Kelley Blue Guide: 10 compact SUVs with the most effective mileage

Driving an SUV no longer means accepting poor fuel economy. Today, many sport utility vehicles offer fuel economy that is comparable to comparable compact or mid-size sedans. Here's a look at the most efficient panels, based on EPA ratings, of all mainstream compact SUVs offered for model year 2021.

Note: This list does not include SUVs on dedicated EV platforms.

10th 2021 Jeep Cherokee

EPA city / highway / combined fuel economy: 22/31/25 mpg

The compact Jeep Cherokee comes in a few sturdy versions, but as you might guess, its most fuel-efficient model is also the least powerful. To get the most efficient Cherokee, find one with front-wheel drive, base four-cylinder engine.

9. 2021 Kia Sportage

EPA city / highway / combined fuel economy: 23/30/26 mpg

Sportage is a competitive compact SUV but one that needs redesign. The most efficient equipment is the base model with front-wheel drive, which contains a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.

See: Looking for a People Mover? Here are 10 of the cheapest 3-row vehicles

8th 2021 GMC Terrain

EPA city / highway / combined fuel economy: 25/28/26 mpg

While almost identical to the Chevrolet Equinox, the GMC Terrain has a small penalty for fuel economy, likely due to its more boxy shape. In both cases, these SUVs offer the best fuel economy when equipped with front-wheel drive and a 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine.

7th 2021 Mazda CX-5

EPA city / highway / combined fuel economy: 25/31/28 mpg

The Mazda
+ 2.98%
CX-5 is one of our perennial favorites. It's been a few years without a redesign, but its premium design and great driving dynamics still set it apart. With its simple, turbocharged, front-wheel drive engine, the CX-5 achieves fuel economy of up to 31 mpg on the highway.

Connected: The 25 most economical SUVs of 2021

6. 2021 Chevrolet Equinox

EPA city / highway / combined fuel economy: 26/31/28 mpg

The Equinox is another safe bet in the compact SUV segment. With its simplest powertrain – a 1.5-liter, turbocharged, front-wheel drive four-cylinder – the Equinox achieves 26 mpg city, 31 highway and 28 combined.

5. 2021 Subaru Forester

EPA city / highway / combined fuel economy: 26/33/29 mpg

+ 0.50%
The Forester is equipped as standard with all-wheel drive and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine. The 29 mpg fuel economy is pretty good considering that most of the competitors don't exceed these numbers in the form of front-wheel drive.

4. 2021 Nissan Rogue

EPA city / highway / combined fuel economy: 27/35/30 mpg

The villain, Nissans
+ 2.54%
The best-selling vehicle is urgently being revised for 2021. There is no PHEV or hybrid powertrain available. The Rogue uses one motor throughout its lineup. It is optionally available with front or all-wheel drive. Of course, the FWD model is the most efficient.

More: These medium-sized trucks get the best mileage

3rd 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

EPA city / highway / combined fuel economy: 40/35/38 mpg

Last year the Honda
+ 0.76%
CR-V introduced a new hybrid powertrain that immediately became the most economical model in the CR-V range. It comes with standard all-wheel drive, just like top SUVs on this list. Even the non-hybrid CR-V is efficient, reaching 28 mpg in the city, 34 highway and 30 combined.

2. 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid

EPA city / highway / combined fuel economy: 28/34/30 mpg

Last year Ford
introduced a hybrid version of the redesigned Escape. While a plug-in hybrid is expected to arrive this spring, the Ford Escape Hybrid is still a very efficient choice. The Escape Hybrid delivers 44 mpg when combined with front-wheel drive or 43 mpg when combined with all-wheel drive. In its basic FWD gas equipment, the EPA rates the escape as 27 city / 33 highway / 30 combined.

1. 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

MPGe: 94 combined
EPA combined fuel economy: 38 mpg

+ 0.03%
The plug-in hybrid version of the RAV4, dubbed Prime, is by far the most impressive vehicle on this list. It comes with all-wheel drive as standard, offers 302 horsepower and goes from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds. Additionally, it can travel 42 miles on a full charge and returns 38 mpg after the battery runs out. And RAV4 Prime buyers are eligible for a tax credit of $ 7,500. The RAV4 Hybrid is rated for 41 cities, 38 highways and 40 combined. The basic gas RAV4 starts on May 27th, 30. As for gas-powered compact SUVs, this is as good as it gets.

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