• Image Credit: Mini

Popular meets environmentally friendly

If you've been paying even a little bit of attention to the auto industry, you know that people can't get enough of crossovers and SUVs for their style and practicality. At the same time, we're facing down an increasingly bleak picture of climate change, so how can someone resolve the desire for a crossover but not make too much of an impact on the environment? Well, you could try one of these crossovers, the 20 most efficient ones we could find for sale today. They include full EVs, hybrids and even a couple of conventional internal-combustion vehicles. And they range from affordable to pretty darn expensive.
  • Image Credit: Hyundai

2019 Hyundai Kona: 120 MPGe, $37,995

The king of the efficient crossovers was obviously going to be an electric; after all, they don't use any gas. But they still use energy, and some are a little better at it than others. The best is the 2019 Hyundai Kona electric with a combined fuel economy equivalence of 120 MPGe. The electrified Kona has also impressed us with its nippy handling and gutsy acceleration from its 201-horsepower electric motor. It also packs an impressive 258-mile estimated range.
  • Image Credit: Kia

2019 Kia Soul EV: 114 MPGe, $TBD

The 2019 Kia Soul EV is close behind the Kona with a combined fuel economy equivalence of 114 MPGe. It also has a slightly worse range of 243 miles. Still, the numbers are close to the Kona, and you get an arguably better looking car. You also get the same 201-horsepower motor with 291 pound-feet of torque. If you can't spring for the electric Soul, though, you can also get a highly efficient gas-powered version called the Soul Eco Dynamics that delivers 31 mpg combined. That number would beat a couple other models listed, here.
  • Image Credit: Kia

2019 Kia Niro EV: 112 MPGe, $TBD

Rounding out the trio of Korean electrics at the top of our list is the 2019 Kia Niro EV. It once again has the same potent motor as the other two, but it's the least efficient with a rating of 112 MPGe. One of our editors reports it also has a sportier feel than the Kona. An arguable advantage is that the Niro EV has styling that's less polarizing than the boxy Soul and angry Kona. And if you can't stretch to the electric, or need more fueling flexibility, the Niro comes in normal hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms. The former gets up to 50 mpg combined, and the latter 105 mpg with a full charge or 46 mpg with a drained battery.
  • Image Credit: Tesla

2019 Tesla Model X: 87 MPGe, $90,700

Next up is the 2019 Tesla Model X. It's currently only available in Long-Range or Performance. The Long-Range model is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the more efficient of the two with a rating of 87 MPGe and a range of 295 miles. The Performance model is rated at 85 MPGe with a range of 289 miles. Both return impressive performance with 0 to 60 mph times of under 5 seconds for the Long Range and under 4 seconds for the base Performance. The Ludicrous Mode option drops the Performance model's estimated time to under 3 seconds.
  • Image Credit: James Riswick

2019 Jaguar I-Pace: 76 MPGe, $70,525

With a combined 76 MPGe rating, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace falls a bit behind the Tesla, as does its 234-mile range. But it's still quite quick with 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque. It also costs about $10,000 less than the cheapest Model X. Its curvy bodywork and unique shape also make it a visual stunner.
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2020 Audi E-Tron: 74 MPGe, $75,795

The least efficient of the EVs on this list is the 2020 Audi E-Tron. It's just barely behind the Jaguar on efficiency at 74 MPGe, though its range is on the short side at just 204 miles. The Audi does offer normalcy compared with the other EVs; it looks like a regular Audi crossover outside and it has a normal Audi interior. And that's all good, because Audi's are handsome, and their interiors are incredibly high-quality with beautiful materials. It's also still pretty quick with 360 horsepower and 414 pound-feet of torque.
  • Image Credit: Subaru

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid: 90 MPG / 35 MPG, $35,970

Now we come to gas-powered crossovers, and the winner is the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid delivering 90 mpg with a full charge, and 35 mpg combined on gas alone. It can also go up to 17 miles on electric power only. It's not particularly quick with just 148 combined horsepower, but it does bring standard all-wheel drive. It also has the same 8.7 inches of ground clearance and rugged fender flares as its non-hybrid siblings, so you aren't giving up any capability or looks. You do lose some cargo space due to the battery, though.
  • Image Credit: Lexus

2019 Lexus UX250h: 42 MPG, $36,050

The 2019 Lexus UX250h is a conventional hybrid in that it can't be plugged in. But it still returns an impressive 42 mpg combined, which would beat a drained Crosstrek Hybrid. The UX250h also comes with standard all-wheel drive since the rear wheels are powered by an electric motor. It's also the most powerful version of the UX with 181 combined horsepower. It also features some of the most interesting design work from Lexus on this side of the LC coupe.
  • Image Credit: Toyota

