For many years, SUVs have been known for having less than stellar fuel economy, which has resulted in a downturn in their popularity. However, because of increased regulations and different consumer demands, automakers have started looking at how they can increase gas mileage in full-size, crossover, and subcompact SUVs. As a result, new vehicles hitting the market for the 2022 model year are more efficient than ever.
One of the main reasons for this change is the popularity of the hybrid powertrain. Hybrid SUVs are much more common than they ever have been, and even fully internal combustion SUVs are using fewer cylinders and getting a similar MPG to some compact cars. Knowing which new SUVs have the best gas mileage can help you pick the right one for your needs.
(Looking for fuel-sipping SUVs from the 2021 model year instead of these 2022 models? Click here for the earlier version of this story.)
2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime
Good news...one of the quickest models in all of Toyota's lineup is also one of its top plug-in hybrids. The RAV4 Prime is a plug-in variant of the RAV4, one of the most popular crossovers of any size on the market.
This PHEV version has 302 total horsepower from a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine paired with an electric motor and a 18.1 kWh battery. They give the RAV4 Prime an all-electric range of 42 miles, an MPGe rating of 95 and EPA fuel economy ratings of 40/36/38 city/highway/combined.
Plus is has all of the reliability and durability Toyotas are known for, plus the brand's experience with hybrid technology it's helped bring into the mainstream. The base SE model starts at just over $41,000 and the sport-oriented XSE starts at $44,340 (both prices include destination).
The best part? The RAV4 Prime is also eligible for state and federal tax incentives and rebates.
2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid
When it comes to fuel economy ratings, the 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid is one of the most economical options. With a combined MPG of 35 miles, this AWD hybrid is as powerful as it is efficient. The turbocharged hybrid powertrain puts out a combined 227-horsepower through the front-wheel drive and starts at just $33,990. This makes it a good choice if you want a combination of fuel efficiency, power, and pricing.
The 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid comes in a few different trim levels including a PHEV FWD variant. Depending on the trim you choose, interior and exterior options may include a higher ride height, a roof rack, or optional 20-inch wheels.
2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
When it comes to plug-in hybrid SUVs, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is incredibly high-ranking. When combining electric and gas functionality, this AWD SUV can get up to 76 MPG. However, even if you are just using the hybrid function, you can still get a combined 33 MPG, which is very efficient for SUVs of this size such as the Ford Escape Hybrid.
Starting at $34,975 at the base level, the Santa Fe got a complete refresh in 2021 and it continues to advance for the 2022 model year, including the PHEV option. If you want to upgrade to the Limited trim level, you get Hyundai’s Smart Park system, ventilated leather seats, and a 360-degree camera that displays through the 10.3-inch touchscreen. Combining fuel efficiency with these safety features makes it a great choice for a variety of drivers.
2022 Acura MDX AWD
The 2022 Acura MDX AWD gets a combined city and highway mileage of 21 MPG and is not short on power or features. With a 290-horsepower V6 engine, it is every bit as powerful as its contemporaries, but a lot more efficient than some of the other luxury SUVs on the market. The all-wheel drive system helps enhance traction in winter weather and also contributes to a better, more responsive steering feel. All of this power is reflected in an MSRP starting at $47,200.
Aside from the gas mileage, one of the main selling points of the MDX is its luxury interior. With more legroom than previous model years and all kinds of interior material options, this SUV is designed for comfort. The infotainment system is comprehensive as well, so you can always be certain that you are getting the best possible mileage in any driving conditions.
2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio AWD
Alfa Romeo is a name that is known for style and performance, and this is just as apparent in their SUV offering, the Stelvio AWD. With a distinct look and a combined MPG of 24 miles, the base MSRP of $52,945 might be worth paying. With a massive 505-horsepower engine and a top speed of 176 MPH, this SUV is paying tribute to Alfa Romeo’s high-performance sports car heritage.
The driving dynamics of the Stelvio is one of the highlights and its completely balanced, 50/50 weight distribution is at the center of that. Combined with an independent suspension and a track-tested design, the fuel efficiency of this vehicle is just one of the features that makes it an interesting entry into the SUV space.
2022 Hyundai Kona
When it comes to actual fuel efficiency, the Hyundai Kona sits at the top of the stack. With 30 MPG city and 35 MPG highway, this SUV is on par with many smaller, less powerful compact cars available on the market. This model year is one of the first major upgrades since the vehicle debuted in 2018 and it has a much sleeker design than some of the earlier models. With an MSRP of just $22,375, this is a money saver in all kinds of ways without having to sacrifice comfort or handling.
Even though it has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as its base, you can upgrade to higher trim levels such as the N Line, which features a turbocharged 1.6-liter powertrain that pumps out 195-horsepower. Combined with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, this SUV is designed to be fun to drive as well as easy on the wallet.
2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is a small SUV that is meant to compete with the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and the Honda CRV. This fourth-generation vehicle has a distinctive new design that is more rounded and sleeker than previous incarnations. With a combined 37 MPG, the style is not compromised just because it has better fuel economy. The 1.6-liter 4-cylinder automatic drivetrain offers more than enough power without having to spend a fortune at the gas tank.
