Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for new vehicles are at an all-time low, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest annual report on automotive trends, which was published earlier this month.
It appears the many advanced technologies introduced by automakers, like cylinder deactivation, direct injection, auto stop-start and CVTs or transmissions with extra gears, along with the launch of new hybrid and electric models, have managed to offset the record share of trucks and SUVs in dealer showrooms, not to mention the increase in engine output.
As a matter of fact, 12 of the 13 largest manufacturers studied in the report have improved their performance from 2012-2017 (the last model-year included in the calculations). The only one that regressed, believe it or not, is Toyota. However, Volkswagen remains absent from the EPA report due to the devices that were used to defeat fuel economy and emissions tests.
A notable highlight is Honda grabbing the number one spot for average fuel economy among automakers and relegating perennial leader Mazda to second place. The battle between these two Japanese companies is bound to heat up with the former having recently introduced the Clarity and Insight hybrids, while the latter will soon add the acclaimed SKYACTIV-X engine that is said to improve efficiency by about 25 percent.
Hyundai, Subaru (which made the biggest leap from 2012-2017) and Kia round out the top 5. At the bottom of the ranking is FCA, which continues to suffer from a large proportion of trucks and SUVs with bigger engines in its lineup. Ford and General Motors are tied in the next-to-last spot.