The Most Fuel-Efficient Used Compact SUVs All Have 1 Thing in Common
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In the past, a fuel-efficient SUV was thought to be an oxymoron. To buy a vehicle that used less gas, you had to go as small and low to the ground as possible. And while size still plays a role in gas mileage, automakers have designed compact SUVs to provide the height and versatility of larger models—but with engines that are easier on the environment and your pocketbook.
In this category, Japanese brands are at the front of the pack. In fact, on a list by Consumer Reports of the eight most fuel-efficient used compact SUVs, all of the winning models are made by Japanese companies.
Compact SUVs are a great compromise between fuel efficiency and utility | Twenty20
The most fuel-efficient used compact SUVs
Of the companies on the list, Toyota takes the most wins, with four models from the automaker’s brands making the cut. Both the hybrid and fully gas-powered versions of the RAV4 made the list, along with both versions of the Lexus NX.
While owners of the 2016 Hybrid RAV4 reported getting 25 mpg, Consumer Reports’ test showed an impressive 31 mpg. The gas-powered RAV4 tested at 24 mpg in AWD.
The 2016 Hybrid Lexus NX, which was based on the RAV4, tested a nearly equal 29 mpg. The conventional model delivered 24 mpg overall. The remaining four models on the list are all from different automakers.
Subaru’s 2016 Forester tested an exceptional 26 mpg overall. The 2016 Mazda CX-5 tested 25 mpg. Honda’s 2016 CR-V and the 2016 Nissan Rogue both managed to make the list with 24 mpg.
Why buying a used SUV makes sense
Many of the latest models from these companies also have great gas mileage, often better than their older brothers and sisters. In fact, three of the five brands also made a list from TrueCar of the most fuel-efficient models from 2021, with the new Toyota RAV4 estimated to deliver 41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.
So why buy an older version? Well, in terms of cost-saving advantage, five-year-old models have the benefit of being past the most significant portion of their depreciation cycles. That means you can get most of the features of the newest models for a much lower price.
Owning a vehicle with depreciated value saves you money in more ways than one. Besides your initial investment, a used vehicle is also cheaper to insure. By buying a used vehicle with good fuel economy, you save at every layer of car ownership.