SUVs and crossovers remain one of the auto industry’s hottest tickets — in April, sales were up 14 per cent compared to the year previous. Automakers have definitely taken notice, and are doing all they can to get ahead in this fiercely competitive space by improving areas such as fuel economy. Today’s utility vehicles are more efficient than ever before, and we’ve ranked some of the top performers in order of lowest liters per 100 kilometres consumed.
The Hyundai Tucson has just undergone a complete redesign, now embodying the company’s current Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language. Along with improved looks and more interior space, the small SUV in front-wheel drive form boasts a compact 2.0-litre four-cylinder powerplant rated at 10.1 L/100 km in city driving and 7.6 on the highway.
In terms of fuel savings, the Honda CR-V has always delivered since its inception four generations ago. The current model, refreshed in 2012, continues that tradition with fuel consumption numbers of 8.8 L/100 km (city) and 6.9 (highway) for the base FWD version. All-wheel drive is slightly higher at 9.5 and 7.5, respectively.
Situated size-wise in-between the CR-V and the Fit hatchback is the HR-V subcompact crossover introduced last year. The 1.8 L four-cylinder engine matched with FWD and the continuously variable transmission will yield a thrifty 8.3 L/100 km (city) and 6.7 (highway).
Mazda has been praised for the sharp design of the CX-5 and its impressive SKYACTIV powertrain that produces increased output while decreasing the amount of fuel used. Available with either a 155-horsepower 2.0 L motor in the GX trim or 184 hp 2.5 L in the GS and above, the former will net 9.0 L/100 km (city) and 6.8 (highway) if mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Like Honda and several other manufacturers, Mazda jumped on the subcompact crossover bandwagon releasing the CX-3 in 2015. This younger sibling of the CX-5 achieves 8.5 L/100 km (city) and 6.7 (highway) when equipped with the standard 2.0 L four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual gearbox. These figures helped it earn the distinction of being named AJAC Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year.