Seven Vehicles That Meet CAFE 2025 54.5 mpg Today

54.5 mpg by 2025? Here are seven vehicles available now that meet or beat that figure in their segments.

By Joel Arellano | October 15, 2012
    • Back in 2009, the Obama administration said the U.S. needs to reduce exhaust emissions from cars, trucks, minivans, and everything in between. Simultaneously, those vehicles need to provide better fuel economy, as measured by Corporate Average Fuel Economy, otherwise known as CAFE, which are administered through the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. After wrangling back and forth with the automakers and their supporters, the government explained its finding, provided numbers, and more or less said, "Go forth and meet these. And if you don't, here are the consequences." So what does this mean to you, the average car buyer? The number most bandied by the press is 54.5 mpg. This is the figure most automakers' entire car and truck lineup must average by 2025 to be in compliance with the government regulations. Not always explained is that CAFE is not the same thing as the numbers we see on the window stickers of new cars, and in advertisements. Those are provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, and are typically about 20 percent lower than CAFE numbers, according to the NHTSA; our own calculations showed the EPA combined figure between 20 and 30 percent less than the official CAFE numbers. It's complicated further by the fact that the CAFE number involves the vehicle's "footprint," that is, its overall size. The breakdown works something like this: compact car (e.g. Honda Fit); midsized (Ford Fusion); full-sized (Chrysler 300); small SUV (Ford Escape); midsized crossover (Nissan Murano); and large pickup truck (Chevrolet Silverado). Doing the math, that ranges from an EPA combined 23 mpg for full-size pickups, up to 48 mpg for subcompacts. All of which got us to thinking: do any vehicles on sale today meet the 2025 standard? Yup; pretty much any electric vehicle meets it today, for example. But EVs haven't exactly caught the public's imagination -- and pocketbooks -- the way manufacturers had hoped, and besides, putting an EV on a list of fuel-efficient cars is sort of cheating. Still, we managed to find seven vehicles that meet the future standard today that aren't just affordable, but are even fun and interesting to drive. Absent from the list: Full-size trucks. None currently meet the standard, but there's hope for the future. Rumors have swirled that diesel engines could make their way to the half-ton segment, and if they do, they're sure to drive fuel economy numbers significantly higher than they are now.
    • 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid

      Combined 38 mpg
      The Acura ILX barely made our list. Why? According to our calculations, the ILX hybrid's combined 38 mpg just made the minimum average requirement for compact and mid-sized sedans in 2025. Expect Honda to improve fuel economy of the ILX in the future to match its mechanical twin Honda Civic hybrid...show more

      Research This Vehicle

      2013 Chevrolet Volt

      Combined 98 MPGe, 37 mpg
      What can we say that hasn't been said about the Chevrolet Volt? As we mentioned in our review of the 2012 model, there's no real competitor to this compact hatchback yet, which can travel up to 40 miles on pure electric...show more

      Research This Vehicle

      2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

      Combined 47 mpg
      The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid, the heir apparent to the prior-generation Ford Escape hybrid, already trumps the EPA-estimated mpg for small SUVs by 2025. As we also discovered in our time in the C-MAX, Ford's offering beat competitor and...show more

      Research This Vehicle

      2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

      Combined 47 mpg
      47/47/47. That's the mantra Ford's been saying for months about the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid. 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway, 47...well, combined average mpg. We've driven both the 2013 model as well as the ...show more

      Research This Vehicle

      2012 Lexus CT 200h

      Combined 42 mpg
      Sexy. Gas sipper. Oh, and slow. All these words describe the Lexus CT200h, which easily makes the EPA mpg range of 42 to 48 mpg for 2025. This handsome hatch has folks turning heads as it cruises down the boulevard, though car enthusiasts looking for serious racer rockets need to go elsewhere. That's...show more

      Research This Vehicle

      2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid/Lexus ES 300h

      Combined 41 mpg
      Toyota made sure its best-selling Camry sedan and its mechanically identical twin, the Lexus ES 300h, are more than ready to meet CAFE regulations in 2025. The sedans currently get 41 mpg and 40 mpg, respectively, for their combined mpg. Those figures easily meet the future EPA figures for midsized...show more

      Research This Vehicle

      2012 Toyota Prius c

      Combined 50 mpg
      Toyota popularized the hybrid car here in the states and increasingly around the world. Thus, it's not surprising the entry-level Toyota Prius c easily meets the future EPA combined mpg range of 42 to 48 mpg. Heck, it beats the estimation. The Prius c, as ...show more

      2012 Toyota Priusc Front 34 Desert Rocks
      Research This Vehicle
    View All Pages

    More Hot Lists Articles

    Want to know the 10 most fuel efficient family haulers? How about the 10 safest cars for less than $20,000? You'll find it all and more here, where we break it down to the basics.
    Top 10 Incentives for November 2013

    Top 10 Incentives for November 2013

    Here are some great deals on cars for November 2013.

    November 06, 2013

    October 2013 Top 10 Incentives

    October 2013 Top 10 Incentives

    October brings great deals on the latest models.

    October 10, 2013

    Hot Incentives Deals for August, 2013

    Hot Incentives Deals for August, 2013

    Our picks for the best new car incentives for August, 2013.

    August 15, 2013

    0 comments