EPA Confirms: America's Most Fuel-Efficient Cars Are Not American

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Fuel economy of vehicles sold in the U.S. is on the rise, recording the sharpest gains in almost four decades, an annual report by the EPA shows. Foreign automakers have the most efficient fleets.

The EPA report shows an average 16 percent gain in fuel efficiency for in the past five years, to 23.8 miles per gallon. The EPA’s list is led by foreign carmakers, with Detroit sharing the bottom places with purveyors of thirsty performance cars.

EPA Fleet Fuel Economy 2012MPGHonda26.4VW26.2Mazda25.9Toyota25.6Subaru25.2Nissan24.6All23.8Ford23.2BMW23.1GM21.4Daimler21.4Chrysler-Fiat20.6

TrueCar’s sales-weighted fleet fuel economy report paints a similar picture. Remember: Fuel efficient cars do no good if they sit in the showroom or in the catalog. They must be sold and replace fuel thirsty cars to make a difference.

TrueCar Sales-weighted Fleet Fuel EconomyAverage MPGAverage Car MPGAverage Truck MPGManufacturerJan’13Jan’12YoYJan’13Jan’12YoYJan’13Jan’12YoYHyundai26.826.8028.428.5- TrueCar TrueMPG

The EPA punished Hyundai’s MPG-shenanigans by not listing the Korean maker. TrueCar uses the restated data, with Hyundai still on top.

If you miss data broken out by segment, size, and other criteria, the EPA has a long list of data. TrueCar does likewise.

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="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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8 of 42 comments
  • AJ AJ on Mar 16, 2013

    Chrysler has Jeep, so you have to give them a break. :)

  • Ion Ion on Mar 16, 2013

    Honestly with all the trucks the "domestic" brands sell you would think there would be a wider gap between them and the "imports".

  • Bloggin Bloggin on Mar 16, 2013

    This is distorted comparison. None of the Japanese brands are 'full line' manufacturers in the US. GM and Ford have large commercial vehicle/truck lines, along with several large SUVs needed in the US, that the Japanese brands do not offer. This report would carry more weight if it broke out the passenger cars, from the trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles.

    • See 1 previous
    • Corntrollio Corntrollio on Mar 18, 2013

      @docsoloman "They crown a guy king because he has hit more home runs than the previous king, and totally dismiss that the new king played in several more games than the previous record holder. And the new king almost always did not have more than the old king at the same number of games. Stupid." In reality, no one ever did that. That's why we had the asterisk next to the results for years and years, and probably still will due to steroids.

  • BrianL BrianL on Mar 18, 2013

    Bertel still trying to use the same flawed argument about MPG. Company A, that sells more larger vehicles that get worse gas mileage than company B who sells more smaller vehicles that get better gas mileage. That must have been difficult to figure out.