Which New Small SUVs Get the Best Gas Mileage?

The compact SUV segment is one of the best-selling categories in the United States, with owners looking for mainstream and luxury SUVs on the smaller side. These vehicles pack a lot of punch when it comes to features and performance, but one factor that’s very important to today’s drivers is fuel economy.

Buyers are looking for all the utility and practicality of an SUV with the gas mileage of a compact car. Well, they’re in luck. There are several brands in the compact SUV segment that get great gas mileage both on the highway and in the city. Here are the top five small SUVs with the best gas mileage.

The Ford Escape Hybrid

The 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid gets up to 44 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, putting it at the top of the list of the best SUVs for gas mileage. This feat is achieved with its 2.5-liter powertrain, featuring an 88 kW electric motor and an eCVT transmission.

The Ford Escape Hybrid’s liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is housed outside the vehicle under the floor of the seats rather than taking up precious cargo area. It is also significantly smaller than the old Escape Hybrid’s battery. 

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

No. 2 on the list is the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. This SUV’s best gas mileage is 41 miles per gallon in the city and 38 miles per gallon on the highway. Another bonus, starting in 2020, Toyota has extended its hybrid battery warranty from 8 years or 100,000 miles up to 10 years or 150,000 miles.

The RAV4 Hybrid also comes with a list of standard safety features included in the Toyota Safety Sense suite. It has all the features that make the RAV4 one of Toyota’s best-selling vehicles along with the amazing gas mileage of a hybrid. 

The Nissan Kicks SUV

The 2020 Nissan Kicks is a stylish small SUV perfect for zipping around the city. It gets the third-best SUV gas mileage at 36 miles per gallon on the highway and 31 miles per gallon in the city. This is achieved in a non-hybrid vehicle by combining an efficient 1.6-liter engine and lightweight design. Add an impressive amount of personalization features – Nissan Safety Sense – and tons of technology features, it’s a favorite among young city dwellers.

The Hyundai Venue SUV

Another non-hybrid SUV with the best gas mileage is the 2020 Hyundai Venue, which is No. 4 on the list. It’s another small and agile SUV designed for city living, and the gas mileage reflects that. The Hyundai Venue gets 34 miles per gallon on the highway and 30 miles per gallon in the city.

Another money-saving bonus in buying a Hyundai Venue is their complimentary maintenance program. The automaker will cover all maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles. This makes it another efficient choice for those wanting to combine practicality and fun. 

The Buick Encore

2018 Buick Encore is on display at the 110th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Buick Encore SUV | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The 2020 Buick Encore scores well with excellent fuel economy for a small SUV. The Encore gets 30 highway miles per gallon and 25 miles per gallon in the city. It’s a sleek SUV with a high-end feel and refined interior features. It delivers surprising efficiency out of its 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that’s paired with StabiliTrak to give you more confidence on the road and available intelligent all-wheel drive. Overall it’s a great option for buyers looking for comfort as well as money-saving gas mileage. 

Drivers looking for both great fuel economy and SUV utility have a lot of great choices in the compact SUV category. These top-five choices are certainly worth looking at for great value and fuel efficiency as well as the fun and practicality of driving a zippy, compact SUV.