UAE drivers are on the lookout for more efficient fuel-powered SUVs, as local and global prices rise.
While some drivers have turned their backs on petrol and opted for electric, others are keen to make their money go further while not breaking the bank at the petrol pump.
As of this month, Super 98 and Special 98 cost Dh4.15 and Dh4.03 a litre, respectively. For the month of June, diesel will also cost Dh4.14 a litre and E-plus Dh3.96.
But with the latest cutting-edge engines and legislation compelling manufacturers to lower their carbon dioxide output, there are options on the road for fuel-efficient SUVs and crossovers.
Here, The National takes a look at the most economical, family-friendly vehicles for the cash-conscious buyer.
Toyota C-HR Hybrid
Car reviewers across the world say switching to the hybrid Toyota C-HR pays big dividends in terms of fuel economy.
The Toyota C-HR was initially available with a series of petrol engines only but it has since crossed into the hybrid category, which helps to cut fuel costs for owners.
With a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, the vehicle also has a small electric motor that is connected to the main engine.
Giving you 24 kilometres per litre, the front-wheel-drive motor has an energy monitor too, which shows you exactly how the power is being produced — either via the engine, the electric motor or a mixture of the two.
If you are looking to buy this model, it will set you back by about Dh87,000.
Ford Puma EcoBoost
The Ford Puma EcoBoost comprises hybrid technology but will not drive solely on electric power.
Instead, the electric motor supports the petrol engine when needed, delivering extra power and up to 20 per cent better acceleration. The motor, which features a one-litre EcoBoost engine, also uses regenerative braking technology to recharge the battery, helping to increase the vehicle’s fuel economy.
The Puma maxes out at 23km per litre and you should expect to pay in the region of Dh115,000 for a new model.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
This car was brought to the market a decade ago but was given a facelift a few years back. It still curries favour with those who want to drive a big car but not pay above and beyond for fuel.
As a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, it means you can top-up the car’s on-board battery using an electrical cord, plugged to either a slow domestic or a high-powered charging station.
With the capacity to pack in 43 litres of fuel, the fuel economy of the car’s 2.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine is what makes it stand out in a market where rising fuel prices are dominating headlines.
It maxes out at 50km per litre and can reach 100kph in 10.5 seconds.
As per Cars24, you can pick up a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in the UAE for between Dh140,000 and Dh150,000.
Note that the all-petrol version is far cheaper at Dh79,500.00 to Dh117,900, demonstrating the high cost of hybrids and their batteries.
The Kia Niro comes with a lithium-ion polymer battery that works in tandem with a permanent magnet electric motor and a traditional petrol engine.
The petrol engine is a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder model. Paired with its electric motor, the Niro can go from 0 to 100kph in about 11 seconds.
With a smaller engine than the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, this vehicle promises a good fuel economy for its size, maxing out at 23km per litre. In the UAE, a Kia Niro can be picked up for about Dh95,000.
Toyota Corolla Cross
As you might have guessed from the name, this is a crossover SUV.
With a new two-litre hybrid engine, it brings a combination of power and low carbon dioxide emissions. While it does not feel as seamless to drive as other SUVs, it does turn in great fuel efficiency.
When equipped with front-wheel-drive, the vehicle can do about 14km per litre on the road.
The Corolla Cross is the first model globally to use the brand’s new fifth generation self-charging, fully hybrid electric system. Toyota says the power-train provides more “torque and electric power, greater efficiency and increased driving pleasure”.
A basic model will cost about Dh110,000.