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The 12 Most Fuel-Efficient 2023 4×4 SUVs

2023 toyota sequoia side view(Photo/Paul Eisenstein)
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Driving a bona fide SUV instead of a crossover doesn’t mean endless pain at the pumps. We’ve found the most fuel-efficient 4×4 SUVs to give you maximum capability with minimum fueling costs.

The line between crossover and SUV can be pretty blurry. Call us old-fashioned because we think of an SUV as having a frame that’s separate from the body of the vehicle. The suspension and body are bolted to that frame. It’s what gives the SUV its ruggedness — truck-like bones underneath that let it work hard.

Are there exceptions to that rule? Of course. So, we’ll call out the crossovers that can work just as hard as an SUV. Their credentials include off-road strength and high-capacity towing, but they don’t have a body-on-frame chassis.

Why do we need the separation? Because we believe that a hardcore SUV fulfills our heavy-duty towing and all-around utility demands. At the same time, that ruggedness comes at the cost of poor fuel economy.

We’ve used the EPA’s official fuel economy ratings to find the 12 SUVs that offer the best fuel economy and the go-anywhere traction of 4×4 or all-wheel drive (AWD). Some of these surprised us with their efficiency and the variety of powertrains on the list.

Here we have the most fuel-efficient SUVs, ranked from worst to best, sorted by the EPA combined-cycle fuel economy rating.

(If trucks are more your thing, check out The 10 Most Fuel-Efficient 2022 4×4/AWD Pickups.)

The 12 Most Fuel-Efficient 2023 4×4 SUVs

12. Infiniti QX80 (15 MPG)

2023 infiniti qx80 side view

The QX80 is Infiniti’s luxury off-road brute. This big, three-row SUV comes with a 5.6L V8 that makes 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic does its best to help fuel economy, but it is working with a lot of weight and horsepower.

Despite luxury features like quilted leather seats, it offers real off-road capability. It also offers Hydraulic Body Motion Control suspension that can send pressure to the inner or outer suspension to help reduce roll.

Infiniti’s QX80 can tow up to 8,500 pounds. Its EPA estimate says it should return 13 mpg city and 19 highway.

2023 Infiniti QX80 Specs

  • Engine: 5.6L 32-valve V8
  • Horsepower: 400 hp at 5,800 rpm
  • Torque: 413 lb.-ft. at 4,000 rpm
  • Transmission: Seven-speed automatic w/ adaptive shift control and manual shift mode w/downshift rev-matching
  • Drive type: Infiniti All-Mode 4WD
  • Max tow capacity: 8,500 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 13 / 19 / 15 mpg
  • Range: 390 miles

11. Mercedes-Benz G 550 (16 MPG)

white Mercedes-Benz G 550 driving downhill off-road

Beauty meets beast in the 2023 Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Looking quite unlike anything else in the German luxury automaker’s lineup, the G-Wagen (as the SUV is also known), is built for going places where others dare not. The German tank boasts a ladder-type frame with a mounted body that accounts for its off-roading strength and stability, plus it aids protection of the underbody parts.

A 4.0L turbocharged V8 rated at 416 horsepower lies under the bonnet of the G 550. Combined city and highway driving will net 16 mpg as per EPA estimates.

For others who scoff at the thought of reducing their carbon footprint, the Mercedes-AMG G 63 packs a bi-turbo version of the motor, conjuring an imposing 577 horsepower.

2023 Mercedes-Benz G 550 Specs

  • Engine: 4.0L V8 bi-turbo
  • Horsepower: 416 hp at 5,250-5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 450 lb.-ft. at 2,000-4,750 rpm
  • Transmission: 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic
  • Drive type: Full-time AWD w/2-speed transfer case
  • Max tow capacity: 7,000 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 14 / 17 / 16 mpg
  • Range: 416 miles

10. Lexus GX 460 (16 MPG)


The Lexus GX 460 is a rugged off-road body-on-frame SUV that has been on sale since the 2010 model year. Off-road dedicated hardware includes full-time four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case, and Torsen locking center differential. The best part about number 10 on our list of most fuel-efficient SUVs means you don’t have to settle for a stripped-down econobox.

Powering the GX 460 is a 4.6L V8 that makes 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is a six-speed automatic. This modest combination returns an EPA-estimated 16 mpg combined city and highway driving.

