According to the EPA’s most recent study of “Light Duty Fuel Economy Trends”—released yesterday but covering the 2012 model year—Mazda is both the most fuel-efficient automaker in the country and the one with the lowest CO2 emissions. Stretching the EPA’s top-10 list to 11, for Chrysler’s sake, here is the report’s mpg leaderboard (with CO2 emissions in grams per mile):
- Mazda—27.1 mpg, 328 g/mi
- Honda, including Acura—26.6 mpg, 334 g/mi
- VW, including Audi—25.8 mpg, 351 g/mi
- Toyota, including Lexus and Scion—25.6 mpg, 347 g/mi
- Subaru—25.2 mpg, 352 g/mi
- Nissan, including Infiniti—24.1 mpg, 369 g/mi
- BMW, including Mini—23.7 mpg, 377 g/mi
- Ford, including Lincoln and Mercury—22.8 mpg, 390 g/mi
- GM, including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC—21.7 mpg, 410 g/mi
- Daimler, including Mercedes-Benz and smart—21.1 mpg, 426 g/mi
- Chrysler Group, including Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram—20.1 mpg, 442 g/mi
Now, about those numbers. To make things simple, we’re just going to take the EPA at face value when it says that they represent its “best estimate of real-world CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.” Those who would like to delve a bit deeper into the arcane world of EPA testing, or check out the Light Duty Fuel Economy report in its entirety, should start here: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm. Also, results from Hyundai and Kia are not included because of what the EPA refers to as “a continuing investigation.”
That being said, here’s the party line from Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations: "Mazda has long had a history of doing things differently, and SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY is no exception. While other manufacturers have turned their attention to hybrids and electric cars, we chose to focus on perfecting the base technology used in more than 90 percent of the cars and SUVs sold today: the internal combustion engine. Through analyzing and refining this technology, as well as every other component in a modern automobile, Mazda has been able to achieve class-leading fuel economy in nearly every segment it competes in, and bring that technology—at an affordable price—to every customer."
As for this year’s EPA data, let’s look at just two more lists to provide some context for Mazda’s performance.