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EPA Trends Report names Honda as most fuel-efficient automaker

If Honda is the most fuel-efficient brand, then what is the least efficient? The answer might surprise you.

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A new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Honda as the most fuel-efficient automaker in America. The company has the highest fleet average fuel economy and lowest CO2 emissions of any major full-line automaker for the 2018 model year (MY2018), the latest year for which full data is available, according to the report.

The 2019 EPA Automotive Trends Report ranked Honda first among full-line automakers and second overall with a U.S. fleet average "real world" fuel economy of 30.0 miles per gallon (mpg), a five-year improvement of 2.8 mpg, and 4.9 mpg above the industry average for MY2018. Similarly, Honda's fleet average CO2 emissions dropped to 296 grams/mile, an improvement of 31 grams/mile from 2013 results and 57 grams/mile better than (below) the industry average for the 2018 model year.

The Big Three - General Motors, Ford, and FCA - took up the bottom three slots on the report.

Honda EPA ranking Honda beat out Subaru, Mazda, and Hyundai to be named the most fuel-efficient automaker.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

In 2019, Honda set a new all-time record for sales of electrified vehicles in America, including the Clarity series, Accord Hybrid and the Insight. The company has added the CR-V Hybrid to its lineup for the 2020 model year and there are indications that more electrified powertrains are coming not too far down the road. Honda has previously announced the intention to have two-thirds of its automobile sales to be electrified by 2030.

Other automakers are electrifying their lineups and making already existing hybrid models more fuel-efficient. Subaru recently introduced the Crosstrek Hybrid, a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) based on the engineering in the Toyota Prius Prime. Toyota has recommitted to electrification in the U.S. but debuting new, more efficient RAV4 and Highlander Hybrid models in the past 18 months. A RAV4 plug-in model, called the RAV4 Prime, is coming for the 2021 model year.

Click here to see the most fuel-efficient SUVs sold in the U.S.

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The EQXX Concept features a crazy driving range.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is putting its century-plus of automotive experience into building electric cars, and the results are impressive. The EQS is an electric flagship with great range, and the automaker has unveiled several concepts to show its future plans. The Vision EQXX concept debuted today as an ultra-efficient luxury EV with astonishing range numbers.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept Mercedes focused on efficiency over power with the car. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes' focus with the EQXX is efficiency over power, as it says the car is its most efficient it has ever made. The EQXX uses less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometers (around 62 miles), which equates to 620 miles on a single charge. The battery was designed with tech and knowledge from Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team, especially when it comes to size and weight. The EQXX's battery pack is 50 percent smaller by volume and 30 percent lighter than the pack in the EQS, which already featured astonishing efficiency.

The car's impressive range comes at the expense of horsepower, which in this case means just 201 ponies from the EQXX's electric drivetrain. Mercedes says that the system is capable of delivering up to 95 percent energy efficiency - an impressive figure for power delivery to the wheels. Extremely efficient gas powertrains only achieve around 30 percent efficiency and a human long-distance runner can hit around 50 percent.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept The EQXX is impressively slippery, which improves its range.

The EQXX is a slippery car, too, and with a drag coefficient of just 0.17, the car cuts through the air with ease. The typical EV uses up to two-thirds of its battery capacity just to push through the air, so the EQXX's aerodynamics is a big part of its efficiency. The other big part is Mercedes' thermal management system, which uses shutters and cooling plates to maintain an ideal battery and electric drive unit temperature. The plates allow the EQXX to gain about 12 miles of range in its most aerodynamic mode.

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The new Civic Hatchback just went on sale.

Honda

The Honda Civic is one of the most popular and well-known cars of any type. Honda keeps refining the Civic formula to the point that it seems hard for the car to get any better, but that's what we're here to talk about. The 2022 model year sees the Civic enter its eleventh generation, and updates for the new model year make the car more upscale, more refined, and safer than ever before. Honda released the Civic Sedan first, but the Hatchback is now on the streets. Both cars are excellent, but we want to take a closer look at the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback. Here are three things to know about the car.

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback The Civic Hatchback is almost as practical as a small SUV, and it's way more fun to drive. Honda

Cargo Space

Looking at the Civic Hatchback, or any modern Civic for that matter, it's easy to start believing that there's nothing to it - that you can't use it as a proper family car. That isn't the case here, nor is it the case with the 2022 Civic Sedan. The Hatchback starts with 24.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats, and the rear bench folds flat to open up even more room for gear. That's shy of a compact crossover, but better than many subcompact crossovers - and the Civic is infinitely more fun to drive than either. The Honda CR-V, for example, offers 37.6 cubic feet of space behind the second-row seats, but the subcompact HR-V offers just 23.2 cubic feet of space. I know which vehicle I'd rather drive, and it's the Civic Hatchback by miles and miles.


2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Clever design elevates the Civic above its competition.Honda

Refinement and Design

Honda's redesign of the Civic started with the Sedan, which released first. Its interior carries premium feeling materials and a grown-up design that is at odds with the Civic's reasonable price tag. There are several clever design touches like a singular metal grille that runs the length of the dash. The front air vents are concealed behind it and feature thoughtfully designed control knobs. It's a detail that isn't seen in other cars at this price point, and it's one that elevates the Civic from a budget car to one that feels special.

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback All Civics come packed with safety tech.Honda

Safety Features and Crash Test Scores

The Honda Civic Sedan and Hatchback both earned Top Safety Pick + awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Vehicles earn the honor by scoring "Good," "Advanced," or "Superior" in all categories, including headlights. On top of that, Honda equips the cars with plenty of advanced driver aids, including forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, collision mitigation braking, and road departure mitigation. Blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control are available in higher trims.

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