Ranked

Ranked: 20 SUVs with the best gas mileage

A wide variety of vehicles makes up the list of the most fuel-efficient SUVs sold in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Shopping for a new SUV can be a chore. There's a lot to consider. Two or three rows? Small, medium, midsize, large? Hybrid or traditional powertrain?

When searching for a new SUV, buyers will often compare their fuel efficiency. The models on this list have the best combined gas mileage of any SUVs on the market today. The list consists of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles and hybrids. No plug-in hyrbids or all-electric models were considered. Scroll down to see all 20.

Click here to learn more about fuel efficiency.

2020 Ford EcoSport

2020 Ford EcoSport

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company​

27 mpg in the city/29 mpg on the highway
Most consider the Ford EcoSport to be underpowered for the American market but, that helps with its fuel efficiency. It comes standard with a 123-horsepower turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine.

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

25 mpg in the city/32 mpg on the highway
The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport is celebrating just its third year in the U.S. As an international offering, it doesn't have the type of horsepower that will excite speedy U.S. drivers, but makes sense for markets with lower speed limits. It gets its power from a 141-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a continuously variable transmission.

2020 Mazda CX-30

2020 Mazda CX-30

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

25 mpg in the city/33 mpg on the highway
The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is the newest member of the Japanese automaker's family. The model comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an automatic transmission. The model is most fuel-efficient as a front-wheel drive crossover. All-wheel drive is available and when equipped it's competent off-road.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

24 mpg in the city/34 mpg in the city
In its last year before a complete redesign, the Mercedes-Benz GLA continues to return good fuel economy numbers. It is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and achieves 208 horsepower.

2020 Toyota CH-R

2020 Toyota CH-R

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

27 mpg in the city/31 mpg on the highway
The front-wheel drive 2020 Toyota CH-R is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque.

2020 Mini Cooper Countryman

2020 Mini Cooper Countryman

Photo courtesy of MINI

26 mpg in the city/33 mpg on the highway
With its unmistakable Mini looks, the 2020 Cooper Countryman is instantly recognizable as being from the House that Cooper Built. The model's most fuel efficient engine is its standard turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder that produces 134 horsepower.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

27 mpg in the city/33 mpg on the highway
The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek is known for its competence. Despite having standard all-wheel drive, the model is one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs out there. It gets its power from a 152-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The Crosstrek comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. Upgrade to the continuously variable transmission for more fuel efficiency.

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Hyundai Kona

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

27 mpg in the city/33 mpg on the highway
The two power plants buyers can get in the 2020 Hyundai Kona have nearly the same fuel economy numbers. The car comes standard with a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can choose to upgrade to a 175-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Toyota RAV4

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

26 mpg in the city/35 mpg on the highway
Even without its hybrid powertrain, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 is fuel-efficient. It comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The SUV's powertrain is complete with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Honda HR-V

American Honda Motor Co., Inc

28 mpg in the city/34 mpg on the highway
The front-wheel drive version of the 2020 Honda HR-V is most fuel-efficient. Each HR-V is powered by a 141 horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with continuously variable automatic transmission.

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Mazda CX-3

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

29 mpg in the city/34 mpg on the highway
The 2020 Mazda CX-3 has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under its hood. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and achieves 148 horsepower.

2020 Hyundai Venue

30 mpg in the city/34 mpg on the highway/32 combined
The 2020 Hyundai Venue is the newest model inn the automaker's lineup and it's one of the most fuel-efficient. The zippy Venue has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission but is more fuel-efficient with a continuously variable transmission.

2020 Lexus UX

2020 Lexus UX

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

29 mpg in the city/37 mpg on the highway
The 2020 Lexus UX is nearly as fuel efficient as the UX Hybrid. It gets down the road thanks to a 169-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

2020 Nissan Kicks

2020 Nissan Kicks

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

31 mpg in the city/36 mpg on the highway
The Nissan Kicks has had the next-gen version of its engine (shared with the Versa) installed for the 2020 model year. Its better off the line now but still has just 122-horsepower coming from its four-cylinder power plant. The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission.

