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EPA Publishes 2006 Fuel Economy Guide; Total Average Economy Decreases


With a print cover reflecting increasing anxiety over rising gasoline prices (right) the EPA released its annual Fuel Economy Guide for 2006 mode year vehicles.

Despite the cover art, the EPA data indicates that total unweighted average combined fuel economy for all 2006 models has actually declined by 1% from the average combined fuel economy of the 2005 models, from 21.22 mpg to 20.99 mpg.

Fuel Economy by Select Classes
EPA Class20052006Δ
Subcompact 23.38 23.87 0.49
Compact 25.84 24.63 -1.21
Midsize 22.69 22.66 -0.02
Large 19.98 19.70 -0.28
Small station wagons 25.27 25.20 -0.07
Midsize station wagons 22.38 22.50 0.12
2WD Pickup 18.54 18.48 -0.06
4WD Pickup 17.12 17.03 -0.09
Minivans 20.21 20.19 -0.03
2WD SUV 19.52 19.90 0.39
4WD SUV 17.92 18.63 0.71

Average combined fuel economy worsened in a number of classes, with the largest drop being in compacts, which went from an average 25.84 mpg in 2005 to an average 24.63 mpg in 2006.

The next largest decrease came in the large car segment, with a drop from 19.98 mpg to 19.70 mpg. SUVs marginally increased their fuel economy as a class, increasing from an average 18.72 mpg in 2005 to 19.27 mpg in 2006.

Toyota’s Corolla was the sole gasoline-only car to make the list of the ten most fuel-efficient 2006 model vehicles, which was otherwise dominated by hybrids and diesels. Toyota also, however, had the least fuel-efficient SUV: the Land Cruiser with 13 mpg city, 17 highway.

Honda’s Insight hybrid was in first place, with 60 mpg city and 66 mpg highway, followed by Toyota’s Prius hybrid with 60 mpg city and 51 highway. Volkswagen AG grabbed four of the top ten spots with diesel versions of its Beetle, Golf and Jetta models.

Ford was the only U.S. automaker to make the top ten with the hybrid version of its Escape sport utility vehicle. Ford also took top honors with its mid-sized Focus station wagon for that segment, and with the Ford Ranger as the most fuel-efficient pickup truck.

The automatic version of DaimlerChrysler’s Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck, with an 8.3-liter engine, had the worst fuel economy of any vehicle rated, getting 9 mpg in the city and 12 mpg on the highway.



At least the SUVs are getting better. *shrugs*


I use this alternate download location, the nice thing about it is that data is available in spreadsheet format. That let's me eliminate the N/As and sort by city mileage (what matters to me) and then see who the winners are.


BTW, isn't it SHOCKING how many large trucks and SUVs get away with an N/A! From my scan, all of the N/As are Fords and GMs, and they include the Hummer H2 ... you aren't getting their data from the EPA.

... the Prius is also strangely missing from the spreadsheet.


Sometimes I'm slow ... the N/As must be the vehicles which exceed 8500 pound Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). As the report states:

"Fuel economy regulations do not apply to vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (vehicle weight plus carrying capacity) of more than 8,500 pounds. Therefore, come large pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs are not tested, and fuel economy labels are not posted on their windows."

The hummer is on the list because, despite being a passenger vehicle, they "score" 8500 pounds


There oughta be a law. Oops! I guess there is. I guess the real proof of the pudding will be what people actually buy.


Yeah, what we've really got here is a free market in cars and trucks with a vast range of mpg (6 <--> 60?), with some CAFE window dressing.

At least the EPA reports help "market" the more efficient cars.

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