SUVs and crossovers are one of the most versatile vehicles around, creating a combination of practicality, comfort, and performance that cater to those looking for cars that give the best value for their money. These are vehicle segments that’s been growing for the past few years, with many buyers shifting away from the usual sedans and subcompacts, looking for a car that’s more capable and versatile.
In general, SUVs and crossovers are some of the tallest and biggest vehicles around, usually seating from five to upwards of seven people depending on the configuration of the seats. Cargo space is also impressive, and is usually flexible with folding seats and storage areas. You get to fit your family and friends, and still have some space left for a few bags for that weekend getaway. When the road gets rough, the higher ground clearance and off-road capability of these vehicles also shine, keeping you safe from scuffing your bodywork and getting stuck, helping you reach your destination.
Unfortunately, with all that space and capability comes bigger engines. You need good horsepower and torque figures to move SUVs and some crossovers fully loaded, and, because all engines are created equal, fuel economy can vary from brand to brand. In this list, we’ve chosen five of the most fuel efficient SUVs or crossovers you can get on the market right now, boasting all the qualities you need to travel safely and comfortably, but with the added bonus of driving further without filling up.
5. Foton Toplander
The most attractively-priced midsize SUV, the Foton Toplander, also happens to be one of the most efficient, powered by a venerable 161 hp and 360 nm of torque 2.8L Cummins turbocharged diesel engine. This reliable engine combined with a six-speed automatic transmission returns 14.8 km/L on the highway, and around 6.8 km/L in city conditions. With our review of the Foton Toplander, we observed that you can also get excellent space for the front and second rows, plus a comfortable ride. That’s seven seats in an SUV that’s nicely priced, notably fuel efficient, and capable on and off the road.
4. Mitsubishi Montero Sport
The second best-selling midsize SUV in the country has made quite a name for itself as one of Mitsubishi’s staples. Featuring impressive ride comfort and cargo space when compared to its rivals, the Montero Sport also happens to be kitted out extensively with safety features and creature comforts. Powered by a 2.4L turbocharged diesel engine, the numbers are impressive at 181 hp and 430 Nm of torque, the fuel consumption is doubly impressive as, despite the powerful engine, you can still manage to get 17.3 km/L on the highway and 6.1 km/L in urban conditions.
3. Mazda CX-5
Mazda shakes up the crossover segment with one of the best-looking and best-equipped vehicles in the class, the CX-5. Available in gasoline and a sole diesel variant, the CX-5 is a looker and is comprehensively equipped with creature comforts and safety systems. The 2.2L 175 hp and 420 Nm of torque SkyActiv diesel is the top variant here, and is the subject of some excellent fuel economy numbers, hitting above 20 km/L on the highway and slightly below 10 km/L in gridlock traffic. It sips traffic, looks good, and feels good to drive; that’s a winner in anyone’s book.
2. BMW X1
The only European vehicle to grace this list, the BMW X1 looks nicer and performs better than ever. The second generation X1 is the best one yet; you get more room and comfort, high quality materials in the cabin, and a thrifty yet powerful 2.0L turbocharged diesel engine that makes 190 hp and 400 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to one of the best transmissions around, an eight-speed automatic, creating a smooth drive that returns 23 km/L on the highway and almost 15 km/L in urban driving. A no-compromise BMW with the added bonus of frugality.
1. Honda CR-V
Honda’s first foray into the local diesel market may have raised some eyebrows, but it has also resulted in one of the most comprehensively equipped crossovers around. Featuring some of the latest in driving aids and safety technology, the Honda CR-V also has a few tricks up its sleeve, one of which is a nine-speed automatic transmission mated to a 1.6L turbocharged diesel engine that makes 120 hp and 300 Nm of torque. You still get 23.3 km/L on highway drives, and a respectable 10 km/L in the city, making the most of your fuel with every drive.