The 2015 model year is here and crossovers keep getting more fuel-efficient. With the explosion of hybrids, more diesel engine offerings, and soon-to-be-released electric SUVs, expect this trend to continue. Below are the top 10 most-efficient luxury SUV models for 2015.
#1. Lexus NXh
The LX all-new model for 2015 is important for Lexus as it looks to gain a foothold in the luxury compact SUV category. The LX shares the same architecture as the RAV4 and it comes out of the box as the most efficient luxury SUV of 2015 with the hybrid option. The hybrid version is a 2.5-liter 194 horsepower hybrid, which is rated at 35-mpg city, 31-mpg highway. In base form, the 2.0-liter turbocharged 235 horsepower engine that is rated at 21-mpg city and 28-mpg highway.
#2. BMW X3
The compact X3 gets a refresh for the 2015 model year and has a standard 2.0-liter 240 horsepower turbocharged engine. Opt for the available 2.0-liter 181 horsepower diesel version to get the most fuel efficient non-hybrid luxury SUV, which gets 27-mpg city and 34-mpg highway.
The diesel engine is not available in the smaller X1, giving the X3 superior fuel economy over it’s smaller sibling. The X1 still returns an excellent 23-mpg city and 34-mpg highway with its base 240 horsepower engine.
#3. Lexus RX 450h
Lexus introduced the 450h for the 2011 model year and as RX is the best-selling luxury SUV in the U.S. little has changed with the model. The 450h gets 32-mpg city and 28-mpg highway put with a price near $50,000, you’ll pay up front before you start saving at the pump.
#4. Mini Countryman & Paceman
The Countryman returns for 2015 with an all-new All4 package that gives the model a bolder style. This subcompact luxury crossover continue on with it’s base 1-6-liter 121 horsepower and 1.6-liter 181 horsepower engine with the base model returning 27-mpg city and 34-mpg highway. The more powerful engine gets 23-mpg city and 30-mpg highway.
The Paceman, in it’s third model year, is essentially two-door version of the Countryman with the same engines and fuel economy.
#5. Buick Encore
This subcompact luxury crossover has been a surprise hit for Buick. Sharing the same architecture as the diminutive Chevy Trax, the Encore’s 1.4-liter 138 horsepower engine is good for 25-mpg city and 33-mpg highway with front wheel drive.
#6. Mercedes Benz GLA-Class
Based on the CLA Class sedans/wagons, the GLA-Class is a new subcompact luxury SUV model line from Mercedes-Benz that comes standard with a 2.0-liter 208 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Lightweight and fuel-efficient, this model is rated at 24-mpg city and 32-mpg highway with all-wheel drive while still yielding a 0-60 time of about 7.0 seconds. With a starting price near $33,000, Mercedes may have another hit on its hands.
#7. Audi Q5
The Q5 offers a 2.0-liter turbo hybrid and a 3.0-liter diesel in it’s lineup. The diesel returns 24-mpg city and 31-mpg highway for this midsize luxury crossover.
#8. Infiniti QX60
The QX60 is the king of mpg for a three-row luxury crossovers in 2015. It has an available 2.5-liter supercharged hybrid engine that is good for 26-mpg city and 28-mpg highway.
#9. Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
The Evoque was Motor Trend’s SUV of the year when it was introduced for the 2012 model year. The 2014 Evoque sports a 2.0-liter 240 horsepower turbocharged engine that gets 21-mpg city and 30-mpg highway.
#10. Lincoln MKC
The MKC is an all-new model from Lincoln that shares the same platform as the Ford Edge, which is a significantly revised model for 2015. The MKC has a base 2.0-liter 240 horsepower engine that is rated at 20-mpg city and 29-mpg highway.
With the number of fuel efficient models available for 2015, there’s no need to substitute fuel economy when you want a luxury SUV. Expect 2016 to really see fuel efficiency improved as Volvo introduces a very fuel efficient all-new XC90 and Tesla launches the much anticipated Model S electric, which is expected to yield better than 80-mpg-e.