True MPG: most efficient prestige SUVs
What Car?'s True MPG tests show what fuel economy you can really expect from a car. Here we reveal the best-performing prestige SUVs we've ever tested...
The official government MPG figures published in sales brochures can tempt you into buying 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, we use strictly controlled laboratory conditions, but the tests are based on a real-world route that takes in town, rural and motorway driving.
The results reflect what's achievable if you’re driving gently and sticking to speed limits but aren’t resorting to any unrealistically slow acceleration or special 'hypermiling' techniques.
Below, we count down the 10 most efficient prestige SUVs we've tested to date. After all, while you're unlikely to be considering one of these cars if you're on a tight budget, that doesn't mean you want to throw money away unnecessarily.
The 10 most fuel-efficient prestige SUVs:
10. BMW X5 xDrive30d
True MPG 34.1mpg
The X5 is a huge car that can seat up to seven people, even if adults will be rather cramped in its third row. However, don't go thinking that its bulk means you'll spend a fortune on fuel; if you buy the 3.0-litre diesel version, more than 34mpg is realistic.
9. Volvo XC40 D4
True MPG 35.4mpg
Volvo's XC40 is a former What Car? Car of the Year, which should immediately give you some idea of how impressive it is. In addition to being efficient enough to make this list, it's good to drive, as safe and practical as you'd expect a Volvo to be, and has a classier interior than most similarly priced rivals.
8. Volvo XC60 D4
True MPG 36.5mpg
The XC60 isn't as easy to recommend as the XC40, mainly because its ride is on the firm side. However, it does have a slightly better True MPG figure, despite being a bigger car.
7. Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2D 210
True MPG 37.5mpg
If your top priority is a plush interior, the Stelvio is best avoided, because it features too many lightweight plastics, despite a recent upgrade. On the other hand, if you're more interested in nimble handling, few large SUVs will suit you better.
6. Audi Q3 35 TFSI
True MPG 38.0mpg
This rival to the XC40 returns an extra 2.6mpg, despite the fact we tested a petrol Q3 and a diesel XC40. What's more, the Q3 is decent to drive and you get a classy, high-tech interior. Just bear in mind that the Q3's ride is quite a bit firmer.
True MPG 39.0mpg
For a more rounded large SUV than the Stelvio that's even easier on fuel, look no further than the latest Audi Q5. Okay, it's not as much fun in the corners, but it offers more space, a classier interior, a more sophisticated infotainment system and a smoother and quieter four-cylinder diesel engine.
4. Audi Q2 35 TFSI
True MPG 39.2mpg
It may be Audi's smallest and cheapest SUV, but the Q2 still feels suitably premium inside. What's more, it offers entertaining handling to go with the 35 TFSI petrol model's True MPG figure of 39.2.
3. BMW X2 xDrive20d
True MPG 39.6
If you're shopping for an SUV because you like the idea of a commanding driving position, you should cross the X2 off your list, because it barely places you any higher than most family hatchbacks. However, if you're more interested in a sharp drive and want both punchy performance and impressive frugality, it's a fine choice.
2. DS 4 Crossback 1.2 Puretech 130
True MPG 42.6mpg
The runner-up spot on this list goes to the DS 4 Crossback, but look past the 42.6mpg that it managed in our hands and there's little to recommend it. Not only is its ride far too stiff, but the interior feels cheap and it's not very practical.
1. Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI 150
True MPG 45.3mpg
This version of the Q2 has now been discontinued, but it's well worth seeking out if you decide to buy used, because its True MPG of 45.3 is the best figure of any prestige SUV we've tested.
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