Detroit Falls Below Industry's Fuel Economy Average. Again. Still.

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

The EPA has just released its summary of the model year 2007 composite fuel economy ratings by manufacturer (or, in EPA-speak, "marketing group"). The average for all manufacturers was 20.2 mpg– no thanks to the SUV/truck-centric Big 2.8. Honda led the pack with an average of 22.9 mpg, squeaking by Toyota at 22.8 mpg. The other manufacturers slotting in above the industry average: Hyundai/Kia (22.7), VW (21.4), and Nissan (20.6). Falling below the average were GM (19.4), Ford (18.7) and DaimlerChrysler (18.3). GM has never managed to exceed the average, but they tied it three times, the last time in 1998 (20.1). Pre-Daimler Chrysler last placed above the average in 1984, bettering the 21.0 average by 0.1 mpg. Ford has never placed above the average; Toyota and Honda have never been below it. Click here for a graph showing a side-by-side comparison of the 2007 results.

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  • Zenith Zenith on Sep 28, 2007

    I think it's amazing that a Buick Enclave, with its more modern engine and transmission and engine and powertrain management systems, gets the same EPA mileage as the Rendezvous it replaces, despite its being a half-ton heavier. But just think of how much better those EPA numbers could have been had the mandate come down to Buick that the Rendezvous' replacement weigh not an ounce more than the Rendezvous. I like the looks of the Enclave. It looks more like a "real Buick" than anything Buick has offered in a long while. But why so heavy?

  • RobertSD RobertSD on Sep 28, 2007

    The truth is that Ford and GM sell far more pick-ups and have larger vehicles for sale than Toyota and Honda. That will naturally bring down your EPA ratings. It is what the consumers buy from the Big 2.5! But, no, I think we should ignore that and just call the Big 2.5 pigs. It always baffles me because somehow 2.2 million people want to buy pick-ups. If Ford didn't sell 800k, a competitor, say, Toyota, would come in and start to make up the slack which lowers the EPA estimates of Toyota. And as much as the segment is shrinking, it can't be that bad if Toyota was ready to put $2.5 billion on the table to get into the segment before they started offering $5-6k per truck to boost up weak sales. It's like criticizing Porche for falling below the industry average. It's not just that Ford and GM and Chrysler rely on larger trucks its that they are known for their trucks and have great loyalty in that segment. Even if Ford produced the same car mix as Toyota and sold near the numbers of cars, it would still be below Toyota in overall mgps because it has more larger vehicles and sells more larger vehicles like the F-series and E-series. When you compare across segments, the Big 2.5 aren't doing too badly. The GM pick-ups are by far the most efficient in their segment, much better than the Tundra. The Ford Taurus is rated 18/28 while the Camry clicks in at 19/28 and the Accord at 19/29, despite both cars being smaller. No SUV/CUV touches the MPGs of the Escape Hybrid. The new Focus is rated at 24/35 to the Civic's 25/36. The only thing that the Big 2.5 lack are hybrids in their cars (coming in 2008). Detroit doesn't lag because its inidividual cars are guzzlers but because of their fleet mix due to consumer demand, and consumers still demand the Explorer, the Express Van and the Ram. I recognize that the Big 2.5 trail in overall fleet mpgs, but let's be realistic why they do. I'm also the first to tell you that they can't keep their current product mix longer-term with higher fuel prices, but if you look at the products due out in even the next year or two, you see a drastic refocus on cars and efficient powertrains (at Ford alone you have the hybrid Fusion, the Fiesta, the new line of 4-cyl engines, the twin-force engines and DSG trannies and both GM and Ford have plug-in hybrid tests going on).

  • MgoBLUE MgoBLUE on Sep 28, 2007

    How does Honda only squeak by Toyota by 0.1mpg?! Honda doesn't produce an eight-cylinder engine! Meanwhile, Toyota puts them in the Landcruiser, Sequoia, GX, RX, LS, and GS430. WTF?! Don't say Prius! DON'T SAY PRIUS! NO WAY DOES THE PRIUS OFFSET THAT MANY V8's!

  • Tulsa_97sr5 Tulsa_97sr5 on Sep 28, 2007

    MgoBLUE - Toyota sells so many Corollas and Camrys that the bigger vehicles don't drag the average that far down. If they start selling 2 or 3 times as many Tundras over the next few years it will certainly move.