Car News

EPA Names Most Fuel-Efficient Cars of the Past 25 Years

RELATED READING
See all Honda Insight, 2001 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader July 2010

Despite continuing advances in fuel-saving technology, it seems that the most efficient cars are still the smallest. According to a list compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency, every one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles of the last 25 years is a small, front-wheel-drive hatchback or sedan – and not one has an engine larger than 1.8 liters.

The EPA's list, which can be found below, considered combined city and highway fuel economy to determine the most fuel-efficient vehicles sold in the United States since 1984.

Japanese automaker Honda took five of the ten slots, including first place, which went to its futuristically-styled Insight coupe, sold from 2000 to 2006. According to the EPA, the first-generation Insight achieved an impressive 53 miles per gallon in combined driving.

Aside from the list's inclusion of only the smallest cars, another surprise was the amount of older cars on the list. Despite rising gas prices, increased efficiency, and updated technology, the majority of the list is comprised of cars made before 2000 – perhaps due to ever-increasing curb weights on newer vehicles.

In a surprising choice, the EPA named the 1986 Chevrolet Sprint the third-most efficient vehicle, beating out new vehicles like the Honda Civic Hybrid and Honda's popular new Insight, a four-door hatchback.

Perhaps not so surprising, the Toyota Prius took two spots on the list, with the newest model ranked second and the first-generation model, which was offered as a sedan only, coming in at ninth.

Though most consumers shopping for a new hybrid probably wouldn't consider a twenty-year-old Chevrolet Sprint or Geo Metro instead of a Prius, the EPA's list certainly provides an interesting look at automotive efficiency through the years.

The EPA list:

  1. Honda Insight – 2000 – 53mp
  1. Toyota Prius – 2010 – 50mpg
  1. Chevrolet Sprint ER – 1986 – 48mpg
  1. Geo Metro XFI – 1990-1994 – 47mp
  1. Honda Civic Coupe HF – 1986-1987 – 46mpg
  1. Honda Civic VX hatchback – 1994-1995 – 43mpg
  1. Honda Civic Hybrid – 2006-2010 – 42mpg
  1. Honda Insight – 2010 – 41mpg
  1. Toyota Prius – 2001-2003 – 41mpg
  1. Chevrolet Sprint – 1989 – 41mpg
  1. Suzuki Swift – 1989 – 41mpg
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
EPA Names Most Fuel-Efficient Cars of the Past 25 Years - Autotrader