Real-world MPG: most economical SUVs

Our True MPG team has tested a variety of large SUVs. Here's the top 10, all of which return more than 38mpg.

What Car?’s technicians drive new cars every week to capture our True MPG fuel economy data. Unlike official Government figures generated by laboratory tests, the numbers we publish are gained from real-world conditions.

This week we’re looking at the most economical large SUVs that we’ve tested so far, including the Nissan Qashqai, with its efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine. If you’re looking for a large SUV that won’t break the bank at the filling station, these are the models to choose from; they all beat 38mpg in our test.

1. Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi 360: official 55.4mpg; True MPG 50.8mpg
As a former What Car? Car of the Year winner, the Nissan Qashqai excells in almost every area. It's economical, classy inside and extremely refined, while also retaining all the practicality we've come to expect from the best SUVs. 

2. Kia Sportage 1.7 3 Sat Nav CRDi: official 52.3mpg; True MPG 49.7mpg
Kia's large SUV is well priced and well equipped, and it comes with Kia's seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. It may not have the best ride or the most practical cabin, but the Sportage is a very economical choice.

3. Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC SE – official 50.4mpg; True MPG 47.6mpg
Honda's CR-V majors on space, offering a large boot and plenty of interior space. It's also easy to drive, but it remains an expensive choice next to some of its rivals. The CR-V also managed an impressive 50.1mpg on the motorway.

4. Toyota RAV4 2.0 D-4D Icon — official 57.6mpg; True MPG 46.9mpg
Toyota's crossover is more expensive than some rivals, most notably the Mazda CX-5, but it does offer a large cabin and impressive boot space. Most versions are well equipped, too.

5. Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDi 4Motion Bluemotion Sport — official 47.0mpg; True MPG 46.7mpg
The Volkswagen Tiguan is a classy and versatile SUV. Most engines in the range are refined, and the cabin is loaded with plenty of safety and security equipment. It also offers a pleasant driving experience thanks to its practical cabin.

6. Nissan X-Trail 1.6 N-tec — official 53.3mpg; True MPG 45.7mpg
The X-Trail is one of the best seven-seat SUVs around, combining a practical cabin with excellent levels of standard equipment. Some rivals have stronger engines, but the X-Trail remains a very economical choice.

7. Porsche Macan 3.0 V6 S diesel — official 44.8mpg; True MPG 40.7mpg
When you think of Porsche, fuel economy isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. However, the diesel Porsche Macan performed well in our real-word testing. The Porsche Macan is the best-handling SUV on sale, and it has one of the highest quality cabins to go with it.

8. Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi 4WD Premium – official 46.3mpg; True MPG 40.4mpg
We rate the Santa Fe fairly well at What Car?, giving the current version a four-star rating. It's a flexible and practical seven-seat SUV, and its 2.2-litre diesel engine is economical.

9. Volvo XC60 2.0 D4 — official 60.1mpg; True MPG 42.8mpg
The Volvo XC60 has a spacious, versatile and appealing cabin, smooth motorway manners and loads of safety kit. It’s also available with large discounts, which makes it even more attractive.

10. Mini Paceman 1.6 Cooper S – official 46.3mpg; True MPG 38.9mpg
The Mini Paceman is a stylish choice, offering some of the practicality of the larger Countryman, while retaining the stylish appeal of the hatchback. Residual values are strong, too, and the standard equipment list is long.

We add new models to our True MPG database every week. Visit to see the full range of cars we’ve tested, and find out what you really can expect to achieve on UK roads.


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