Corporate Average Fuel Economy: How Automakers Rank

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Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

CARS.COM — 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 pickups 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 (the most recent data available, released in December 2014):

Domestic Passenger Cars
Rank Make CAFE Rating
1. Tesla 276.7
2. Nissan 41.9
3. Honda 39.2
4. Toyota 39.1
5. Volkswagen 37.7
6. Ford 36.6
7. GM 34.4
8. FCA 31.1

All manufacturers encompass their respective brands as of 2014 — i.e., Toyota includes Lexus and Scion. Source: NHTSA

Imported Passenger Cars
Rank Make CAFE Rating
1. Toyota 42.9
2. Mazda 42.3
3. Honda 42.0
4. GM 40.9
5. Mitsubishi 39.8
6. Hyundai 37.3
7. Subaru 37.0
8. BMW 35.0
9. Volkswagen 34.1
10. Nissan 33.1
11. Kia 32.1
12. Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) 31.4
13. Ford 30.9
14. Volvo 30.5
15. FCA 28.0
16. (tie) Jaguar Land Rover 27.0
16. (tie) Lotus 26.7

No pre-model year report; all manufacturers encompass their respective brands as of 2014 — i.e., Toyota includes Lexus and Scion. Source: NHTSA

Light Trucks
Rank Make CAFE Rating
1. Subaru 34.5
2. Mitsubishi 34.4
3. Honda 29.6
4. Mazda 28.8
5. BMW 28.7
6. Volkswagen 28.6
7. Nissan 27.7
8. Hyundai 27.5
9. Kia 26.9
10. Volvo 26.1
11. FCA 26.0
12. Toyota 25.8
13. GM 25.1
14. (tie) Ford 24.8
14. (tie) Jaguar Land Rover 24.8
16. Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) 24.5

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

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.

Fuel Economy