Best SUV for Gas: Top Fuel-Efficient Models to Consider

In today’s automotive market, the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles is on the rise, especially when it comes to SUVs. With their increased space and versatility, these vehicles have become a popular choice for families, adventure seekers, and daily commuters alike. Consequently, automakers have been concentrating their efforts on improving fuel economy without sacrificing performance or comfort.


Understanding Fuel Efficiency in SUVs

When it comes to selecting the best SUV for gas mileage, it is essential to understand fuel efficiency and the factors that contribute to it. Fuel efficiency is the measure of how many miles a vehicle can travel per gallon of fuel. In the context of SUVs, buyers often prioritize fuel economy due to these vehicles’ reputation for being less fuel-efficient than smaller cars.

One of the primary factors affecting fuel efficiency is the vehicle’s weight. Generally, heavier vehicles require more energy to move, which leads to increased fuel consumption. However, advances in technology have helped manufacturers reduce the weight of their SUV models, resulting in improved fuel efficiency without compromising safety or performance.

Another factor that impacts fuel efficiency is the vehicle’s aerodynamics. A vehicle with a streamlined design reduces air resistance, allowing it to move more effortlessly and consume less fuel. Some SUVs also employ active aerodynamic solutions, such as grille shutters that close at high speeds to reduce drag further.

Moreover, the engine type and size play a significant role in determining fuel efficiency. Smaller engines usually consume less fuel, but they might not provide adequate power for larger vehicles. Manufacturers strike a balance between engine size and fuel economy by using advanced technologies like turbocharging, direct injection, or hybrid powertrains.

For instance, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek offers a combined fuel economy of 29 MPG, making it one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market. Another example is the 2023 Hyundai Venue, known for its low ownership costs, excellent warranty, and good fuel economy.

In conclusion, the key to choosing an SUV with the best gas mileage lies in understanding fuel efficiency and the factors influencing it. By considering the weight, aerodynamics, and engine type of different models, buyers can make informed decisions and select vehicles that offer a balanced mix of performance, comfort, and fuel economy.

Top Fuel Efficient SUV Models of 2023

The automotive market has seen a growing number of fuel-efficient SUVs, offering a combination of utility, space, and economy. In 2023, there are several top contenders in this category.

2023 Toyota Venza: This hybrid SUV is not only safe but also boasts excellent fuel economy and an upscale interior. With a combined fuel efficiency of 53 mpg (53 city/54 highway), the Venza is an appealing choice for those seeking a greener driving option. The starting price, including the destination fee, is $27,915.

2023 Kia Niro: Another fuel-efficient choice is the Kia Niro, which blends practicality with eco-friendly performance. The Niro offers 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seats up, ensuring ample room for passengers and their belongings. Pricing and specific fuel efficiency numbers for the 2023 model are still to be announced.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek: Although hitting the market in 2023, the redesigned 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is worth considering for its fuel economy and overall score of 7.9/10 from U.S. News. The base engine provides 152 horsepower and adequate performance while achieving a combined 29 MPG.

Choosing a fuel-efficient SUV in 2023 is easier than ever, with several options available to suit various needs and preferences. The Toyota Venza, Kia Niro, and Subaru Crosstrek stand out as top contenders in the eco-friendly SUV market. These vehicles not only provide practicality and comfort but also demonstrate positive steps toward lowering emissions and reducing our environmental footprint.

Hybrid SUV Options

In recent years, Hybrid SUVs have increased in popularity due to their fuel efficiency and environmentally friendly nature. A variety of options are available, catering to different needs and preferences. This section will discuss a few prominent hybrid SUVs for 2023 and 2024.

The Kia Sportage Hybrid is one option worth considering. Redesigned in 2023, the Sportage Hybrid offers an excellent ride quality along with an attractive interior. Its starting MSRP ranges from $27,490 to $36,390, making it an affordable choice for consumers seeking an eco-friendly SUV with high-performance features.

Another hybrid SUV on the market is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. This vehicle has a reputation for being dependable and long-lasting while also offering impressive fuel efficiency. It comes equipped with an advanced safety package and a range of convenient features, ensuring a comfortable and secure driving experience.

The Honda CR-V Hybrid is yet another popular choice among consumers. Known for its practicality and comfortable interior, this SUV provides a smooth ride and is fully equipped with innovative technology for added convenience. It also boasts impressive fuel economy, making it a cost-effective option in the long run.

