Who said these big boys can’t run efficiently?

The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.

Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.

Lexus NX 300h

2016 Lexus NX200t – Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 666471

This luxury compact SUV is a practical choice if you’re looking for a vehicle with space and efficiency. The Lexus NX 300h is a five-seater vehicle with fancy looks and spacious interior. Riding on 17-inch wheels, the car has a very strong presence.

The interior is feature-rich, and get stuff like moonroof, heated steering wheel, and navigation system, to name a few.

Safety-wise also the car is well-equipped. However, the car has a very poor cargo space.

The NX 300h comes with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and electric motor that produces a combines output of 194 horsepower. Power is sent to the front wheels via a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) system. While it may seem decent on paper, the NX300h is a weak performer on road. The engine setup is underwhelming for a car so well-equipped otherwise.

Call it a blessing in disguise if you want, but this "weak" engine delivers 34 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg in the city. The figures are above average for a car in this segment. A 2016 model in the used market is available for around $34,000.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Lexus NX 300h 32 34 30 $34,000

Read our full review on the 2016 Lexus NX.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2016 Toyota RAV4 – Driving Impression And Review
- image 658931
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is one of the most economical propositions on the market today.

On the outside, the car borrowed design cues from the Prius. It sits pretty on 18-inch wheels in the top-trim. The interior is basic and functional, and uses a 6.1-inch touchscreen unit on the higher trims, along with creature comforts like rear-view camera, keyless start/stop, and more. In terms of utility, the car is a tad bit smaller than the regular RAV4, including the interior space or the cargo space. In terms of safety, the car is a typical Toyota, and comes packed with all the software and hardware.

The RAV4 gets a 2.5 liter, I-4 engine with three electric motors that churn out a combined output of 194 horses. Power is sent to the wheels via a CVT transmission. One thing is clear – the RAV4 Hybrid is drab to drive. It has a towing capacity of 1750 pounds – 250 pounds more than the gasoline RAV4.

The RAV4 delivers 34 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg in the city. However, the car can drive on EV mode only for 0.6 miles! You can find used RAV4 hybrids for around $24,000.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 32 34 30 $24,000

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Toyota RAV4.

Honda HR-V

2016 - 2017 Honda HR-V
- image 788399
This car from the Japanese stable is pretty impressive overall, and scores well in the looks department.

It comes fitted with 17-inch alloys, and has a nice, aggressive stance as well. It’s on the inside where the car scores so well. Despite being a cute little crossover, the HR-V is surprisingly spacious on the inside, and pretty versatile as well. At the end of the day, this is the cabin you’d want to return to. The icing on the cake are the magic seats. Thanks to the multiple arrangements, you can extract maximum cargo space for those airport or IKEA runs.

The car features a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 141 horses and 127 pound-feet of torque. Going by the standards of this list, the HR-V is not a strong runner. In the top-trim, power is sent to all the wheels via a six-speed CVT system.

The HR-V delivers 34 mpg on the highway and 28 in the city. While the fuel economy is good, but don’t forget that it comes on the cost of power and displacement, but also let’s not forget that this is an internal combustion car and not a hybrid. A 2016 HR-V can be availed for around $18,500.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Honda HR-V 31 28 34 $18,500

Read our full review on the 2016 - 2017 Honda HR-V.

Mazda CX-3

2016 - 2017 Mazda CX-3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 578346

The Mazda CX-3 gets an upright stance with an intimidating face that will stand out in the crowd. The five-seater is a well-rounded car, but could never get the sales figures for Mazda.

The car is good for urban use, both in terms of size and performance.

The interior is feature-rich, especially in the top-trim model. The CX-3 offers LED headlights, DRLs, a heads-up display, and paddle shifters, to name a few. However, the car is tight on space. "Healthy" folks will fight with each other for space inside the CX-3. The boot is compact as well, and can carry luggage for just a two or three-day trip.

The engine is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit that produces 146 horses and 146 pound-feet of torque. While the figures are just about adequate on paper, the car surprisingly handles well in the city. On highways, the CX-3 will gasp for breath.

Due to the underpowered engine employed, the CX-3 manages to extract maximum distance from every drop of fuel. On highway, it delivers 35 mpg, and 29 mpg in the city. For some reason, the Mazda CX-3 never sold well, so you can find a good, used one for about $18,500. Perhaps, the mediocre sales figure is the reason for its low resale value, and why you must get your hands on it.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Mazda CX-3 31 29 35 $18,500

Read our full review on the 2016 - 2017 Mazda CX-3.

