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...

Most efficient prestige SUVs - True MPG

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:

BMW X5 2020 RHD front cornering

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.

Read our full BMW X5 review >>

9. Volvo XC40 D4

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Volvo XC40 D4 R-Design front three quarters

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.

Read our full Volvo XC40 review >>

8. Volvo XC60 D4

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Volvo XC60 T8

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.

Read our full Volvo XC60 review >>

7. Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2D 210

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Long-term Alfa Romeo Stelvio front

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.

Read our full Alfa Romeo Stelvio review >>

6. Audi Q3 35 TFSI

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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.

2019 Audi SQ5 front - grey

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.

Read our full Audi Q5 review >>

4. Audi Q2 35 TFSI

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Audi Q2 vs DS 4 Crossback vs Seat Ateca

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.

Read our full Audi Q2 review >>

3. BMW X2 xDrive20d

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BMW X2 front

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.

Read our full BMW X2 review >>

2. DS 4 Crossback 1.2 Puretech 130

DS 4 Crossback

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.

2018 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI 190 quattro review - price, specs and release date

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.

Read our full Audi Q2 review >>

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