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: 40 MPG, $28,795

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid uses the same sort of powertrain layout as the Lexus UX, but with a bigger engine. It manages 40 mpg combined, but it's a bigger crossover, and it has more power at 219 horses, the most available on a RAV4. And because the powertrain layout is similar to the UX, the RAV4 Hybrid has standard all-wheel drive. The new RAV4 is the most stylish it has ever been, particularly on the inside that features many delectable details and chunky rubber grab points.
  • Image Credit: Mitsubishi

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: 74 MPG / 25 MPG, $37,175

We're back to plug-in hybrids with the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. It has a healthy 74 MPG rating on a full charge, but that drops to a barely average 25 mpg combined with a drained battery. But it does offer a solid 22 miles of electric range. It also features all-wheel drive, 197 horsepower, and a quiet and comfortable driving experience, but it also has a very dated and cheap interior.
  • Image Credit: Brandon Turkus

2019 Nissan Rogue Hybrid: 34 MPG, $28,745

The 2019 Nissan Rogue Hybrid may be the most mundane-looking of the cars featured here, but it does bring a solid fuel economy rating of 34 mpg combined. It can also be ordered with your choice of front-drive or all-wheel drive, though the latter will cost you one mpg combined. With 176 horsepower, the Rogue Hybrid is also slightly more potent than the regular Rogue.
  • Image Credit: Mini

2019 Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4: 65 MPG / 27 MPG, $37,750

The 2019 Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 manages up to 65 mpg with a full charge, and an OK rating of 27 mpg on just gas. It can go up to 12 miles on just electricity if you really want to. But the real appeal is that it may be the most fun hybrid you can get. It makes VW GTI-rivaling numbers of 221 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque, and it sends its power to all four wheels. And of course it has the nippy handling that distinguishes the brand.
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2018 Volvo XC60 T8: 58 MPG / 26 MPG, $56,295

The 2019 Volvo XC60 T8 is the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid version of Volvo's midsize crossover. It hits 58 mpg combined on a full charge and 26 mpg on just gas. It will go 17 miles on just electricity. Like all Volvos, it's gorgeous with a clean, broad-shouldered exterior, and a comfortable, inviting, modern interior. As an added perk, the T8 has 400 horsepower and standard all-wheel drive.
  • Image Credit: Volvo

2020 Volvo XC90: 58 MPG / 25 MPG, $67,995 (2019)

Barely behind the XC60 is its bigger sibling, the 2020 Volvo XC90 T8. It has the same 58 mpg rating on a full charge as the XC60, and the 25 mpg rating on an empty battery is just 1 mpg below the XC60. It also has the same 400-horsepower powertrain and all-wheel drive. But it's bigger and has a third row. You might wonder why you wouldn't just get the XC90, and then you see that it costs about $10,000 more. But if you need the space, the XC90 is a good way to go.
  • Image Credit: James Riswick

2019 Nissan Kicks: 33 MPG, $18,640

The 2019 Nissan Kicks represents our first non-electrified entrant. Its 1.6-liter four-cylinder sends just 125 horsepower to the front wheels, but it returns an impressive 33 mpg combined. It also doesn't feel too slow thanks to a curb weight of just over 2,600 pounds. It's roomy and cheap, too. A solid option if you want to be green on a budget.
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2019 Chevy Equinox Diesel: 32 MPG, $30,795

The 2019 Chevy Equinox is one of just two diesels on this list. It provides 32 mpg combined whether you pick it with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Its 137 horsepower isn't especially impressive, but its 240 pound-feet of torque is. That gives it good around-town grunt, but it's also quite noisy.
  • Image Credit: James Riswick

2018 GMC Terrain SLT Diesel: 32 MPG, $32,995

The only other diesel on the list is the Equinox's twin, the 2019 GMC Terrain Diesel. It gets the same combined fuel economy of 32 mpg with both drivetrains. It's also just as torquey and noisy. Just choose the one that looks best to you.
  • Image Credit: Lexus

2019 Lexus NX300h: 31 MPG, $40,885

Here we have another appearance of a hybrid Lexus. The 2019 Lexus NX300h has the same hybrid system as the UX and RAV4 meaning all-wheel drive with electrically-driven rear wheels. It only gets 31 mpg combined, though, and it makes less power than the RAV4 at 194 horses. It does bring a bit of badge cred, though, as well as a seriously distinctive exterior.
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips

2019 Mazda CX-3: 31 MPG, $21,435

The second of our purely gas-powered is the 2019 Mazda CX-3. With a combined fuel economy rating of 31 mpg, it's not quite as efficient as the Kicks, nor is it as spacious. But it has the superb handling and design of bigger Mazdas, and a decent amount of power at 148 horses.
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e: 56 MPG / 25 MPG, $51,645

Bringing up the rear of these efficient people-movers is the 2019 Mercedes-BEnz GLC 350e. It gets 56 mpg combined with a full charge, and 25 mpg on just gas. It can only go up to 9 miles on just electricity. But it does have a healthy 320 horsepower and all-wheel drive. It also looks and feels just like any other Mercedes GLC-Class.
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