Corporate Average Fuel Economy: How Automakers Rank

Each year, the EPA calculates corporate average fuel economy based on gas-mileage estimates for each car in an automaker's lineup, and the number of those cars produced that year. The lineups split into three groups: domestic passenger cars, which includes cars built using mostly domestically sourced parts, from either an American or foreign nameplate; imported passenger cars, built mostly with parts from abroad; and light trucks, which includes everything from pickup trucks and minivans to crossover SUVs, no matter where their parts come from.

Gas mileage figures come from automakers and go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and then to the EPA for verification, so it can take until well into the following year for final CAFE numbers to be published. Based on NHTSA's data, here's where automakers stood for 2014 (based on the most recent data available, released in June 2014):

Domestic Passenger Cars
Rank Make CAFE Rating
1. Tesla 281.9
2. Nissan 40.6
3. Honda 39.6
4. Toyota 39.1
5. Ford 36.8
6. Volkswagen 36.6
7. GM 33.8
8. FCA 31.3

All manufacturers encompass their respective brands as of 2012 — i.e., Toyota includes Lexus and Scion.
Source: NHTSA

Imported Passenger Cars
Rank Make CAFE Rating
1. Toyota 44.2
2. (tie) Honda 42.0
2. (tie) Mazda 42.0
4. (tie) Mitsubishi 39.8
4. (tie) GM 39.8
6. Nissan 38.8
7. Subaru 37.0
8. Hyundai 35.6
9. BMW 35.2
10. (tie) Volkswagen 33.8
10. (tie) Kia 33.8
12. Daimler 31.5
13. Ford 30.9
14. Volvo 30.3
15. FCA 29.0
16. (tie) Lotus 26.9
16. (tie) Jaguar Land Rover 26.9

No pre-model year report; All manufacturers encompass their respective brands as of early 2012 — i.e., Toyota includes Lexus and Scion.

Light Trucks
Rank Make CAFE Rating
1. Subaru 34.5
2. Mitsubishi 34.4
3. Mazda 31.8
4. Volkswagen 28.9
5. Honda 28.8
6. BMW 28.7
7. Hyundai 27.5
8. Kia 26.9
9. Nissan 26.7
10. FCA 26.1
11. Toyota 25.8
12. (tie) Ford 25.2
12. (tie) Volvo 25.2
12. (tie) GM 25.2
15. (tie) Daimler 24.8
15. (tie) Jaguar Land Rover 24.8

No pre-model year report; All manufacturers encompass their respective brands as of 2012 — i.e., Toyota includes Lexus and Scion.

Although CAFE ratings might look like an outright average of the gas mileage for all the vehicles in a carmaker's lineup, it's not that straightforward. The numbers on the window sticker and the ones reported to the government are "entirely separate," a NHTSA spokesman said. City and highway mileage figures come from the EPA's lab tests, with adjustments to replicate real-world conditions. CAFE figures, meanwhile, are derived using different testing procedures and have various incentives built in.

Mileage figures are averaged across a range of engines and transmissions per vehicle, too, so a particularly high- or low-mileage trim level could skew the numbers for an entire car line. Heavy-duty models are exempt from the calculations.

© Cars.com 02/2/2015