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek - Driven
- image 624429

“What an ass!” is probably what you’ll say when you see the XV Crosstek. It feels like the engineers and designers only paid attention to the derriere of this SUV, and the alloy wheel design. The car comes in some flashy colors as well, making it an attention-seeker on the road. Step inside and you’ll be welcomed by a waterfall center console that is pleasant-looking and brightens up the whole cabin. In terms of safety, blind spot monitoring and crosstraffic alert was added in the 2016 model.

The Crosstek Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 160 horses. Power is sent to all the wheels via a lineartronic CVT system.

Although the specs seem better than the HR-V and the CX-3, the engine is very sluggish; blame it partly on the all-wheel-drive system and the lineartronic gearbox.

The Subaru Crosstrek delivers 33 on the highway and 29 in the city. The economy is on par with the rivals. The car demands a price of $21,000 in the used market, which is a little high for what you are actually getting.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid 31 29 33 $21,000

Read our full review on the 2015 - 2016 Subaru XV Crosstrek.

Lexus RX 450h

Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy Exterior
- image 627560
2016 Lexus RX
The Lexus RX 450h is one of the hottest looking SUVs in this list.

The sporty exterior with the big tires and flared arches are nothing short of a masterstroke. Add to that the lovely shades provided by Lexus. The interiors are a class apart and can put the cabins of costlier models to shame. The whole dash, center console, and the armrest recess exude class. But the 12.3-inch infotainment system is a major distraction and risk while driving. Features and creature comforts are loaded to the brim here.

The RX 450h features 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that produces a combined output of 308 horses. Power is sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic electronically controlled transmission system. The low-end torque is phenomenal in the top-trim, which features a motor generator that produces 67 horses. Even in terms of safety, the LX 450h is a well-equipped package. The only fly in the ointment, a big one that too, would be the mediocre handling.

As for the fuel economy, the SUV delivers a healthy 30 mpg on the highways and 31 in the city. $26,000 is what you’ll have to approximately shell out for a 2016 Lexus RX 450h.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Lexus RX 450h 30 31 30 $26,000

Read our full review of the 2016 Lexus RX.

BMW X3 xDrive 28d

2015 BMW X3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 540901
Spot it in your rear view mirrors and you’ll end up making way for this SUV.

The BMW X3 has an imposing face and a butch body as well. The cabin is feature-rich and space is in plenty. Every passenger will be seated like a king on a throne, thanks to the comfortable seats. The boot is useable and much larger than the competition. In terms of safety, the BMW X3 XDrive 28D is well-equipped. It even scored full marks in crash tests. Only major con would be the extravagant price. Equally competent cars from rival brands are available for a much cheaper price.

Under the hood, the X3 28D gets a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that churns out 180 horses. Power is routed to all the wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission system.

The BMW X3 XDrive 28D delivers 33 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city. Usually, these luxury brands don’t find takers in the used market because of their expensive upkeep. Perhaps, that’s the reason why this car also commands a lower price. You can find a fair condition X3 28D for about $19,000.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
BMW X3 xDrive 28d 30 27 33 $19,000

Read our full review of the 2011 - 2017 BMW X3.

Buick Encore

2016 Buick Encore Sport Touring High Resolution Exterior
- image 637491
This crossover from Buick is the smallest entry on this list in all aspects – size, features, and engine.

Appearance-wise, Buick played it safe by making the Encore look as generic as it can get. No one would even give it a second glance. It rides on 18-inch alloys in the top-trim and that’s the biggest attraction. Even the interiors are basic that just get the job done. Stuff like leather upholstery, Bose sound system, and parking sensors, to name a few, are found in Encore’s costliest trim. Despite having a spacious cabin, the cargo space is limited.

Under the Encore’s hood is 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 138 ponies and 148 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all the wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission system.

The Buick Encore sips a gallon for every 33 miles on the highway and 27 miles in the city. A used Encore can be bought for around $15,500. An easy-on-pocket car, perhaps, for your kid who’s still new to driving.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Buick Encore 30 27 33 $15,500

Read our full review on the 2016 Buick Encore.

Nissan Murano Hybrid

2015 - 2016 Nissan Murano High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 548783

The Murano resonates a lot with the Resonance concept, thanks to the V motion grille. The top-trim rides on 20-inch tires and gets LED headlights, DRLs, etc. The panoramic moonroof was one of the strongest selling points of the Murano. On the inside, it gets an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system and overall the cabin feels premium. On the safety front, the Murano Hybrid is fairly equipped; although this is not its strongest suits.

The Nissan Murano features a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor that generates a combined output of 249 horses and 243 pound-feet of torque.

Power is sent to all the wheels via an Xtronic CVT transmission. Now that’s one hell of an engine.

