America’s 10 most gas-guzzling vehicles burn rubber as well

In an age of rising gas prices, growing environmental worries and ever-tougher efficiency rules, there's still millions of vehicles sold every year that can properly wear the crown of gas-guzzlers. For 2013 models, the ten least-efficient cars and trucks manage a combined federal fuel economy rating of no more than 13 miles to the gallon — about half what the typical new vehicle can hit — and all of them carry a hefty sticker price to pay for the privilege of never passing up the pump.

For this list, we've excluded the full-size cargo and passenger vans still for sale — the Chevy Express, GMC Savanna and Ford F-350 wagon — on the grounds that such models will be bought mostly for business use, and for that rare post-Brady Bunch that needs seats for 12. (Had we included them, they'd nearly top the list.) While the majority will never see use as daily commuters, several will be, even though their annual fuel costs will typically run more than $4,000. And in an era where automakers emphasize smaller engines, every one of them has at least eight cylinders under their hoods.

Last year's list included a few models which improved their mileage for 2013, including Ford's large SUVs.


1. Bugatti Veyron: 8 mpg city/15 mpg highway, premium gas

With 16 cylinders producing 1,200 hp, it's something of a miracle that the Veyron doesn't report its efficiency in gallons per mile. The typical Veyron owner drives less than 1,000 miles a year, and their production run has ended, so the era of the Veyron as America's least efficient vehicle will be coming to a close.

2. GMC Yukon XL 2500 4WD/Chevrolet Suburban 2500 4WD: 10 mpg city/15 mpg highway, regular gas

3. GMC Yukon XL/Chevrolet Suburban 2500 2WD: 10 mpg/16 mpg, regular

These graybeards of the full-size truck-based SUV market will gain major improvements in fuel economy when new versions arrive in a couple of years. Until then, they're still often seen as family vehicles in rural locales, and if driven 15,000 miles a year, each one will belch nearly 12 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

4. Ferrari FF: 11 mpg/16 mpg, premium gas

Two decades ago, the least-efficient vehicles in America consisted almost entirely of high-end sports cars, especially European models. Today, there's only one Ferrari on the list, the V-12-powered, 660-hp FF — which can be bought with an optional stop-start system that will save enough gas over a year's time to afford a "My Other Car Is A Prius" bumper sticker.

5. Ford Raptor: 11 mpg/16 mpg, regular gas

Like most vehicles on this list, the all-terrain Raptor was designed with fuel economy as a distant afterthought to some other goal, namely rolling through desert trails at top speed. Yet it's worth remarking on the penalty such traits carry in real life; by the EPA's estimate, driving the Raptor 25 miles requires nearly two gallons of gasoline.

6. Lamborghini Aventador: 11 mpg/18 mpg, premium gas

Twelve-cylinder engines have been synonymous with luxury and power for a century, from the first Packards and Rolls-Royces to the BMW 750iLs sprinkled throughout Craigslist. Yet the end of the 12-cylinder engine may be on the horizon; tighter fuel economy rules around the world have forced automakers to turn to forcing more air through smaller engines with fewer efficiency-sapping parts. For 2013, the Aventador received a stop-start system and cylinder deactivation, allowing it to run at slower speeds with just half of its 6.5-liter V-12 burning fuel. That tech netted all of one mpg in the car's highway fuel economy ratings — not enough to push it off the worst offenders' list.

7. Bentley Mulsanne: 11 mpg/18 mpg, premium gas

At $290,000, Bentley's largest sedan also claims the title of the most expensive midsize car for sale on these shores. Like the Lamborghinis and Bugattis, the Bentley will likely see only a few thousand miles of use a year. The big Bentley also shares something else with those makes; its corporate parent, Volkswagen, which has to balance out the efficiency failings of a handful of ultra-luxury cars with sales of more efficient models to everyday customers.

8. Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG: 12 mpg/14 mpg, premium gas

9. Mercedes-Benz G550: 12 mpg/15 mpg, premium gas

Combining the brick-like shape of an SUV with a massive motor for rapid transit always means bad things for efficiency. The G550, the old-fashioned gelandewagen that's now a throughly modern Mercedes. While the base G550 — sticker price, $114,000 — gets 388 hp from its 5.5-liter V8, the turbo version of that motor in the G63 AMG generates 544 hp, with only a one-mpg penalty on highway travel. If you're going to burn that much gas, you might as well make the most of it.

10. Ford F-150 4WD, with 6.2-liter V-8: 12 mpg/16 mpg, regular gas

This kind of full-size, V-8 powered pickup has started to wane in popularity; most pickup buyers don't need the largest gasoline engine available, and if they require that much grunt, it's easier to step into the diesel-powered heavy-duty size. But there's still thousands of Americans who not only buy this kind of ride but use it as their daily driver, often unloaded. While the Ford V-8 barely makes the list, it's competition is only a few miles-per-gallon more efficient. The concept Ford Atlas unveiled at the Detroit auto show featured several tricks meant to improve full-size truck fuel economy, like shutters in the wheels. Looking at the upcoming rules against what's on sale today shows truck builders will need every bit of magic they can conjure.