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Toyota

36 mpg in the city/35 mpg on the highway
The 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with two electric mothers and a battery pack. A continuously variable transmission completes the powertrain. It comes standard with front-wheel drive.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

35 mpg in the city/40 mpg on the highway
New for the 2020 model year, the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a four-cylinder engine that produces 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque.

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

38 mpg in the city/41 mpg on the highway
The 2020 Lexus UX Hybrid has more horsepower than its non-hybrid counterpart. It has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood and two electric motors that are good for 181 horsepower combined.

2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

41 mpg in the city/38 mpg on the highway
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is designed to be peppier and more fuel-efficient than that non-Hybrid RAV4. It has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that together produce 219 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission rounds out its powertrain.

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

44 mpg in the city/37 mpg on the highway
The 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid edges out much of the SUV field as one of the most fuel-efficient SUV out there. Completely redesigned for the new model year, the Escape Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor that combine to produce 198 horsepower.

2020 Kia Niro

2020 Kia Niro

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

52 mpg in the city/49 mpg on the highway
The Kia Niro's powertrain wasn't designed to blow anyone's doors off. It's made up of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an electric motor. A six-speed dual-clutch transmission completes the powertrain, which achieves 139 horsepower.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Hong Kong gained its independence, Dolly the sheep was cloned, Princess Diana passed away. 1997 was a pivotal years for the sport utility vehicle segment as well. It marked the introduction of the Honda CR-V, the model that would go on to rival the Toyota RAV4 in popularity. Honda recently released rankings to show the ten best-selling crossovers since the debut of the CR-V.

Subaru Forester

1998 Subaru Forester

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru has sold just over 2 million Foresters since it went on sale in 1998, succeeding the Subaru Bighorn, which was also sold as the Isuzu Trooper. The Forester is still one of the top-selling models in the U.S. Subaru sold nearly 30,000 of them in the first two months of 2020.

Lexus RX

1998 Lexus RX

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The Lexus RX is the original luxury crossover and you'll still see many of them on the road after over a decade of use. It got into the game a year later than the CR-V, first being sold in the U.S. in 1998. Still, it's been slightly more popular than the Forester with sales over 2 million in the last 23 years.

Honda Pilot

2004 Honda Pilot

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda's popular three-row SUV started its life with a boxy shape that helped it stand out from the crowd in 2002 (2004 model shown above). The second-gen Pilot got even boxier. It's currently in its third generation, which has shifted the look of the model to a more traditional shape with modern tech and family-friendly features. Honda has sold around 2,200,000 Pilots during the last 18 years.

Nissan Rogue

2007 Nissan Rogue

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Rogue was introduced just 12 years ago. Since 2007, around 2.5 million of them have been sold. The Rogue is perennially one of the top-selling SUVs in the country and is Nissan's best-selling vehicle in the U.S.

Toyota Highlander

2001 Toyota Highlander \u200b

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The Toyota Highlander has been around for six years longer than the Nissan Rogue. It debuted in 2000 and went on sale in January 2001 as a 2001 model in the U.S. At first it was a two-row model but since 2004 it has been available as a three-row SUV, eventually evolving into a three-row only format.

Chevrolet Equinox

2003 Chevrolet Equinox debut Detroit Auto Show

Photo by Getty Images

Chevrolet has sold over 3 million Equinoxes since the model first came to market in 2004 as a 2005 model year SUV. At first it was a midsize crossover, then it was downsized to a compact model, making it about the same size as the Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue.

Toyota RAV4

1997 Toyota RAV4

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota was one of the pioneers in the segment, launching the RAV4 in 1994. The company has sold over 4 million RAV4s since 1997 as the model has gotten bigger, safer, and more capable. Toyota has offered a variety of RAV4 models over the years from two-door variants to soft top RAV4s. It was the top-selling SUV model in 2019.

