A fuel-efficient crossover is the choice of almost half of new vehicle buyers. We’ve got the models that give you AWD and the highest fuel efficiency, for cost-effective capability.
Crossovers make up the hottest vehicle sales segment in the U.S. The car-like models with large cargo areas, tall cabins, and extra ground clearance make up almost half of all vehicle sales in the country, and that share is growing.
The crossover was born when automakers decided to blend the capability, size, and 4×4 benefits of their body-on-frame SUVs with the ride comfort, handling, and fuel economy of a car.
Like a modern car, a crossover uses a unibody chassis, meaning the body and the frame of the crossover is one big piece — everything but the doors, front fenders, and hood. You can’t remove the bodywork like you can in a body-on-frame SUV or pickup truck.
This integrated chassis makes the vehicles lighter. It’s also stiffer, and why crossovers drive more like a car. The best part, though, is that you can get AWD traction and car-like fuel economy.
Fuel economy is important in every segment, but it’s particularly important here, as crossovers are the vehicle almost half of buyers take home.
The 10 Most Fuel-Efficient 2022 AWD Crossovers
Here they are, ranked worst to best, and sorted by EPA combined-cycle fuel economy estimates. The EPA sorts PHEVs by combining their PHEV estimate and their gas estimates. So, some PHEV models might sit slightly lower than you’d expect.
Thanks to the popularity of this segment, it also has the largest offering of all-electric vehicle options. They blow the gas and hybrid models out of the water for efficiency, so we’ve listed nine of them at the bottom on their own list, separately from our internal combustion engine (ICE) list.
10. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (40 MPG)
Toyota has long been at the forefront of the push to electrify its fleet with hybrids. Though the Prius is best known for being a hybrid, today nearly all of the company’s lineup gives you the option. A 2.5L four-cylinder engine and two electric motors combine to give this crossover 219 horsepower. It will also tow 1,750 pounds to help handle small utility trailers.
The RAV4 Hybrid starts from $29,575, making it the lowest-priced vehicle on this list. It returns an estimated 41 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.
9. Ford Escape Hybrid (40 MPG)
Ford launched the very first hybrid crossover way back in 2004. Today, several generations and new powertrains later, it is still the most efficient hybrid that isn’t a plug-in.
The Escape has a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and two electric motors for a total of 200 horsepower. Impressively, though, it is also available with front-wheel drive; that version scores just a single mile per gallon better on the combined cycle. The $31,420 Escape Hybrid AWD returns an estimated 43 mpg city and 37 mpg highway.
8. Volvo XC90 T8 Extended Range (66 MPGe)
Did you expect a three-row luxury crossover on this list? Neither did we, but Volvo’s plug-in hybrid XC90 manages impressive efficiency.
Tick the box for the Recharge T8 Extended Range, and you get a larger 18.8 kWh battery pack and a more powerful rear motor. It gives the XC90 455 horsepower (making it the most powerful XC90) and allows for an electric driving range of an estimated 35 miles.
When the battery is run down, the official estimate is 26 mpg combined. Volvo’s MSRP is $67,695 for the XC90.
7. Volvo XC60 T6 Extended Range (63 MPGe)
Put the same driveline in a smaller vehicle and you get a slightly lower MPGe score but a higher spot on the list. Why? Both offer the same 35-mile range and 455 horsepower, but the Volvo XC60 offers a higher 28 mpg combined estimate when the electric power has run out.
Based on the EPA’s formula, that means it has better fuel economy overall and so, it’s one spot better on our list. It’s largely a wash, though, and both Volvos offer impressive efficiency.
The XC60 T8 Recharge Extended Range starts from $55,345.
6. Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV (76 MPGe)
You’ll see this same driveline again on this list, as most Hyundai and Kia PHEV models are using it. A 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine matched with a powerful electric motor gives you your motivation.
It makes a total of 261 horsepower, and Hyundai pairs it with a conventional six-speed automatic (many hybrids use a CVT or similar) to help it feel more like a conventional gas vehicle.
Santa Fe has a 30-mile electric range thanks to a 13.8 kWh battery. It can tow up to 2,000 pounds and has a 33 mpg combined rating.
Santa Fe PHEV starts from $40,000.
5. Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring (78 MPGe)
Grand Touring is Lincoln for “plug-in hybrid.” It’s an interesting choice, as PHEVs generally perform best on shorter trips. That’s because like the Lincoln Corsair’s 28-mile electric range, they offer less battery-powered range than a full EV could.
The Corsair uses an electric motor to drive the rear wheels instead of powering them directly from the engine, a method that helps improve efficiency while still offering AWD traction. Corsair Grand Touring offers 266 horsepower from its gas engine and motors.
Corsair delivers an estimated 33 mpg from the gas engine and has an MSRP of $51,595.
4. Kia Sorento PHEV (79 MPGe)
Kia’s stylish Sorento three-row crossover is all-new, and the redesign comes with a plug-in hybrid driveline for the first time. Using the same powertrain as the Hyundai Santa Fe (see spot six on this list) with 261 horsepower, it offers a slightly longer 32-mile range. Kia claims more second-row legroom and more passenger space than any other PHEV three-row crossover.
When you use up the electric power, the $45,190 Sorento gives you an estimated 34 mpg.
3. Hyundai Tucson PHEV (80 MPGe)
Putting that same 261-horsepower Hyundai driveline in a two-row compact crossover helps boost efficiency. How much? A 33-mile electric range and 35 mpg after that. From $35,400, the Hyundai Tucson PHEV is the lowest-priced plug-in hybrid on the list, offering efficiency just shy of the two that beat it on our list.
2. Lexus NX 450h Plus (84 MPGe)
The NX 450h Plus (or NX 450h+) is the first PHEV from Lexus, and it came with the all-new NX model. Using a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and three electric motors, the NX delivers 302 horsepower. Like the Corsair, Lexus uses an electric motor to drive the rear wheels instead of a traditional driveshaft for its AWD system.
The Lexus manages an impressive 37 miles on a full battery charge and 36 mpg after that. The NX 450h Plus starts from $56,725.
1. Toyota RAV4 Prime (94 MPGe)
We started with a RAV4 and we’ll end with a RAV4. This one is the $40,300 PHEV model called the RAV4 Prime that gives you 42 miles of range on electric power, then 38 mpg after that.
The 302 horsepower RAV4 Prime (with the same powertrain as the Lexus above it on our list) is even more efficient on electric power than many EVs. That’s according to the EPA and is despite having the weight and complexity of electric motors and batteries as well as a gas engine.
Nissan Rogue 1.5T AWD (31 MPG)
There were no gas-only vehicles on this list, so we wanted to show you at least one. The Nissan Rogue has a variable compression 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder, starts at $28,650, and is the best gas-only crossover for fuel-efficiency available with 28 mpg city and 35 highway. How would it place on this list? 28th.
Most Efficient Electric AWD Crossovers
With so many electric crossovers now on the market, they would have taken over nearly the entire list. There are nine AWD electric crossovers that offer better efficiency than the best PHEV AWD crossover. Here they are, and we’ve ranked them from lowest to highest efficiency.
Audi e-tron (78 MPGe): 222-mile range
Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin (85 MPGe) 223-mile range
BMW iX xDrive50 (86 MPGe): 324-mile range
Volvo C40 Recharge Twin (87 MPGe): 226-mile range
Audi Q4 E-Tron quattro (95 MPGe): 241-mile range
Ford Mach-E California Route 1 ER (98 MPGe): 312-mile range
Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro (101 MPGe): 251-mile range
Tesla Model X (102 MPGe): 348-mile range
Tesla Model Y AWD (123 MPGe): 279-mile range