Top 10: Most Economical SUVs

16th Feb 2022

By Edward Cook

Big and efficient

Often offering a comfortable ride, enhanced practicality and great all-round capabilities, the SUV has become the go-to car for many around the UK.

The SUVs we know and love today are a long way away from the gas-guzzling SUV behemoths of yesteryear thanks to developments in powertrain technology, making SUVs cleaner and more economical to drive. Some SUVs are even ULEZ compliant, meaning you'll avoid charges when entering these zones.

With a wide range of both new and used options available on the market, we take a look at the some of the most economical SUVs to assist in your search for your next car.

Ford Puma

Blue Ford Puma Exterior Front Driving

The Puma nameplate was reintroduced into the Ford range in 2019, this time coming in a sleek compact SUV guise that caught the attention of many. Don't let the word compact fool you though, as the Puma still offers plenty of the usual SUV traits such as a large boot and a spacious interior.

The intelligent 1.0-litre mild hybrid EcoBoost powertrain is the main reason why the Puma has made this list, offering fuel economy figures of around 50mpg on a combined cycle in both 124bhp and 153bhp forms.

Ford haven't forgotten the driving experience either, ensuring the Puma is both great fun to drive and highly economical. 0 to 62mph will take 9.8 seconds (124bhp) or 8.9 seconds (153bhp), but if you're willing to sacrifice a bit on fuel economy, the ST version can complete the same sprint in 6.7 seconds whilst still offering around 40mpg.

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Peugeot 3008

White Peugeot 3008 Exterior Front Driving

Looking for something with a bit of French flair? The Peugeot 3008 may be just the ticket. This mid-sized family SUV offers plenty of elegance and kerb appeal, as well as advanced technology and a good level of versatility.

There are a variety of powertrains to choose from, each highly economical in their own right. The most efficient is the 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid which comes with either 225bhp or 300bhp and can achieve upwards of 200mpg and an all-electric driving range of up to 40 miles when the batteries are fully charged.

If you're not quite convinced by hybrid technology and want something more traditional, the 1.5-litre diesel and 1.2-litre petrol are worth looking at, offering around 57mpg and 47mpg respectively.

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Skoda Karoq

Red Skoda Karoq Exterior Front Driving

Coming with top levels of practicality and a great value for money proposition, the Skoda Karoq is the Czech manufacturer's offering within the competitive mid-sized SUV space.

As expected (due to the lack of a hybrid), the Karoq's diesel engines are the most efficient, with the 115bhp 1.6-litre TDI achieving up to 63mpg. More potent diesel engines are available (150bhp and 190bhp), but bear in mind that the more powerful you go, the more expensive it costs to run.

The petrol engines aren't too far away from their diesel counterparts in terms of efficiency; all petrol variants are capable of achieving around 54mpg. Four-wheel drive models are available within the range, but this reduces economy slightly.

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Toyota C-HR

Silver Toyota C-HR Exterior Front Driving

One of the sportier-looking SUVs on this list, the Toyota C-HR offers an enjoyable driving experience as well as decent levels of practicality. There are a few powertrains to choose from, but for maximum economy you'll want one of the hybrid powertrains.

The most fun will be had behind the wheel of the 2.0-litre 181bhp petrol hybrid. Models with this powertrain can go from 0 to 62mph in as little as 8.2 seconds whilst still offering fuel economy figures of up to 53mpg.

If you're not too fussed about speed and want the most cost-effective C-HR available then you'll find the 120bhp 1.8-litre petrol hybrid the most attractive option, achieving up to 57mpg.

A traditional petrol-powered internal combustion engine is available, but time spent refueling may be more frequent than its hybrid counterparts due to fuel economy figures of around 44mpg.

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Hyundai Kona

Blue Hyundai Kona Exterior Front Driving

The Konais a compact SUV that possesses a distinctive exterior design and a multitude of advanced technology, making it a popular choice for drivers. Better yet, Hyundai's 5-year unlimited mileage warranty means that your Kona may be covered for a significant amount of time.

In terms of economy, the Kona impresses. Hyundai have implemented a number of intelligent powertrains to ensure it's both engaging to drive and economical.

The most frugal is the hybrid powertrain which combines a 1.6-litre diesel engine with an electric motor to produce a total power output of 141bhp. This system allows the Kona to achieve up to 57.6mpg WLTP combined.

There's also the impressive Kona electric, which offers an all-electric range of up to 300miles and a 0 to 62mph time of just 7.9 seconds.

