Crossovers have become go-to vehicles for American car shoppers, and as a result many varieties are available. These vehicles offer SUV traits including plenty of utility, interior comfort and AWD traction, although typical crossovers are not ready for climbing mountains. That said, crossovers are capable of handling inclement weather and bad road conditions, as well as the occasional trek down dirt roads. With fuel prices soaring in the U.S., efficiency is one of the primary selling points for these vehicles. Although many electric and plug-in hybrid crossovers are available, not all consumers have access to a receptacle for vehicle charging, so here are the 25 most fuel-efficient AWD crossovers in America that don’t require a plug. Vehicles are listed by EPA fuel-economy ratings for combined fuel economy, then city mpg.
Starting MSRP: $27,650
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 25 / 30 / 27
Chevrolet gives the Equinox a thorough refresh for the 2022 model year. The updated crossover features a new grille, slim LED headlights and new LED daytime running lights. The 2022 Equinox has a long list of standard safety features including an updated infotainment system with an available 8-inch display screen, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Power for the new model comes from a fuel-efficient 1.5-liter turbocharged engine producing 170 horsepower.
Starting MSRP: $27,900
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 26 / 29 / 27
The Encore GX is the best-selling model in the Buick lineup, and also comes in as the brand’s most fuel-efficient offering. The Encore GX features premium styling both inside and out, as well as a more spacious cabin and improved cargo-carrying capacity versus the standard Encore. In addition to its long list of standard equipment — which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — the Encore GX gets the latest advanced safety and driver-assist technologies.
Starting MSRP: $25,540
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 25 / 32 / 28
Last year Volkswagen added a second entry in the compact crossover segment with the all-new 2022 Taos. The 5-seat Taos slots below VW’s other compact crossover, the three-row Tiguan. The new Taos design shares elements with other Volkswagen SUVs, starting with a bold grille, sculpted hood and LED light signature similar to the Atlas Cross Sport. The top trim levels feature an illuminated light line from the VW logo in the center of the grille to the headlights — a design element first seen on the recently revealed ID.4 electric SUV. Power comes from a 1.5-liter version of the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine currently offered in the VW Jetta, producing 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.
Starting MSRP: $23,800
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 26 / 30 / 28
A Trailblazer had not been offered in the Chevrolet lineup for more than a decade, and now the nameplate is back on a stylish small crossover. Styling is similar to the recently returned Blazer featuring slim LED running lights that flank the upper section of the grille, while larger LED headlights are positioned below. Trailblazer comes with Chevy Safety Assist featuring automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. Fuel-efficient power comes from a 1.3-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque.
Starting MSRP: $25,895
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 26 / 33 / 29
Subaru gives the popular Forester a refresh for the 2022 model year, with updated exterior styling that includes a redesigned grille, a new front bumper, LED headlights, a revised lower rear bumper and new exterior trim details. The updated model also receives upgraded brakes as well as the latest version of EyeSight, Subaru’s advanced safety system. All Foresters come with full-time all-wheel drive and are powered by a 2.5-liter Boxer engine generating 182 horsepower, teamed with a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission.
Starting MSRP: $27,645
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 26 / 33 / 29
One of the vehicles that helped define the crossover segment, the Outback was all new for the 2020 model year. Constructed on Subaru’s new global platform, the Outback received updated exterior styling, a vastly improved interior, updated powertrains and the latest version of EyeSight — Subaru’s suite of advanced safety technology. All Outbacks feature Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with active torque vectoring, vehicle dynamics control, X-Mode with hill descent control and a generous 8.7 inches of ground clearance.
Starting MSRP: $25,150
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 27 / 31 / 29
The smallest SUV in Honda’s lineup, the HR-V had a strong sales increase for 2021 — one that moved it into the top 25 best-selling vehicles for the first time ever. Introduced as a 2016 model, the HR-V received exterior updates for 2019 including a new grille, headlights and taillights; revised bumpers; and two new trim levels. Offered in four trim levels — LX, Sport, EX and EX-L — the HR-V is offered in front- or all-wheel drive. Power comes from a 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine producing 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque, combined with a continuously variable transmission. Look for an all-new 2023 HR-V to arrive later this year.
Starting MSRP: $22,840
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 27 / 31 / 29
An all-new entry in the Kia lineup last year, the Seltos slots between the Soul and Sportage crossovers. With higher ground clearance and larger wheel arches that give the crossover a tough stance, the Seltos features more traditional SUV styling similar to the larger Telluride. Kia offers the Seltos in five trim levels with an emphasis on all-wheel drive, which is standard for almost every trim. Power is provided by a 2.0-liter four cylinder producing 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, teamed with Kia’s Intelligent Variable Transmission. Kia also offers a more powerful turbocharged powerplant, but fuel economy is highest for the 2.0-liter engine.
