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In Honor of St. Patrick's Day: Top 5 Thirstiest Ethanol-Burning Cars

By Matthew Askari | March 17, 2012
Once upon a time, St. Patrick's day involved a traditional church service in the morning and an old time feast in the later hours, consisting of Irish bacon and cabbage. While those traditions might exist in some small remote pockets, these days the "feasting" generally consists of a wee swally; and then another; and another. Like most holidays that have succumbed to modern commercialism (think Christmas and Cinco de Mayo), St. Paddy's now usually involves a bit of boozing (and, we hope, designated driving). In honor of that, we've come up with a list of the top five thirstiest cars on the road today. But there's a catch: we looked for cars that go the shortest distance on a gallon of ethanol. A commonly touted alternative fuel, "E85" is a mixture that's 85 percent ethyl (or grain) alcohol. Not surprisingly, there's also a direct correlation between regular gasoline mpg, and ethanol mpg. These really are the thirstiest cars out there, anyway you slice it.
5) 2012 Lincoln Navigator 4WD

Hard to imagine now, but at one time the Lincoln Navigator was a pretty cool car. It was the "it" car, the status symbol championed by rappers, athletes, and soccer moms alike. And then came the Cadillac Escalade to ruin the party. Suddenly the Navigator was lost and lonely among a sea of newer and more fashionable SUVs. While the status and glory of the Navigator has left us, the clunky and clumsy 5.4-liter V-8 "flex-fuel" engine remains. Taking you only nine miles per gallon of ethanol (and a lousy 13 mpg gasoline), the Navigator is much the once-star-athlete still playing a decade after its prime in an effort to stave off bankruptcy. With this engine, the only thing flexible will be your credit line to keep it going.

4) 2012 Toyota Sequoia 4WD/ 2012 Toyota Tundra 4WD

Toyota's are generally efficient and reliable cars that can soldier on for years if maintained properly. And the Sequoia SUV and Tundra pickup might be reliable, but like a summertime Grizzly bear in the Nevada Desert, it sure is thirsty. Delivery a measly nine miles per ethanol gallon, and 13 gasoline mpg, this twosome is chronically dehydrated.

3) 2012 GMC Sierra K15 4WD/2012 Chevy Silverado K15 4WD

Both of these Pickups use a very powerful, very large and heavy 6.2-liter, V-8 engine, and as a result, like the previous entries on this list, they can really hold their liquor. Like the others above, the Sierra and Silverado suffer from being large, bulky and all-wheel-drive movers. Getting the same nine mpeg as the others, but even worse 12 mpg with traditional gasoline, the pickups are the third thirstiest on our list.

2) 2012 Nissan Titan 4WD/2012 Nissan Armada 4WD

Like Japanese counterpart Toyota, Nissan has an SUV and pickup duo that share a large, alcohol-swallowing 5.6-liter V-8 engine. The Titan and Armada may have big adult names, but when it comes to fuel economy, they're not even teenagers: 12 mpg with traditional gasoline, and a puny eight with the Paddy's Punch, make the twosome choice candidates for an Ethanolics Anonymous meeting.

1) 2012 Bentley Continental GT (and friends)

The Bentley Continental comes with all the refinement you can expect when shelling out a couple-hundred thousand bucks: double stitched leather; premium audio; a sumptuous interior; 20-inch alloy wheels; we could go on. What it also comes with, is a curb weight north of 5,000 pounds. To push all that weight, the Continental employs a 6.0-liter, 12-cylinder engine that, as it falls number one on our list, well let's just say even the merriest of St. Paddy's day revelers would take pause. The Continental GT Coupe will only take you a measly eight miles in exchange for 124 ounces of ethanol (we would presume pumped through aged oak barrels), and on premium gasoline, the Bentley only gets 11 mpg (hey, at least we're in the double digits!). Honorable mention goes to the Continental Supersports, and Supersports Convertible, that fared incrementally better. Then again, if you're paying $200,000 for a Bentley, we neither expect you to be penning notes to your congressman to help reduce carbon emissions, nor would you care about high fuel costs. At the bottom of our list, the bloated Bentley is the thirstiest car out there. Source:


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