True MPG: best and worst SUVs 2019

What Car?'s True MPG tests show what you can really expect from a car. Here, we reveal the most and least efficient SUVs we've ever tested...

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Darren Moss
14 November 2018

Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Suzuki Ignis, Renault Kadjar, Kia Sportage

The mpg figures published in sales brochures can be one of the main reasons for choosing a particular car, but those results are often misleading. Fortunately, What Car?'s True MPG tests reveal what sort of fuel economy you can expect in the real world.

To ensure accuracy and repeatability, our tests are conducted under strictly controlled laboratory conditions, but are based on a real route that takes in urban, A-road and motorway driving.

In this story we'll look at the most (and least) efficient SUVs we've tested so far. SUVs are among the most popular vehicle types in the UK, but many still associate them with high running costs. Fortunately, as our results prove, that's not necessarily the case.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Our most recent result in this class is for Alfa Romeo's Stelvio, tested in 2.2-litre diesel form. While its official fuel economy stands at 40.4mpg, its True MPG result is a more achievable 37.5mpg. So how does the Stelvio's result stack up to the best SUVs? Read on to find out.

The most (and least) fuel efficient SUVs

10. Seat Arona 1.0

Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

Official fuel economy 57.6mpg True MPG 45.9mpg Shortfall 20%

The Arona is a fantastic small SUV – in fact, it's our reigning champion in this market. It's roomier inside than most rivals, is good to drive and should hold onto its value very well. The fact that its interior can't quite match up to premium rivals in terms of quality is the only small negative.

The 1.0-litre petrol engine we've tested here is our pick of the range. As well as being the cheapest option, it's never frustratingly slow, and can get you up to motorway speeds fairly quickly.

Read our full Seat Arona review

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9. Vauxhall Mokka X 1.6 CDTi 136

Vauxhall Mokka X

Official fuel economy 65.7mpg True MPG 47.0mpg Shortfall 28.4%

Vauxhall's Mokka X is a popular choice in the UK, thanks to its chunky looks and long list of standard equipment.

If you go for the Mokka X's 1.6-litre diesel engine, you can add good fuel economy to its list of attributes – although the lower-powered 110 version of this engine is smoother. Unfortunately, no matter which version you choose, the car is noisy and uncomfortable, with numb steering.

Read our full Vauxhall Mokka X review

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8. Suzuki Vitara 1.6

Suzuki Vitara

Official fuel economy: 53.3mpg; True MPG: 47.7mpg; Shortfall: 10.5%

While the original Suzuki Vitara was a tiny, rugged 4x4, the latest version is more of a rival to city-friendly models, such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur. Spacious and neatly finished, it's the most efficient petrol SUV we've tested so far.

Read our full Suzuki Vitara review

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Next: more of the most fuel efficient SUVs >