3 Fuel-Efficient SUVs Consumer Reports Says Won’t Break the Bank

We talk a lot about new cars, but there is a whole world out there of budget-friendly, fuel-efficient SUVs out there just waiting for you to come to your senses and snag something practical. Although there are tons of new SUVs out these days that are super cool, they are also getting more expensive by the day. Consumer Reports is here to offer us some alternative used, fuel-efficient SUVs. From Honda to Toyota, you may not be overly surprised at what you find here. 

2016 Mazda CX-5 in red. One of the list toppers for Consumer Reports Most fuel-efficient SUVs
2016 Mazda CX-5 | Troy Harvey/Bloomberg

Consumer Reports kept the threshold at five years old when recommending these fuel-efficient SUVs to ensure they were recent enough to pass modern safety and comfort expectations still. 2016 is the name of the game, and there are some great options here. 

2016 Toyota Rav4 is a super fuel-efficient SUV

It should come as no surprise that the 2016 Toyota Rav4 is highly recommended on a Consumer Reports list of best, used, fuel-efficient SUVs. According to Consumer Reports, the Toyota Rav4 got a refresh for this model, making the cabin a bit quieter and softened the suspension a touch. 

2016 Toyota Rav4 in red parked on the road
2016 Toyota Rav4 | Toyota

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Quietness and smoothness are great and all, but that doesn’t make the 2016 Toyota Rav4 one of the most affordable and fuel-efficient SUVs on the market. The 2016 model was the first to be offered in a hybrid powertrain, and these models reported a screaming 31 mpg. Sure, the Toyota Rav4 is fairly small, but it has far more room than your normal sedan, and the hybrid version is getting better fuel efficiency than most smaller sedans.

Not to mention, it’s a Toyota, and that comes with a certain sense of reliability expectation that has proven to be true on this model. The 2016 Toyota Rav4 is on the higher end of the cabbages than the Subaru Forester or the Mazda CX-5 with a range of $16,500 – $21,200. 

The 2016 Subaru Forester is a great, fuel-efficient SUV

Next up on the list of great, fuel-efficient SUVs is none other than the 2016  Subaru Forester. It feels like the Subaru Forester makes it on nearly every Consumer Reports list. It makes sense, though. The Subaru Forester is a monster of practicality. The 2016 Subaru Forester might not be the most exciting SUV ever, but it nails everything from safety, visibility, and reliability to a strong AWD system and killer fuel economy. 

2016 Subaru Forester in blue
2016 Subaru Forester | Subaru

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The Subaru Forester gets 26 mpg overall out of its 2.5-liter flat-four boxer engine. According to Consumer Reports, the Subaru Forester isn’t going to rip your face off with acceleration or cornering, but it is still a nimble enough SUV. The decent handling does come at the cost of a firmer ride, and the  Subaru Forester isn’t the fanciest SUV interior, but it is still quality. You can expect to pay somewhere around from $13,825 to $18,150 on a 2016 Subaru Forester.

How many miles-per-gallon does a 2016 Mazda CX-5 get? 

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs in the game from this time period. It has been a staple in the practical-, compact-SUV world for quite some time. Consumer Reports says the 2016 CX-5 is quick, agile, and fun to drive, which shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing how it’s a Mazda. 

Mazda CX-5 and Mazda6 cars assembled at Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus factory in Vladivostok
2016 Mazda CX-5 | Yuri SmityukTASS via Getty Images

The Mazda CX-5 isn’t just fun; it is a massively practical SUV with plenty of room, reliability, and safety. For the purpose of this most fuel-efficient SUVs list, the Mazda CX-5 also returns 26 mpg overall. You can expect to pay something around the $13,650 – $16,925 range. 

Get one of these Consumer Reports recommended fuel-efficient SUVs

Like all vehicle comparisons, once you have the raw data, the choice is up to you and what you need out of one of these fuel-efficient SUVs. The 2016 Mazda CX-5, 2016 Toyota Rav4, and 2016 Subaru Forester all have something unique to offer, but choosing between these SUVs is like shooting at a giant target; it’s hard to miss.