15 Best 4-Cylinder SUVs on the Market Right Now [2021]

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Small, Compact, Lightweight, and relatively more fuel-efficient are advantages of using a four-cylinder engine. A 4-cylinder engine is a good option for some people when choosing an SUV, thanks to the several benefits I mentioned earlier.

The car world has always been on the move that has led to new trends in years.

Nowadays, having a car with a big and powerful engine is not the main thing that people are concerning. It is more about the versatility of the car to be functioned at any time to go anywhere.

Fuel economy is another thing that people look for in a car today. That leads to the rising popularity of sport utility vehicles powered by a 4-cylinder engine under its hood. A 6-cylinder engine is getting less popular today due to its efficiency and fuel economy level.

Is a 4-Cylinder Engine Good?

The main idea of car manufacturers to shift to V4 instead of the more powerful V6 is the gas mileage.

A V6 engine will use more gas than a V4. Thus, the car will be more efficient in gas consumption by changing the machine to a V4 from a V6.

A 4-cylinder engine is a good choice because it can deliver a balanced power output and gas mileage, especially in SUVs that are meant to be driven a lot regularly.

What is the Benefit of 4-Cylinder Engines?

The clear advantage of a smaller engine is lower fuel consumption. Within the car world of today, more people favor better fuel economy over performance.

Most people who need to drive a car every day will prefer any car with a better fuel economy.

Other than that, the V4 engine will be lighter as well as the larger V6 engine.

Fewer cylinders inside the engine bay mean a lighter car in terms of its overall weight. Eventually, that will lead to better handling as well.

So, What is The best 4-Cylinder SUVs I can Buy Today?

There are so many different car models in the marketplace today to choose from. Even under the SUV segment, there are many choices offered by various manufacturers as well.

Some car manufacturers even offer more than just one model with a clear idea to dominate the market segment. Luckily for those who favor an SUV with just enough power of V4, there is a wide array of models to consider. These are the best choices of SUVs with a 4-Cylinder engine to buy today.

Just keep in mind that the idea of the best car is always going to be different from one person to another. It is best to always consider the personal needs and tastes of specific car models to eventually get the idea of the best one to pick.

The 15 cars on this list within the segment of SUVs with 4-cylinder engines offer different features in many ways that will significantly help to find the best one to choose from.

Best 4-Cylinder SUVs on the Market Right Now

2021 Ford Explorer

Ford Explorer is a popular name within the SUV segment of the car marketplace.

The latest version under the 2021 year model comes with 6 different trim levels to choose from.

The base trim is offered at $34,000 with a 2.3-liter V4 engine under the hood producing 300-hp of peak power.

In terms of fuel economy, the rear-drive hybrid version is the best one with 27 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

Ford remains to produce the Explorer with a V6 engine under the Platinum and ST trims that favors a better performance for those who need it better than fuel economy level.

2021 Subaru Ascent

Next on the list of the best V4 SUVs to choose from today is the 2021 Subaru Ascent. This car is one of the newest models to be released by Subaru shortly.

The manufacturer offers 4 trim levels for the latest release of this car. The lowest trim of Ascent is offered at $34,000, while the highest trim is provided at $47,000.

Under the hood of this car in all trim levels is a 2.5-liter V4 with 260-hp of peak power to produce.

It comes in an all-wheel-drive system with Subaru’s CVT. The best fuel economy can be achieved at the two lower trims of 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.

2021 Volvo XC90

This car has not been announced just yet for the 2021 year model. Yet, there have been some expectations regarding the new version of the Volvo XC90 to come shortly. It is best to look at the 2020 model version to expect some improvements for next year’s model.

The 2020 version comes with a 2.0-liter V4 Direct Injected Turbocharged Engine to deliver 250-hp of power.

It is offered at $48,350 with a fuel economy level of 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

2021 Mazda CX-9

Mazda has not announced the latest year model for the CX-9, but car enthusiasts have been buzzing about it.

Improvements are expected to be carried out by the 2021 version with a possible starting price of $34,500.

It is expected that the new version will be powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4. A six-speed automatic transmission will handle the delivery of 250 horsepower to the wheels.

In terms of fuel economy, it is expected that the new CX-9 will produce 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

2021 Toyota Highlander

Finally, Toyota is on this list with the 2021 Toyota Highlander. Most versions of this car will be powered by a V6 but the Hybrid.

The Hybrid version comes with a 2.5-liter inline-4 paired with an electric motor to deliver up to 243 horsepower in total.

The all-wheel-drive Hybrid trim can produce 35 mpg highway and 35 mpg city that is nothing but great for a car offered at $35,000 for the base trim version.

2021 Chevy Equinox

It turns out that no significant changes have been made by Chevrolet to the new 2021 year model of Equinox. It is ranked 6th in the Compact SUVs list by U.S. News & World Report.