Starting MSRP: $22,800
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 28 / 33 / 30
The Hyundai Kona has always differed from the rest of the crossover market with unique styling and a sporty demeanor. This differentiation continues with the 2022 Kona, thanks to styling updates that include an updated grille, enhanced LED daytime running lights and a lower bumper fascia that flows smoothly into the wheel-arch cladding. The 2022 Kona is slightly longer than its predecessor, which translates to more cargo space and increased legroom for rear-seat passengers. Hyundai offers multiple variants of the Kona, including an electric version as well as the high-performance Kona N, but the most fuel efficient variant that doesn’t need to be plugged in is powered by a 2.0-liter engine producing 147 horsepower.
Starting MSRP: $23,145
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 28 / 33 / 30
Subaru introduced an updated Crosstrek for the 2021 model year, which resulted in strong sales that catapulted Crosstrek into position as Subaru’s current best-seller. In addition to the updated front end styling and standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, the Crosstrek is equipped with the latest version of the automaker’s advanced driver-assistance system called EyeSight. The model lineup’s most fuel-efficient option (without a plug) has a standard 2.0-liter Boxer engine that creates 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. (Subaru also offers the Crosstrek as a plug-in hybrid.)
Starting MSRP: $23,745
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 29 / 32 / 30
The Corolla Cross is a brand-new compact model from Toyota, based on the popular Corolla sedan. Although very similar in size to the C-HR, the Corolla Cross offers a smart alternative thanks to much more conservative, traditional upright SUV styling as opposed to the aggressive design, sharp angles and sloping roofline of the C-HR. Powered by a 2.0-liter engine producing 169 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque — combined with a Direct Shift CVT — the Corolla Cross comes with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of advanced active safety systems.
Starting MSRP: $49,795
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 31 / 28 / 30
One of the first luxury crossovers when it debuted as a 1998 model, the RX introduced the idea of a vehicle that combines the utility of an SUV with the ride and comfort of a luxury sedan. A few years ago, Lexus upped the utility of the RX with the addition of the RX L, which is slightly larger and offers seating for up to seven via a third row. Both the original and L versions are available as the RX 350 or the RX 450h — the latter featuring a powerful, fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain. Look for an all-new 2023 Lexus RX to arrive later this year.
Starting MSRP: $28,650
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 28 / 35 / 31
Nissan introduced an all-new Rogue for the 2021 model year. Built on a new platform with fresh styling, advanced safety features and a family friendly interior, the latest Rogue features a long list of standard equipment across all trim levels including LED headlights and taillights and alloy wheels, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Access to the rear seat improves in the new model thanks to rear doors that open nearly 90 degrees — much wider than the previous generation. Powering the Rogue is the innovative 1.5-liter variable combustion turbocharged engine that produces an impressive 201 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque.
Starting MSRP: $19,295
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 28 / 36 / 31
Not only is the Subaru Impreza one of the most affordable cars in America, it is also the lowest priced vehicle with all-wheel drive (standard on all Imprezas). Subaru’s compact entry received a slight refresh for the 2020 model year, and it has a fuel-efficient 2.0-liter Boxer engine producing 152 horsepower. Standard features on the base-level Impreza include a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a split-folding rear seat, a rearview camera and a 5-speed manual transmission. The CVT adds $1,300 to the price, although CVT-equipped Imprezas also come with Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist technology and are more fuel efficient than the manual gearbox.
Starting MSRP: $34,300
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 36 / 31 / 34
Hyundai debuts a new Santa Fe for the 2022 model year, sporting updated styling with new signature headlights, a premium interior as well as an optional hybrid powertrain. All Santa Fe variants are available with forward collision avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist detection, park collision avoidance, highway drive assist, lane-following assist and a navigation-based smart cruise control with road curve control. Hyundai offers the Santa Fe in multiple variants, although the Hybrid Blue is the most efficient non-plug-in with its Smartstream 1.6-liter turbocharged engine producing 178 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque and standard HTRAC all-wheel drive.
Starting MSRP: $41,155
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 35 / 35 / 35
The fourth-generation Toyota Highlander debuted as a 2020 model with new exterior styling, a more refined interior and a more fuel-efficient hybrid. The Highlander Hybrid is powered by the new-generation Toyota Hybrid System that combines a high-efficiency 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors for a total output of 243 horsepower in a system that’s more compact and more efficient than before. For the first time, the Highlander Hybrid is offered with front-wheel drive, achieving an EPA rating 24 percent better than the previous-generation Highlander Hybrid. The Highlander Hybrid AWD has a rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when all-wheel drive is needed. The EPA rating for the Highlander Hybrid AWD is nearly as good at 35 mpg city / 35 mpg highway / 35 mpg combined.
