2021 is shaping up to be an excellent year to be shopping for an SUV. Not only are there more SUV options on the market than ever before in all shapes and sizes, but they’ve gotten very efficient. EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids are getting more common, including in the SUV space. That means there’s a hybrid or electric SUV out there for just about every taste and every budget.
There are some non-hybrids on this list too, but it’s worth noting that almost all of the top 25 most efficient SUVs of 2021 are either hybrid or electric. That goes to show that what used to be considered “alternative” fuel vehicles are gradually getting more mainstream.
Here are the 25 most efficient SUVs of 2021.
The most efficient SUV of the 2021 model year is the Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -5.84% Model Y. It’s similar to the groundbreaking Model 3 while giving you the ride height and interior space of an SUV. It also comes with an attractive price tag putting it more within reach than you might’ve thought.
City/highway/combined MPGe: 131/117/125
The Tesla Model X is not only cool because it’s an all-electric luxury crossover, but it’s cool because of its sharp styling, advanced tech, and those awesome “falcon wing” doors. With available three-row seating, the Model X is the most efficient three-row SUV of 2021.
City/highway/combined MPGe: 109/101/105
Some muscle car purists may call it blasphemy, but the Ford /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F +3.10% Mustang Mach-E is here and it’s the blue oval’s first serious shot at an electric SUV. With sharp styling, good range, and performance to back up its name, the Mach-E is a home run .
City/highway/combined MPGe : 105/93/100
Volkswagen /zigman2/quotes/204431732/delayed VWAGY +1.48% has been hyping up the ID all-electric subbrand for years and it’s finally here. The Volkswagen ID.4 lives up to the hype with impressive range and MPGe numbers . It also comes with a nice list of tech features and three years of free charging with Electrify America.
City/highway/combined MPGe: 104/89/97
The most efficient plug-in hybrid SUV of 2021 is the Toyota /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -0.20% RAV4 Prime. We’ve had a hybrid RAV4 for a while and now there’s finally a plug-in version that can go up to 42 miles on electricity alone. The RAV4 is already a class-leading compact SUV and the PHEV option makes it even better.
Combined MPGe: 94
The Volvo /zigman2/quotes/208069681/delayed VLVLY +0.15% XC40 is already an excellent subcompact luxury SUV and now there’s an all-electric variant. It’s stylish, high-tech, and holds up the Swedish brand’s reputation for safety while achieving an electric range of 208 miles.
City/highway/combined MPGe: 85/72/79
The Audi e-tron is not only a good EV, it’s just a great luxury crossover no matter what is powering the wheels. Like any Audi SUV, the e-tron has outstanding interior quality, engaging driving dynamics, and stylish looks. We also like the coupe-like Sportback body style option.
City/highway/combined MPGe: 78/77/78
The biggest Mini Cooper is the Countryman, which is classified as a subcompact crossover. The plug-in hybrid version is the first Mini PHEV and it’s capable of going 18 miles on electricity alone. It’s also faithful to its brand’s heritage with a distinct design.
Combined MPGe: 73
One of Volvo’s latest steps into electrification is the XC60 Recharge. It’s a plug-in hybrid version of the excellent compact luxury crossover that’s renowned for its safety and interior quality. This hybrid is not only efficient, but enthusiasts will appreciate that it’s also the most powerful version of the XC60.
Combined MPGe: 57
The Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring is a PHEV midsize premium crossover that delivers outstanding performance. The Aviator is a leader in its class for its sharp styling and spacious, well-appointed interior and the Grand Touring trim takes it to another level of luxury and performance.
Combined MPGe: 56
The Volvo XC90 — specifically the 400-horsepower plug-in hybrid Recharge model — is the flagship of the Volvo brand. It has a supremely comfortable interior with three rows of seats, tons of technology, and the level of safety you would expect from Volvo.
