Think of a luxury SUV – a Cadillac Escalade or Range Rover – and conspicuous consumption may come to mind. But an increasing number of luxury shoppers look to crossovers and SUVs that deliver prestige and style — but with fewer stops at the gas pump. Here’s your guide to the five most fuel-efficient premium SUVs on sale today. All are crossovers; no old-school body-on-frame truck-type wagons here. And all have base prices over $40,000 (excluding options but including the manufacturer destination fee, which average about $900).
The EPA rates most luxury crossovers and SUVs between 17 and 21 mpg city/highway combined. Our five average just under 26 mpg combined, and all have all-wheel drive. That’s how most crossovers and SUVs are equipped. And since our focus is on true luxury brands, you won’t see such vehicles as the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel or Toyota Highlander Hybrid on the list, even though both have $47,000-plus base prices and rate 24 and 28 mpg combined, respectively
To make our list, some luxury rides rely on a gas/electric hybrid drivetrain, others depend on a diesel engine, some have a sixth-sense for efficiency and use a small turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can shut down at a stop and restart with the release of the brake pedal. Finally, if your ideal SUV is inconspicuous and shuns overconsumption, check out CarPreview’s 2014 Best Mileage SUVs under $40,000.
Here are our Five Top Fuel-Efficient SUVs Over $40,000
2015 Lexus RX 450h
Base price: $49,755
Fuel-economy rating: 29 mpg city/highway combined