With the rising cost of gas, you’ve probably been thinking more about fuel efficiency, but that doesn’t mean you suddenly don’t need the passenger space, cargo space, and capability that comes with a crossover. We dug deep into the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) fuel economy tables to find the 10 most fuel-efficient crossovers that still give you all-wheel drive.
While we didn’t include plug-in hybrid models (they’re all great on fuel, especially when you can use electric power), this list is still heavy on hybrid models that pair one or more electric motors with their gasoline engines to boost fuel economy. But even if you don’t want a hybrid, there are a few conventional gas-powered crossovers on this list with AWD that are still very efficient.
We’ve sorted this list by the combined fuel economy, counting down to the most fuel-efficient. If there was a tie, we broke it using NRCan’s own sorting method. All prices include the non-negotiable destination fee.
10. Toyota Corolla Cross AWD ($28,180)
8.1 / 7.4 / 7.8 L/100 km city/highway/combined
Our list starts with a gas-only crossover in the 10th spot. The Toyota Corolla Cross starts from $28,180 in L AWD trim. It offers heated front seats, LED headlights, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Helping it achieve its fuel economy rating is a 2.0L four-cylinder engine making 169 hp and paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Engine start-stop helps to save fuel while you’re sitting at a stoplight and makes sure you aren’t burning gas needlessly at idle.
9. Nissan Rogue 1.5L AWD ($37,628)
8.4 / 6.7 / 7.6 L/100 km city/highway/combined
Nissan’s 1.5L Variable Compression turbocharged engine was a new addition to the Rogue lineup this year and it’s a big part of why this SUV is so efficient even though it’s not a hybrid. The 1.5L three-cylinder can adjust its compression ratio (the amount the air-fuel mix that is compressed inside the engine) to be more efficient when you’re cruising and more powerful when you’re not. It makes 201 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque, 11 and 24 per cent more than the 2.5L four-cylinder Rogue, respectively, but offers significantly improved fuel economy. Limited to the SV trim and higher, the 1.5T also comes with ProPilot Assist advanced driver assistance, panoramic moonroof, heated front seats and steering wheel, and more.
8. Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid ($43,624)
7.1 / 7.9 / 7.4 L/100 km city/highway/combined
The Hyundai Santa Fe is a three-row crossover for buyers who need plenty of space (up to 2,041L of cargo room) but don’t want to spend all their cash at the gas pumps. Under the hood is a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission tuned for fuel economy. Combined with a permanent-magnet hybrid motor and starter-generator, total system power is 225 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. A compact polymer battery holds 1.5 kWh. The entry-level hybrid model is the Preferred trim, which also features a full range of driver assists, heated seats and wheel, LED lights, and acoustically laminated front glass.
7. Toyota Highlander Hybrid ($48,640)
6.7 / 6.8 / 6.7 L/100 km city/highway/combined
One of the first crossovers to offer hybrid power, the Highlander has grown since its origins, but Toyota has made some innovative changes to help boost fuel economy. Its clever all-wheel drive system uses an electric motor mounted in the rear. This lets Toyota skip the weight and drag of a driveshaft and transfer case while keeping the benefits of sending power to all four wheels. The 2.5L four-cylinder engine uses the Atkinson cycle, an engine combustion cycle that helps boost fuel efficiency. With engine and motors combined, it makes 243 hp. All Highlander Hybrid models offer Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
6. Kia Sorento Hybrid ($38,595)
6.4 / 7.0 / 6.6 L/100 km city/highway/combined
Kia’s three-row Sorento got sharp new looks and a sharp new powertrain option for 2022. The 1.6L turbo four-cylinder is paired with a six-speed automatic and a permanent magnet electric motor. It makes 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. With 357L of cargo space behind the third row, and up to 1,274 with it folded, the Sorento offers a good balance of cargo and passenger space. Kia makes the Sorento hybrid available even in LX trim, with seating for six and many of the model’s best driver assistance features. This lets buyers get hybrid fuel economy without needing to get all of the luxury trimmings with it.
5. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid ($40,924)
6.3 / 6.6 / 6.4 L/100 km city/highway/combined
Like the other Hyundai and Kia models on this list, the Tucson uses a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Hyundai saves the hybrid driveline for the Luxury and Ultimate trim levels of the model, not offering it on lower-spec vehicles. That means you get loads of luxury features like Bose audio, a digital dash, ventilated front seats, and ultrasonic sensors to detect if you’ve left a passenger behind. It also means that it is more expensive than some of the other crossovers with better fuel economy ratings. If you’re already looking for those comfort features, though, keep that in mind when you’re shopping.
4. Toyota Venza ($41,040)
5.9 / 6.4 / 6.1 L/100 km city/highway/combined
Toyota’s stylish Venza is the only model on this list that is sold exclusively as a hybrid, so no matter which trim you pick, you’re going to get impressive fuel economy. The Venza LE features a 2.5L four-cylinder engine combined with Toyota’s hybrid drive system for a total of 219 hp. Like with the Highlander, AWD comes from an electric motor mounted in the rear instead of a conventional driveshaft. The Venza comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels and a power tailgate as well as heated front seats.
3. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid ($35,240)
5.8 / 6.3 / 6.0 L/100 km city/highway/combined
As the hybrid version of the best-selling crossover in Canada, the RAV4 Hybrid expands on the rugged looks of the standard model and replaces the powertrain with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and electric motor for 219 hp total. The RAV4 can even tow up to 794 kg. Picking the hybrid means you can’t get some of the RAV4’s special models like the Trail, but with five grades available, the RAV4 offers more choices than most vehicles on this list. Standard equipment includes heated front seats and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 with blind spot monitoring.
2. Lexus NX 350h ($52,045)
5.7 / 6.4 / 6.0 L/100 km city/highway/combined
You may not have expected the only model on this list from a luxury brand to take the second spot, but the all-new Lexus NX does a commendable job of consuming as little fuel as possible. With 240 hp, it’s also one of the more powerful models on the list. Heated leatherette seats are standard, with ventilated seats available. It uses an all-new Lexus infotainment system that has enhanced natural speech voice controls with advanced connectivity features. It also has the wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
1. Ford Escape Hybrid AWD ($37,594)
5.5 / 6.4 / 5.9 L/100 km city/highway/combined
The Ford Escape was the first hybrid crossover on the market way back in 2005, so maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the latest model at the top of this list. The Escape AWD offers impressive fuel economy, but makes AWD an option, instead of a separate grade like some others, so make sure you’ve ticked the right box when you’re ordering one. Ford uses a 2.5L Atkinson cycle four-cylinder and electric motor to produce 200 hp. Total cargo space behind the second row is an impressive 974L thanks to a sliding seat, letting you bring plenty of gear on your fuel-sipping adventures.