wrong with that?
4.Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD/ Hyundai Tucson hybrid blue: 38 mpg (tie)
Cost to fill the tank: $51 (Honda); $49 (Hyundai)
Range: 532 miles (Honda); 521 miles (Hyundai)
MSRP: $31,610 (Honda); $29,350 (Hyundai)
While the CR-V has a spacious interior, a comfortable ride and the Honda name, which would make many people opt for it without a doubt. But look closer and you’ll find the all-new Tucson Hybrid Blue boasts a lower starting price, quick acceleration, a much cooler interior, admirable space, an impressive tech package. and refined demeanor. Better yet, it has a traditional automatic transmission, rather than Honda’s CVT.
5. Front-wheel-drive Kia Sorento Hybrid
Cost to fill the tank: $64
Range: 655 miles
Feeling more refined than conventional Sorentos, the Sorento Hybrid is a little slower while still delivering stellar fuel economy for a mid-size three-row crossover. Still, it’s about as fast as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, though its overall size is a bit smaller, as is its price, which some might prefer.
6. Toyota Highlander Hybrid AT/Toyota Sienna Hybrid AT: 36 mpg (tie)
Cost to fill tank: $62 (Highlander); $65 (Siena)
Range: 598 miles (Highlander); 648 miles (Siena)
MSRP: $39,055 (Highlander); $34,560 (Siena)
If you want a midsize family bus from Toyota, look no further. Both use similar hybrid drivetrains, although the Highland has a bit more power and makes the sprint to 60 mpg a little quicker, although most drivers won’t notice. But the Sienna, being a minivan, has more than double the cargo space when all rows are in use, and also has more room for people. But the Highlander is not a minivan, although no one will confuse it with an all-terrain warrior either. The Sienna comes with all-wheel drive, but mileage drops to 35 mpg.
7. Hyundai Santa Fe Blue Hybrid: 34 mpg
Cost to fill the tank: $64
Autonomy: 602 miles
Being a hybrid, the first thing you’ll notice about the Santa Fe Hybrid Blue is that its fuel economy, while good, could be better. And opting for the standard Hybrid cuts fuel economy to 32 mpg, which is less than the non-hybrid Nissan Rogue. But it outperforms the standard Santa Fe, which returns 26 mpg with the base engine.
8. Nissan Rogue AT: 33 mpg
Cost to fill the tank: $43
Range: 396 miles
This affordable, fuel-efficient compact crossover is for those who prioritize rugged aesthetics and value, over driving fun. Like many Nissans, the Rogue has a CVT transmission, which sometimes takes some getting used to. But the availability of so many reasonably priced options should make it hard for some to resist.
9. Hyundai Kona FWD/Toyota Corolla Cross: 32 mpg (tie)
Cost to fill the tank: $48 (Hyundai); $45 (Toyota)
Range: 422 miles (Hyundai); 397 miles (Toyota)
MSRP: $21,300 (Hyundai); $22,195 (Toyota)
You don’t have to settle for Kona’s 147-horsepower base four. Opting for the 195-hp 4- and 7-speed turbocharged dual-clutch also nets 32 mpg. And it’s surprisingly fun to drive, which can’t be said for the 169-hp Toyota Corolla Cross, which comes with a CVT transmission. Acceleration is smooth, the ride is comfortable, the driving dynamics are adequate and its rear seat is surprisingly spacious.
10. Chevrolet Trailblazer TA/ Kia Seltos TA/Volkswagen Taos: 31 mpg (tie)
Cost to fill the tank: $48
Range: 409 miles
MSRP: $21,800 (Chevy); $22,590 (Kia); $23,295 (VW)
This subcompact trio offers great value, but with caveats. Of the three vehicles, the Seltos is the most fun to drive, as it shares its underpinnings with the Hyundai Kona. The Chevrolet has good handling, but its ride feels harsh and its engine is adequate at best. The Taos has the most spacious cabin, good acceleration, but its overall fun factor lags behind the Kia due to soft suspension. Still, it’s a satisfying choice.