The EPA released its new 2022 Automotive Trends Data report that details fuel-mileage results and finds Subaru's lineup of the 2023 Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, and other all-wheel-drive models ranks the best in U.S. automaker's fleets. Subaru improved from the 2021 EPA report last year and ranked the Japanese automaker number two.
How fuel efficient is Subaru's fleet of all-wheel-drive vehicles? According to EPA's new report, the average new car purchased in 2021 managed 25.4 mpg. The report says the Subaru lineup of the Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, Ascent, and other all-wheel-drive models average 28.8 mpg.
With gas prices rising, Americans rank fuel efficiency as the most critical factor in their decision to purchase a vehicle, according to a study by Edmunds and Consumer Reports. Drivers of less fuel-efficient SUVs are most interested in better mileage. When you think of an all-wheel-drive SUV, it typically isn't the most fuel-efficient drivetrain unless it's a Subaru.
The EPA report says Subaru ranks number one among all car manufacturers, with its overall fuel mileage trend increasing and emissions decreasing. Subaru's real-world fuel economy has increased from 28.1 mpg in 2016 to 28.8 mpg in 2021 for its entire lineup. Subaru's CO2 Emissions (g/mi) have dropped from 317 to 309 from 2016-2021.
photo credit: EPA 2022 Automotive Trends Data Report
The most fuel-efficient new car lineups
The EPA says Tesla's all-electric fleet had the lowest tailpipe CO2 emissions and highest fuel economy of all large manufacturers. Subaru, Kia, Nissan, Hyundai, Honda, and Mazda followed Tesla.
The least fuel-efficient new car lineups
The Automakers with the highest new vehicle average CO2 emissions and the lowest fuel economy of the prominent manufacturers are Stellantis, GM, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz.
The EPA report says Subaru has the lowest CO2 emissions (309 g/mi) of any automaker with its all-wheel-drive lineup. Kia and Hyundai are next at 310, Nissan at 311, and Honda at 312.
How does Subaru accomplish it with an all-wheel-drive lineup?
It's surprising since Subaru only fields all-wheel-drive vehicles except for one, the rear-drive 2023 BRZ sports coupe. All-wheel-drive is generally less fuel-efficient than other configurations. The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, Ascent, Impreza, WRX, and Legacy all come with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.
Subaru vehicles are all powered by horizontally-opposed Boxer engine technology, coupled with a CVT automatic, a fuel-efficient powertrain. Subaru is one of the leading manufacturers of continuously variable transmissions (CVT), also used for fuel efficiency. According to the EPA, Subaru is a top automaker in adopting CVTs (95%).
Subaru uses direct gas injection (GDI) technology in 99 percent of its engines, improving fuel mileage. The technology is now standard in all next-generation boxer engines Subaru is rolling out. Subaru added lean combustion cycles and cylinder deactivation (stop/start) in 80 percent of its new vehicles.
New Subaru vehicles like the 2023 Outback, Ascent, and Legacy also get new 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engines that offer similar power and improved fuel mileage over some automakers who still use the less-efficient V6 engine.
With all-wheel-drive SUVs gaining popularity with U.S. shoppers, Subaru now produces the best fuel economy with a gas-powered lineup that includes standard all-wheel-drive. Its fuel-efficient SUVs include the 2023 Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, Ascent, and other new models.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Subaru