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Gas prices in the U.S. have seen near record-highs for much of 2022. Though AAA data shows gas prices are down nationally over the last month, they are still nearly a dollar per gallon more across the board than last year. That puts an emphasis on consumers finding cars with the best gas mileage, so they don’t break the bank at the pump. For the small SUV segment, here are the seven vehicles with the best gas mileage, per U.S. News & World Reports’ rankings: 

1. 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime

A red Toyota RAV4 Prime Small SUV parked near an office building
Toyota RAV4 Prime Small SUV | Toyota
  • Lowest annual fuel cost: $1,050
  • MSRP: Starting at $40,300

The RAV4 Prime tops U.S. News’ list of small SUVs with the best gas mileage in 2022. The RAV4 Prime is slightly different from the standard RAV4 Hybrid, with slightly more powerful electric motors and a larger battery. The 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine partners with a plug-in electric motor to produce 302 horsepower.

It gets some of the best gas mileage on this list, with a combined 54 miles per gallon (mpg) and 133 MPGe. Thanks to the powerful electric motor, it’s quick from a stop, and you can drive up to 42 miles on electric power alone. U.S. News also touts the seating, cargo, user-friendly technology, and safety you get with a RAV4 Prime.

2. 2022 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid

  • Lowest annual fuel cost: $1,050
  • MSRP: Starting at $35,455 

Ford’s Escape Plug-In Hybrid has the same fuel cost as the RAV4 Prime, according to U.S. News but at a lower price. The Escape Plug-In Hybrid has a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. Ford reports the combined horsepower comes in at 221 with 155 lb-ft of torque as well.

Though it’s down on power, the Escape has great fuel economy numbers for a small SUV. You can expect 40 mpg combined and 105 MPGe. The all-electric range on a full charge is 37 miles. Though those numbers are down compared to others on the list, reviewers enjoy the driving experience with the Escape Plug-In Hybrid. The spacious cabin and technology also strongly suit Ford’s small SUV.

3. 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

  • Lowest annual fuel cost: $1,300
  • MSRP: Starting at $29,750

The first traditional hybrid on the list comes from Hyundai with its best-selling Tucson small SUV. The 1.6-liter turbocharged hybrid engine produces a combined 226 horsepower. A plug-in hybrid option is also available and provides 261 total horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque, and 33 miles of all-electric range.

The plug-in hybrid model gets 35 mpg combined and 80 MPGe compared to 38 combined mpg for the standard hybrid powertrain. Those figures are less than other competitors, but U.S. News points out the upscale cabin and safety marks as reasons the Tucson stands out.

4. 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

  • Lowest annual fuel cost: $1,700
  • MSRP: Starting at $27,290

Kia’s small SUV gets some of the best gas mileage on U.S. News’ list. The Sportage Hybrid gets a combined 43 mpg with front-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive option is not quite as good at 38 combined mpg.

The Sportage Hybrid is fully redesigned for the 2023 model year. The 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain produces 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Reviewers tout the Kia Sportage Hybrid’s cargo and passenger space and technology, including a 12.2-inch digital instrument cluster. TrueCar ranked the 2023 Kia Sportage as the best compact SUV on the market.

5. 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

  • Lowest annual fuel cost: $1,850
  • MSRP: Starting at $29,575

The regular hybrid option for the Toyota RAV4 is a small SUV that still gets great gas mileage for a small SUV. The 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder hybrid powertrain produces 219 horsepower but does not drive like an underpowered SUV. U.S. News reviewers note it’s engaging while offering a calm ride or quick acceleration off the line if you’d prefer.

The RAV4 Hybrid gets a combined 40 miles per gallon. That’s a great number considering the RAV4 Hybrid comes with standard all-wheel drive.

6. 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid

  • Lowest annual fuel cost: $1,950
  • MSRP: Starting at $32,010

Honda’s top entry on the list comes with the all-wheel drive CR-V Hybrid. The small SUV is powered by a 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain generating 212 horsepower. That’s the second-lowest figure on this list, but the CR-V Hybrid gets some of the best gas mileage on the market at 38 combined mpg.

Inside, the CR-V Hybrid is one of the more upscale vehicles in the segment. There’s plenty of standard technology as well, with U.S. News highlighting the safety features, moonroof, and adaptive cruise control. But reviewers do note the infotainment system can be frustrating.

7. 2022 Nissan Kicks

  • Lowest annual fuel cost: $2,200
  • MSRP: Starting at $19,990

The Nissan Kicks is the only non-hybrid model on U.S. News’ list. Nissan’s smallest SUV is underpowered compared to the other vehicles on this list. Its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine produces just 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. It will not win a drag race compared to the other models mentioned earlier. 

But the Nissan Kicks gets a combined 33 mpg out of its small engine. It’s a great value at nearly half the price of the top-ranked hybrid. It comes with plenty of technology and lots of cargo space. It’s by far the best budget small SUV that gets very good gas mileage.


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