The Cars You Get The Most Mileage Out Are Not American

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

“Gas prices are nearing $4 per gallon nationwide and consumers are getting reluctant to pay any additional money at the pump when buying a new vehicle,” said Jesse Toprak of TrueCar. This changes buying pattern, and it might influence election results. Important as the topic may be, foreign carmakers continue to give you the most mileage. American carmakers lag .

Average TrueMPGAverage Car TrueMPGAverage Truck TrueMPGManufacturer12-Mar11-MarYoY12-Mar11-MarYOY12-Mar11-MarYoYHyundai/Kia28.1268.1%29.727.48.4%23.723.50.9%Honda25.424.15.4%28.627.15.5%22.821.27.5%Toyota25.423.48.5%30.928.29.6%19.518.83.7%Nissan23.923.32.6%26.525.53.9%20.420.21.0%Ford22.4216.7%26.825.26.3%19.718.75.3%GM21.620.93.3%25.324.24.5%1918.71.6%Chrysler19.718.84.8%22.821.56.0%18.1180.6%Industry23.4226.4%27.1258.4%19.719.22.6%

TrueCar’s monthly sales-weighted look at the fuel economy of new cars sees Hyundai in the lead, and Detroit at the bottom. Ford’s green drive definitely results in results: Ford gets the best sales-weighted mileage of the Detroit Three, but still is solidly trounced by the Koreans and Japanese.

What’s more, the makers in the lead continue to improve. The sales weighted mileage of Hyundai and Toyota is more than 8 percent better than a year ago. Ford again shows good improvement, whereas GM and Chrysler are below average.

These are the new March data. When we published the February numbers a month ago, some commenters demanded that the data are broken pout by cars and trucks. Voila, done. As you can see, it does not change the big picture.

If you want your data broken out by nameplate, segment et al, head over to TrueCar, and they will oblige.

This story most likely will trigger howls of protests. Truth hurts. If you don’t like these lists, talk to the bad boys.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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2 of 49 comments
  • Gigantor Gigantor on Apr 13, 2012

    Why does the author feel the need to include a trolling based title for the "article"? There was another article similar to this one not too long ago...."Want To Save Gas? Don’t Buy American – Announcing The True Heroes And True Villains At The Pump" that did the same. Why the need? Bad article and analysis as well.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Apr 13, 2012

    The big 3 are guilty of giving people what they want, relative to size, comfort and payload/towing/offroad. Yes you can tow a Suburban with a CR-V but without trailer brakes, you're pushing your luck and that of those around you, joeaverage. You add cheap fuel (relative to the rest of the world), long commutes, plenty of wide open parking and yeah, who the hell wants to cram themselves into tiny shitboxes for hours a day? Nevermind all the commercial/industrial applications that are not excuded from this silly study.

  • SPPPP Too much individual choice in that program, maybe?
  • Eric I would like one of each, please. But make that a '641/2 Mustang and a 1970 240Z
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Funny comparison:
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Some insight.
  • Amwhalbi I know this is apples and oranges, but I'd rather have an Elantra N, a Jetta GLI or a Civic Si than either the Mustang or the Z.