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DS 7 Crossback

White DS 7 Crossback Exterior Front Static

Since their breakaway from the Citroën brand in 2015, DS has established itself as a producer of top-quality, luxury cars, and the DS 7 Crossback lives up to this reputation.

This large SUV offers a range of great features and driver aids to make your time on the road easier and more relaxing. The large 555-litre boot can also swallow multiple bags of luggage, ensuring the DS 7 Crossback is ready for anything you throw at it. And we haven't even mentioned its fashionable looks.

There are a number of engines to choose from, including a couple of efficient diesels that offer up to 68mpg. The most frugal in the range are the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) E-TENSE models; combining a petrol engine with two electric motors, the PHEV powertrains can achieve up to 128mpg and an all-electric range of 36 miles.

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SEAT Arona

Black SEAT Arona Exterior Front Driving

Based on the same platform as the highly popular SEAT Ibiza hatchback, the SEAT Arona is a crossover SUV packed full with clever technology. Whilst it's based on its smaller sibling, the Arona still offers a good level of versatility and a spacious interior; ideal for those family road trips.

There's no fancy hybrid technology available, but what you will get is an efficient internal combustion engine that reduces the number of trips you'll take to the pumps.

The 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine takes the crown as the most efficient, offering up to 65mpg, but the petrol powertrains also perform well at around 40 to 45mpg. All engines are available with manual or automatic gearboxes, allowing you to choose an Arona that suits your preferences.

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Renault Kadjar

Blue Renault Kadjar Exterior Front Driving

The Kadjar has established itself as a popular choice within the fierce SUV market thanks to a range of great features. If you're after an SUV that provides a nice mix of style and practicality, then Renault may have the answer.

Beyond its fashionable looks and long list of standard equipment, the Kadjar is a great all-rounder that's ideal for long stints on the road. For maximum efficiency, you'll want to look at the 1.5-litre diesel engine as it offers up to 65mpg. The larger diesel and smaller petrol units aren't bad either and are capable of achieving around 53 and 47mpg respectively.

If you're an adventurous individual and plan on heading off-road, then you may want to consider the four-wheel drive system, but it's only available with the larger diesel engine. The Kadjar also comes with Renault's 5-year/100,000-mile warranty meaning you may be eligible for cover even when you buy used.

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Suzuki Ignis

Yellow Suzuki Ignis Exterior Front Driving

Whilst a lot smaller than others on this list, the Suzuki Ignis is a city-car-come-SUV that offers a versatile interior and genuine off-road capabilities. Whilst it can't compete with 'proper' SUVs when it comes to outright carrying capabilities, it can outmatch most when it comes to efficiency, hence its place on this list.

Suzuki's intelligent Dualjet 1.2-litre mild hybrid system powers the dinky SUV, allowing it to achieve an impressive 59mpg WLTP combined. Older models may come with a standard 1.2-litre petrol engine, but they still manage around 50mpg fairly easily.

The lightweight approach ensures the Ignis is nimble, allowing it to feel great both around town and off the beaten track. Four-wheel drive is also available, enhancing off-road abilities even further.

If you're concerned about carrying capacity, don't fear - simply drop the rear seats and you'll have access to a mightily impressive 1,100 litres of space.

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Hyundai Tucson

Grey Hyundai Tucson Exterior Rear Static

Rounding off this list is the Tucson, a mid-sized SUV from South Korean manufacturers, Hyundai; a brand that offers an extensive 5-year unlimited mileage warranty.

The Tucson comes with a range of available powertrains. The efficiency king is the plug-in hybrid powertrain which combines the already-efficient 1.6-litre Smartstream petrol engine with a 66.9kWh electric motor to achieve up to 201mpg and an all-electric driving range of up to 34 miles with the batteries fully charged.

There's also a number of mild hybrid powertrains, as well as a full hybrid and a traditional petrol engine, allowing you to find a Tucson that suits your lifestyle. You can expect a more modest, yet still respectable, 40 to 50mpg on these variants.

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Find your next SUV with Evans Halshaw

From super compact SUVs such as the Ignis to mammoth-like SUVs such as the DS 7 Crossback, there's sure to be a car on this list that catches your eye. But there's one thing that they all have in common; efficiency.

Thanks to the advancements of powertrain technology, many of the world's top automotive manufacturers offer an economical SUV, meaning you won't be travelling to the pumps as frequently. Evans Halshaw's new and used car sections are home to a wide variety of vehicles that are ready to test drive today.