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EPA: Nissan and Mazda Are the Most Efficient Automakers

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2014
  • Mazda is the most fuel-efficient automaker in EPA's latest trends list
  • Nissan topped EPA's list among full-line automakers
  • Honda and Subaru also performed well, finishing near the top of the list

Nissan is officially the most fuel-efficient full-line automaker in the United States, while Mazda is the most efficient overall brand. That's the latest from the federal government's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which recently released a new trends report that puts the automakers at the top of the pack in terms of gas mileage.

According to EPA, Mazda earned the highest overall fuel economy score of any automaker, reaching an average of 28.1 miles per gallon across its entire model year 2013 product lineup. That's up 1 mpg from the brand's 2012 model year score, which topped last year's EPA Trends report.

Meanwhile, Nissan and its Infiniti luxury brand reached an impressive 26.2 mpg for the 2013 model year -- undoubtedly bolstered by the sales success of the Leaf plug-in electric vehicle. That placed Nissan ahead of all other full-line automakers and represented a gain of nearly 9 percent compared to the automaker's 2012 average of 24.1 mpg.

Coming in second behind Mazda on EPA's list was Honda, which returned a corporate average of 27.4 mpg, and next up was Subaru at 26.7 mpg. Among full-line brands, Nissan topped Toyota, which finished at 25.1 mpg, Ford, at 22.2 mpg, and General Motors, at 22 mpg. Fiat Chrysler lagged behind rivals, reaching an overall average of just 20.9 mpg.

What made Mazda and Nissan so successful? For Mazda, it's the brand's new Skyactiv technology, which focuses on gas mileage and weight savings above brawny horsepower figures and strong acceleration times.

Beyond the Leaf, its electric vehicle, Nissan's fuel economy success is likely due to the addition of three efficient new models in 2013: the Sentra, the Altima and the Pathfinder. While the Sentra and Altima both posted gains compared to their predecessors, it was the redesigned Pathfinder that offered the best fuel economy jump -- an increase of nearly 30 percent compared to its predecessor.

What it means to you: Although Nissan and Mazda top the EPA's fuel economy list, car shoppers should be delighted to learn that nearly all automakers are more efficient than they were last year.

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EPA: Nissan and Mazda Are the Most Efficient Automakers - Autotrader