Small SUVs with Best Gas Mileage for 2024

Whether it’s for practicality, the most recent technological advancements, or simply going with the trend, there are numerous reasons to buy an SUV. 

But fuel efficiency isn’t something that SUVs have traditionally been known for. And with outrageous gas costs, we’re all feeling the pinch on our wallets as we make that dreaded trip to the gas station. 

Thankfully, with a whole range of compact SUVs coming on the market, you can still enjoy riding high without draining your wallet. 

Most fuel-efficient Small SUVs

We have crafted a whole list of small SUVs that prove to be the most frugal on fuel. 

Some are more designed for fuel economy at the sacrifice of acceleration power, while others can give plenty of zip and excellent fuel economy.

While it’s natural that the top spots taken are all hybrids, there is also a spacious non-hybrid crossover SUV earning 32 MPG combined, which we have added at the end of the list (Don’t miss out).

Here goes:

  1. Kia Niro
  2. Kia Sportage Hybrid
  3. Lexus UX 250h
  4. Ford Escape Hybrid
  5. RAV4 Hybrid / RAV4 Prime
  6. Honda CRV Hybrid
  7. Toyota Venza
  8. Hyundai Tucson
  9. Chevrolet Trailblazer
  10. Chevrolet Equinox Diesel

Kia Niro Hybrid – 53 MPG

Starting MSRP: $26,940

Most fuel-efficient small SUVs - Kia Niro Hybrid

Car Key Points

  • Regular hybrid models return between 49 and 53 MPG combined, depending on trim.
  • Plug-in hybrid powertrain includes a 1.6-liter gas engine and a 62-kW electric motor (180-hp)
  • PHEV returns 48 MPG combined and offers 33 miles of all-electric range
  • Standard 8-inch and available 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Standard advanced driver assistance features
  • Available Heated and ventilated front seats
  • 10-year/100,000-mile warranty on powertrain and 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty.


With up to 53 MPG combined, the Kia Niro takes the top spot in the list of best gas mileage small SUVs. But before you perceive it as just a no-nonsense frugal runabout, the Niro’s dramatic styling, and reasonably posh interior for a Kia entry-level car, does make it stand out. The Niro is smaller than most other compact hybrid SUVs, but gives up little practicality. 

The standard hybrid with 139-hp isn’t a performance champ, but useful driving aids and a comfortable ride make it excellent value for your money.

There’s also the snappier plug-in-hybrid model that packs a more potent electric motor, increasing power to 180 horsepower. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is estimated at 48 MPG combined along with 33 miles of all-electric range.


  • Incredibly efficient hybrid
  • Roomy interior and ample cargo space
  • Surprisingly eager handling


  • Could have done with more performance
  • Lacks optional all-wheel drive

Kia Sportage Hybrid – 43 MPG

Starting MSRP: $28,290

Most fuel-efficient small SUVs - Kia Sportage Hybrid

Car Key Points

  • Fifth Sportage generation (introduced for 2023 model year)
  • 226-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain
  • EPA-estimated Up to 43 MPG combined (regular hybrid models paired with front-wheel drive)
  • Plug-in hybrid models get EPA-estimated 36 MPG city and 35 MPG highway
  • MPGe for the PHEV models is 84 (34 miles of all-electric range)
  • Standard 8-inch and available 12.3-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • Standard Advanced driver assistance features
  • Available All-wheel drive


With a stunning outward design, plush ride, a roomy interior, and user-friendly technology, the Kia Sportage is already among the solid options in the small SUV class. And with the hybrid models, you get access to brisker acceleration along with better fuel economy without sacrificing cargo or drivability.

The regular front-wheel drive hybrid model makes 226 horsepower and can get up to  42 MPG in the city and 44 MPG on the interstate. Models with all-wheel drive get 38 MPG on the interstate and in town.

A plug-in hybrid with an all-wheel drive is also available. It has a more robust electric motor and a larger battery. EPA estimates that the PHEV model can travel 34 miles on electricity alone.


  • Responsive hybrid powertrain
  • Plush ride
  • Roomy interior with lots of technology


  • Dull driving dynamics
  • Polarizing exterior design

Lexus UX 250h – 42 MPG 

Starting MSRP: $35,540

Car Key Points

  • Estimated 42 MPG combined with Front-wheel drive (43 MPG city / 41 MPG highway)
  • Estimated 39 MPG combined with All-wheel drive (39 MPG city / 38 MPG highway)
  • 181-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain
  • Standard 8-inch and available 12.3-inch touchscreen unit with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Standard suit of advanced driver aids
  • F Sport Handling version adds a sportier suspension among other enhancements


The Lexus UX 250h shares its underpinnings with a Toyota Prius (yes, really!), but if you’re keeping an eye on your budget and still want that luxury feel, it’s definitely worth considering.  While affordable to buy or to drive, this small hybrid SUV delivers the style and amenities you’d typically associate with an entry-level Lexus.

