Fuel Economy Up, Emissions Down in 2016

Every year since 1975, the EPA has issued a report listing the average fuel economy for cars and light trucks sold in the US. Its latest report, it finds that Nissan is the most fuel efficient full line manufacturer. This is the third year in a row Nissan has taken top honors. Nissan’s fleetwide fuel economy rating of 28.3 adjusted combined miles per gallon was the best of all full line manufacturers.

Nissan IDS concept

Nissan is the only automaker among the top seven on the list to offer a full vehicle lineup, including mid and full-size trucks and SUVs. Sales of the Nissan LEAF zero emissions electric car no doubt helped boost its overall fuel economy. The fact that its full size pickup and SUV models don’t sell very well compared to the competition probably helped as well.

“Evolving industry regulations continue to challenge us to provide the safest, most efficient products to our customers, and this distinction reaffirms the exemplary effort our engineers and designers have taken to ensure continuous vehicle improvements and owner satisfaction,” said Michael Bunce, the vice president of Product Planning for Nissan North America. According to Auto World News, Bunce added that fuel efficiency is high on the list of things customers say they want when shopping for a new vehicle today, despite historically low gasoline prices.

Ward’s Auto reports that average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the US nudged upward a bit in October, after dropping slightly in the past three months. The average fuel economy of light vehicles sold in the U.S. in October was 25.1 mpg, up 0.5% from the same month last year. Part of the reason for the increase may be a small uptick in sales of alternative fuel vehicles.

Ward's Auto average fuel economy stats Oct 16

Meanwhile, the EPA and NHTSA also had a bit of good news for the automotive industry. According to AutoBlog, manufacturers who sold more than 150,000 cars in the US market bettered the greenhouse gas emissions standards set by the two agencies for the fourth year in a row. That’s when all the data is lumped together. Looking at each manufacturer separately, Fiat Chrysler was slightly under the target levels, while Mercedes and Kia were furthest off the pace. Nissan and Subaru were first and second in the rankings.

Overall, if you are looking for a car that gets above average gas mileage and has a lighter than average carbon footprint, you should head directly to your local Nissan dealer.


Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.