Looking for the Most Fuel Efficient SUV? Don’t Look to Domestic Cars

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If you want some room in your ride but also want to be able to afford to drive it, you’re looking for the most fuel efficient SUV of 2017.

SUVs are at their height of popularity right now. That’s no surprise – everyone wants the most bang for their buck, and that goes for space and comfort too. But that doesn’t mean you want to buy a gas guzzler, you’d still like to save gas if you can.

It should come as no surprise that none of the vehicles on the top 10 most fuel efficient SUVs of 2017 are domestic brands. Every single one is an Asian brand, which might tell you a little something about where the American brands might want to focus their attention.

The top 10 are rated based on their combined EPA fuel economy ratings, and equipped with an automatic transmission to keep things on the same level.

10. 2017 Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru’s 2.0-liter opposing four-cylinder Boxer engine powers the 2017 Crosstrek, producing 148 hp. It’s by no means the most powerful SUV you’ll find, not even in Subaru’s lineup, but it’s fuel efficiency is quite respectable.

The 2017 Subaru Crosstrek manages 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. What’s more impressive about that is the Crosstrek has Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD as standard equipment. It doesn’t seem to hinder efficiency.

9. 2017 Nissan Juke

For 2017, the Nissan Juke stays very much the same as the past few years. Under the hood, you’ll find a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four, pushing 188 hp. The lightweight, subcompact SUV (or cute-ute, as they say) is nimble and fun to throw around the road.

When you’re behind the wheel of the 2017 Nissan Juke, you can expect fuel efficiency in the vicinity of 28 mpg city and 32 mpg hwy. It’s exceptional for an SUV with 188 hp and an automatic transmission. I don’t imagine the Juke Nismo RS gets anywhere near that.

8. 2017 Lexus RX Hybrid

A powerful luxury SUV actually made the top-10 list in fuel efficiency. The 308-hp Lexus RX 450h has the benefit of electric power to pad its numbers, thanks to its hybrid powertrain. Again, equipped with AWD as standard equipment doesn’t affect the fuel efficiency much.

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The 2017 Lexus RX 450h gets an EPA rated 31 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway. The city rating is so high because of the electric motor usage at low speeds. We won’t hold that against it, though.

7. 2017 Honda CR-V

The all-new 2017 Honda CR-V come in as the seventh most fuel efficient SUV of 2017. Despite Honda’s emphasis on fuel efficient vehicles, they found it was important to keep them fun to drive as well. That’s why a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder is under the hood, packing 190 hp.

It should be noted the two-wheel-drive version is what achieves the ranking here. Its EPA numbers are 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. When equipped with AWD, the CR-V drops off the top-10 list.

6. 2017 Mazda CX-3

Squeaking past the Honda CR-V into sixth place is the 2017 Mazda CX-3. It drives more like a car than an SUV, although that could be said for several of these compact SUVs. Under the hood is a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine with 146 hp and, once again, it’s a two-wheel-drive.

The Mazda CX-3 gets 29 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway in this configuration. If you add AWD, those figures drop by 2 mpg each.

5. 2017 Lexus NX Hybrid

Starting off our top five is the 2017 Lexus NX 300h. Once again, it’s a hybrid premium SUV that dares to be efficient as well as a great performer. It has 194 combined hp from the 2.5-liter gas engine and electric hybrid motor assembly together. And magically, it maintains fifth place while being equipped with AWD.

The 2017 Lexus NH 300h has an EPA-rated fuel economy of 33 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Because we’re ranking the 10 most fuel efficient SUVs of 2017 based on combined fuel efficiency, the weighting of the city mileage pulls it higher on the list.

4. 2017 Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V with its i-VTEC 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is the best-rated naturally aspirated and solely gas-powered vehicle on the list, and that says a lot. You won’t find the HR-V is a mind-blowing SUV in many other categories (if any), but you can expect to save on fuel costs. Its 141 hp won’t be competing in any drag races from the stoplight.

The 2017 Honda HR-V finds itself as the fourth most fuel efficient SUV, rated at 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Maybe you can put the money you saved on fuel toward some car bling.

3. 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

If it looks like the spitting image of the Lexus NX 300h in terms of its shape and specifications, you’d be on the right track. The Toyota RAV4 uses the same powertrain as the Lexus cute-ute, AWD and all. The main differences between the two are the equipment – the Toyota RAV4 is much less luxurious than the Lexus, of course.

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Because more equipment means more weight, the RAV4 can best its cousin by 1 mpg in the city, boosting its position on the list. EPA ratings are 34 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

2. 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid

Out of left field, the 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid is the second most fuel efficient SUV for 2017. Its 2.0-liter gas engine combines with an electric hybrid motor for a combined 176 hp. The 2017 Nissan Rogue has hybrid options for the SV and SL trim levels, although the second-rated in fuel efficiency is the front-wheel-drive only.

When you drive the Rogue Hybrid for the best fuel economy, you can get 33 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA stats.

1. 2017 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

Our first and only fully alternative-fueled SUV on the list is the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell. It totally decimates the competition in fuel efficiency ratings, all without being a complete travesty. The 2017 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell uses a hydrogen fuel cell stack with electric motor to get 134 hp. That’s the least horsepower on this list by far. But, the Tucson isn’t the smallest nor the least-equipped vehicle here.

Because it doesn’t run on gas, its EPA rating is an equivalency. Keeping that in mind, the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell gets 49 mpg city and 51 mpg highway, making it the most fuel efficient SUV of 2017.