Chrysler Ranks Lowest in Latest EPA Fuel Economy Report
Reliance on Truck and SUV Sales Brings Average Down
Despite having the most fuel-efficient pickup and midsize premium SUV in the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel, Chrysler as a whole came in dead last in the latest EPA report surveying manufacturer-adjusted fuel economy. Chrysler-Fiat’s Final 2013 economy average came in at 20.9 mpg. Although that represents a 0.8 mpg improvement from 2012, it puts it 1.1 mpg below next-worst General Motors, which posted a 22 mpg average. Ford was only slightly better with a 22.2 mpg average.
The most-efficient automaker was Mazda, with a 28.1 mpg average. However, it’s important to note that Mazda does not sell any pickups or full-frame off-road SUVs in the U.S. market, two of the most-thirsty vehicle segments. Toyota came in mid-pack with a 25.1 mpg average. Toyota sells proportionately more Corolla and Camry models, most of which get more than 30 mpg highway, than they sell of the Tundra fullsize and Tacoma midsize trucks. Chrysler is projected to show a 1.1 mpg improvement for 2014 model year vehicles, but that would still put the company at the bottom of the list.
Improving fuel economy has lately become a big priority for Chrysler, with reports that the next-generation Jeep Wrangler may be adopting an aluminum body to reduce weight and improve fuel economy. Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s comments that Toldeo may not be equipped to produce the next-generation Wrangler have prompted action as high up as Ohio governor John Kasich, who has asked for open communications with the company to look for ways to keep production in Toldeo. The city has been home to CJ and Wrangler production almost since its inception in 1941.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency