The over-40 mpg club: Overachievers that beat EPA fuel economy ratings

Consumer Reports staff
The Honda Civic LX showed the most difference in mpg from EPA ratings.
The Honda Civic LX showed the most difference in mpg from EPA ratings.


MORE FROM CONSUMER REPORTS

We’ve recently showed that most fuel-efficient cars can beat their EPA highway fuel economy estimates in Consumer Reports measured fuel economy testing. But if you want to hit 40 mpg on the highway, our tests show that you have more options than you might think.

Below is a list of recently tested vehicles that returned 40 mpg or better in our 65-mph highway fuel economy testing, but were officially rated for less.


Make & Model

EPA Highway MPG

CR Highway MPG

Difference (MPG)

Honda Civic LX

39

47

8

Honda Civic EX

39

43

4

Ford Fiesta SE sedan

38

45

6

Ford Focus SE

38

43

5

Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE

38

43

5

Fiat 500 Sport (manual)

38

42

4

Fiat 500C Pop (manual)

38

42

4

Nissan Versa SV sedan

38

40

2

Honda CR-Z EX (manual)

37

45

8

Ford Fiesta SES hatchback (manual)

38

42

4

Mini Cooper (manual)

37

41

4

BMW 335d

36

40

4

Ford Fusion Hybrid

36

40

4

Toyota Camry LE

35

41

6

Mazda2 Sport (manual)

35

40

5

Toyota Corolla LE

34

40

6

Scion xD (manual)

33

40

7

If getting that magic 40 mpg on the highway is important to you, this list provides more options.

Again, it’s important to emphasize that maximizing fuel economy depends a lot on how and where you drive.

Several years ago we measured fuel economy with a 2005 Toyota Camry four-cylinder sedan in different situations. Driving at 65 mph delivered 35 mpg; speeding up to 75 mph cut that to 30 mpg, while slowing down to 55 mph returned 40 mpg. Hard acceleration and braking reduced the Camry’s mileage by 2 to 3 mpg.

The bottom line


EPA highway fuel economy numbers provide a place to start your comparison shopping, but they’re often over-hyped as advertising claims. The full fuel picture is more complicated than that. We suggest using a variety of sources, including Consumer Reports test data, to determine if you’ll actually get the fuel economy you desire.