Best MPG SUV UK
With no sign of fuel prices dipping any time soon, we all want to be driving the most fuel-efficient cars we can find.
Peugeot 5008 fuel economy:
Petrol engines: 35.2 – 48.3mpg
Diesel engines: 41.6 – 60.8mpg
Thanks to some reliable and robust engine options, the Peugeot 5008 delivers solid results. It's one of the most fuel-efficient SUV options that offer this much space.
The options vary from a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine all the way up to the larger 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine that produces 177hp.
But we think most people are better off opting for the 1.5-litre diesel that sits in the middle of the range as it’s ideal for long motorway journeys.
Nissan Qashqai fuel economy:
Full hybrid: 52.3 – 53.3mpg
Unlike most of its rivals, the Nissan Qashqai isn’t available with a diesel engine, but that doesn’t stop it from being good on fuel.
In its latest generation, this used Nissan SUV comes with either a 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine with mild hybrid (MHEV) assistance or a more powerful full E-Power hybrid unit that’s more efficient for day-to-day driving.
Both are excellent choices, but if you live in a city then we’d recommend the latter because it delivers lower emissions and is quicker getting away from the lights.
Suzuki Vitara fuel economy:
Full hybrid: 53mpg
This used Suzuki is available with two different engines: a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with mild hybrid assistance, or a full self-charging hybrid 1.5-litre unit.
City-dwellers will lean more towards the full hybrid because of its low-speed, short bursts of electric-only driving, but both are excellent for most people and offer almost the same economy figures.
SEAT Ateca fuel economy:
Petrol engines: 32.5 – 46.3mpg
Diesel engines: 39.8 – 58.9mpg
Because of its strong ties with Volkswagen, there’s no doubt that the SEAT Ateca will be a strong performer in the engine department. And just like used Volkswagen models, there are plenty of deals to be had on pre-owned options.
There are five engines available with the SEAT Ateca – two diesels and three petrols.
Both diesel engines are based on the same 150hp 2.0-litre unit, one being front-wheel drive and the other offering four-wheel-drive capabilities.
There’s more of a range between petrol engines, which include a 110hp turbocharged unit, a 150hp one, and the top-spec 188hp 2.0-litre petrol engine that’s mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox and has four-wheel drive.
Mazda CX-5 fuel economy:
Petrol engines: 35.3 – 43.5mpg
Diesel engines: 39.8 – 50.4mpg
To keep costs down and to appeal to its home audience in Japan, the Mazda CX-5 is only available with a selection of petrol and diesel engines, but that doesn’t mean they skimp on efficiency. This is truly a fuel-efficient SUV.
The petrol engines available with this used Mazda include a 165hp 2.0-litre unit and a larger 2.5-litre that produces 194hp.
These are the better choice for most people, but if you want higher fuel economy figures you’re better off with one of the diesels.
These consist of a 150hp 2.2-litre turbodiesel or a more powerful 184hp unit based on the same engine.
Skoda Kamiq fuel economy:
Petrol engines: 41.5 – 53.2mpg
Diesel engines: 48.7 – 56.5mpg
But luckily for us, they’re still good on fuel. The entry-level engines are both based on the same 1.0-litre unit, but one produces 95hp while the other puts out 110hp.
The larger 1.5-litre petrol engine is more powerful with 150hp, and it has a clever feature that shuts down part of the engine on low-stress drives to achieve greater fuel economy.
However, there are some diesel engines available on some used models, which are a great alternative if you do lots of regular driving.
Citroen C5 Aircross
Citroen C5 Aircross fuel economy:
PHEV: 156.9 – 222.3 mpg
Petrol engines: 35.2 – 49.5mpg
Diesel engines: 41.6 – 60.8mpg
What we like about the Citroen C5 Aircross is that it has a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option. This is by far the best option if you want the longest range, plus it can drive purely on electric power for up to 34 miles.
Both produce 130hp, but the diesel is better suited for those who regularly drive longer distances, while the petrol engine will suit most people.
Ford Puma fuel economy:
Petrol engines: 44.8 – 52.3mpg
Ford’s EcoBoost engines are some of the most efficient in the game, so it made perfect sense to use them in the revived Puma small SUV model too.
Both petrol engines are based on the same 1.0-litre unit, one with 125hp and the other with 155hp.
To make them as efficient as possible, they’ve been given mild hybrid assistance that helps reduce the amount of fuel burned and reduce emissions.
Plus, you can save money by opting for a used Ford model that will usually be cheaper than purchasing brand-new.
Toyota RAV4 fuel economy:
MHEV: 46.9 – 51.3mpg
All Toyota RAV4 models are now exclusively available with hybrid petrol engines, which is music to our ears. These offer the best overall engine efficiency, especially with the PHEV units.
The cheaper 2.5-litre MHEV unit is the most popular choice because it suits most drivers’ lifestyles and offers affordable running costs.
But if you want to drive this Toyota on electric power alone then the PHEV is the one for you, as it gives you up to 46 miles of range from a single charge.
Even once the battery runs out, you still get up to 40mpg from the onboard engine, matching most of its rivals.
Charging the battery back to 100% can take anywhere between 2.5 hours (when using a home wall box charger) and 7.5 hours through a standard three-pin plug.
Vauxhall Mokka fuel economy:
Petrol engines: 34.4 – 37.7mpg
Diesel engines: 43.5 – 50.4mpg
Electric: 209 miles
There are two different petrol engines available with the Vauxhall Mokka: a 100hp 1.2-litre and a more powerful 130hp engine based on the same 1.2-litre base.
Both are available with a manual gearbox, but if you want better efficiency then the eight-speed automatic option is the way to go.
Some older models on the used car market come with diesel engines, which increases MPG ratings on longer drives.
But luckily for potential buyers, Vauxhall also offers an all-electric Mokka-e model that’s fitted with a 50kWh battery and can travel up to 209 miles on a single charge.
This is by far the best option if you’re wanting to reduce your tailpipe emissions.
What to look out for in an SUV with the best MPG
SUVs can be tricky when it comes to efficiency as their large size and heavier weight can mean they use more fuel to get moving. Because of this, you should consider SUV mpg in its own category.
Smaller SUVs that aren't going to be used to carry large loads will be more fuel efficient, while a chunky seven-seater with a full boot will have a lower MPG rating.
Diesel SUVs are usually more fuel efficient than petrol, but a hybrid petrol SUV can get similar MPG ratings. You might find that petrol options with no hybrid assistance are the least economical.
It's also worth noting that your driving style can impact fuel efficiency. There are ways to improve MPG in an SUV - like driving in the highest gear possible and braking smoothly.
You might also want to consider the wheel size on your SUV, as larger tyres can decrease fuel efficiency. This can be tricky in SUV options as these usually have larger tyres for extra traction while off-roading.
Best diesel SUV for fuel efficiency
The best diesel SUVs for fuel efficiency on this list are the Peugeot 5008 and Citroen C5 Aircross. These both offer up to 60.8mpg.
The SEAT Ateca isn't far behind, and the Skoda Kamiq is another impressive option.
Best petrol SUV for fuel efficiency
You're likely to get the most efficient petrol SUV if you opt for one with hybrid assistance. The MHEV Suzuki Vitara can achieve up to 52.7mpg, while the PHEV Toyota RAV4 has a claimed rating of up to 282.5mpg.
As for purely petrol, the Skoda Kamiq claims up to 53.2mpg, making it a really efficient choice.