Best 2020 SUVs For Fuel Economy

Hybrids and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) have continued to advance giving greater economy than in their early days. Some manufacturers are doubling down on all-electric vehicles essentially abandoning hybrids. But, there are a lot of reasons to go for a hybrid SUV, not the least of which is the range you get and the confidence you won’t get stranded. Yes, range anxiety with EVs is real. 

Now we have a group of crossover SUVs that deliver fantastic mileage and also versatility along with space inside. And, whether you like it or not the proliferation of the SUV will only increase, with 2020 being the last year for a number of cars. 

Economy and an SUV were mutually exclusive until recently, but now they’re here. Let’s take a look:

2020 Ford Escape-Combined fuel economy: 41 MPG

Completely redesigned new 2020 Escape | Ford

The 2020 Escape is new which means Ford has improved on everything from cargo space to mileage. The last time the Escape was available as a hybrid was in 2012. A lot has changed since then. One of the main features of Ford’s hybrid system is the driver option of running the Escape on batteries only. The EV system shows the remaining range to alert the driver. It will revert back to gas-power if the batteries run out of charge. A plug-in version is coming in the spring.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid-Combined fuel economy: 40 MPG

The Japanese car manufacturer Honda displays the Honda CR-V Hybrid compact crossover SUV
The Japanese car manufacturer Honda displays the Honda CR-V Hybrid compact crossover SUV | Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The CR-V is Honda’s most popular model. It consistently sells over 350,000 a year and may hit 400,000 for 2019. It is also the first time that the CR-V has been available as a hybrid. Honda is advertising that the hybrid version comes with a 50% increase in fuel economy over the standard CR-V. It is also the least expensive compact hybrid SUV at $28,000. With as popular as it already is, we expect that the hybrid CR-V will hold its value well in the coming years.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV-Combined fuel economy: 35 MPG

2019 Subaru Crosstrek is on display at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show
2020 Subaru Crosstrek | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

As a PHEV the Crosstrek has an all-electric power range of 17 miles. Built with a larger battery pack allows for all-electric driving. The battery can be recharged at home or at a charging station, so conceivably, depending on how far you go and how often you charge the batteries, your fuel consumption could be tiny. All Crosstreks come with all-wheel-drive and almost nine-inches of ground clearance. These combined make for a more capable off-road SUV. The MSRP of $36,500 makes it more expensive than either the CR-V or Escape.

2020 Toyota RAV-4 Prime PHEV-Combined fuel economy: 40 MPG

2020 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota
2020 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Toyota has taken its RAV-4 hybrid and added plug-in technology. It has an all-electric range of 39 miles. This is far more than the 17 miles provided by the plug-in feature in the Subaru Crosstrek. Toyota is also claiming that at 302 hp the RAV-4 PHEV will be the second-quickest product it makes. It is only surpassed by the Supra sports car.

2020 Volvo XC60 T8 PHEV-Combined fuel economy: 27 MPG

The new Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 also has an all-electric range a bit below the RAV4 at 20 miles. It is also the most expensive of the five SUVs presented here at $55,590. That’s significantly more, but it is more of a luxury SUV than the others. It also features the most power at 400 hp. If you’re looking for both luxury and fuel economy then this might be the best choice of the luxury SUVs out there.