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2010 Honda Insight - Click above for high-res image gallery

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently in the process of compiling the the fleet average fuel economy numbers for model year 2009, which recently concluded, and it looks like Honda will be on top yet again. The final numbers are still some months away as the data is collected on exactly how many cars were sold and in what configurations. Based on early numbers, Honda's fleet average comes out to 23.6 mpg with Hyundai-Kia close behind at 23.4 mpg. Both of those companies are down slightly from 2008 when they averaged 23.9 and 23.7 mpg, respectively. Of course, last year Honda sold huge quantities of Civics and Fits when gas went to $4 / gallon. This year, those sales – along with everything else – are down, bringing the average mpg number down.

The three Detroit brand automakers brought up the rear with Ford, GM and Chrysler at 20.5, 19.9 and 18.7 mpg, respectively. All three of those manufacturers had a higher proportion of truck sales than cars but even their car numbers are lower because they sell more large cars than their foreign counterparts. As the new small cars from GM and Ford come to market in the next 12-18 months, this should change their position significantly. Chrysler will have to wait a bit longer for Fiat-based cars to hit the U.S. market before their numbers improve. You can find the full 2009 report here.


[Source: EPA]


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  • 10 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The EPA window stickers are useless except in comparing current year models as they are changed frequently and quite arbitrarily. If you look at the EIA reports of the unchanging CAFE figures over time, whose measuring methods are purposely unchanged so that vehicles of different model years can be truly compared, then all the manufacturers including the American manufacturers produce vehicles that exceed 30 mpg CAFE.

      That is especially useful when comparing the autos and trucks of the 1970s vintage that obtained 8-9 mpg on average and were pollution pigs. Now a Suburban that got 14 mpg combined, is disdained but that was the absolute best when NHTSA started comparing vehicles in the early 1970s. It shows how far we have come.

      It is conceivable that even work trucks will achieve mileage figures in the thirties relatively soon, with a combination of gasoline HCCI and/ or diesels together with and dual-mode hybridization. It would be possible to achieve mileages above forty were the Lithium-Air battery to achieve commercialization, within a decade, and series EREVs were possible for trucks.

      When that happens will their still be snooty people saying no one needs a truck? I fear yes, as technology may change; but human nature and snobbery never does.

      many have noted th differences in product mix between the automakers. Chrysler is heavily into building trucks. It's Dodge Rams capture 16.7% of the truck market, yet its over all market penetration is about 9% total. It is a truck builder, who happens to build some cars too.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda! Is there anything they can't do??? Oh yeah, produce a EV.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ray, what manufacturer builds the EV that you drive?
        • 5 Years Ago
        A company out of NC called EV Innovations. They are one of the few companies that do conversions with high tech batteries for under 40k for over a 100 mile range car. Link to my car below.

        http://www.evalbum.com/1892
      • 5 Years Ago
      The big 3 will always be at a disadvantage in these rankings... There isn't one foreign company sells the big trucks needed by farmers, construction workers, etc. Heck Honda doesn't even sell a single truck (for me a truck has to be BOF, otherwise it's a crossover)
        • 5 Years Ago
        How many people who buy trucks are farmers and construction workers? I'm not being a hater here, but I would like to see some realization that for many, trucks are a lifestyle choice, not a necessity. Same for SUVs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The reason is not because Honda doesn't make big trucks.

        The reason is because Americans are using all of those so-called "farm vehicles" and "construction vehicles" to drive their kids to school, pickup groceries at the store, and commute to the office.

        In time this will change....

        The "big vehicle" era is coming to an end. The only question left is what kind of vehicle we will drive to the funeral.... American or foreign?

        • 5 Years Ago
        Of big trucks? 100%. At least damn close to 100%. When I'm talking about big trucks, i mean BIG. I'm not talking about 1/2 ton pickups like the F150 and Tundra, I'm talking 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks. It doesn't really make sense to compare the fuel economy of these trucks to Honda's CRV and Ridgeline or even Toyota's Tundra, Tacoma, Sequoia, RAV4 and 4Runner... but that's what cafe standards do. it should be by weight class, horsepower, or something similar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      yeah, this outlines why something like CAFE doesn't make much sense. Even if Ford were to offer the most fuel efficient offerings in the car segment, a company selling a single model, say a b-segment hatchback that still only manages 21mpg, they'd score better than Ford because they don't sell any big trucks.

      Even though Toyota does offer a large pickup and large SUVs like the Sequoia and 4Runner, the fact is not many people buy them. Companies shouldn't be held responsible for the choices made by the buying public, and likewise, it's silly to mandate a certain fleet average mpg. Instead, we should be simply encouraging purchases of more fuel efficient cars with higher gas taxes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        CAFE separates trucks and cars because of this problem. Unfortunately it hurts us too, leading to cars that class as trucks like the Outback, Crosstour and Venza while real wagons come under the car ratings and thus hurt a company to produce even though they get better mpg than a jacked-up wagon.

        A lot of people bought Sequoias around here. But the 4Runner hasn't been popular in quite some time.