The price of this car is the best selling point, with only $25,000 for the lowest trim and $33,000 for the highest trim. This one is definitely one of the most affordable 4-cylinder SUVs you can buy in the US right now.

Two choices of a 4-cylinder engine can be selected: either a 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter turbocharged one that offers 170-hp of power.

The car comes with a front-wheel-drive system with 30 mpg, and the all-wheel-drive option comes with 28 mpg in terms of fuel economy.

2021 Buick Envision

The All-New 2021 Envision from Buick is set to hit the market in early 2021. The starting price of the lowest trim is $24,100, while the highest trim is at $40,000, Such an excellent Bargain for this Compact Luxury SUV.

The fuel economy of the 2021 Buick Envision is at 26 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

The possible engine for the 2021 year model is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission system. The peak power of the car is expected to be 197 horsepower.

2021 BMW X1

The BMW X1 is amidst the popular car models expected to be renewed by its manufacturer in 2021.

Thus, it is good to look back at the 2020 version and expect some improvements for the future model.

The car is offered as low as $36,195 with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine capable of boasting 228-hp out of its turbocharged system.

Unfortunately, the mpg rating is only 29 mpg combined out of its estimated 31 mpg. Hopefully, that will improve for the 2021 year model to come.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

This one is one of the best fuel economy 4-cylinder SUVs on our list. The RAV4 Hybrid from Toyota is the perfect pair of its hybrid-powertrain dominance and its best-selling SUV for years.

Outstandingly there are 7 different versions to choose from, with the cheapest one being offered at $30,000. The powertrain department has a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine plus two electric motors to deliver 219-hp of peak power in the standard all-wheel drive.

The hybrid’s fuel economy is far greater than the gas-powered version in 41 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

The most prominent South Korean car manufacturer is back with the latest year model for Santa Fe.

The 2021 year model is available in 3 trims only priced at $27,000 for SE’s base trim. Under the hood of the car is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with only 185-hp of power.

There is a turbocharged engine option as well to consider. The car is capable of producing 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway for the standard front-wheel-drive version.

2021 Audi Q5

It is possible to consider the 2021 Audi Q5 to be a bit expensive because the lowest trim level is offered at $44,295

The performance section of the 2021 Q5 is powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 7-speed automatic transmission plus Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

The car is capable of delivering its peak performance level at 261 horsepower. The hybrid upgrade offers higher peak performance at 362 horsepower.

The official estimation of the fuel economy has not been officially released yet for this car.

It may not be too far from the 2020 model, with 22/28 mpg for the standard version and 25/29 for the hybrid version.

2021 Subaru Forester

The Forester is amidst the long-running models from Subaru. The 2020 year model remains the latest version available because the 2021 year model has not been released just yet.

A highlight of the 2020 version is that it comes at $24,495 as the cheapest or the lowest trim level.

It offers an excellent fuel economy level of 33/26 to consider, so that 2021 may be even better than that. The 2020 Subaru Forester model’s trims come with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine known as the Subaru Boxer engine. 

2021 GMC Terrain

GMC Terrain is a premium SUV from the famous car manufacturer GMC. The 2021 year model is listed amidst the future models on the official website of GMC.

Unfortunately, there has not been a lot of information regarding the car itself, even from the official website of GMC. Looking back at the 2020 Terrain, it is offered by GMC at $31,198.

The car comes with 3 trim levels available, in which Denali is the highest trim. It is powered by a 1.5-liter engine paired with a 9-speed transmission to deliver 170-hp of peak power. 

2021 Honda CR-V

In its 2021 year model, Honda CR-V remains a compact and versatile SUV for many people to meet their needs of an excellent commuting car. Pricing is undoubtedly one of the best things about the car that the cheapest version is priced only at $26,500.

A staggering set of 8 trims is offered by Honda, with half of them are hybrid versions. The standard engine is a 1.5-liter 190-hp turbocharged engine.

That engine is combined with one of the best CVT systems in the car industry today to deliver a smooth performance. The fuel economy level of the gas engine version is 28/34, while the hybrid version is 40/35.

2021 Volvo XC60

Volvo offers the 2021 XC60 within the price range of $42,000. It is very common for European cars to be a bit pricey compared to Japanese cars.

The car is powered by a turbocharged inline-4 2.0-liter engine capable of delivering 250 horsepower at peak.

The fuel economy is expected to be at 23/30 for this car that has not been announced yet. It may well be ready in the car marketplace as soon as the summer of 2021.


SUVs have been somewhat popular in recent years because they are commonly very versatile.

The latest development of SUVs that favor more of the fuel economy level for regular car use makes it even more popular.

Today’s cars do not have to be fast at all times because versatility and efficiency are much more needed by a lot of people who own and drive a car every day.

In the end, there is no reason not to consider buying a highly efficient and versatile SUV for all of the driving and commuting needs of today.

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