As of this writing, the national average fuel price is $4.33 per gallon, according to AAA. Up 20 percent from a month prior, gas prices aren’t likely to taper or deflate unless crude oil supply improves or consumer demand softens. Until that happens, costly fill-ups are hitting Americans who are already grappling with inflation.
Understandably, drivers are desperate to avoid frequent visits to the gas station – whether through reduced travel, alternative transportation, or more fuel-efficient vehicles. Those who can’t cut drive time may be wondering which cars boast the best mpg. Edmunds experts are here to help with a roundup of the five most fuel-efficient SUVs of 2022.
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
Offered in both conventional and plug-in hybrid variations, the 2022 Ford Escape is the most fuel-efficient SUV on sale. The standard hybrid earns 41 combined mpg (44 city/37 highway), giving it a total range of 586 miles. The plug-in hybrid returns 40 combined mpg, but supplements efficiency with 37 miles of electric-only operation. That means those with shorter commutes or good charging options may rarely need to use fuel.
Regardless of configuration, the Ford Escape Hybrid boasts a comfortable cabin, compliant ride, and sufficient power. Unlike some competitors, however, the Escape Hybrid isn’t offered in all-wheel drive and has comparatively small cargo capacity. The 2022 Ford Escape Hybrid is priced from $28,030.
2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Like the Escape, Toyota’s RAV4 is offered in both hybrid and plug-in flavors. The conventional hybrid nets 40 combined mpg (41 city/38 highway) for a total range of 580 miles. The RAV4 Prime PHEV scores 38 combined mpg and a class-leading 42-mile EV range. Better still, the Prime is downright quick with 302 horsepower and a 0 to 60 mph sprint of just 5.6 seconds.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 features bold, boxy styling, comfortable seats, standard all-wheel drive, and generous cargo space. Drivers will be less enthused with a somewhat awkward brake feel and firmer suspension. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is priced from $29,075.
2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid
The 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid lacks an available plug, though its fuel efficiency is enough to excite most drivers. Rated at 38 combined mpg (40 city/35 highway) – up from 29 combined in the standard CR-V – the Hybrid can travel 532 miles on a single tank. Lower fuel costs and more standard features are well worth the hybrid’s $5,000 premium over the base CR-V.
Spacious, pleasant-riding, and well-built, the Honda CR-V Hybrid is a compact SUV with few weaknesses. Alas, in our year-long review, we struggled to match the EPA-estimated mpg and missed the flexibility of some all-electric range. The 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid is priced from $31,610.
2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Thankfully, those requiring a third row of seating aren’t doomed to bad gas mileage. The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid touts class-leading fuel economy of 36 mpg combined (36 city/35 highway), for a total range of 616 miles. Toyota’s modest up-charge compared to the base Highlander and lower starting price than rivals keeps the Hybrid attainable.
The Highlander Hybrid is easy to maneuver, smooth riding, and includes a full suite of driver aids as standard. Taller riders will have a tight squeeze in the third row and cargo space behind that row is constrained, though total cabin volume is competitive. The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is priced from $38,855.
2022 Tesla Model Y
The only thing better than fuel sipping is fuel abstinence. Tesla’s Model Y Long Range serves up a segment-best 330 miles of electric range and has access to the most convenient EV charging network to date. With overnight top-ups via a Level 2 charger, most drivers will never experience range anxiety and can happily ignore lofty fuel prices.
The Model Y is quick, cavernous, and offers cutting-edge technology. Inconsistent build quality and uninspiring design have opened the door for new challengers, however. The 2022 Tesla Model Y Long Range is priced from $60,190.
Before You Head to the Dealer…
A burgeoning electric vehicle market and compelling hybrid options give consumers a variety of ways to beat the pump. But keep in mind that amidst a vehicle shortage and rising fuel costs, these cars may be even harder to find or may carry premiums at dealers.