Best fuel-mileage cars, trucks, SUVs go the distance based on EPA ratings

And the long-distance winner is …

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric, best fuel-mileage car with 136 MPGe (150 city, 122 highway).

The midsize Hyundai leads all vehicles in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ratings of 2019 models’ fuel efficiency, which includes converting fuel mileage to MPGe to allow vehicle comparisons.

The Ioniq’s sibling Hyundai Kona Electric small SUV rated as the most-efficient vehicle in five EPA classes for SUVs, trucks and minivans at 120 MPGe (132 city, 108 highway) in addition to ranking high overall. The Tesla Model X 75D electric vehicle, which is categorized as a standard sport utility, is the second-most fuel efficient among those classes at 85-93 MPGe depending on model.

Hyundai Ioniq
Photo: Hyundai via Newspress USA
The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the fuel-economy winner.

Following the Ioniq by MPGe and class are:

  • Toyota Prius Prime (hybrid sedan), 133 combined MPGe
  • Tesla Model 3 Long Range (luxury sedan), 130 MPGe
  • Tesla Model 3 Mid-Range (luxury sedan), 123 MPGe
  • Hyundai Kona Electric (SUV), 120 MPGe
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV (small station wagon) and Volkswagen e-Golf (compact) 119 MPGe.

Excluding electric vehicles, the most-efficient cars by MPG and class are all hybrids:

  • Hyundai Ioniq Blue (large), 58 MPG
  • Toyota Prius Eco (midsize), 56 MPG
  • Kia Niro FE (small station wagon), 50 MPG
  • Toyota Prius c (compact), 46 MPG

Rounding out the winners in the EPA’s car classes are:

  • Chevrolet Spark (subcompact), 33 MPG
  • MINI Cooper Convertible (mini-compact), 31 MPG
  • Fiat 124 Spider and Mazda MX-5 (two-seater), 30 MPG
  • Volvo V90 FWD (midsize station wagon), 27 MPG

Other top SUVs besides the Kona and Model X are:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid AWD (small SUV), 90 MPGe
  • Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (minivan), 82 MPGe
  • Jaguar I-PACE 4WD (small SUV), 76 MPGe
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4WD (small SUV), 74 MPGe
  • BYD e6 (small SUV), 72 MPGe
  • Volvo XC60 AWD PHEV (small SUV) and XC90 AWD PHEV (standard SUV), 58 MPGe
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC350e 4matic (small SUV), 56 MPGe

Besides the top SUV, trucks and minivans, all of which are either electric or hybrid vehicles, the following scored the best mileage in those three classes:

  • Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid (minivan), 48 MPG
  • Nissan Rogue Hybrid FWD (small SUV), 34 MPG
  • Lexus RX 450h AWD (standard SUV), 30 MPG
  • Ford F150 Pickup 2WD (standard pickup), 25 MPG
  • Chevrolet Colorado 2WD and GMC Canyon 2WD (small pickups), 23 MPG
  • Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna 2WD (minivan), 22 MPG

Altogether, the EPA ratings comprise almost 1,700 new vehicles, including 389 SUVs, 135 pickups and 10 minivans, and are available online at fueleconomy.gov.

Fuel economy is measured by manufacturers – usually using pre-production prototypes – under controlled laboratory conditions using tests specified by federal law. The EPA reviews the results and confirms about 15 to 20 percent of them through further testing.

The EPA fuel economies may not accurately predict your average MPG, depending on how and where you drive, vehicle condition and maintenance, and other fuel, vehicle and engine variations.

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