Which small SUV is the most fuel-efficient?

We rank and rate 10 small SUVs to see which drinks the least amount of fuel

Most fuel-efficient small SUV

The Kia Seltos S not only delivers space, practicality and competent dynamics, it’s also frugal on petrol.

In our recent 10-car small SUV megatest, the Seltos S proved the most efficient out of the group, with its 110kW/180Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder returning 8.0L/100km on test.

Despite the result being 1.2L/100km worse than the Korean manufacturer’s claim, our drive route included runs down a drag strip and ‘spirited driving’ on country roads. In other words, not all the tasks put in front of the SUV field were performed in a fuel-saving, sedate fashion.

However, the Seltos S still produced the quickest 0-100km/h time of 8.7sec, proving that its relative performance against its peers isn’t at the expensive of efficiency.

Claiming a close second place is the Honda HR-V, which like the Seltos uses a naturally aspirated four-cylinder and a CVT drivetrain, to return a fuel-consumption figure of 8.1L/100km.

Rounding out the podium is the diminutive 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo in the Toyota C-HR. Its result is also impressive given our tester had a mere 360km on the odo, while everything else was well run-in.

The Nissan Qashqai’s 8.6L/100km result is noteworthy given its bigger, heavier body, while the rest of the mid-field was taken up by the Mazda CX-3 (8.7L/100km), Hyundai Kona (8.7L/100km) and the Suzuki Vitara (9.1L/100km).

Interestingly, the Hyundai Venue proves that a lithe kerb weight (1225kg) doesn’t always lead to better fuel economy. The atmo 1.6-litre four (90kW/151Nm) needs a strong accelerator prod, resulting in the Venue gulping 9.5L/100km.

The ageing Holden Trax is still rather spritely with its 103kW/200Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo recording competitive performance times, but its 9.6L/100km is verging on double digits.

Gaining the wooden spoon is the Mitsubishi ASX with the thirstiest 10.4L/100km. The 110kW/197Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder provides good mid-range punch, but by the numbers, it’s easily the most inefficient of this bunch – especially given a 7.7L/100km manufacturer claim.

While all 10 small SUVs drank more than their respective claims, each contender was driven in the same conditions over the same distance.

SMALL SUV REAL-WORLD FUEL EFFICIENCY FIGURES

1 Kia Seltos                         8.0L/100km

2 Honda HR-V                    8.1L/100km

3 Toyota C-HR                    8.4L/100km

4 Nissan Qashqai              8.6L/100km

5 Mazda CX-3                     8.7L/100km

5 Hyundai Kona                 8.7L/100km

6 Suzuki Vitara                   9.1L/100km

7 Hyundai Venue             9.5L/100km

8 Holden Trax                    9.6L/100km

9 Mitsubishi ASX               10.4L/100km

2020 Small SUV Megatest

Results

Mitsubishi ASX MITSUBISHI ASX
Score 6/10 
Holden TraxHOLDEN TRAX
Score 6.5/10 
Hyundai Kona HYUNDAI KONA
Score 6.5/10 
Suzuki VitaraSUZUKI VITARA
Score 7/10 
Nissan Qashqai NISSAN QASHQAI
Score 7/10 
Hyundai Venue HYUNDAI VENUE
Score 7.5/10 
Honda HR-V HONDA HR-V
Score 7.5/10 
Mazda CX-3 MAZDA CX-3
Score 7.5/10 
Kia Seltos KIA SELTOS
Score 8.5/10 
Toyota CH-R TOYOTA C-HR
Score 8.5/10 

Braking Data

 

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