EPA: Mazda leads US fuel economy; FCA still worst

EPA: Mazda leads US fuel economy; FCA still worst

Mazda was the most fuel efficient automaker in the US for the 2015 model year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Japanese company’s adjusted fuel economy averaged 30.1 mpg, with CO2 output of 295 grams per mile. The achievement appears to represent the first time a major automaker has surpassed the 30-mpg benchmark.

The results for 2015 are preliminary, though Mazda also leads the final numbers for the 2014 model year with a 29.4-mpg average. Subaru is second on the list with 27.6 mpg, followed closely by Hyundai, Honda and Nissan.

Perhaps not shockingly, the Big Three domestic automakers have held the bottom positions in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has remained at the bottom of the pack, with an average adjusted mpg rating of just 20.8 for 2014.

“BMW accomplished the biggest improvement in adjusted CO2 emissions performance from MY 2013 to MY 2014, followed by Mercedes and Mazda,” the EPA noted in its report (PDF). “BMW also had the biggest fuel economy improvement from MY 2013 to MY 2014, followed by Mazda.”

The agency cautioned that production time-frames for certain model years can throw off the averages. As an example, Hyundai and Kia both had ‘very short’ production windows for high-efficiency models from the 2014 model year, dropping their averages by 1.5-1.6 percent.

“Excluding these two manufacturers, fleetwide fuel economy would have increased by 0.3 mpg and fleetwide CO2 emissions would have decreased by 4 g/mi in MY 2014, rather than being flat,” the report added.

The EPA believes most manufacturers will post improvements for the 2015 model year, however it is unclear if the drop in gasoline prices — and an associated boom in SUV sales — will have a negative impact on overall efficiency through 2016.

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