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Nissan Group is No. 1 Full-line Manufacturer in EPA Fuel Economy Review

Others might try to take headlines with their "top of the list" claims, but Nissan is the only one that makes a full line of vehicles for every segment and it's on top of the EPA's 2014 fuel economy review list.

The Nissan Group, which includes premium brand Infiniti, ranked at the top of the Environmental Protection Agency's list of fuel efficiency by manufacturer this year. Nissan jumped from a fleet-wide fuel economy rating of 24.1 last year to a 26.2 mpg rating this year. That's an 8.7 percent increase and a full 4.4 percent higher than the next-nearest on the list (1.1 mpg), climbing over Toyota (which lost half a point) and Ford, which also dropped by 0.6 points.

Unlike others claiming the top spot on the list, Nissan is a full-line manufacturer, building and selling passenger cars, sport utilities, CUVs, pickup trucks, vans, and more. "Reaching this point is a direct result of a dedicated company-wide effort to scrutinize every aspect of each new model to extract the most fuel efficiency possible," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America.

Nissan is crediting the introduction of three all-new models in 2013 (the year being measured by the EPA for this list). Those were the all-new Altima sedan, Pathfinder SUV, and Sentra compact. Each of those three models saw a large increase in fuel economy compared to their previous-generation predecessors. The Altima and Sentra both jumped 4 mpg over the previous-generation while the Pathfinder saw a massive 30 percent gain with its new model introduction.

Looking forward to next year, Nissan expects that the improvements to the Rogue (+3 mpg) and others will continue the trend upwards while 2015 model year introductions are seeing even more improvement in vehicles like the Murano and Maxima. Even the big Nissan Titan, due to be showcased in Detroit early next year, is expected to see huge MPG gains over the current rendition. The rumored diesel Frontier pickup might also cause economy gains overall.

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