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20. 2021 Toyota Venza | 39 mpg
The least efficient SUV on this list is also an MT favorite (and a 2021 MotorTrend SUV of the Year finalist), the 2021 Toyota Venza. Basically a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid but with an added dash of Lexus-like luxury, the Toyota Venza comes standard with 219 hp and all-wheel drive, thanks to a powertrain consisting of a 2.5-liter I-4, electric motor, and CVT automatic up front, plus a separate rear-mounted electric motor. In EPA testing, the Venza scores 40/37/39 mpg city/highway/combined.
19. 2021 Lexus UX250h | 39 mpg
The Venza is a staff favorite, but the same can’t be said for the underpowered Lexus UX. This subcompact SUV shares its drivetrain configuration with the Venza but sports a different engine and motors. Up front a 2.0-liter I-4 and CVT sandwich an electric motor, while out back a small electric motor drives the rear wheels, giving the UX250h AWD. The 2021 Lexus UX250h is ranked hi
18. 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid | 40 mpg
Just edging out its stablemate for the 18th spot is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Although it shares its powertrain and 219-hp rating with the Venza, a combination of slightly less size, less weight, and different aerodynamic qualities helps it score higher in EPA tests. The RAV4 Hybrid is rated at 41/38/40 mpg.
17. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid | 41 mpg
Although the first few of our most efficient SUVs only come with one drivetrain, the 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid offers up two options, allowing it to beat the RAV4 Hybrid and earn the 17th spot on our list of 2021 model year SUVs with the best mpg. Front-drive versions of the Escape Hybrid are more efficient than all-wheel-drive versions. The former is powered by a 2.5-liter I-4 and electric motor (good for 200 hp) driving the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. The latter adds a traditional driveshaft running to the rear wheels for all-wheel drive. The FWD Escape Hybrid scores 44/37/41 mpg, while the AWD version nets 43/37/40 mpg.
16. Land Rover Range Rover P400e | 42 MPGe
The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover P400e plug-in hybrid starts a trend on our list of SUVs with the best mpg, as the Range Rover P400e is the first of many plug-in hybrid SUVs—a vehicle type that uses bigger motors and batteries than “traditional” hybrids, which allows them to go farther on electricity alone and score higher fuel economy numbers (hence the MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent score).
15. Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e | 42 MPGe
The Range Rover P400e and the 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e plug-in hybrid (tied for 15th) both are powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4, which is paired with an electric motor, eight-speed automatic, and a four-wheel-drive system. Total system output is 398 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque, and both are capable of traveling up to 19 miles on electricity alone before the engine turns on. The EPA rates both at 42 MPGe.
14. 2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid | 46 MPGe
The 2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is big and expensive, but it still sips fuel at a low enough rate to be included on our list. This luxurious plug-in hybrid SUV is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 mated to an electric motor and an eight-speed automatic. Total system output for the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid is 443 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The 2021 Bentayga Hybrid can travel up to 18 miles on electricity and nets 46 MPGe as a result.
13. 2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid | 46 MPGe
Just edging out its British platform mate is the 2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid. Like the Bentayga, the Cayenne E-Hybrid is propelled by a turbocharged V-6 and electric motor combination, but with a minor tuning difference giving it 450 hp overall. The Cayenne is available in two body styles—a traditional two-box SUV and a fastback SUV. No matter which body style you get, the Cayennes can do 17 miles on a full charge and achieve 46 MPGe.
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11. 2021 BMW X5 xDrive 45e | 50 MPGe
BMW’s first of two entries on the list of most efficient SUVs is the 2021 BMW X5 xDrive 45e plug-in hybrid. Under its hood is a 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 paired with an electric motor, eight-speed automatic, and all-wheel-drive system. Total system output is a healthy 389 hp. The BMW X5 45e can travel up to 31 miles on a full charge and is EPA-rated at 50 MPGe.
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10. 2021 Audi Q5 e Plug-in Hybrid | 50 MPGe
The compact 2021 Audi Q5 e Plug-In Hybrid just edges out the larger X5 for the 10th spot on our list of SUVs with the best mpg. It’s efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 is mated to an electric motor and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, giving it 362 hp, 19 miles of electric range, and a 50 MPGe rating.