In addition to these top contenders, many other hybrid SUVs provide exceptional features and performance, such as the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid. Each model offers its own unique characteristics, ensuring that there is a hybrid SUV to suit any preference.

When exploring hybrid SUV options, it is crucial to compare factors like fuel efficiency, performance, and price, as well as determining which features are most important to the individual consumer. By considering these aspects, buyers can make a well-informed decision on choosing the best hybrid SUV to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fuel-Efficient SUV

When selecting a fuel-efficient SUV, there are several factors to consider in order to make the best decision for your lifestyle and driving needs. In this section, we will look at the following aspects:

Vehicle Type

There are different types of SUVs, each with varying fuel efficiency:

  • Gas-only SUVs: Traditional internal combustion engine vehicles that run solely on gasoline.
  • Hybrid SUVs: Combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor, improving fuel economy.
  • Plug-in Hybrid SUVs (PHEVs): Similar to hybrids, but with the added advantage of being able to recharge the battery through an external power source, allowing for limited all-electric driving.
  • Electric SUVs (EVs): Powered entirely by an electric motor and battery, these vehicles emit no tailpipe emissions and have minimal fuel costs, relying on recharging at electric charging stations.

Consider your driving habits, commute distance, and access to charging infrastructure when deciding on the appropriate vehicle type.

Driving Style

Your driving style can significantly impact your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Adopting eco-friendly driving habits can help improve your SUV’s mileage, regardless of its type:

  • Accelerate smoothly: Rapid acceleration consumes more fuel. Gently pressing the gas pedal will save fuel.
  • Maintain a constant speed: Frequent changes in speed use more fuel. Use cruise control when possible on highways.
  • Coast to a stop: Avoid sudden braking by anticipating stops and coasting to decelerate.

Weather Impact

Weather conditions can influence your SUV’s fuel economy. Keep these points in mind:

  • Cold temperatures: Fuel efficiency tends to decrease in colder climates, as the engine takes longer to reach optimal operating temperature and thickens the oil.
  • Air conditioning: Running the air conditioning can increase fuel consumption. Use it judiciously, relying on climate control systems or opening windows when possible.

Maintenance Practices

Proper vehicle maintenance plays a vital role in retaining optimal fuel efficiency:

  • Regular oil changes: Using the recommended grade of motor oil can improve fuel economy by up to 2%.
  • Tire pressure: Inadequate tire pressure increases rolling resistance and fuel consumption. Check and adjust pressure regularly.
  • Engine tune-ups: Keeping your engine in top condition ensures it runs as efficiently as possible. Follow the service schedule in your owner’s manual.

By taking into consideration vehicle type, driving style, weather impacts, and proper maintenance practices, you will be better equipped to select the SUV that offers the best fuel efficiency for your needs.

Benefits of Choosing a Fuel-Efficient SUV

Fuel-efficient SUVs have become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to significant advancements in vehicle technology. There are several advantages to opting for a fuel-efficient SUV over other types of SUVs.

First, lower fuel consumption directly translates to cost savings for the owner. As gas prices continue to fluctuate, having a vehicle that requires less fuel to travel the same distance can provide significant financial benefits. For example, the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek offers 29 MPG combined, making it an affordable option for those looking to save on fuel costs.

Another advantage is the positive environmental impact that comes with driving a fuel-efficient SUV. Vehicles with better gas mileage produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. By choosing a fuel-efficient SUV, owners can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and work towards more sustainable transportation.

Additionally, many fuel-efficient SUVs come with advanced technology that improves not only fuel economy but also overall vehicle performance. Features such as regenerative braking, engine stop-start systems, and aerodynamic designs all contribute to increased efficiency. Examples of SUVs with such technologies include the Kia Sportage.

Fuel-efficient SUVs also tend to provide better resale value in comparison to their less efficient counterparts. As consumers’ awareness of environmental and financial concerns grows, the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles is also on the rise. This translates to a higher resale value, which can be an attractive selling point for those considering upgrading or changing their vehicles in the future.

In summary, there are substantial benefits to choosing a fuel-efficient SUV. From cost savings on fuel to a reduced environmental impact, better resale value, and advanced technology, fuel-efficient SUVs are well-rounded options offering numerous advantages for their owners.

Drawbacks of Fuel-Efficient SUVs

Fuel-efficient SUVs are becoming more popular due to their ability to provide considerable gas mileage while maintaining the versatility and practicality of an SUV. Despite their advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider when purchasing a fuel-efficient SUV.

