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SUVs with the best gas mileage for 2024 – Autoblog

Fuel efficiency is an admirable trait for any vehicle, whether you’re looking to save money or reduce your carbon footprint. But the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road are usually also the smallest and, especially for growing families who like outdoor activities, not always practical. That’s why SUVs and crossovers are so popular. Fortunately, over the past decade, SUVs have greatly reduced consumption and lately, electrification has played a major role. You won’t be surprised to hear that the top 5 SUVs with the best gas mileage to buy in 2024 are all plug-in hybrids.

We compiled the top five SUVs with the best gas mileage according to the EPA. This list only includes vehicles with internal combustion engines, which means purely electric vehicles are not included in this list. These plug-ins deliver the lower operating costs of an electric vehicle until the battery is depleted. After the battery is empty, they operate like a conventional hybrid. You can read more about our favorite electric SUVs here.

Using the EPA’s current formula for annual fuel costs, we also calculated the break-even point for these PHEVs against their non-plug-in siblings. Using the agency’s 15,000-mile annual usage with fuel costing $3.79 per gallon, the results show that not all models will save you money over the course of ownership, but usage can have a significant effect. If you have a short commute and access to chargers, you may rarely ever need to use gasoline, and that can drastically tip the scales in favor of PHEVs.

Top 5 SUVs with the best gas mileage to buy in 2024

2024 Ford Escape PHEV 

  • EV range: 37 miles

  • EPA combined estimate: 40 mpg

  • Annual fuel cost: $950

The Ford Escape isn’t quick, nor is it very settled on a curvy road, but it is the most fuel efficient SUV according to the EPA. The plug-in version costs over $10,000 more than the base three-cylinder Escape and would take 12 years to recoup that PHEV premium based on the EPA’s estimates. The midrange four-cylinder is closer in price to the PHEV and should require 5.1 years to break even and you’ll save about $1,250 every year thereafter. The standard hybrid (not plug-in) is around $7,000 cheaper than the PHEV with a smaller difference in annual fuel costs. That results in a break-even cycle of 14 years.

2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime 

  • EV range: 42 miles

  • EPA combined estimate: 38 mpg

  • Annual fuel cost: $1,000

The RAV4 Prime is quick, and it is otherwise a fine crossover to drive on a daily basis. If you’re hoping to save money compared to its already efficient non-plug-in siblings, you’re going to need a lot of patience. In similarly equipped XLE Premium trims, it would take 11.7 years to break even with the conventional four-cylinder engine and a whopping 18.9 years compared to the hybrid model without a plug. It’s worth noting that the RAV4 and Escape are less expensive to operate than a few EVs (even if they’re limited to the Audi e-tron S, Rivian R1S and Hummer EV).

2024 Lexus NX 450h Plus

  • EV range: 37 miles

  • EPA combined estimate: 36 mpg

  • Annual fuel cost: $1,250

The Lexus NX 450h Plus is the only luxury SUV on this list and as such, it has a luxury price tag, too. Starting just above $60,000, it costs about $15,000 more than the standard NX 350h hybrid and the sporty NX 350. It’s almost $20,000 more than the base NX 250. That certainly hurts break-even timing, needing 25.5 years to recoup the savings to the NX 350h, 9.7 years for the NX 350 and 24.1 years for the NX 250. But it’s also worth remembering that the NX 450h Plus is more powerful and overall nicer to drive than lesser NX models.

2024 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid 

  • EV range: 34 miles

  • EPA combined estimate: 35 mpg

  • Annual fuel cost: $1,150

Last year we said the Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid was an exceptional value, and easily one of our favorite models on this list. Unfortunately, some of the value proposition fades away as the non-plug-in Sportage Hybrid is difficult to compare against the Sportage PHEV because they aren’t offered in easily comparable trim levels. The 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid starts right around $30,000, plus $1,800 for all-wheel drive. The top-level SX Prestige trim starts just shy of $40,000.

For 2024, the Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid is only offered in X-Line and X-Line Prestige trims, starting a little north of $40,000 and ending a little north of $45,000. If you’re looking to factor in the amount of time it will take to break even, you’ll have to do some mental comparisons between trim levels, but if saving fuel is of prime concern, the EPA says that it will cost around $1,850 to fuel the base Sportage with all-wheel drive compared to $1,050 in combined gas and electricity costs to drive the AWD PHEV.

2024 Hyundai Tucson PHEV 

  • EV range: 33 miles

  • EPA combined estimate: 35 mpg

  • Annual fuel cost: $1,150

The Tucson’s $40,000 price could represent a decent choice for break-even if you hang onto it for a while. The Tucson SEL with all-wheel-drive costs about $6,000 less but consumes twice as much fuel. That figures to a 5.4-year break-even against the PHEV. The Tucson Hybrid comes close to the PHEV’s efficiency, so it’ll take more than a decade to break even.

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