Starting MSRP: $35,890
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 36 / 33 / 35
Kia redesigned the popular Sorento for 2021, and at that time the crossover was offered with a hybrid powertrain for the first time — one that mates a turbocharged 1.6-liter gas engine with a 44-kW electric motor for a combined system output of 227 horsepower. For 2022 AWD becomes available with the hybrid system. Kia also offers the Sorento Plug-In Hybrid combining a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with a 66.9-kW electric motor for a combined system output of 261 horsepower with available AWD.
Starting MSRP: $29,750
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 38 / 38 / 38
Redesigned for 2022, the popular Tucson features a more expressive exterior, interior refinements and additional technology. Hyundai also adds a hybrid variant to the lineup, as well as a plug-in hybrid. The new Tucson Hybrid features a drivetrain that pairs a turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline engine producing 177 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque with a 44.2 kW electric motor for a total system output of 226 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Power gets delivered through a 6-speed automatic transmission and standard HTRAC AWD.
Starting MSRP: $29,090
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 38 / 38 / 38
Kia introduces an all-new Sportage for the 2023 model year, and like its non-hybrid sibling, the Sportage Hybrid features an exterior design that Kia dubs “Opposites United” with smooth, soft surfaces combined with sharp, modern elements. A 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine powers the new Sportage Hybrid, teamed with a 44kW permanent-magnet electric motor for a combined output of 226 horsepower. Kia offers the Sportage Hybrid with front-wheel drive or Active AWD, which uses an electro-hydraulic coupling and center-locking differential to alter power distribution from front to rear depending on driving conditions.
Starting MSRP: $32,010
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 40 / 35 / 38
Honda’s best-selling model, the CR-V crossover received an update for 2020 and for the first time was offered as a hybrid — the very first electrified utility vehicle from the Japan-based automaker. The CR-V also got updated front and rear styling, redesigned wheels and the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features. Similar to the Honda Accord Hybrid, the CR-V Hybrid uses a 2-motor hybrid powertrain that teams two electric motors with a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine for a combined output of 212 horsepower, making it the most powerful model in the CR-V lineup. The CR-V Hybrid was also the first application of this innovative hybrid powertrain in an all-wheel-drive vehicle — directing power to the rear wheels when needed.
Starting MSRP: $33,240
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 40 / 37 / 39
The Venza crossover returned to the Toyota lineup for 2021 — now offered exclusively as a hybrid with standard all-wheel drive. Production of the original Venza began in 2015, and the 2021 model introduced a new front-end look to the Toyota lineup with sleek headlights that flow from the upper grille into the sculpted hood. The Venza is powered exclusively by a new-generation Toyota Hybrid System that teams a high-efficiency 2.5-liter gas engine with three electric motors for a total output rated at 219 horsepower. Three driving modes are offered: Normal, Eco and Sport. An EV mode allows electric-only driving over short distances. Electronic on-demand all-wheel drive uses a separate rear-mounted electric motor to deliver power to the rear wheels as conditions warrant.
Starting MSRP: $42,625
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 41 / 37 / 39
Lexus updates the NX for the 2022 model year, giving the compact crossover fresh styling inside and out, a major improvement in the multimedia system and the addition of a powerful yet efficient plug-in hybrid variant. The NX 350h is equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine matched with two electric motors — one driving the front wheels, another at the rear. Total output for the hybrid system is 239 horsepower.
Starting MSRP: $36,825
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 41 / 38 / 39
The UX is the first Lexus vehicle to use the brand’s Global Architecture — Compact platform, providing the new crossover with a rigid structure and low center of gravity designed to deliver both agile handling and improved ride comfort. The exterior styling is similar to the larger NX and RX models but more aggressive, with a large spindle grille that dominates the front view. The UX 250h is powered by a fourth-generation hybrid system with a total output of 181 horsepower. The hybrid uses the Lexus E-Four all-wheel-drive system that adds another electric motor at the rear axle for additional traction.
Starting MSRP: $29,575
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 41 / 38 / 40
One of the original compact crossovers on the American market, the RAV4 Hybrid joined the lineup in 2016, but this latest version boasts bold styling, improved capability, better performance and an array of new safety and convenience features. The next-gen Toyota Hybrid System II in the RAV4 Hybrid is more compact, more efficient and quieter than the previous version, working together with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force gasoline engine. Power gets delivered to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission, and the new e-AWD system adds an independent electric motor to proactively deliver torque to the rear wheels depending on conditions.
Starting MSRP: $31,685
MPG (city / hwy / combined): 43 / 37 / 40
Ford has the distinction of being the first manufacturer to offer a hybrid crossover via the 2005 Escape Hybrid, and in 2020 the company brought back this innovative vehicle with the all-new Escape SE Sport Hybrid. Featuring fresh styling, new equipment and fuel-efficient engine options, the Escape Hybrid is even available as a plug-in variant. The Escape Hybrid powertrain features a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine teamed with an electric motor to produce a total of 200 horsepower delivered through an electronic CVT.
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