With an MSRP of $30,690, you can choose from a standard hybrid or plug-in hybrid, which offers up to 28 miles of range in the fully electric mode. It also comes in three different trim levels including the base Blue trim, the SEL Convenience, and the Limited. All trim levels get around the same gas mileage, so you can choose based on your style preferences without sacrificing fuel economy.
2022 Audi SQ5
For Audi’s midsize SUV, they offer the SQ5, which got a complete refresh in 2021 and is back for the 2022 model year. With an MPG of 19 city and 24 highway, it is not the most efficient out of some of the models on our list, but it gets much better mileage than many of the best SUVs in its class. With an MSRP of $45,195, it gets its comfort and luxury feel from the electronic features like its large touchscreen infotainment display.
The ride is designed to be as comfortable as possible by employing a sport adaptive air suspension. This system adjusts the ride to adapt to the road and gives you extra grip when turning. This not only helps make the ride smoother, it also makes the steering more responsive and fun to drive.
2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i
The 2022 X3 xDrive30i BMW’s most fuel-efficient SUV offering on the market. With a combined highway and city mileage of 24 MPG, it features a ton of cargo space and a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine. Even though it is incredibly fuel-efficient, it still pumps out 248-horsepower and features high-precision fuel injection as well as a high towing capacity. Combined with BMW’s 8-speed Sport transmission, this SUV has a lot of power and performance for how fuel-efficient it is.
With a starting MSRP of $43,700, it is on the higher end of the price spectrum. However, that is to be expected with a name like BMW, which is known for combining performance and comfort in all of their vehicles. For the 2022 model year, many of the safety features and conveniences that were available as add-ons now come standard, which makes this a good choice for those who want both safety and fuel economy.
2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid
Long known for its economy and efficiency, the Honda CRV’s hybrid model is no exception. With an excellent fuel economy of 40 MPG city and 35 highway, the powertrain in this midsize SUV is still powerful and responsive due to its 212-horsepower base engine. Plus, its starting MSRP of $32,185 makes it more accessible than some of the other fuel-efficient SUVs on the market.
Featuring a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors, this compact SUV's powertrain is dampened to be quieter than it has been in previous model years. This, along with the roomy, increased cargo space and many different options for interior features make it a good choice if you want a comfortable ride. Plus, it comes with Honda’s suite of driver-assistance technologies for a safer experience on top of the efficiency of the engine.
2022 Buick Encore AWD
For over 100 years, Buick has been known as an automaker with a dedication to both comfort and style. This is just as apparent in the 2022 Buick Encore AWD. Getting a combined MPG of 26 miles to the gallon, this extra-small SUV has been slimmed down and made even more efficient for the 2022 model year.
However, this simplification does not apply to the powertrain. With a 1.4-liter Turbo engine, this crossover is designed to be both comfortable and sporty. The responsiveness of the engine and the traction of AWD make it a good combination of comfort and power. On top of that, it also comes with Buick’s StabiliTrak system, which helps increase control on wet or icy roads for better handling to go along with the increased efficiency.
2022 Cadillac XT4 AWD
Although Cadillac is known for its large, luxurious vehicles, the XT4 is their smallest SUV option. With an MSRP of just $36,990, it is also their most modestly priced. However, that does not mean that it holds back when it comes to fuel-efficiency. With an EPA MPG of 22 city and 29 highway, this crossover SUV is just as efficient as some of the other similar offerings in its class such as the Subaru Crosstrek, Lexus UX, or the Toyota Venza.
With a 235-horsepower turbocharged engine, this model year did not see much in the way of changes for the XT4. However, the higher trim levels like the Premium Luxury and the Sport are around the same price, allowing flexibility in your choice of add-ons.
2022 Chevrolet Trax AWD
Chevrolet’s mini SUV, the Trax AWD is one of the more budget-friendly options available on the market. With an MSRP of just $23,215, it is an affordable entry into the fuel-efficient SUV space. On top of its low sticker price, increased fuel efficiency may save you even more money. At 23 MPG city and 30 MPG highway, it is one of the more popular models out in 2022.
The engine is a 1.4-liter, 155-horsepower 4-cylinder and the handling is both solid and responsive. Combined with its small stature, this is an SUV for people who want the cargo space of a larger vehicle, but the feel of a smaller, sportier hatchback.
2022 GMC Terrain AWD
The 2022 GMC Terrain is GMC’s small SUV and it has seen quite a few improvements for the 2022 model year. The updated style of the front and rear end as well as both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make it a convenient and stylish new iteration of this SUV. However, where it really shines is in the fuel efficiency. Even with a combined 26 MPG, it is still big enough to seat five and carry a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine.
For 2022, GMC has also introduced an AT4 trim level. This level is more rugged-looking than previous versions and features a skid plate for more off-road capability. With an MSRP starting at just $27,900, this is an affordable entry into the fuel-efficient SUV market.
If you have been looking for a fuel-efficient new car with good EPA ratings but are not interested in coupes or sedans, some of the 2022 SUVs could be a good option for you. Knowing which new SUVs have the best fuel economy and safety features can help you make the right decision both financially and ecologically. Finding a vehicle that has this kind of versatility used to be incredibly difficult, but with advances in vehicle technology and more motivation by automakers than ever, you should be able to find something that meets all of your requirements.