5 Cheap Mid-Size SUVs With Best Gas Mileage (With Pictures)

These days, the stability of gas prices has caused many car owners to remove their focus from fuel efficiency. However, vehicles with low fuel efficiency will cost more to drive compared to those with better efficiency.

There is also the factor that the Government can increase fuel prices when the situation warrants it. To remain on the safe side, let’s explore some mid-size SUVs with great gas mileage.

Before we start, you may like to know about mid-size SUVs suitable for all-round use.

1. Hyundai Santa Fe


The Hyundai Santa Fe is a 5-seater mid-size SUV that comes with a spacious and refined interior. It also offers a smooth ride for passengers to enjoy, especially on long journeys.

A peck that drivers will love is its quick acceleration and enough smart technology features.

This mid-size SUV offers 4 engine options. They include the turbocharged 2.5-liter with 277 horsepower, the hybrid with 226 horsepower, the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 191 horsepower, and the plug-in hybrid with 260 horsepower.

This SUV also comes with great fuel economy depending on the engine, and drivetrain owners opt for.

Drivers get an EPA estimated fuel economy of 25 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined in the SE, SEL, and XRT trims that have the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine.

Check Also: An easy explanation of Miles-Per-Gallon.

Otherwise, these models have an EPA estimate of 22 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined when equipped with the optional HTRAC AWD.

The 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is available as an option for the Limited and Calligraphy FWD trims and has an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined rating.

The fuel economy of the Limited and Calligraphy with optional HTRAC AWD, however, is EPA estimated 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined.

To get the best fuel mileage out of your 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe, we recommend opting for the SE, SEL, and XRT trims that include the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine.

These models offer the highest city, highway, and combined mpg rates among the 2023 Santa Fe models.

The base MSRP for the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is $28,200, which is one of the most affordable prices in this category, with its many standard features and good fuel mileage.

Be sure to explore our article about some common problems with the Hyundai Santa Fe.

2. Subaru Outback

The 2022 Subaru Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive and enough cargo space. This mid-size SUV also offers enough safety features as standard with a comfortable cabin. Two engines are available for the Outback lineup.

They include a 2.5-liter with 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque as standard and a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine with 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.

They both connect to a Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT) to reduce unpleasant engine drones.

The 2022 Outback is available in eight stylish and outstanding trims with different fuel economy ratings. All trims offer good fuel mileage, though some offer more than others.

Owing to this, how good the fuel mileage of the 2022 Outback depends on the trim level owners opt for.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Base, Premium, Limited, and Touring trim levels, equipped with the base engine, offer the best city, highway, and combined mpg of all the Outback trim levels.

They have an EPA estimate of 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined.

The Onyx Edition XT, however, delivers 23 mpg city / 33 mpg highway, and the Outback Wilderness trim delivers 22 mpg city / 26 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined fuel economy.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Limited XT and Touring XT have 23 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined.

How about checking the ground clearance of 8 Subaru Outback models?

The base MSRP for the 2022 Subaru Outback comes at $28,320, making it the second cheapest mid-size SUV on our list with great fuel mileage.

There is also the 2023 model that comes with a 2.5-liter H4 engine with Subaru’s standard AWD. This model year also offers great gas mileage.

The 2023 Outback achieves an EPA estimate of 26 mpg city, 32 mpg on highways, and 28 mpg combined. At $28,395, the 2023 Subaru Outback is also quite affordable.

3. Kia Sorento

The 2022 Sorento features include a comfortable cabin for an enjoyable ride and plenty of standard features with upscale interior features.

This midsize SUV also offers three rows that can seat up to seven passengers, making it a good choice for families.

There are only two gas engines available for the 2022 Sorento. It comes with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 191 horsepower.

Where there is a need for additional power, drivers can opt for the 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which generates 281 horsepower.

This engine is available only on the EX, SX, X-Line EX AWD, SX Prestige, and X-Line SX Prestige AWD model levels.

The base engine achieves 24 mpg city / 29 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. Its improved engine option, however, delivers 22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.

Owing to this, opting for the base engine offers better gas mileage than the improved option.

The 2022 Kia Sorento has a base MSRP of $29,490, which is quite cheap compared to other SUVs in its category.

4. GMC Acadia

The Acadia is another mid-size SUV that is good for families, owing to its versatile cabin. It also offers an intuitive infotainment system and smooth rides passengers will enjoy.

The base engine for the Acadia is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 228 horsepower. There is also the 3.6-liter V-6, which is available as an option. It offers 310 horsepower and drivers enjoy a delightful driving experience.

Both engines are standard with a front-wheel drive system and a nine-speed automatic transmission. However, there is an option for all-wheel drive.

The EPA estimates the Acadia achieves 22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined for the front-wheel drive. These figures reduce to 22 mpg city / 27 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined when buyers choose the all-wheel drive.

Owners can get good fuel mileage from their 2023 Acadia by opting for one of these options.

With the optional V6, the Acadia does not offer as much.

This engine achieves 19 mpg city / 27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined fuel economy ratings with the front-wheel drive and 19 mpg city / 26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with the all-wheel drive.

The base MSRP for the 2023 GMC Acadia starts at $36,500. Though this is a bit more than some SUVs in this category, we believe it is affordable. However, prices may increase depending on the trim levels buyers opt for.

5. Ford Explorer

This mid-size SUV comes with great technology features passengers will love. The Explorer offers a well-balanced ride and handling, as well as lots of cargo space.

The 2023 Explorer comes standard with a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four engine and delivers 300 horsepower.  It also offers 310 pound-feet of torque as standard on most models.

In this Explorer, rear-wheel drive and a 10-speed automatic transmission are standard, while all-wheel drive is available as optional.

However, the 2023 Explorer’s fuel economy is yet official, but some car experts have predicted it comes with greater gas mileage than the 2022 model. Others, otherwise, expect it to maintain the same mileage as in 2022.

It offers a gas mileage of 21 mpg city / 28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined for the RWD. These numbers become 20/27/23 accordingly for the AWD. The numbers for the Timberline are 19/22/21 and it only has AWD.

Though the 2022 Explorer RWD offers better gas mileage than the others, the city fuel mileage ratings are lower than our specifications for this article. Note that this is still one of the best gas mileage in the mid-size category.

However, U.S. News has recorded that the 2023 Explorer achieves 21 mpg city / 28 mpg highway with its standard rear-wheel drive and base engine.

While there is no official verification of this claim yet, we believe that there will be little to no difference in the actual ratings when it is finally official.

This rating is, however, a great gas mileage for a mid-size SUV in this category. We have an article on interesting Ford Explorer statistics that may interest you.

The base MSRP for the 2023 Ford Explorer is $36,760. While this is not one of the cheapest prices in this category, we believe it is quite affordable compared to some mid-size SUVs that offer similar features.


22 Best Midsize SUVs for 2022 and 2023 | U.S. News

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