5 October 2000

The US Department of Energy has issued its 2001 fuel economy ratings for cars and trucks. The information is available from a dedicated fuel economy web site at www.fueleconomy.gov.

The statistics include fuel economy ratings for more than 800 cars, light trucks, SUVs and minivans. Continuing popularity of SUVs and minivans is reflected in declining fuel economy ratings. The average fuel economy for SUVs, light trucks and vans was at approximately 18 mpg (13 l/100km), while the average car rating was at 23.6 mpg (10 l/100km). King-size SUVs, including Lincoln Navigator, Ford Expedition, and Dodge Durango, were rated at or below 14 mpg (16.8 l/100km). For comparison, in the 1980's average fuel economy for all vehicles was at about 26 mpg (9 l/100km).

Hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles, the two-seater Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, scored the best fuel economy ratings of 64 mpg (3.7 l/100km) and 48 mpg (4.9 l/100km), respectively. The hybrids were followed by three diesel fueled cars, Volkswagen New Beetle, Golf, and Jetta, all rated at 45 mpg (5.2 l/100km).