2023 Lexus GX 460 Specs

  • Engine: 4.6L DOHC 32-valve VVT-i V8
  • Horsepower: 301 hp at 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 329 lb.-ft. at 3,500 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic ECT
  • Drive type: Full-time 4WD
  • Max tow capacity: 6,500 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 15 / 19 / 16 mpg
  • Range: 368 miles

9. Toyota 4Runner (17 MPG)

2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Lime Rush

The Toyota 4Runner is very similar to the Lexus GX listed above — 4×4 and Kinetic Dynamic Suspension are both offered, as is a locking rear differential. And the 4Runner comes in TRD special versions that add even more impressive off-road capability features, including tuned off-road shocks and springs.

Unlike the Lexus, the 4Runner comes with a V6 instead of a V8. It means slightly less power, at 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. Combined with a five-speed automatic, the Toyota is able to offer slightly improved fuel economy.

It can manage an EPA-estimated 16 mpg on city streets and 19 mpg on the open highway.

2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Specs

  • Engine: 4.0L DOHC V6 VVT-i
  • Horsepower: 270 hp at 5,600 rpm
  • Torque: 278 lb.-ft. at 4,400 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed automatic
  • Drive type: Part-time 4WD
  • Max tow capacity: 5,000 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 16 / 19 / 17 mpg
  • Range: 391 miles

8. Ford Expedition / Lincoln Navigator (18 MPG)

2022 Ford Expedition Timberline

The Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator look like very different vehicles from the outside and from behind the driver’s seat. But underneath, they’re nearly the same. That includes a fully boxed frame, which also underpins the F-150 — the bestselling pickup in the world.

Though it is body-on-frame, using aluminum for the bodywork trims some pounds out of the two big SUVs. That can help save fuel. Instead of a V8, the pair use a 3.5L V6 with two turbochargers.

The XL, XLT, and STX trims of the Expedition make 380 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The top-end trims, the Timberline and Stealth, develop as much horsepower as the Navigator: 440. All models, regardless of trim level, use a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Government fuel economy estimates for the lower trims of the four-wheel drive Expedition sit at 18 mpg in combined driving. According to the EPA, the heavier and higher-powered 4×4 Lincoln Navigator also returns 18 mpg.

2023 Ford Expedition (XL, XLT, STX) 4WD Specs

  • Engine: 3.5L EcoBoost V6 w/auto start-stop
  • Horsepower: 380 hp at 5,000 rpm
  • Torque: 470 lb.-ft. at 2,250 rpm
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic w/SelectShift
  • Drive type: Part-time 4WD
  • Max tow capacity: 9,200 lbs. (w/Heavy-Duty Trailer Towing Package)
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 16 / 22 / 18 mpg
  • Range: 418 miles

7. Jeep Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer Hurricane (19 MPG)

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Hurricane one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs

The acclaimed V8 engine from Stellantis will soon join the dodo bird as Dodge, RAM, and Jeep transition toward electrification. Assuming the mantle of heavy-duty hauler is an all-new 3.0L turbocharged inline-six dubbed the Hurricane. Two versions of the Hurricane will go into the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.

The first variant of the twin-turbo engine will summon 420 horsepower and 468 pound-feet of torque, and a significant boost in fuel savings over the 6.4L V8. The second variant, the Hurricane 510, rustles up 510 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Put all that power into play, and trailering capacity maxes out at 9,800 to 10,000 pounds.

The Grand Wagoneer is a serious luxury model with an effortlessly smooth powertrain boasting incredible capabilities and refinement. Low-range gearing, Selec-Terrain traction management, and an available electronically controlled air suspension with adjustable ride height are all part of the equation.

EPA estimates for the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Hurricane culminate at 19 mpg in combined highway and city driving.

2023 Grand Wagoneer Hurricane Specs

  • Engine: 3.0L Hurricane twin-turbo
  • Horsepower: 420 hp at 5,200 rpm
  • Torque: 468 lb.-ft. at 3,500 rpm
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drive type: AWD
  • Max tow capacity: 9,800 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 16 / 23 / 19 mpg
  • Range: 494 miles

6. Lexus LX 600 (19 MPG)

Lexus Lx 600

The luxury counterpart of the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser uses the same platform as the all-new Toyota Tundra. It also gets a version of the truck’s new powertrain: a 409-horsepower twin-turbo 3.4L V6 and 10-speed automatic. The Lexus LX 600 underwent a complete redesign in 2022, so only a little has changed for 2023.