Ford Escape

2001 Ford Escape

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford Escape has only been around since 2001 and its fourth-generation was introduced late last year. The model has evolved from a boxy four-door family hauler to a sleek SUV with abundant cargo capacity and an available hybrid powertrain. Ford has sold around 4.3 million Escapes since the turn of the century.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. (J-921)

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Grand Cherokee blurs the line between SUV and crossover most on this list, but there's no doubt it's one of the most popular, no matter what you call it. Jeep has sold more Grand Cherokees since 1997 than Ford has Escapes, around 4.5 million.

Honda CR-V

1997 Honda CR-V

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

In the 23 years since it debuted, Honda has sold over 5 million CR-Vs making the model the most popular crossover in the U.S. The company recently debuted the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, filling a gap in the market.


Ranked

Worst car names in America

Come to think of it, Thing wasn't a great name for a car, was it?!

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

A vehicle's name is arguably one of its most important aspects. Of course design, features and performance are what ultimately sell a car, but a majority of marketing focuses on a car's name. Often expected to illustrate or suggest an auto's essence, names such as Jeep Renegade or Lamborghini Diablo conjure a visceral image of the vehicle.

This leaves us wondering what went wrong with the following car names. Petty power struggles? Poor translations? Three-martini lunches? We're not saying all these are bad cars (although some are not great), but they certainly could have benefitted from better names. Here are just a few of the worst car names we've experienced in America.

GM Impact

General Motors Impact Concept

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Before General Motors introduced its groundbreaking EV1 electric car in the mid-1990s, the company showed a prototype electric vehicle called the Impact. Although we can see what they were thinking — this car would make a huge impact on the industry and America — riding in a car named after the first thing you don't want to have happen while in a car seems wrong. Although the name was marginally better than Crash, Smash or Slam.

Ford Probe

1993 Ford Probe GT

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Probe was a fine sport coupe — it didn't have great performance but the styling wasn't bad. The name, however, could have been better. When we think of the word probe, what comes to mind is what space aliens reportedly do with captives. According to Webster's Dictionary, a probe is "a thin, long instrument that is used especially for examining parts of the body" — along the lines of that space examination. A hot shower might be in order after driving a Probe.

Kia K900

2020 Kia K900

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The flagship sedan of the Kia model lineup, the K900 is a large luxury sedan. Although the rest of the Kia lineup has what we would consider reasonable names, we're not sure what the Korean automaker was thinking with the name K900. The big Kia's name is simply too close to K9, and while we know that dogs can help sell cars — just look at Subaru — no one wants a dog of a car.

Volkswagen Thing

Volkswagen Thing

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

In 1973 Volkswagen imported an odd-looking vehicle originally designed for the German military. Sold as the Safari in Mexico, Trekker in the UK and the Kurierwagon in Germany, apparently VW had run out of creativity by the time they got around to naming the American version, so it was simply called the Thing. Sold in America for only two years, the Thing's doors and windows could be removed, the windshield could be folded down and — with drains in the floor — it could be hosed out when dirty. With a 55-horsepower engine the Thing boasted a top speed of 71 mph. Perhaps Thing is more appropriate than we first thought.

Chevrolet Citation

Chevrolet Citation

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet sold the Citation in the early 1980s — it was the brand's first front-wheel-drive car, but with quality and reliability issues the compact model was not terribly successful. Perhaps naming the car after the second thing you don't want to occur while driving wasn't the best idea either. Maybe Chevrolet marketing mavens glossed over the type of citation given by a traffic cop. According to Webster's, citation also can mean a statement praising a person's bravery. Back in the days of mullets and New Wave, you had to be pretty brave to buy a Citation.

AMC Gremlin

1970 AMC Gremlin

Photo by Getty Images

There are plenty of cars named after living things that conjure positive images. Ford Mustang, Mercury Cougar, Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Ram — even Volkswagen Rabbit. So why would AMC name their car after something that nobody would want to associate with? According to Webster's, a gremlin is a small imaginary creature that gets blamed when something doesn't work properly — something you certainly don't want in your car. But AMC fully embraced the name, even featuring a little Gremlin on the gas cap.

