Fuel efficiency, according to Statista, trumps design, quality and even safety as the most important factor we look for when shopping for a new car.
In this infographic, Visual Capitalist have used data from the EPA’s 2022 Automotive Trends Report to list off the most fuel efficient cars from 1975 to today:
Visual Capitalist have also represented the information from the infographic in the table below:
Marcus Lu, a finance writer and content strategist for Visual Capitalist, says we can identify three distinct approaches to maximizing fuel efficiency from this dataset:
“Prior to 2000, the best way for automakers to achieve good fuel efficiency was by downsizing. Making cars smaller (lighter) meant they could also be fitted with very small engines. For example, the 1985 Chevrolet Sprint was rated at 49.6 MPG, but had a sluggish 0-60 time of 15 seconds.”
“The 2000s saw the introduction of mass-market hybrid vehicles like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. By including a small battery to support the combustion engine, automakers could achieve good MPGs without sacrificing so heavily on size.”
3) Electric Vehicles
“We’re currently in the middle of a historic transition to electric vehicles. However, because EVs do not use fuel, the EPA had to develop a new system called MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent).
This new metric gives us the ability to compare the efficiency of EVs with traditional gas-powered cars. An underlying assumption of MPGe is that 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity is comparable to the energy content of a gallon of fuel.
The most fuel efficient car you can buy today is the 2023 Lucid Air, which achieves 140 MPGe. Close behind it is the 2023 Tesla Model 3 RWD, which is rated at 132 MPGe.”
For further insights and trends (and additional illustration), check out Marcus’ unabridged article, “The Most Fuel Efficient Cars From 1975 to Today”, on the Visual Capitalist website (originally published, along with the infographic above, on 26th January 2023).
Infographic Designer: Athul Alexander
Feature Image Source: rawpixel.com on Freepik