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The Mazda CX-5 is one of the most fuel efficient crossovers in its class.
EPA says average efficiency has increased 22% since 2004

According to the EPA, the fuel efficiency of 2012 model year cars and trucks in the U.S. hit an all-time high. The average for all 2012 model vehicles was 23.6 miles per gallon. The EPA says that overall fuel economy increased by 1.2 mpg compared to fleet wide 2011 economy numbers, making it the second highest gain in fuel efficiency in the last 30 years.
The overall fuel efficiency increase was attributed to two factors: an industry-wide move towards “greener” powertrains in vehicles and higher fuel prices which in turn pushed customers towards more efficient vehicles.
Mazda was the most fuel-efficient automaker with an average of 27.1 mpg in 2012, up 2.1 mpg compared to the previous year. Honda was second at 26.6mpg, and Toyota was third at 25.6 mpg.
Ford was in eighth place with an overall average of 22.8 mpg followed by GM in ninth with 21.7 mpg. Both of those automakers count trucks among their best selling vehicles.
Both Kia and Hyundai were left out of the rankings due to investigations over false fuel efficiency claims. Those automakers had to change window stickers to reflect corrected fuel efficiency measurements once the EPA did some snooping following customer complaints of poor fuel economy.
Fuel efficiency has increased by 22% since the 2004 model year, and the EPA notes that current trends show that 2013 model year vehicles should boost the average to 24 mpg.

Source: Detroit News

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RE: Losing battle
By amanojaku on 12/13/2013 12:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
Fuel economy has never been about lower car costs OR the environment. It originated in the '70s, when rising tensions with the Middle East limited oil supplies. Recognizing the disaster that would occur if oil supply ceased, the government looked to limit cars' use of oil. It was sound reasoning, since you needed oil for heat and electricity. But the government didn't outright ban high-consumption cars; it simply taxed them like crazy. They weren't cost effective for manufacturers, unless you went all out with a sticker price of a few hundred thousand. Or bought a truck or SUV, which wasn't taxed if it was large enough.

This is also when we got the speed limit of 55mph - not for safety, but for fuel consumption.

CAFE is fundamentally an economic tool. The consumer savings is an invention to make CAFE more palatable to gain public support so that car manufacturers are assaulted from all sides. If there are savings, it's purely because the engineers did a damn good job, and the salesmen set a reasonable price.

The environmental stuff is a recent thing, with everyone suddenly wanting to make everything clean and green. CAFE doesn't have any standards on emissions, because it can't possibly dictate that. It simply has consumption goals (e.g. 35mpg) with estimated emissions targets.

RE: Losing battle
By RU482 on 12/13/2013 2:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
I was looking at the specs of the 2014 Chevy SS, and noticed "Gas Guzzler Tax" of something like $1400. 14city/21hwy.

So yea, there are alternatives out there if you could care less about fuel economy, but in general, the industry is getting more fuel efficiency out of comparable engines compared to 10 yrs ago.

RE: Losing battle
By FITCamaro on 12/13/2013 2:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
Because technology is improving and they are being forced to. Even without the EPA though, higher fuel prices and people earning less have made more people wanting cars that cost them less money to operate.

RE: Losing battle
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 12/13/2013 3:36:44 PM , Rating: 2
A gas tax hike would be far better than CAFE trying to dictate the laws of physics. Heck, just price the cost of CENTCOM spending into each gallon of gas sold and bbl of oil imported. It could be revenue-neutral, and make the retail cost of gas reflect its actual cost a bit more closely.

RE: Losing battle
By freedom4556 on 12/16/2013 2:39:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's still a loosing battle. Diminishing returns will kick in eventually, if they haven't already. The lawmakers can't keep mandating ever increasing fuel economy targets year-on-year and expect the engineers to just 'figure it out.'

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