Skip to main content

CR’s 13 Most Reliable, Fuel-Stingy SUVs, Subaru Crosstrek Is 2nd Best For Now

Which are the most reliable and fuel-efficient new compact SUVs? Check the 13 top models and why the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is now second-best according to an updated Consumer Reports ranking.

Several compact SUVs are good, but only one can be the best. The Consumer Reports (by subscription) has an updated fuel-efficient and reliable model listing that they recommend. I'll explain why the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is CR's second-best pick and why it will soon be #1. 

Everyone knows who won the Super Bowl last year, but only some will remember who came in second in a few years. It's just the way things are. The same is true for compact SUVs. Only one can be the best regarding fuel mileage and reliability. You won't remember the other models that scored behind the top model. 

The Compact SUV segment is fluid, dynamic, and ever-changing. That's why you'll want to read my reports: things change quickly. 

Now, the compact SUV segment is hot because they are fuel-efficient and, for the most part, reliable. The compact SUV hybrids are even hotter because they are the most fuel-efficient. Many customers aren't ready to pull the trigger on an all-electric model. 

You Can Have Reliable And Fuel-Efficient

As Consumer Reports points out, not all models are created equal. In an updated list, CR (by subscription) ranks the thirteen mainstream brand (non-luxury) models that are reliable and fuel-stingy. 

CR says, "Compact SUVs are the most popular models on the market, thanks to their attractive combination of small-car efficiency and station wagon utility." And compact SUVs make up seven of the ten most popular vehicles on Check my recent report here. The Subaru Crosstrek is among the most researched this year. 

Before I explain why the Subaru Crosstrek is the second top pick, I've listed the hybrid and conventional compact SUVs that scored well in Consumer Reports road tests, have average or better-predicted reliability ratings, and get 28 mpg overall or better. 

I've listed the top 13 mainstream 2024 model year small SUVs in order of their Overall Score.

  1. Toyota RAV4 Prime
  2. Subaru Crosstrek
  3. Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid
  4. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
  5. Honda CR-V Hybrid
  6. Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid
  7. Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
  8. Kia Sportage Hybrid
  9. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
  10. Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid
  11. Ford Escape Hybrid
  12. Toyota Corolla Cross
  13. Kia Seltos

As you can see, compact SUV hybrids took over the segment in 2024. They took ten of the thirteen top picks this year. 

The Subaru Crosstrek is the only non-hybrid compact SUV in the top five ranked models. It's the second best on the list, but only because its fuel mileage doesn't stack up, as well as the top RAV4 Prime model with its gas/electric powertrain. 

What does Consumer Reports say about the number two Subaru Crosstrek? 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

  • Price Range:  $25,195 - $32,195
  • CR MPG:  Overall 29 / City 20 / Hwy 41 mpg (CR says it's better than EPA estimates)
  • #1 of 13  Subcompact SUVs

"The Crosstrek got an evolutionary redesign for 2024. It's still essentially a raised Impreza hatchback with a very comfortable ride and standard all-wheel drive. Acceleration from the standard 2.0-liter engine is leisurely, and we got 29 mpg overall in our tests. When full power is needed, engine noise is pronounced, but the sound isn't a deal breaker." 

"Responsive handling, user-friendly controls, and a practical interior round out the package. The newly optional power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support is a major upgrade. Blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert aren't available on the base trim but are optional on the Premium and Sport and standard on the rest of the line."

The Crosstrek can't compete with the RAV4 Prime regarding the city and overall fuel mileage. 

  • Toyota RAV4 Prime gets CR MPG:  Overall 34 / City 29 / Hwy 39 mpg
  • Subaru Crosstrek gets CR MPG:  Overall 29 / City 20 / Hwy 41 mpg

The Subaru Crosstrek outscores the Toyota RAV4 Prime in reliability.

The RAV4 Prime's predicted reliability is 84/100, which is still very good. But the Subaru Crosstrek scores a near perfect 99/100 in predicted reliability, which outscores all subcompact SUV scores. Check out the other top models in reliability.

  1. Subaru Crosstrek - 99/100
  2. Honda HR-V - 85/100
  3. Toyota RAV4 Prime - 84/100
  4. Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 71/100
  5. Toyota Corolla Cross 71/100
  6. Mazda CX-30 66/100
  7. Nissan Kicks - 54/100
  8. Kia Seltos - 51/100
  9. Chevrolet Trailblazer - 50/100
  10. Hyundai Kona - 42/100

A New Crosstrek Hybrid Is Coming

If you read my recent report, you know an all-new Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid trim level is coming. Here are a few of the details in case you missed it. 

Subaru will launch the new Crosstrek Hybrid after the next-generation Forester Hybrid, which is coming next year. When it arrives for U.S. and Canadian customers, it will likely be a 2026 model year.

"As a bridge to that new EV lineup, Subaru will deploy its next-generation hybrid system to its Crosstrek crossover in addition to the popular Forester," Subaru Corporation's President and CEO, Atsushi Osaki, said recently.

A Question That Still Needs To Be Answered

Osaki said that the Crosstrek and Forester will get the "next-generation hybrid system." We know it will come from Toyota. But will it be a traditional Hybrid or Plug-In Hybrid technology? That's the question that still needs to be answered. 

Subaru has not released any information on the Crosstrek Hybrid technology. I know that the hybrid system will be developed in collaboration with Toyota.

The Crosstrek Hybrid Will Be Built In Indiana

"Localized U.S. production of the next-generation hybrid system will start around 2026," the report said. I would say Subaru will launch the new Crosstrek Hybrid in the 2026 model year when it gets a refresh. I suspect the Crosstrek Hybrid will also be manufactured by Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) alongside the Forester Hybrid, which will also be built in America now.

For now, the Toyota RAV4 Prime takes the top spot in Consumer Reports' best fuel-efficient and reliable compact SUV rankings, with the Subaru Crosstrek pulling up in a close second. That will change when the Crosstrek Hybrid arrives. Stay tuned. 

Are you ready to hear more about the fuel-efficient Crosstrek Hybrid? Click the red Add New Comment link below and join the discussion.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram

Photo credit: Subaru