Whether you've got a long daily commute or always stay closer to home, maximizing your fuel economy is a great way to reduce your vehicle's operating costs. Yet many Canadian drivers also require the utility of an SUV, the traction of all-wheel-drive (AWD) and the longer driving ranges that today's electric vehicles cannot deliver on. Ranked by combined city and highway fuel economy estimates from Natural Resources Canada, here are KBB.ca’s 10 Most Fuel Efficient AWD SUVs of 2020 that you don't need to plug-in.
8. (Tie) Subaru Forester - 8.2 L/100 km
Like every Subaru currently on sale in Canada, the 5-passenger, the 2020 Forester compact SUV only comes with permanent AWD. Despite its off-road capabilities, the Forester’s 2.5-litre 4-cylinder gas engine and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) combine for a fuel-sipping 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres (L/100 km) combined estimate.
8. (Tie) Toyota RAV4 - 8.2 L/100 km
No wonder the 2020 Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular SUVs in Canada. Most compact SUV buyers will be happy with the AWD, non-hybrid RAV4’s 2.5-litre gas engine. The standard 8-speed automatic transmission is eager to upshift, optimizing fuel consumption. The result is a frugal 8.2 L/100 km estimate.
7. (Tie) Honda CR-V - 8.1 L/100 km
As of this year, all 2020 CR-V compact SUVs are powered by Honda's 1.5-litre turbocharged engine. Despite its diminutive size, the small 4-cylinder is estimated at 8.1 L/100 km, plus loads of torque (179-pound-foot), helping the AWD version feel much livelier than its 190-horsepower rating might suggest. Plus, Honda's CVT's simulated stepped gear changes mimic a traditional 6-speed automatic.
7. (Tie) Lexus RX 450h L - 8.1 L/100 km
With its avant-garde styling, luxurious interior and hybrid powertrain, the 2020 Lexus RX 450h L remains one of the most desirable and fuel-efficient (8.1 L/100 km combined estimate) mid-size-luxury SUVs in the segment. The RX 450h L uses a less powerful version of the non-hybrid model's 3.5-litre V6, and pairs it with a battery-electric powertrain and standard all-wheel drive, while the "L" designates the lengthened 7-passenger version.
6. Subaru Crosstrek - 7.9 L/100 km
The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek sub-compact SUV can be had with a 6-speed manual if you want to row your gears. But if you're going to save at the fuel pumps, the CVT version scores a lower 7.9 L/100 km estimate compared to the manual's 9.4 rating. Either way, the small Subaru SUV is comfortable yet controlled, and quiet and easy-going on the road.
5. Lexus RX 450h - 7.9 L/100 km
If you only need room for five passengers, with a 7.9 L/100 km rating, the 2-row version of the 2020 Lexus RX 450h is the mid-size luxury SUV fuel economy champ. Like the more extended 3-row model, the regular-length RX 450h also excels in the areas of quality, reliability and resale value.
4. Lexus NX 300h - 7.5 L/100 km
In a sea of luxury compact SUVs, the 2020 Lexus NX stands out with futuristic styling, a long list of standard features, and an impeccable reputation for reliability and strong resale. The NX 300h gas-electric version delivers excellent fuel economy. With AWD, the 2.5-litre gas engine, CVT and electric motor combo offer 194 horsepower and an economical 7.5 L/100 km combined estimate.
3. Toyota Highlander Hybrid - 6.7 L/100 km
One fundamental way the new-generation 2020 Toyota Highlander stands out in a crowded 3-row SUV class is with its AWD Hybrid model. It earns a remarkable 6.7 L/100 km rating from NRCan. The mid-size Toyota SUV also touts an impressive history of reliability and best-in-class predicted resale value.
2. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid - 6.0 L/100 km
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers the most available power in the compact SUV's lineup (219 horsepower versus 203 in the gas-only models), and the best fuel economy with an outstanding 6.0 L/100 km estimate. The RAV4 Hybrid has excellent power off the line and very good power for mid-range passing — a big benefit when driving at highway speeds.
1. Ford Escape Hybrid - 5.9 L/100 km
The new-generation 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid is both frugal, withthe AWD model scoring an outstanding 5.9 L/100 km estimate, and engaging to drive. The compact SUV pairs to an electronic CVT that copies the gear ratios of an automatic transmission nicely. Power from the Escape Hybrid’s 2.5-litre 4-cylinder gas engine makes a healthy 200 horsepower and comes on instantly.