The 2011 model-year federal fuel-economy ratings are up. Mostly. And looking at the bottom of the mpg scales isn't all that surprising.
Although the federal guide
is still in its early-release version, products from Bentley and Rolls-Royce remain the lowest. The 2011 Bentley Continental GTC, Continental Supersports, and Continental Flying Spur, as well as 2011 Rolls-Royce Phantom, Phantom Coupe, and Phantom Drophead Coupe, all remain the lowest among all passenger cars, at 11 mpg city, 18 highway. The Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG is a runner-up so far, at 12/18.
Among trucks and SUVs, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG rates a pathetic 11 mpg city, 13 highway, while the G550 rates at 11/15.
Pickups remain the other sore spot. The 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (both 12/18 with the 6.2-liter and 4WD), 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (13/18), 2011 Ford F-150 (12/15 with the 5.4-liter V-8) and Dodge Ram 1500 (13/18) all rank near the bottom. Several full-size SUVs also rated particularly low: the Toyota Sequoia (12/17), Nissan Armada (13/18), GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe (14/18) were among the lowest. But we use all these vehicles for serious hauling needs, not everyday driving, right?
Furthermore, a number of heavy-duty trucks rate at just 10 mpg city.
2011 Honda CR-Z
Either on FuelEconomy.gov, or through the EPA's Green Vehicle Guide, you can now check 2011 fuel economy ratings, as well as see federal Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas scores, as well as check which vehicles currently carry the SmartWay designation, which points to those in the top 20 percent with respect to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
As our companion site Green Car Reports discussed a couple of weeks ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are planning a complete redesign of the window sticker that gets placed on all new cars—and specifically, they've proposed two possible new designs for interpreting the numbers for fuel economy and greenhouse gases. One of them, more an evolution of the current format, would present the numbers along with sliders on how the vehicle compares among all vehicles; but it's the other, employing big, bright colors and letter-grade signs, that has garnered the most attention.