Not to mention the UX’s excellent fuel economy.

The Lexus UX’s acceleration isn’t very exciting, but a good steering feel and a refined demeanor does compensate for it.


  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Good ride and handling
  • Luxurious and comfortable cabin
  • Infotainment System


  • Poky acceleration
  • Small cargo space

Ford Escape Hybrid – 40 MPG 

Starting MSRP: $33,340

Small SUVs with Good Gas Mileage - Ford Escape Hybrid

Car Key Points

  • 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain
  • Combined output is 192-hp (Hybrid), and 210-hp (plug-in hybrid)
  • PHEV models can run 37 miles on electricity alone, while returning 40 MPG combined when the battery is depleted
  • Regular Hybrid models get an estimated 39 MPG combined (42 MPG city / 36 MPG highway)
  • All-wheel drive is available only on regular hybrid Escape models (No drop in MPG ratings)
  • Heated front seats
  • 13.2-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Advanced driver assistance features


The Escape has an attractive appearance along with a roomy and comfortable cabin for passengers and baggage.

But the Escape’s ace up its sleeve is its hybrid powertrains. Two Escape hybrids are available; both include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The regular hybrid makes a combined output of 192-hp and earns 39 MPG combined. 

On the other hand is a plug-in hybrid model, it makes a total of 210-hp and appropriate for those looking for the most efficient Escape. It has EPA fuel efficiency ratings as high as 42 MPG city, and on a full charge, it can travel up to 37 miles using only electricity.


  • Fresh and stylish exterior design
  • Efficient hybrid powertrains
  • Standard driver assistance features


  • Cheap plastic cabin trim
  • So-so driving character

RAV4 Hybrid / RAV4 Prime – 40 MPG 

Starting MSRP: $31,725

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Car Key Points

  • Prime (plug-in hybrid model) offers 38 MPG combined and 42 miles of electric-only range
  • 2.5-liter inline 4 working with three electric motor-generators (302-hp) 
  • Regular hybrid makes 219-hp and returns 40 MPG combined
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Standard 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity
  • Standard suite of advanced driver aids
  • Sporty SE and XSE trim levels on offer


The Toyota RAV4 is a practical, spacious, and sensible choice in the compact car class, but its available twin hybrid powertrains add another dimension to this package. 

Going by the general hybrid vehicle books, frugality is a given, what comes as a surprise however is the energetic performance. In fact, the RAV4 Prime can surpass a four-cylinder Supra in some of the acceleration tests.

Both the RAV4 Hybrid and Prime are propelled by a 2.5-liter inline-four hybrid powertrain with standard all-wheel drive. Both models also return solid fuel economy, but the Prime additionally offers a 42-mile electric range, which is more than many other plug-in hybrids.

Toyota, unfortunately, hasn’t quite matched the robust powertrain with the athleticism you would hope for.


  • Lively yet efficient hybrid powertrains
  • Numerous standard features
  • Spacious cabin


  • Plain driving character
  • Pricey

Honda CRV Hybrid – 40 MPG

Starting MSRP: $34,050

Small SUVs with Best Gas Mileage - Honda CRV Hybrid

Car Key Points

  • Sixth generation (introduced for 2023 model year)
  • 40 MPG combined (Front-wheel drive)
  • 37 MPG combined (All-wheel drive)
  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain (204 hp, 247 lb-ft)
  • Sunroof and Heated front seats
  • Standard 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity


Honda totally revamped the CR-V Hybrid for the 2023 model year, ushering in the small SUV’s sixth generation.

Although the Honda CR-V hybrid won’t raise anyone’s pulse rate, its roomy, appealing cabin along with an economical powertrain makes it a desirable small SUV. 

Two electric motors work in tandem with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, generating a total of 204 horsepower. The CRV hybrid has more than enough power for the majority of driving situations, albeit it gets a bit noisy under hard acceleration.

The front-wheel-drive Sport Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient CR-V model, with 43 MPG city and 36 MPG highway.


  • Updated design
  • Excellent ride and comfort
  • Extensive standard safety features
  • Efficient hybrid
  • Roomy interior outfitted with high-quality materials


  • Creates noise under hard acceleration
  • All-wheel drive not standard

Toyota Venza – 39 MPG

Starting MSRP: $35,070

Car Key Points

  • EPA-estimated 39 MPG combined (40 MPG City/37 MPG Highway)
  • 219-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain
  • Standard All-wheel drive
  • More refined and upscale than the related RAV4 Hybrid 
  • Less practical (sloping roofline reduces cargo capacity)
  • Standard Hands-free power liftgate
  • Standard 8-inch touchscreen unit with Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility
  • Standard suit of active safety tech


The 2024 Toyota Venza takes its cues from the smaller RAV4 Hybrid, and though it comes with a slightly higher price tag, it’s a justified step up. Drawing on some aggressive styling elements from Lexus, the Venza manages to carve out its distinct identity. 