Limited power: Many fuel-efficient SUVs sacrifice engine power to achieve their impressive fuel economy. These vehicles often come equipped with smaller engines, resulting in lower horsepower and torque figures. Buyers who require robust towing capabilities or a more spirited driving experience may find that fuel-efficient SUVs fall short in this area.

Compromised performance: Along with reduced power, fuel-efficient SUVs may have other performance compromises. Some models may have slower acceleration, less agile handling, or decreased traction due to their energy-saving features. These characteristics can impact the overall driving experience for some drivers.

Higher upfront costs: Fuel-efficient SUVs often incorporate advanced technologies such as hybrid or electric powertrains. While these innovations result in improved fuel economy, they can also lead to higher upfront costs. Buyers must weigh the potential fuel savings against the increased purchase price to determine if a fuel-efficient SUV is the right choice for their budget.

Limited cargo and passenger space: To maximize fuel efficiency, some SUVs are built with a smaller, more aerodynamic design. This can result in decreased interior space for both passengers and cargo. If spaciousness is an essential factor in your SUV selection, it is crucial to carefully evaluate the dimensions of fuel-efficient models.

Availability and variety: While the market for fuel-efficient SUVs is growing, it still lags behind the broader SUV market in terms of variety and availability. Buyers may have difficulty finding the specific fuel-efficient SUV model or trim level they desire or may need to wait for new models to become available. This limited selection can make the shopping process more challenging compared to shopping for a traditional SUV.

In conclusion, fuel-efficient SUVs offer many benefits, such as reduced fuel costs and lower emissions. However, it’s important for buyers to be aware of the potential drawbacks, including limited power, compromised performance, higher upfront costs, reduced interior space, and limited availability. By carefully weighing these factors, consumers can make an informed decision about whether a fuel-efficient SUV is the right choice for their needs.


In this article, we discussed the best SUVs for gas mileage in 2023. The top contenders include models such as the Kia Niro, which offers impressive fuel economy at 53 mpg combined (53 city/54 highway) and starts at a price of $27,915.

There are numerous reasons behind the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient SUVs, including benefits like lower running costs and reduced environmental impact. As technology continues to improve, we can expect to see even more advancements in fuel economy for SUV models in the coming years.

In summary, consumers have a variety of options in the market today when searching for an SUV that offers excellent gas mileage. By considering factors such as fuel efficiency, price, and cargo space, buyers can find a vehicle that fits their needs and budget. As the automotive industry progresses, it is likely that the selection of high-MPG SUVs will continue to expand, offering even more choices for environmentally-conscious consumers. Remember to always verify the manufacturer’s claims and consult reliable sources for accurate information when making your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top fuel-efficient SUVs for 2023?

The top fuel-efficient SUVs for 2023 include the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which delivers 53 mpg combined (53 city/54 highway), and the 2023 Kia Niro, offering impressive fuel economy as well. Apart from these, the Mazda CX-30 and BMW X1 rank as top contenders in the subcompact SUV category.

Which large SUVs have the best gas mileage?

Large SUVs are typically not as fuel-efficient as their smaller counterparts, but some do perform better than the rest. Keep in mind that actual fuel efficiency can vary depending on specific trim and engine options.

What is the best 3rd-row SUV in terms of fuel efficiency?

Determining the best 3rd-row SUV largely depends on individual preferences and needs. However, in terms of fuel efficiency, it’s advisable to consider hybrid or plug-in hybrid models as they usually provide better fuel economy than their gasoline-only counterparts.

Which hybrid SUVs have the best MPG for 2023?

Hybrid SUVs are known for offering improved fuel efficiency. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and 2023 Kia Niro are examples of hybrid SUVs with impressive MPG ratings. These vehicles combine the benefits of internal combustion engines and electric motors to deliver excellent fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

What are the best commuter SUVs with high fuel efficiency?

Commuter SUVs with high fuel efficiency usually combine practicality and comfort for daily driving. Examples include the Mazda CX-30 and BMW X1, which offer good fuel efficiency along with ample cargo space and comfortable interiors for a pleasant commuting experience.

Which crossover SUV offers the best mileage?

Crossover SUVs are popular for their blend of compact size and versatility. In terms of mileage, the Mazda CX-30 and BMW X1 stand out as fuel-efficient options in the subcompact crossover segment. Be sure to check specific trim levels as well as engine options, as these can impact fuel efficiency.

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