Mazda has best corporate MPG – Yes, even when trucks are factored out
The EPA releases its annual report listing the developments in the U.S. market regarding MPG and CO2 each fall. This year, Mazda is again the top brand for both highest average fuel economy and lowest average CO2 production per mile.
What makes Mazda’s top fuel economy rating even more interesting is that Mazda does not lean on the typical industry methods for squeezing out a few drops of fuel at the expense of driver satisfaction. Unlike most of its peers, Mazda does not use CVTs in any of its volume vehicles. On the contrary, all of Mazda’s top sellers are still available with a stick shift, which on average have lower fuel efficiency than do automatics (the tide turned a few years ago). Nor does Mazda use hybrid drives in any of its U.S. vehicles. Not a single Mazda relies on regenerative braking –yet. Finally, although Mazda introduced its first turbocharged engine in the CX-9 this year, the fleet that EPA used to calculate the fuel efficiency did not include that vehicle (it was introduced later in the sales year). Incredibly, Mazda still has yet to use the three most effective ways to reduce fuel usage, though we are not rooting for them to use any of these methods.
The narrative in our comments section always goes that Mazda wins because it does not sell pickup trucks. Setting aside the fact that Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, Volvo, Mercedes, BMW, and many other brands also do not sell any trucks in the U.S., the EPA’s report has a section that factors trucks out. Mazda is still number one with a fleet average 33.3 compared with Nissan and Honda at 32.1 and Toyota’s 31.7. (See page 49, Table 4.7 of the attached report).
Tesla, of course, uses the least fuel since it is a luxury EV manufacturer and instead of gasoline is powered by electricity. If you think that means that Tesla’s don’t create CO2 in their operation, you should read section page 108 of the full EPA report. If we may add one last tidbit, Mazda has been very generous to the media by supplying many test vehicles over the past few years. Having tested many Mazdas, this writer has never had one that didn;t exceed its EPA estimates. In other words, these results hold up in real-world driving.