SUV owners spend up to £409 more on fuel each year

Investigation compares average annual mileage and economy figures for SUVs against similar saloons, estates and hatchbacks

Volvo XC90 - front

SUV owners are spending up to £409 more on fuel every year compared to owners of equivalent saloons, estates and hatchbacks, according to an investigation into fuel economy and car type.

Researchers at consumer publication Which? took official fuel economy figures for small, mid-size and large SUVs, and compared them against similarly sized hatchbacks, saloons and estate cars.

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The investigation assumed motorists would cover an average of 9,700 miles a year, and determined that owners of compact SUVs like the Renault Captur and Audi Q2 spend £1,092 each year on fuel, £130 more than owners of small cars like the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo

Small SUVs like the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40, meanwhile, cost £154 more in fuel each year compared to medium-sized casr such as the Honda Civic and VW Golf. For Mid-size SUVs like the Peugeot 3008 and Kia Sportage, annual fuel bills are £199 a year more compared to bills for mid-size estates, and £182 more compared to hatchbacks like the Skoda Octavia, and saloons such as the Audi A4

But it is large SUV owners who are hardest hit by higher fuel bills. Drivers of cars like the Volvo XC90 and BMW X5 spend an average of £1,561 each year on fuel according to Which?, shelling out £409 more than owners of large estates like the BMW 5 Series Touring, and £331 more than those driving large people carriers such as the Ford Galaxy and Volkswagen Sharan.

As well as hitting owners harder in the wallet, SUVs have previously been blamed for rising emissions, according to the Government’s environmental watchdog, the Committee on Climate Change.

What are the most economical SUVs on sale? Click here for the top 10...

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