SUVs used to get a bad rep when it came to gas mileage. When they first became popular among American drivers, they were frequently lambasted by environmental groups and activists for their voracious fuel consumption and large carbon footprint that followed. However, as the years went by and auto companies became more mindful, steps were taken to minimize the negative effects of lumbering SUVs.
Today's SUVs are more fuel-conscious than ever, utilizing lighter materials and more advanced engines to produce vehicles that leave less of an impact on the environment. Yet, there are still many SUVs whose appetite for fossil fuel give Mother Nature heart palpitations. For this list, we used the United States Department of Energy's nifty MPG calculator to find 10 SUVs with the worst combined fuel economy, arranged from most to least.
10 Infiniti QX80: 15 MPG
The luxury version of the Nissan Altima, the QX80 sports a 400 hp V8, with a towing capacity of over 8,000 lbs. None of that translates well to its fuel economy, which is some of the lowest in the large luxury SUV category.
Granted, the Altima also suffers from poor MPG as well, showing a resistance to change that is prevalent among many large, Japanese SUVs. Rivals like the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator (and their non-luxury counterparts) both get better milage. But as we'll soon find out, American auto makers haven't completely forgotten their gas-guzzling ways.
9 Dodge Durango SRT: 15 MPG
The baseline Durango gets fairly decent mileage for its class. It's not until you get to the performance SRT trim that things start to take a nosedive. The SRT, with its 475 hp 6.4 L V8, is touted as one of the fastest three-row SUVs ever made. All of this translates to an MPG rating that ranks near the bottom of the midsize SUV category.
Yet again, the SRT isn't meant for commuters or people with families that need to be shuttled. It's made for the growing fanbase of turbocharged SUV enthusiasts, who scoff at the idea that sport utility vehicles can't be extremely fast. Expect more to show up later on the list.
8 Toyota Land Cruiser: 15 MPG
Love it or hate it, no one can deny that the Land Cruiser is a legend. Built for the off road, the Land Cruiser is designed to withstand everything Mother Nature can throw at it. Toyota manages this by building the Land Cruiser out of old-fashioned heavy materials that won't break down under the strain of difficult conditions. However, this dedication to durability results in bad fuel economy.
The Land Cruiser's weight, combined with its old school 5.7 L V8, produces a combined MPG that's stuck in the past. This has lead many critics to label the Land Cruiser as dated, a sentiment that it's cult following would heavily disagree. Things don't look any better for the Land Cruiser's ultra-luxury counterpart, the Lexus LX, which gets an identical MPG grade.
7 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S: 14 MPG
If you buy an AMG Mercedes for fuel economy, you're doing it wrong. Mercedes' performance line is no stranger to gas guzzlers, and their turbocharged SUVs don't seem to be trying to reverse the trend. The GLE, for example, has a 'handcrafted' 577 hp, 5.5 L Biturbo V8, which is grandiose even for sport car standards, let alone an SUV. But wait, because we haven't even scratched the surface of absurdly fast SUVs.
6 Rolls-Royce Cullinan: 14 MPG
When people hear the name Rolls-Royce, the automatically think of excessively luxurious cars that are essentially 5-star hotels on wheels. Launched last year, the Cullinan, which is the company's first SUV, shows no sign of ending that trend. It has all the gorgeous luxury features you can expect from a Rolls, but with the practicality of an SUV.
Granted, its MPG could be worse, considering it packs a 563 hp 6.8 L V12. Much of this is needed to move this beast around, rather than for power. After all, how else are you expected to carry a truck with an all-wood-and-leather interior and the included champagne cooler?
5 Bentley Bentayga: 14 MPG
The Cullinan's primary rival, the Bentayga, is also a first-generation SUV made by a premium-luxury make. The Bentley Bentayga is nearly identical to the Cullinan in terms of performance and fuel economy. It has slightly more horsepower, at 600, and its 6.0 L V12 is quite similar to its rival.
The one thing the Bentayga has, though, is a hybrid option. That's right, Bentley must have realized somewhere down the line that their thirsty base-model would cause some controversy, so they made a hybrid version, which they claim has a combined 50 MPG city/highway. And who says hybrids aren't cool?
4 Lamborghini Urus: 14 MPG
Hailed as by Lamborghini as the first 'super SUV,' the Urus is the supercar make's second attempt at producing an SUV. Their first attempt, the LM002, was a bulky monstrosity that was tailor-made to infuriate its owners. The Urus, however, is built more in line with Lamborghini's other flagship sedans, with considerable attention given to arrow dynamics and curb appeal.
Fuel consumption wasn't a top priority, though. The Urus' 4.0 L Twin Turbo V8 cranks out an astonishing 641 hp, making it one of the most powerful SUVs you can buy.
3 Mercedes-Benz G-Class: 14 MPG
It was inevitable that the big G would end up here. A former military vehicle-turned toy for the super-rich, the G-Wagon has been a polarizing presence in the automotive world since it was launched. Big, brash, and expensive, the G-Wagon eats up the highway, and all the gas it can, with its either 416 hp or 577 hp V8. The MPG is the same across both the base trim and the AMG version, despite the increase in horsepower.
This wasn't always the case, as the now-discontinued 4x4 version ran at a pitiful 11 combined MPG. Newer G-Wagons have faired much better among critics and drivers, so even this lousy MPG represents a step in the right direction.
2 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: 13 MPG
The supercharged edition of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Trackhawk ranks at the bottom of the Department of Energy's MPG estimates. An already hefty vehicle, the Trackhawk boasts a 707 hp 6.2 L V8, capable of reaching top speeds in excess of 180 mph. It has a 0-60 range of just under four seconds, easily making it the single fastest SUV on the market today.
1 Hummer H2: 9 mpg
Getting an estimated combined MPG for GM's masculinity compensation device, the Hummer H2, was more difficult than it should've been. Due to an old EPA rule that allowed vehicles over a certain weight to be exempt from regulatory testing, the H2's combined MPG was never calculated. While that old ruling was ditched in 2011, the fact that the H2 was discontinued in 2009 means that no solid documentation on the truck's fuel economy exists.
General Motors probably would've wanted it to stay that way. According to third-party estimates, the H2 had a combined MPG of between 9 and 10. That number is pitiful, even for large SUVs of the era. Combine that with high gas prices towards the middle of the decade, and it's no wonder GM took it out to pasture.