Good news: you need not go electric — or even hybrid — to drive a crossover that ranks among the most fuel-efficient. And you needn’t spend a bundle: some of the most frugal cost under $27,000. We base our Top 11 Fuel-Efficient New Crossover SUVs on combined city-highway mileage ratings or, for models that can drive on electricity, on MPGe, what the Environmental Protection Agency calculates as the equivalent of gasoline mpg. Since crossovers are designed to provide a go-anywhere edge — thanks to available all-wheel drive (awd) and extra ground clearance — our rankings prioritize the EPA ratings of the awd version. (Note that base prices include manufacturer destination fees, which average about $900.)
1. Tesla Model X: Road-Rocket Science
Base price range (est): $81,200-$115,200
EPA fuel-economy rating: 92 MPGe
Elon Musk’s Space X makes rockets and now his Tesla Motors Model X crossover can launch you and six passengers on adventures of your own. Landing in showrooms in late 2016, this all-electric SUV
comes with front and rear motors providing standard awd and can travel up to 257 miles on a charge. Among its unique features are articulated “falcon wing” motorized side doors that hinge skyward to provide access to the second- and third-row seats while taking up less than 12 inches along the vehicle’s flanks. Essentially a heavier, taller-riding, wagon version of Tesla’s all-electric Model S luxury sedan
, the Model X offers three grades of price, range, and performance. The entry-level 70D version is expected to list for $81,200, travel 220 miles on a charge, and do 0-60 mph in 6.0 seconds. There was no MPGe rating for the 70D in time for this report, but the 90D rates 92 MPGe with a 257-mile range. Tesla pegs it at 4.8 seconds 0-60 mph. It’ll be priced between the 70D and the top-line P90D, which is expected to start around $115,000. The P is for “performance,” meaning 762 horsepower and 713 pound-feet of torque and 0-60 in just 3.8 seconds (3.2 with the Ludicrous Speed-mode option). It’s rated 89 MPGe with a 250-mile range. Like the Tesla sedan
, the Model X combines astounding levels of speed and handling with a Silicon Valley aura of bold design and brainy thinking.