Combined MPGe: 55
If you like the idea of the Audi e-tron, but you’re not ready to make the leap to a full EV, then the plug-in hybrid Audi Q5 e is a nice middle ground. It has the many virtues of the Q5 like one of the best interiors in its class while achieving a 19-mile all-electric range.
Combined MPGe: 50
The name might look a little funny, but the BMW X5 xDrive45e is a great plug-in hybrid luxury crossover. It comfortable, stylish, and has a pretty impressive all-electric range of 31 miles making it a great option if you do a lot of city driving.
Combined MPGe: 50
The most efficient SUV that is not an EV or a plug-in hybrid is the Lexus UX 250h. With no plugs required, the Lexus UX is a conventional hybrid that just gets excellent fuel economy all the time. We love the efficiency, but we also love the surprisingly affordable pricing of this luxury SUV.
City/highway/combined MPG: 43/41/42
Who says you can’t have it all? The Range Rover is one of the finest luxury SUVs on the market and in 2021 you can get one as an efficient PHEV. The 19-mile all-electric range is good for short trips without burning any gas and the hybrid drivetrain doesn’t hurt the SUV’s off-road performance.
Combined MPGe: 42
The Range Rover Sport is a dynamic luxury SUV with fantastic off-road capabilities. The plug-in hybrid version of the Range Rover Sport has the same range and MPGe rating as the more expensive Range Rover PHEV.
Combined MPGe: 42
Many of the SUVs on this list are expensive luxury SUVs, but if you’re looking for an efficient crossover that’s easy to afford, it’s the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to the rescue. With great fuel economy, attractive pricing, and a ton of standard features, this hybrid offers a lot of bang for the buck.
City/highway/combined MPG: 41/38/40
The Toyota Venza is back for 2021, this time as a midsize crossover with standard AWD that’s only available as a hybrid. The Venza has sharp styling and a roomy two-row interior while achieving great fuel economy. It has a level of refinement that might surprise you at its price point.
City/highway/combined MPG: 40/37/39
The Honda /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC +0.31% CR-V finally has a hybrid option in the U.S. and it was worth the wait. The CR-V is a class leader for its exceptionally roomy interior for a compact SUV and a comfortable ride. The hybrid drivetrain and standard all-wheel-drive make it even better.
City/highway/combined MPG: 40/35/38
The Kia /zigman2/quotes/206019389/delayed KR:000270 +2.10% Sorento is all-new for 2021 and adds an efficient hybrid to its lineup. It’s a midsize SUV that achieves fuel economy pretty similar to some smaller hybrid crossovers. This is the most efficient non-plug-in three-row SUV on the market while also delivering decent horsepower.
City/highway/combined MPG: 39/35/37
The hybrid variant of the Toyota Highlander gives you everything that this excellent three-row SUV has to offer while getting better fuel economy. The Highlander Hybrid is a modern family hauler that’s well-equipped with standard features and safety tech.
City/highway/combined MPG: 36/35/36
Kia has been a brand famous for its small crossovers for a while now and it just added another one to its ranks. The all-new Kia Seltos is a subcompact SUV with eye-catching styling, plenty of standard tech, and a very efficient engine.
City/highway/combined MPG: 29/34/31
The subcompact Encore GX joins the Buick lineup that now consists solely of SUVs. It embraces the Buick brand’s identity as a premium middle ground between mainstream and luxury. It’s a stylish, comfortable, and efficient crossover at an affordable price.
City/highway/combined MPG: 30/32/31
The Chevrolet Trailblazer name has returned. Instead of the truck-like midsize SUV that preceded it, the new Trailblazer is a sharp subcompact crossover that drives like a small car. It also has the fuel economy of a small car and an affordable price tag.
City/highway/combined MPG: 29/33/31
Compact luxury crossovers are super popular for delivering everyday versatility, a premium interior, and reasonable pricing. The hybrid Lexus NX 300h has all of those virtues in spades while returning very good fuel economy, especially in city driving.
City/highway/combined MPG: 33/30/31