Ford has made many improvements in bettering its fleet average fuel mileage in recent years. But lest we forget, it was the Ford Explorer that helped create the SUV craze. And it wasn’t long ago you could buy the monstrous Excursion from any nearby dealership, a road behemouth more suitable to Lord Humongous than suburban soccer moms.
Consumer Reports recently did its annual round of real-world gas mileage numbers. The 2010 Ford F-250 Lariat ranked as the vehicle with the worst tested gas mileage, getting on average just 10 mpg.
The testing was for “light duty” vehicles, although there is nothing exactly light about the F-250. What really surprised me was that this was a diesel-equipped model. How much worse would the gas version have fared? Second place of this dubious distinction goes to the Hummer H2, a zombie brand which managed just 11 mpg. Behind that was the Cadillac Escalade and several other giant domestic SUVs.
As far as the most fuel efficient cars, it should come as no surprise that the Prius topped the list at 44 mpg. Surprisingly though the Smart FourTwo beat out the Honda Insight, netting 39 mpg and 38 mpg respectively. The highest ranking domestic car (and the only one in the top ten) was the Ford Fusion Hybrid, with 34 observed mpg.
While the F-250 fared the worst this year, 2010 should be a different story. Ford is unleashing a bevy of new engines, and yesterday they unveiled their in-house built diesel engine for the Ford Super Duty. The 6.7 liter diesel engine has 390 horsepower and a monstrous 735 ft-lbs of torque, while improving fuel economy (though by how much we don’t know, as the EPA doesn’t require the figures to be published). That is good enough to tow up to 24,000 pounds. The F-150 should also be getting Ford’s new EcoBoost engine sometime this year.
Out with the old, in with the new!