The top 10 most economical SUVs

From the Porsche Macan to the Honda CR-V, 10 SUVs that can better 40mpg in the real world

Graham Scott,Whatcar
Sunday 18 October 2015 13:22 BST
40mpg is pretty good given the size and weight of most SUVs
40mpg is pretty good given the size and weight of most SUVs

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Louise Thomas

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All of the models tested here can better 40mpg in the real world, as opposed to the world of laboratories and their special tests. That’s pretty good, given the size and weight of most SUVs. So, without further ado, let’s count down the top 10 most economical SUVs.

10. Porsche Macan 3.0 V6 S diesel

Official mpg: 44.8. True MPG: 40.7

People probably don’t buy a Porsche because they’re watching fuel consumption closely, but over 40mpg is good for a vehicle that also handles this well and is built to such high standards.

9. Subaru Forester 2.0D

Official mpg: 46.3. True MPG: 41.4

Over 41mpg in the real world is noteworthy when you add in the real ability the Forester has off-road as well as on it.

8. BMW X3 sDrive18d

Official mpg: 55.4. True MPG: 41.5

A pretty fine SUV straight out of the box, and economical too. We’d perhaps add the adaptive damper option just to make the handling even better.

7. Volvo XC60 2.0 D4

Official mpg: 60.1. True MPG: 42.8

It’s got loads of room and safety equipment and is good on motorways. There are some decent discounts available, but we’d have been happier if the gap between claimed and true mpg wasn’t quite so large.

6. Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 Di-D

Official mpg: 52.3. True MPG: 43.0

Not a great interior, but you do get seven seats and lots of space. Running costs are fairly low too, helped by 43.0mpg.

5. Lexus NX300h

Official mpg: 54.3. True MPG: 45.5

A very well made SUV with low company car tax and a high specification. If you don’t want any diesel clatter in your life then this petro-electric hybrid could be just the thing.

4. Nissan X-Trail 1.6 dCi

Official mpg: 53.3. True MPG: 45.7

This is a great combination of practical and flexible interior space – with seven seats as an option – linked to cheap running costs and a good amount of standard kit.

3. Mazda CX-5 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150

Official mpg: 53.0. True MPG: 46.3

It’s not as large as some of the others here, but you still get a decent amount of space and equipment. The ride is on the firmish side and there is definitely some road roar but the engine is amazingly smooth for a diesel and, as you can see, very economical.

2. Toyota RAV4 2.0 D-4D

Official mpg: 57.6. True MPG: 46.9

It’s economical, no question, but it doesn’t really seem as refined or as high quality as you’d have a right to expect. The engines aren’t that terrific either, but at least there’s tons of room inside for people and cargo.

1. Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC

Official mpg: 62.0. True MPG: 56.5

This is a full-size SUV with capacious interior and lots of kit. Yet, with a 1.6-litre engine, it can average over 56mpg. That is impressive.

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