Ford Aspire

Ford Aspire

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Sold in America for just a few years in the mid-1990s, the Ford Aspire was a small 2- or 4-door hatchback built by Kia. The very basic car had few amenities and with its anemic 4-cylinder engine took more than 16 seconds to reach 60 mph. Perhaps the name was appropriate — anyone driving the Aspire would shortly be striving to drive something else.

Mitsubishi Mirage

Mitsubishi Mirage

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Is it really there or did you just think you saw it? Another naming fail is this small Mitsubishi, since a mirage is something with no substance that appears to be real but isn't. The car is something like that — with just 74 horsepower, less-than-appealing styling, tiny wheels and lackluster performance it might be better to reach the horizon and find the Mirage wasn't really there.

Maserati Quattroporte

Maserati Quattroporte

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The name of this high-performance Maserati sedan is not exactly bad — it really isn't much of a name at all. The Italian word "Quattroporte" literally translates to "four doors," and while the Quattroporte is a 4-door sedan, this name simply lacks imagination — it merely states the obvious in another language. At least the 2-door GranTurismo wasn't named the Dueporte.

Daihatsu Charade

Daihatsu Charade

Photo courtesy of Daihatsu

This small Japanese car company only sold vehicles in the U.S. from 1988 to 1992, and billed the Charade as a premium subcompact car. But with basic equipment and a weak 3-cylinder engine, premium was a bit of a stretch. Perhaps the small car was just living up to its name — charade is an empty or deceptive act and, based on the description, so was this car.

Ferrari LaFerrari

Ferrari LaFerrari

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

Ferrari took the wraps off its this supercar a few years ago at the Geneva Motor Show, and while the crowd of attending auto journalists were excited and impressed with the high-tech hybrid system and claimed 950 total horsepower, they were left scratching their heads when the name was announced. LaFerrari translates into English as "the Ferrari." Sure, we get the elemental nature of the name, but Ferrari's flagship sports car should have been given a more deserving moniker.

Renault LeCar

Renault LeCar

Photo courtesy of Renault

Along the same lines as LaFerrari, Renault was a bit short on creativity when it came to naming this little French car. At first blush it appears that the translation to English would be "the car," which is rather unimaginative. However "car" in French means coach or bus — so this tiny econobox is actually named "the bus." At least the name is big.

Subaru Brat

Subaru Brat

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

Nobody likes a brat. Typically an annoying child belonging to someone else (our own children are never brats), this is not someone you want to spend any time with. So why would you name a car after an ill-mannered, annoying child? As it turns out, BRAT is an acronym for Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter. So while the little 4WD Subaru with the rear-facing open-air seats was great fun in its day, the name is definitely annoying.

Hummer

Hummer H2

Photo by Getty Images

The Hummer was a civilian version of the military Humvee (a nickname for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle). Arnold Schwarzenegger pressured AM General to make the big SUV available to the public, so AM General put the Hummer on public roads in 1992. However, you might hear some snickering whenever this big vehicle's name gets uttered, given that it's slang for a certain oral act. Not exactly what you want associated with your new vehicle, but hey — sex sells, right?

Infiniti Q?

2019 Infiniti Q50

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Nissan's luxury brand always had a naming convention of letters and numbers — the letters indicated the vehicle series, the number was determined by the engine. But recently Infiniti rebadged all vehicles, and it's no longer possible to determine the vehicle based on its name. Every vehicle name starts with a Q. Why? Good question. There doesn't seem to be much logic behind the names — the car named Q60 is a 2-door version of the Q50, but the QX60 SUV is bigger than the QX50. (The numbers no longer indicate the engine, simply the order in the vehicle lineup.) Very confusing, even for those in the industry.

Suzuki Esteem

Suzuki Esteem

Photo courtesy of Suzuki

If you're not feeling great about yourself, buying a good-looking, quality car could certainly raise your self-esteem. Strangely enough, the car named Esteem would no doubt fail in that endeavor. The Esteem was a basic economy car sold in the late 1990s through 2002, and while it would get you around, very few people would hold this car in high esteem.