How to Save on Fuel With an SUV A Driver and Buyers Guide

In an era where fuel prices continue to fluctuate, maximizing fuel efficiency has become a top priority for drivers, especially those with SUVs. SUVs, known for their versatility and spaciousness, have historically been associated with higher fuel consumption. However, with the right driving techniques and careful consideration during the purchasing process, SUV owners can significantly reduce their fuel expenses. In this article, we’ll explore fuel-saving tips for SUV drivers and provide a list of the most fuel-efficient SUVs in the market.

Fuel-Saving Tips for SUV Drivers

Drive Smart, Not Fast

Maintain a steady speed and avoid sudden accelerations and hard braking, as these actions waste fuel. As much as possible, accelerate gradually and anticipate stops by coasting to a slowdown rather than abruptly hitting the brakes. By accelerating gradually and anticipating stops by coasting to a slowdown instead of abruptly hitting the brakes, drivers can minimize fuel wastage and optimize their fuel consumption.

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Consider using cruise control on highways to maintain a consistent speed and reduce unnecessary fluctuations that can lead to increased fuel consumption.

Using cruise control on highways is another effective technique to maintain a consistent speed and reduce unnecessary fluctuations, thereby saving fuel. According to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy, using cruise control on highways can improve fuel efficiency by up to 6-14%, depending on factors such as driving conditions and terrain.

The exact amount of fuel saved by using cruise control varies based on several factors, including:

Driving Conditions: Cruise control is most effective on flat, open highways with minimal traffic and few elevation changes. In such conditions, the fuel savings achieved by maintaining a steady speed can be more significant compared to driving in stop-and-go traffic or hilly terrain.

Speed: Cruise control is generally most efficient at moderate highway speeds, typically between 50-70 mph. At higher speeds, aerodynamic drag increases, leading to reduced fuel efficiency gains.

Vehicle Efficiency: The fuel savings achieved by using cruise control may also depend on the vehicle’s aerodynamics, engine efficiency, and overall design. More aerodynamic vehicles with efficient engines may experience greater fuel savings with cruise control.

Driver Behavior: While cruise control helps maintain a steady speed, drivers must still remain attentive and adjust their speed as needed to navigate traffic or road conditions safely. Aggressive driving behaviors such as rapid acceleration or braking can negate the fuel-saving benefits of cruise control.

Optimize Your Driving Habits:

Driving at moderate speeds will help you save on gas, as fuel efficiency tends to decrease significantly at higher speeds. Keep your speed within the optimal range for fuel efficiency, typically between 45-65 mph.

Mind Your Load:

Remove unnecessary items from your SUV to reduce weight, as extra weight can increase fuel consumption. Only carry essential items, and avoid using roof racks or cargo carriers unless absolutely necessary.

Regular Maintenance

Keep your SUV well-maintained by adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule. Regular oil changes, tire rotations, and air filter replacements can improve fuel efficiency and prolong your vehicle’s lifespan.

Choose the Right Fuel

Use the recommended fuel grade for your SUV to optimize performance and fuel efficiency. Using a higher octane fuel than required does not necessarily result in better performance and can be a waste of money.

Plan Efficient Routes

Plan your journeys to avoid traffic congestion and road construction whenever possible. Using GPS navigation apps that offer real-time traffic updates can help you choose the most efficient routes and minimize fuel consumption.

Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs in the Market

Buying a new, fuel-efficient SUV may save you the most on fuel costs in the long run. Here are a few hybrids we recommend that can get you the most miles per gallon:

Toyota Highlander Hybrid:

Combining a 2.5L inline-4 cylinder engine with electric motors, the Highlander Hybrid offers exceptional fuel efficiency with a combined rating of 36 MPG for front-wheel drive models.

Kia Sorento Hybrid:

The 2023 Sorento Hybrid features a 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, delivering a fuel economy of approximately 37 MPG combined.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid:

With a plug-in hybrid variant achieving an average of 38 MPG combined, the 2024 Tucson Hybrid offers impressive fuel efficiency along with a spacious interior and affordable pricing.

Toyota Venza:

The 2024 Venza boasts a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine paired with three electric motors, providing a combined fuel economy of 39 MPG. Despite some performance concerns, it remains a solid choice for fuel-conscious buyers.

Honda CR-V Hybrid:

Offering a standard 1.5L turbocharged inline-4 cylinder engine, the CR-V Hybrid achieves impressive fuel efficiency ratings of 28 MPG city and 34 MPG highway, making it an excellent choice for urban driving.

Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid:

Equipped with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, the 2024 Escape delivers a fuel economy of 40 MPG combined while offering impressive performance with 250 horsepower.

Lexus UX Hybrid:

Despite its small size, the UX Hybrid achieves a remarkable fuel economy of 42 MPG combined, making it an ideal choice for urban commuters seeking fuel efficiency without sacrificing luxury.

Kia Sportage Hybrid:

The Sportage Hybrid stands out with its fuel economy rating of 43 MPG combined, making it one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs in its class. With a starting price under $30,000, it offers exceptional value for money.

Kia Niro:

The 2024 Niro leads the pack with an impressive fuel economy rating of 53 MPG combined, making it the ideal choice for eco-conscious buyers seeking maximum fuel efficiency at an affordable price point.

By implementing these fuel-saving tips and considering one of the fuel-efficient SUVs listed above, drivers can reduce their fuel expenses while enjoying the benefits of owning an SUV. Whether you’re navigating city streets or embarking on a cross-country road trip, maximizing fuel efficiency is not only environmentally responsible but also financially savvy. So, when browsing for an SUV for sale, prioritize fuel efficiency to make a long-term investment that saves both money and resources.

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