With budgets tightening nationwide, many new-car shoppers are looking to save as much money as possible while still getting the elevated ride height and cargo/passenger flexibility of a modern crossover. In the past, getting a CUV was often a sacrifice – with more ground clearance came worse aerodynamics and compromised fuel economy. But nowadays, many crossover SUVs offer rated efficiency numbers comparable to the compact and midsize cars they often outsell.

While many SUVs offer hybridized or full-EV variants, those models usually carry a higher price tag to go along with their segment-leading energy-efficiency ratings. The Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid, for example, delivers an impressive 35 mpg combined when using both its 17 miles of all-electric range and the on-board internal-combustion engine. At more than $35,000, it’s also one of Subaru’s most expensive models – only the WRX STI carries a higher starting price.

Since overall value depends on fuel efficiency and purchase price (as well as factors like maintenance and insurance costs), it’s fair to assume that many budget-oriented crossover SUV shoppers will limit their search to non-electrified models. Luckily, there are plenty of good options for folks looking to save both in the finance department and at the gas station.

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