Best Eco-friendly SUVs

SUVs are king of the road when it comes to fashionable looks and top-class practicality, but many have high mpgs too. That's why we've put together this list of the most eco-friendly SUVs out there, to help you find a car that suits your needs but doesn't cost the earth – in more ways than one. Some use battery power to make them more efficient, while others just have super-economical engines that'll save you cash at the pumps as well as reduce your emissions. So, read on for our list of the best green SUVs.



Based on its petrol-powered sibling, the MG ZS EV is one of the first all-electric SUVs to hit UK roads, and it’s a great-value buy at a similar price point to many smaller EVs. The official range is 163 miles per charge, though you’ll struggle to get anywhere close to this with a full car or in cold or wet weather. Just forty minutes plugged into a CCS rapid charger will get it up to 80%, and the battery can be fully charged in 6.5 hours from a home wallbox. Inside, you’ll find the MG ZS EV is surprisingly stylish, with features such as touchscreen infotainment and satellite navigation standard on all models.

Seat Arona

2. SEAT Arona

This smaller SUV comes with a choice of refined petrol and diesel engines that offer class-leading economy. Sharp styling gives the SEAT Arona a sporty and dynamic appearance to go with the metallic paintwork that’s standard on all models. From behind the wheel, it feels composed and responsive, and inside it’s smart if a little plain, with space for adults to travel comfortably in all five seats. Neat design features like hooks for coats and bags in the boot make the Arona seem well thought through, and all models come well equipped with roof rails, cruise control, air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity.

Grey Toyota RAV4

3. Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

The combination of a peppy petrol engine and a battery mean that the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid is both incredibly practical and very efficient. This midsize crossover SUV can tow up to 1650kg and offers plenty of grip on snow and ice if winter tyres are fitted. You’ll get great ground clearance and enough acceleration to get past lumps and bumps on a track or lorries on a motorway. As standard, the Rav4 Hybrid comes with cruise control, steering assist and braking warnings for when pedestrians or cyclists are nearby. As you’d expect from Toyota, it has a great reliability record too.

Mercedes-Benz GLA

4. Mercedes-Benz GLA

While the petrol and diesel versions are pretty economical, the plug-in hybrid version of the Mercedes GLA is the one to shop for if you’re after a premium eco-friendly SUV. It offers a comfy ride and high-end interior, with sharp, focused looks on the outside that’ll be sure to turn heads. There are nine trim levels available including sporty AMG versions, so it’s a good idea to check the rated economy and emissions for the model you’re considering to make sure it’s as economical as it seems. Features vary across trims and production years, but you can expect gadgets like parking sensors and satellite navigation on most models.

red Skoda Kamiq

5. Skoda Kamiq

Even the lowest-powered Skoda Kamiq has plenty of go, and offers a combined economy of 50 mpg – impressive for a petrol powered SUV. It’s well-built for smooth, quiet city driving and has great all-round visibility for easy parking. Skoda have added some neat bits and bobs too, like rubber strips that pop out of edges of the doors as you open them so that you don’t scratch the car in the next spot. Inside, the Kamiq is comfortable and a little bit fancier than many smaller Skodas.

blue citroen C4

6. Citroen C4 Cactus

One handy feature on pre-2018 models of the Citroen C4 Cactus is the distinctive rubber strip along each door to prevent those pesky car park scrapes. While newer versions of this small crossover SUV have a more mainstream look, they still have the same great fuel economy. All models are rated as having emissions below 110 g/km of carbon dioxide, which is far more eco-friendly than many SUVs on the road today. The most efficient way to go is to pick a diesel engine with manual transmission, though the petrol engines and automatic models on offer are reasonably green options too. The C4 Cactus offers a quiet, refined ride with plenty of room for passengers to stretch out.

Black BMW X5

7. BMW X5

Good handling and top-of-the-line comfort mean the BMW X5 is an option worth considering if you’re looking for a premium, sporty SUV. The plug-in hybrid version claims to be able to go 54 miles on battery power – no need to even switch on the engine. Four-wheel-drive and excellent grip and stability mean the X5 is capable on-road or off-road, even in wet weather. There’s a wealth of standard features including satellite navigation that can connect to your smartphone for real-time traffic updates and a remote 3D view of your surroundings. Inside it feels plush and fancy, with lots of high-quality materials on the dash and seats.

Blue Vauxhall Grandland

8. Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid4

This crossover is the perfect size for a family of four. The Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid4 is a petrol plug-in hybrid, giving you great fuel economy without the inconvenience of having to wait for the battery to recharge on long trips. It’s comfortable, with a practical and pleasant interior, making it a good option for an eco-friendly SUV that’s well-suited to everyday driving. It’s easy to steer and has four-wheel-drive, which also makes parking in tight spots easier. Drivers can select different modes to suit passengers and road conditions, making the Grandland X a very flexible family SUV.

white Peugeot 3008

9. Peugeot 3008 Hybrid

A stylish interior gives the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid an upmarket feel. Even with the battery there’s plenty of boot space, as well as lots of room for passengers – it’s smooth and quiet on the road too. Standard versions are front-wheel-drive, while the 3008 Hybrid4 is all-wheel-drive for extra sporty handling. You’ll have impressively low emissions whichever you go for. Peugeot have included plenty of kit on all models, including autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warnings for safety. To make life nicer for the driver, the instrument binnacle is fully digital, with a sharp display that’s super easy to read. You’ll also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, so you can see your phone’s display on the 3008’s main touchscreen.

Blue Kia Niro exterior body

10. Kia Niro Hybrid

Light steering and clear all-round visibility make the Kia Niro perfect for town trips. All five seats are big enough for taller adults, and the boot space is good for the compact crossover SUV class. The Niro’s smooth and quiet hybrid engine is powerful and efficient, and you’re much more likely to achieve the rated 60 mpg on a regular basis than is true for many other cars. In-built satellite navigation works hand-in-hand with the engine to optimise performance and efficiency, using battery boost on uphills and recharging as you cruise back down again. This low-emissions SUV is a great option when you want something that’s affordable to buy and run.

Whether you’re after a premium ride or a capable everyday vehicle, there’s an eco-friendly SUV with low emissions to suit your tastes and be easier the planet. To find out more about individual models, why not have a read of our detailed reviews or browse used cars today?

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