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Is everything getting more expensive? The grocery budget you had at the beginning of the year doesn’t go as far in August as it did in January. Several events have led to increased prices for nearly everything we purchase, including the vehicles we drive. When you’ve got to be budget-conscious and want both affordability and fuel economy, these are the fuel-efficient midsize SUVs you want to drive.

The Toyota Venza is a hybrid midsize SUV with an affordable price

Blue 2022 Toyota Venza by the water
2022 Toyota Venza | Toyota

Every model of the new Toyota Venza is a hybrid version, which makes it easy for you to enjoy the drive and know that you’re saving money every time you take a drive. You’ll find two rows of comfortable seats, a large cargo area in the rear, and a smooth drive when you pick this Edmunds recommended SUV.

 Starting Price: $32,890

Fuel Mileage: 40 city/37 hwy mpg

Toyota also offers the Highlander Hybrid as an excellent option

Light Blue Toyota Highlander posed
Light Blue Toyota Highlander | Toyota

Do you need three rows of seats in your midsize SUV? If so, you’ll be glad to have the fuel-sipping qualities of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. This impressive SUV delivers a long list of safety features and driver aids to help you get where you need to go.

Starting Price: $38,855

Fuel Mileage: 36 city/35 hwy mpg

Does a Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid sound like a good midsize SUV for you?

A blue 2022 Kia Sorento SX driving on a highway
2022 Kia Sorento SX | Kia

The Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid offers 32 miles of electric driving range, which might be enough to handle your normal errands or a short commute. This SUV brings you plenty of cargo room with 75.5 cubic feet in the rear once you fold the rear seats.

Starting Price: $45,190

Fuel Mileage: 34 mpg combined, 32 miles all-electric driving range

Maybe the Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid is what you want to drive

Front angle view of Portofino Gray 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe crossover SUV
Portofino Gray 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

The Hyundai Santa Fe has a stellar reputation as a midsize SUV, and when you add the plug-in hybrid system to the mix, it’s downright thrifty. This impressive vehicle gives you a respectable electric driving range and up to 72.1 cubic feet of cargo room in the rear.

Starting Price: $39,500

Fuel Mileage: 33 mpg combined, 31 miles all-electric driving range

When you want an affordable and efficient non-hybrid SUV, the Subaru Outback delivers

The most popular SUVs of 2022 include the Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback SUV by the water | Subaru

The Subaru Outback has to be an outlier in this conversation. This midsize SUV isn’t a hybrid; it has full-time AWD and the lowest starting price. While the Outback is relatively efficient, it’s not hybrid-efficient. This SUV has lots of room with 75.7 cubic feet of potential cargo space.

Starting Price: $27,145

Fuel Mileage: 26 city/33 hwy mpg

Will you reach up to the Ford Explorer Hybrid to be your midsize SUV?

Front angle view of Star White 2023 Ford Explorer midsize SUV
Star White 2023 Ford Explorer | Ford

On this list, the Ford Explorer Hybrid is the most expensive SUV, but it does have the largest cabin with the potential of up to 87.8 cubic feet of cargo room. Unfortunately, while being the most expensive vehicle on this list, it’s also one of the least efficient.

Starting Price: $50,280

Fuel Mileage: 27 city/28 hwy mpg

Which of these affordable and fuel-efficient midsize SUV models should you buy?

Rear angle view of Ruby Flare Pearl 2023 Toyota Venza crossover SUV
Ruby Flare Pearl 2023 Toyota Venza | Toyota

The Toyota Venza offers the combination you’ll enjoy if you want the most fuel mileage at the lowest price. On the other hand, if you don’t mind a little less efficiency but want to save nearly $5,000, the Subaru Outback is an excellent choice. When you need three rows of seats, you’ll want to take the Toyota Highlander Hybrid home to be the efficient and affordable midsize SUV you depend on every day.

Next, learn why semi-trucks have so many gears or watch the efficient midsize SUVs in the video below:


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