EPA says Honda has best fuel economy.
John Goreham's picture

Honda Best - FCA, Ford, GM Ranked Worst In Latest Fuel Economy Scores From EPA

Honda is the brand with the best fuel economy in America. The three domestic brands all finish last. Details here.
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The Environmental Protection Agency has just updated its brand rankings for fuel economy and tailpipe emissions. In its newest rankings, Honda has again earned the highest MPG rating overall and the lowest tailpipe emissions overall. Honda had the best MPG when EPA first created this ranking system report in 1975 and has been the top brand more than any other brand including in the projected 2018 rankings.
fuel economy 1975-2018
The report was released this month and it includes final data for model year 2017 as well as projections for model year 2018. The EPA says in its summary of the progress made, "The automotive industry has made strong progress towards lower tailpipe CO2 emissions and higher fuel economy in recent years." The summary also says that for the most recent full-year of data, "...the industry achieved record low new vehicle CO2 emissions and record high fuel economy." Looking at the data the agency has now for model year 2018, it says, "The preliminary average estimated real-world fuel economy of all new model year 2018 vehicles is projected to increase again, to 25.4 mpg with corresponding average CO2 emissions of 348 g/mi. If achieved, these values will be record levels and an improvement over model year 2017."

The footprint, style, and weight of automobiles have a significant impact on their fuel usage and emissions. There is no doubt that the leaders and the laggards on the brand list reflect their vehicle mix as much as their technology. Honda's relatively low pickup truck sales and relatively high sedan sales help the brand. However, Honda does sell pickup trucks and also large minivans and many of the brands Honda beats do not. For example, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, and Subaru.

The EPA predicts that the positive trends with regard to fuel economy and emissions will continue in 2018 once its data has been finalized. In Honda's case, it is easy to see the brand keeping its title. Honda's sales of plug-in hybrids passed Toyota in late 2018 and Honda's Clarity PHEV was the top-selling affordable EV in America in 2018. Heading into 2019, Honda is releasing its new Insight hybrid. Given the high relative sales of the Clarity and Insight lines, Honda's lead may widen.

Tesla fans can scan the EPA report and find the brand is included in many sections. However, it is important to remember that in model year 2017, which the report mainly focuses on, Tesla was still a very low volume specialty EV maker specializing in extremely high priced models. The Model 3 barely sold in calendar year 2017.

Related Story: Real-World Price Comparison Shows Honda Clarity PHEV Costs About Half That of Mid-Range Tesla Model 3


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