Beyond looks, it is quiet, smooth, extremely economical, and provides a fantastic balance of comfort, performance, and value. There are competitors with larger back passenger space and higher performance, but few provide as much versatility as the new Venza.

It shares almost all its hybrid components with the RAV4 Hybrid, which gives the Venza standard all-wheel drive and fuel economy that outperforms V-6-powered rivals like the Nissan Murano and Honda Passport.

The Venza’s cabin is also more remarkable than those two, with an optional star-gaze panoramic sunroof.


  • Elegant and quiet interior
  • Incredibly efficient hybrid powertrain
  • Innovative electrochromic panoramic roof
  • Strong safety scores


  • High-end trims are expensive
  • Limited rear passenger and cargo room
  • Classmates have more potent engines

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid – 38 MPG

Starting MSRP: $32,575

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

Car Key Points

  • 226-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged hybrid powertrain
  • Up to 38 MPG combined (Hybrid)
  • 261-hp (Plug-in Hybrid)
  • 35 MPG combined and 33 miles of electric-only range (Plug-in Hybrid)


The new Hyundai Tucson is one of the best small SUVs on the market for more reasons than sleek appearance, refined interior, and lengthy feature list or generous warranty – it also comes in a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version with an impressive range.

The Tucson is hardly a sports vehicle, yet it handles well, steers pretty exquisitely, and rides comfortably. The Tucson is remarkably quiet and elegant when cruising; these characteristics give the SUV a luxury feel uncommon in its class. 


  • Handsome exterior design
  • Feature-loaded cabin
  • PHEV available


  • Hybrid models are pricey.
  • No volume knob

Chevrolet Trailblazer – 31 MPG 

Starting MSRP: $23,100

Small SUVs with Best Gas Mileage - Chevrolet Trailblazer

Car Key Points

  • EPA-estimated 31 MPG combined
  • 155-hp 1.3-liter turbocharged gas engine
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Activ trim gives the Trailblazer a more rugged, off-road credential while RS is a racier-appearance alternative


This new Trailblazer is a cool-looking small crossover. The Trailblazer uses the same Camaro-like external style elements as its older sibling, the Chevy Blazer, to achieve a uniquely aggressive look.

Fortunately, unlike competitors, Trailblazer does not sacrifice utility for a flashy design. It has lots of passenger and baggage space, as well as a bevy of standard amenities.

There are two engine options available. The optional 155-hp 1.3-liter turbocharged engine is more powerful and fuel-efficient. Plus the Trailblazer’s quick steering and good handling, make it feel sporty and nimble around town.

Looking for a used model, read our detailed guide on the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer.


  • Great starting price
  • Attractive styling
  • Spacious Interior with a good number of standard features 
  • Fuel-sipping powertrains
  • Activ model brings light off-road capabilities


  • Seats are small and lack support for larger drivers
  • Firm ride
  • Some interior materials feel very cheap

Chevrolet Equinox Diesel – 32 MPG

Small SUVs with Best Gas Mileage - Chevrolet Equinox Diesel

Car Key Points

  • 137 hp 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine
  • EPA-estimated 32 MPG (28 MPG City / 38 MPG Highway)
  • Offered on 2018 and 2019 model years
  • Available All-wheel drive
  • All 240 lb-ft of torque is delivered at a low 2000 rpm
  • Six-speed automatic transmission is well-matched 
  • Great predicted reliability ratings


If you want the best gas mileage small SUV but rather put-off by the exorbitant starting prices of brand new models, this is an option you wouldn’t want to miss.

General Motors introduced its impressive turbo-diesel 1.6-liter inline-four engine as an option for the revamped 2018 Equinox compact crossover.

And the diesel mill not only lends it a usable bottom-end grunt, but also makes it a genuine fuel sipper. 

The 1.6 diesel is a perfect match for the Equinox, especially for long-distance family trips. It achieves an EPA-estimated 38 MPG on the highway, complemented by a spacious interior, comfortable seats, and a range of creature comforts. Plus, it earns high marks for predicted reliability and safety.

Sure, a 137-hp turbo-diesel engine might not scream high performance, but it delivers enough oomph for any driving scenario you’re likely to encounter in a compact SUV.

Read more about the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox in detail


  • Fuel-efficient diesel
  • Smooth ride over most road surfaces
  • Spacious interior 
  • Intuitive MyLink touchscreen interface


  • Relatively smaller cargo area 
  • Diesel only available for a limited time

Picking the Right Car For you

Considering that a vehicle’s weight and engine power are crucial determinants of gas consumption, it’s no surprise that small SUVs can yield significant savings at the pump. For the best value, we recommend going for a used model instead of a new one. Our expert team at Schumacher Used in New Jersey is here to help you find the right used SUV to fit your lifestyle. Contact us or directly choose from a large selection of used cars for sale online.