In the LX 600, you’ll find full-time four-wheel drive, active height-adjustable suspension, and even crawl control. It doesn’t look like an off-roader, but don’t let the spindle grille fool you. This big ute can wheel.

It has an official estimate of 19 mpg overall.

2023 Lexus LX 600 Specs

  • Engine: 3.4L twin-turbo V6
  • Horsepower: 409 hp @ 5,200 rpm
  • Torque: 479 lb.-ft. @ 2,000-3,600 rpm
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic w/SelectShift
  • Drive type: Full-time 4WD
  • Max tow capacity: 8,000 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 17 / 22 / 19 mpg
  • Range: 401 miles

5. Ford Bronco 2-Door EcoBoost (20 MPG)

Ford Bronco

The first real competitor to the Jeep Wrangler in years, the Ford Bronco puts the Ford Ranger platform to good use. The stylish off-roader lets you remove the doors, the roof, and even the fenders. It also has automatic and manual transmission versions that give you the same fuel economy rating.

The shorter and lighter Bronco two-door gets the best fuel economy. It’s also the only one that offers the seven-speed stick with crawler gear.

Fitted with the 2.3L EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder, Bronco offers 275 horsepower and 315 pound-feet on regular gas. It’ll manage 300 horsepower if you spend extra for premium fuel.

The mighty little engine will reward you with 20 mpg in combined city and highway driving.

2023 Ford Bronco 2-Door Specs

  • Engine: 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 w/auto start-stop
  • Horsepower: 300 hp at 5,700 rpm (premium fuel)
  • Torque: 325 lb.-ft. at 3,400 rpm (premium fuel)
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic w/SelectShift
  • Drive type: Part-time 4WD
  • Max tow capacity: 3,500 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 20 / 21 / 20 mpg
  • Range: 338 miles

4. Toyota Sequoia 4WD (20 MPG)

2023 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro most fuel efficient SUV
(Photo/Paul Eisenstein)

By and large, the all-new 2023 Sequoia offers a truly powerful driving experience. Bringing all that force to bear is an i-Force MAX 3.4L twin-turbo V6 hybrid powertrain that’s good for 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of twist. Part of that hybrid magic calls for a 48-horsepower electric motor sandwiched between the V6 and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The powerplant isn’t the only piece of modern tech in common with the Tundra. The redesigned Sequoia sits on a modern body-on-frame chassis with a fully boxed frame also shared by the Tundra. Nonetheless, Toyota’s revamped SUV carries a beefy presence — and not just because it pushes the limit of every single parking space it occupies.

Do we miss the trusty V8? Yes, but the new Sequoia hybrid delivers more power, more torque, impressive fuel economy, and an overall better experience. Read our review of the 2023 Toyota Sequoia to learn more details and insights.

2023 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4WD Specs

  • Engine: i-FORCE MAX: 3.5L aluminum block V6 Hybrid, twin-turbochargers
  • Horsepower: 437 hp at 5,200 rpm
  • Torque: 583 lb.-ft. at 2,400 rpm
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic
  • Drive type: Part-time 4WD
  • Max tow capacity: 9,120 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 19 / 22 / 20 mpg
  • Range: 450 miles

3. Cadillac Escalade/GMC Yukon XL/ Chevrolet Tahoe/Chevrolet Suburban 3.0 Duramax Diesel (22 MPG)

2022 GMC Yukon Denali Duramax Diesel most fuel-efficient SUV

Yes, that’s a lot of vehicles, all under one entry. While this gaggle of GM SUVs differs in looks and audience, they all share the same chassis.

GM’s big haulers can tow up to 8,000 pounds when fitted with the 3.0L Duramax diesel engine and four-wheel drive. The Duramax turbo inline-six makes 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, and a 10-speed automatic helps make the most of that.

GM offers luxury models, family-friendly carriages, and even SUVs designed for work duty and off-roading, letting you pick one perfect for your needs. Whichever one suits your fancy, official estimates report 22 mpg for the diesel powerplant.

2023 GMC Yukon 4WD Specs

  • Engine: 3.0L DOHC I-6 Duramax turbo-diesel
  • Horsepower: 277 hp at 3,750 rpm (diesel fuel)
  • Torque: 460 lb.-ft. at 1,500 rpm (diesel fuel)
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic w/SelectShift
  • Drive type: Part-time 4WD
  • Max tow capacity: 8,000 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 20 / 26 / 22 mpg (2022 EPA estimates)
  • Range: 528 miles

2. Jeep Wrangler 4xe (49 MPGe)

most fuel-efficient SUV, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe crossing a stream
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

The ultimate off-roader with a plug. The Jeep Wrangler has been the king of factory off-road SUVs for decades, with only Ford’s Bronco attempting to wrestle away the crown.