Despite it being a supercharged unit, it manages to return amazing fuel economy figures. The result of a powerful electric motor results in a fuel economy of 30 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city. A used Murano Hybrid sells for around $26,000.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Nissan Murano Hybrid 29 27 30 $26,000

Read our full review on the 2015 - 2016 Nissan Murano.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2016 Toyota Highlander – Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 675491
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is one of the better-looking cars in this segment. It’s smart, sophisticated, and not too macho, but can still intimidate other cars on the road.

The extended grille, which seems like a toned-down version of the Lexus family’s grille, could have polarizing opinions. The cabin is ergonomically sorted and has most of the "useable" creature comforts present. While the size of the steering is good, and is a joy to hold, it doesn’t give a good feedback. This makes the handling less confidence-inspiring and you’ll think twice before ripping this car on the road. The cabin is mighty spacious and the presence of the third row doesn’t devoid it of the cargo space, which generally is the norm.

Under the hood is a beast of an engine - a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that generates 280 horsepower and 215 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all the wheels via a CVT gearbox. Despite being a heavy vehicle, the Highlander Hybrid delivers 28 miles to the gallon on highways, and 27 mpg in the city.

The luxury of the SUV is reflected in its pricing as well. Even a used 2016 Toyota Hybrid Highlander would cost somewhere around $38,500.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Toyota Highlander Hybrid 28 28 28 $38,500

Read our full review on the 2016 Toyota Highlander.

Hyundai Tucson Eco

2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson Exterior
- image 617672

Even though Hyundai is known for its fuel-efficient vehicles, this is the only SUV from the South Korean manufacturer to feature in this list. Slotted below Santa Fe, the Tucson is a two-row crossover that mimics its elder brother through a lot of design cues.

Right from the base-trim, the Tucson Eco is loaded to the brim, with features like five-inch touchscreen infotainment system, rear parking cameras, and more.

The top-trim gets LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, and ventilated seats, to name just a few.

The Tucson Eco comes packed with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 175 ponies and 195 pound-feet of torque. The car is capable of building speeds in the blink of an eye and provides a good balance between ride comfort and handling. Slot the car into the Eco mode and it’s a different story altogether. The Eco mode has just one job to do – extract best fuel economy possible, even if drives like a snail.

Nevertheless, because of this snail-like performance, the Tucson Eco offers 32 miles per gallon on the highway and 26 miles per gallon in the city. The Tucson doesn’t enjoy a healthy resale value, and that’s the reason you can get a low mileage, 2016 model for as low as $17,500. If you’re looking at a car with a perfect mix of everything, the Tucson Eco should be your choice.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Hyundai Tucson Eco 28 26 32 $17,500

Read our full review on the 2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson.

Mercedes GLA250

2015 Mercedes GLA 250 - Driven Exterior Test drive
- image 633944
The Mercedes GLA250 is a perfect blend of luxury and efficiency. In the looks department, it is probably the most handsome car here.

The GLA250 is a practical car in every sense. With a low-seating, but raised stance, the car is neither a crossover, nor a hatch. It’s somewhere in between and it’s beautiful. Talking about the interiors, the car gets all bells and whistles one could ask for; however, all of it gets diluted once you sit in the car. The GLA250 is not a spacious car at all. Adding to the misery is the firm suspension setup, non-existent rear headroom, and uncomfortable seats. Even the dash and console lack the feel and refinement of a luxury car.

Under the hood is 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 208 horses. Power is sent to all the wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission system with paddle shifters. This makes the GLA250 a driver’s car. The car can go to 60 mph from a standstill in 6.1-seconds.

The Mercedes GLA250 is capable of delivering 34 miles to the gallon on highways and 25 mpg in the city. This, of course, is the result of sedate driving and using the launch control often. In the used market, you can avail this car for around $23,500. Depending on your needs, the GLA could either be on top of your list (performance), or at the bottom (space).

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Mercedes GLA250 28 25 34 $23,500

Read our full review of the 2014 - 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Which Used SUV is Best For You?

If you were in the market for a used SUV, which one would you pick from the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Make & ModelCombCityHwyAvg Price
Lexus NX 300h 32 34 30 $34,000
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 32 34 30 $24,000
Honda HR-V 31 28 34 $18,500
Mazda CX-3 31 29 35 $18,500
Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid 31 29 33 $21,000
Lexus RX Hybrid 30 31 30 $26,000
BMW X3 xDrive 28d 30 27 33 $19,000
Buick Encore 30 27 33 $15,500
Nissan Murano Hybrid 29 27 30 $26,000
Toyota Highlander Hybrid 28 28 28 $38,500
Hyundai Tucson Eco 28 26 32 $17,500
Mercedes GLA250 28 25 34 $23,500
Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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