SUVs make a lot of sense for markets like India, but also need to be fuel efficient to have a longer travel range while also being easy on the pocket.

Renault Duster vs Mahindra Scorpio vs Tata Safari
SUVs in India start at around Rs. 6.5 lakhs today

With SUVs being all the rage in the market at present, almost each one of the masses want these big, brawny and intimidating vehicles that can sail across the Indian road conditions while offering ample of space and performance in the process. However, most SUV buyers are also looking at a better travel range and this is where the higher fuel economy comes into play. Hence, we list down the 10 most fuel efficient SUVs on sale in the country today that will do the work without a large appetite.

Ford EcoSport 1 Lakh Sales
The EcoSport is a compact SUV and is currently Ford’s top seller

1) Ford EcoSport – 22.67 km/l – The Ford EcoSport continues to dominate the market as the most fuel efficient SUV. Available with three engine options – 2 petrol and 1 diesel, it is the 1.5-litre oil burner that is most frugal returning an ARAI certified 22.67 km/l. Prices for the Ford EcoSport diesel start at Rs. 7.88 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Nissan Terrano User Experience
The Terrano is a re-badged Renault Duster which is priced at a premium

2) Nissan Terrano – 20.45 km/l – Essentially a re-badged version of the Renault Duster, the Terrano uses a 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine that is available in two states of tune – 85 PS and 110 PS. However, Nissan has tuned the compact SUV to be slightly more frugal as the 85 PS version returns an ARAI certified figure of 20.45 km/l. Prices for the 85 PS Terrano diesel start at Rs. 10.13 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Renault Duster Long Term Review
The Duster is the only Renault car which sells well in india

3) Renault Duster – 19.87 km/l – The Renault Duster needs no introduction in India with already over 1.90 lakh units plying on the roads. Using the same powertrain as the Terrano, the workhorse diesel motor is a frugal unit and returns an ARAI certified figure of 19.87 km/l on the Duster, tad bit behind the Terrano’s numbers. Nonetheless, the Duster 85 PS is a lakh cheaper than the Nissan with prices starting at Rs. 9.12 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Mahindra Great Escape Thar Performance
Mahindra’s Thar is a niche offering, pleasing off-road enthusiasts

4) Mahindra Thar – 18.06 km/l – The Thar is a lifestyle off-roader that appeals more to the heart than the head. Available with two diesel engines – 2.5-litre CRDe and 2.6-litre DI, it is the latter that is able to return an ARAI certified 18.06 km/l. However it is gravely underpowered belting out just 63 BHP and 182.5 Nm of torque. Prices for the Thar DI start at Rs. 5.04 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

2012 Mahindra Quanto Road Test
The Quanto is a dud seller but is powered by a new 1.5-litre diesel engine

5) Mahindra Quanto – 17.21 km/l – While it may drive like a boat, the Mahindra Quanto nonetheless is a fuel efficient compact SUV. Set to get a comprehensive update later this year, power on the Quanto comes from a 1.5-litre mCR100 diesel engine producing 100 PS and 240 Nm of torque. The compact SUV is capable of achieving an ARAI certified 17.21 km/l. Prices for the Quanto commence at Rs. 6.67 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

2014 Renault Koleos Test Drive Review
The Koleos sells in very poor numbers due to its high pricing

6) Renault Koleos – 17.15 km/l – The Renault Koleos is one of the most capable SUVs on sale in India that has sadly gone unnoticed. Loaded on features, the Koleos is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 150 PS and 320 Nm of torque and in the 2WD trim, the SUV returns an ARAI certified 17.15 km/l. Prices for the Koleos start at Rs. 23.48 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

2014 Skoda Yeti Test Drive Review
One of the best cars in the SUV space, the Yeti’s price and size makes it not sell

7) Skoda Yeti – 17.72 km/l – The Skoda Yeti is one of the more capable SUVs that is also fun to drive. A strict 4-seater, power on the SUV comes from a 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine and in the lower spec 110 BHP version, the SUV is rather efficient returning an ARAI certified 17.72 km/l. That said, the 140 BHP version with 4×4 is economical as well returning 17.67 km/l. The Yeti range starts at Rs. 20.10 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

2015 Mahindra XUV500 Review
Mahindra’s popular Cheetah is a global SUV and the first monocoque from the automaker

8) 2015 Mahindra XUV500 – 16 km/l – Having received a comprehensive update last month, Mahindra introduced a new alternator on the MY2015 XUV500 that has helped improve the fuel economy from the same engine. The SUV uses a 2.2-litre mHawk diesel motor with 140 BHP and 320 Nm of torque and returns an ARAI certified 16 km/l. With an overload of features, prices for the XUV500 starts at Rs. 11.21 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

2015 Mahindra Scorpio Review
The Scorpio changed Mahindra’s complete image as a automaker

9) Mahindra Scorpio – 15.37 km/l – The trusted soldier in Mahindra’s stable, the Scorpio is a trusted name in the SUV space and continues to do well with the new generation model launched last year. Powering the Scorpio is a 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine with 120 BHP and 290 Nm, returning an ARAI certified 15.37 km/l. Prices for the vehicle start at Rs. 8.78 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Hyundai Santa Fe Shootout Tracking
The Santa Fe is the best SUV in its class but the high price limits volumes

10) Hyundai Santa Fe – 14.74 km/l – Hyundai India’s flagship SUV, the Santa Fe is loaded on tech, looks good and makes a compelling case to be an urban SUV. It is also a frugal option returning an ARAI certified 14.74 km/l from a 2.2-litre diesel motor producing 197 PS and 436 Nm of torque. Prices for the Santa Fe start at Rs. 26.89 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Notable Mentions

Chevrolet Captiva
The Captiva might be on its way out with the Trailblazer set for launch

Chevrolet Captiva – 14.6 km/l – Lost amidst the competition, GM still sells the Chevrolet Captiva in India in manual and automatic variants. Power comes from a 2.2-litre diesel engine tuned to produce 186.5 PS and 424 Nm of torque. The SUV is capable of returning an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 14.6 km/l with the 6-speed manual variant. Prices for the Captiva start at Rs. 25.15 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

2015 Tata Safari Storme Facelift Test Drive Review
The Safari has huge fan following and is hugely capable off the road

Tata Safari Storme – 14.1 km/l – While the Tata Safari Storme may not be on the top 10 list, it still comes pretty close to the others in terms of fuel economy. Updated for the MY2015 recently, the Safari comes with a 2.2-litre VARICOR diesel engine producing 150 PS and 320 Nm of torque, returning an ARAI certified fuel efficiency figure of 14.1 km/l. Prices for the Safari Storme start at Rs. 9.99 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).