9. 2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 | 55 MPGe
This former MotorTrend SUV of the Year winner is the ninth-most efficient SUV for sale in the country. The 2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 uses a 2.0-liter super- and turbocharged I-4 and eight-speed automatic to power the front wheels, while an electric motor at the rear axle drives the back wheels. Together, they give the XC90 all-wheel drive and 400 hp. The XC90 Recharge T8’s 50 MPGe score is aided by its 18 miles of electric range.
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8. 2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring | 56 MPGe
The swanky 2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring is on the heavy side, but thanks to its plug-in hybrid powertrain, it’s efficient, too. Like many of the plug-in hybrids on this list, the Aviator uses a turbocharged six-cylinder engine and electric motor to net its 56 MPGe rating (and 21 miles of EV range). A 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 mated to a motor, 10-speed auto, and an all-wheel-drive system give the Aviator Grand Touring 494 hp and an impressive 630 lb-ft of torque.
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7. 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 | 57 MPGe
The 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 shares lots with its XC90 big brother—its platform, powertrain, and handsome good looks among them. Yet its smaller size helps the two-row, 400-hp XC60 Recharge T8 snake a higher mpg rating than the three-row XC90. This XC60 can travel 19 miles on a full charge before the engine fires up, and it is EPA-rated at 57 MPGe.
6. 2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e | 60 MPGe
The 2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e (the xDrive45e’s little brother) scores the sixth spot on our list of SUVs with the best mpg. The BMW X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid uses a smaller 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 paired with an electric motor to drive all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. The 288-hp X3 plug-in hybrid SUV nets 60 MPGe and 18 miles of EV range.
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5. 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | 74 MPGe
Sitting pretty as the fifth-most efficient SUV on the market is the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The best-selling plug-in hybrid in the world (seriously) is powered by a new-for-2021 2.4-liter I-4 supplemented by front- and rear-mounted electric motors. Interestingly, the Outlander PHEV’s engine only connects directly to the front wheels in certain conditions above 40 mph. That helps it achieve an impressive electric range of 24 miles and a net 74 MPGe.
4. 2021 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring | 78 MPGe
3. 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid | 90 MPGe
Earning the bronze medal as the third-most efficient SUV on sale is the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. Subaru’s plucky little subcompact plug-in hybrid SUV is powered by a 2.0-liter flat-four and an electric motor that drives all four wheels via a CVT. Total system output is 148 hp. The Crosstrek can travel 17 miles on a full battery and is EPA-rated at 90 MPGe. Notably, the Crosstrek Hybrid is only available to purchase new in the following ZEV mandate states: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Those in other states will have to scour the used market or lobby their local Subaru dealer for one.
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2. 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime | 94 MPGe
The SUV with the second-best fuel economy rating is the hugely impressive 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime compact SUV. Like the related RAV4 Hybrid, the RAV4 Prime uses a 2.5-liter I-4 and electric motor that drives the front wheels through a CVT, while a rear axle-mounted motor drives the rear wheels. Crucially, the 2021 RAV4 Prime’s motors are significantly more powerful (and its battery far larger) than those found in the RAV4 Hybrid, which gives it a combined output of 302 hp, a 90 MPGe rating, and a massive EV range of 42 miles on a full charge.
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1. 2021 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid | 102 MPGe
The most efficient SUV in the country currently wears a Blue Oval on its nose. The 2021 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid beats out the RAV4 Prime by 8 MPGe, for a 102 MPGe score. Like the related Corsair Grand Touring, the Escape Plug-In Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter I-4 and electric motor that drives the front wheels. Crucially, the Escape doesn’t have a rear motor, making it front-wheel drive only. That helps give it the efficiency bump for the top spot but is certainly a compromise many who live in the snow belt (or simply like the added traction of an AWD system) will have to consider. The 220-hp Escape can travel 37 miles on a full charge before the engine takes over.