Now the Wrangler offers more than just rugged capability, removable doors, and a top that can stay at home. The Wrangler 4xe lets you off-road silently, using only electricity.

A plug-in hybrid (PHEV), the 4xe combines an electric motor and a 2.0L turbo-four. The combined power output equals 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Not to mention the ability to drive on electric power for up to 21 miles.

That’s enough to give Wrangler 4xe a miles-per-gallon equivalent of 49. It gets 20 mpg combined when the battery is empty.

Jeep also offers a 2.0L four-cylinder Wrangler that would have held this spot on our list of most fuel-efficient SUVs — if the hybrid didn’t exist — with a 23 mpg combined EPA rating.

2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Specs

  • Engine: 2.0L turbo I-4
  • Horsepower: 270 hp at 5,250 rpm
  • Torque: 295 lb.-ft. at 3,000 rpm
  • eTorque belt-start generator/motor: 44 hp / 39 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Plug-in hybrid 8-speed automatic
  • Integrated transmission traction motor: 134 hp / 181 lb.-ft.
  • Total powertrain output:
    • Horsepower: 375 hp at 5,250 rpm
    • Torque: 470 lb.-ft. at 3,000 rpm
  • Drive type: 4WD
  • Max tow capacity: 3,500 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (MPGe/combined): 49 / 20 mpg (2022 EPA estimates)
  • Range: 370 miles

1. Rivian R1S (69 MPGe)

2022-Rivian-R1S most fuel efficient SUV

The first Rivian R1S SUVs started shipping in 2022, making this electric vehicle the only body-on-frame SUV EV on sale now. Not 100% traditional, as the frame holds the electric battery and powertrain. But we say it still counts, as does 14.9 inches of ground clearance and up to 7,700 pounds of towing.

Offered with a four-motor AWD making 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet or a dual-motor AWD with 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, the R1S has copious amounts of power.

With a 135kWh battery pack, it offers up to 316 miles of range. All of that technology equates to 69 MPGe.

2023 Rivian R1S Specs

  • Motor: 2 AC permanent magnet per wheel
  • Horsepower: 600 hp
  • Torque: 600 lb.-ft.
  • Transmission: 1-Speed Automatic
  • Battery pack: 135 kWh lithium-ion
  • Drive type: Quad-motor AWD
  • Max tow capacity: 7,700 lbs.
  • Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined): 73 / 65 / 69 MPGe
  • EV range: 316 miles

The Most Fuel-Efficient Almost-SUVs

We know that discerning the distinctions between an SUV and a crossover are tough. That’s why we explained our methodology up top. But we also understand that some crossovers seriously bridge the gap, like the unibody-constructed vehicles below.

These vehicles can tow as much as traditional body-on-frame SUVs, and some offer impressive off-road capabilities. So, here is a quick hit of the ones that we call “on the fence,” listed from good to remarkable for their fuel economy.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe

Land Rover Defender P400 (20 mpg): 18/23 city/highway. Both three-door 90 and five-door 110 models get the same economy in mild-hybrid 3.0L I6 trims.

Dodge Durango (21 mpg): 18/25 city/highway. The Durango offers one of the highest tow ratings of any crossover — up to 8,700 pounds — an impressive effort.

Hyundai Palisade/Kia Telluride (22 mpg): 19/27 city/highway. These two brutes are clearly trying to look like an SUV, even if they have a unibody chassis. Nevertheless, the 3.8L V6 does it right.

Nissan Pathfinder (23 mpg): 21/27 city/highway. The all-new Pathfinder can tow like an SUV — up to 6,000 pounds — even if it’s a crossover.

Ford Explorer Hybrid (25 mpg): 23/26 city/highway. Brawny enough to tackle 5,000 pounds of trailer weight and have enough ground clearance to give it above-average off-road capability, the three-row Explorer Hybrid manages towing and hauling duties with aplomb.

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe (56 MPGe): 26-mile all-electric range, 23 mpg combined. The plug-in Grand Cherokee can offer impressive fuel savings.

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