With fuel efficiency considered a national priority, media stories tend to naturally gravitate toward the cars with the best miles-per-gallon ratings. But low-mileage cars are still being built, and, in many cases, consumers are paying a premium for them.
Using data from the US Department of Transportation’s fuel economy website, we’ve compiled a list of some of the least fuel efficient cars for 2014. From Aston Martin and Bugatti to Chevy and Cadillac, we present some of the auto industry’s most prominent gas guzzlers.
Click on Bugatti’s Veyron, the hands-down winner (loser?) in this contest, to start the slideshow.
In the two-seater category, Bugatti’s Veyron wins hands down. Often referred to as the “fastest street-legal production car in the world,” the Veyron offers a top speed of 267 miles per hour. The turbocharged, 8.0-liter, 16-cylinder supercar cranks out an amazing 1,001 HP and earns a combined miles per gallon rating of 10 mpg. Its city rating is 8 mpg. On the highway, it gets 15 mpg, according to the US DOT. (Source: Wikipedia)
This slideshow is like a public service announcement, Chuck. I can't afford any of these cars anyway, but it's good to know which cars to steer away from when it comes to fuel inefficiency. I think it's a bit socially irresponsible for car makers to create these types of cars these days, luxury or not. Surely there is a way to make cars like this more fuel efficient and overall better for the consumer and the environment.
Of this list, the Camaro is the only one with any real volume. I understand your sentiment Elizabeth, but these cars are made in numbers that are relatively insignificant compared to the fleet sizes of other vehicles. How many Veryons do you think are made compared to a Chevy Silverado or Ford F150? By comparing overall fuel consumption and evironmental output, I am sure the mentioned trucks dwarf these cars.
Perspective, Elizabeth, perspective. I probably could not afford one of these cars, but if I could, I would not feel guilty driving it!
GTOlover, that is the point I was going to make. The volumes these cars are built in constitute no "threat" to the environment. They are self limiting. Even the Chevy will be relatively low volume. Most of these brands are owned by much larger companies. Bently is owned by Volkswagen, Rolls-Royce is owned by BMW, Bugatti is also owned by Volkswagen. Thus, as far as the CAFE standards go, these can be spread over a large number of more fuel efficient cars.
I remember the old days, rejetting the carbs and losing 10MPG, but oh, how well it ran. Fast forward to today and I just got back from a long road trip in my Focus. 70MPH with the air-conditioner on and averaging 43MPG.
Ok, GTOLover, maybe I jumped the gun a bit and was too hard on the carmakers. You're right, these aren't high-volume vehicles generally and they are more specialty type cars. So perhaps since lack of fuel efficiency isn't the goal for these type of cars, it's OK that they are designed this way. And I guess if I admit it that deep down if I had the opportunity to drive around in such a fancy car, I probably wouldn't mind that it was a gas guzzler!
As has been pointed out, the price tag on these vehicles pretty much ensures that they have an insignificant impact on the planet's carbon load. If you can actually afford a Bughatti, it's undoubtedly more fuel-efficient than your Gulfstream jet or your 200-foot yacht!
If you are wealthy and environmentally conscious and still want a pavement-burner, get a Tesla Roadster (zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds), plug it into your solar panels, and have at it!
Your comment made me smile, Zippy. True, if you can afford one of these you're probably already killing the planet with other foms of overconsumption! OK, perhaps that is a generalization, but not one that's too far off. I suppose the specialty cars are meant to be just that. And they probably don't actually get driven very much anyway!
The car publications and TV shows that I read and watch are all raving about the modern day American muscle car wars! ...not cars with the best miles per gallon rating. The same is true at the local Southern California car-culture hang-out spots where folks show-off their nice and unique special cars...muscle cars rule!...not economy. Of course all the older and powerful American muscle cars are also great for weekend cruising and looking.
The power levels of the current late-model Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger with V8 engines is astounding, as is the performance level. The special models have even more power and performance. The base model V8's actually get decent fuel economy when driven easily (such as 18 mpg city, 28 mpg highway). I also find it incredible the good manners of the modern-day Hot Rod muscle cars; smooth and quiet idle, but with nice throaty exhaust sound when given a few RPMs.
My older pristine bone-stock 1998 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (305 HP 5.7 litre "LS" V8 with 6-speed manual transmission) will still turn heads when cruising down Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach, California, while I'm absolutely invisible when driving my 2012 Honda Civic. When I'm done with a hard week of work, it's very enjoyable to get my Camaro toy out of my garage for a weekend daytime jaunt...enjoy a few zero-60 mph in 5 seconds acceleration runs. My Camaro gets 15 mpg city, 26 mpg highway when not driven aggressively. My "daily driver" "grocery getter" geeky Honda Civic gets 26-27 mpg around town, and it does 40-42 mpg at 80 mph on long freeway runs.
I think if there is going to be a list of top cars with the worst fuel economy they should be vehicles that are not meant to be performance cars. Most of the cars on this list are high performance vehicles, they were not created for fuel efficiency but power. I do not believe it is irresponsible for manufacturers to build cars that people can enjoy. Motorsports are very popular and they do contribute to engineering and development of new technologies that have alternate applications. Eco friendly vehicles are important, but I do not think that they should be the only option for auto makers to manufacture. In the end it comes down to the consumer and what they are looking for in an automobile, a weekend racer, a cruiser, or a fuel efficient commuter.
I do agree with your statements NadineJ, to a degree. There certainly have been improvements, smaller turbo charged engines and updates in transmissions for example. If you look at the latest Corvette Stingray with its 7spd transmission, you are getting 17/29 mpg and 455hp. There are innovations in fuel management, cylinder deactivation, etc.
A lot depends on driving habits as well, obtaining better than estimated fuel economy is a common occurrance. However, most people who buy these cars don't drive them like a Prius so the economy isn't there. I myself drive a Chevrolet Cruze Eco and often get mileage in the 45-50mpg range. Acceleration is much slower in a turbo 4 though...
@NadineJ: I agree. If you think about it from a "big picture" perspective, better fuel efficiency ought to equate to better performance, since it means you are turning more of the energy produced by the engine into useful work. (But here the metric is brake-specific fuel consumption, not necessarily miles per gallon).
I agree. We don't have to worry about a large volume of these cars hitting the streets any time soon, mainly due to the price and availability. Perhaps due to a mid-life crisis, I went out and bought one of my dream cars a couple years back. It took me over a year to find an exact match; make, model, exterior, and interior color, and, at a price I could afford. I am truly suprised the BMW M5 did not make the list, since mine has an average fuel economy of 17.5MPG, for a mid-sized, two-wheel drive, four-door. With a couple simple enhancements, the car creates a whopping 450HP, and it is extremely fun to drive. BMW spent more time designing the handling and suspension, instead of economy.
BMW countered some of it's popular 5-Series and 7-Series gas guzzlers with a new line of both diesel and a new 1-Series, small engine, turbo charged cars that are easily breaking the 45MPG range. These cars are also extremely fun to drive due to the handling, more than the overall power.
I don't drive mine on a daily basis either, not specifically due to the fuel mileage, but mainly to keep it clean :) . It stays in the garage when raining, and gets stored all winter. I live in Wisconsin with terrible road salt eating away at cars all winter long. I couldn't afford to purchase this car, just to let the road conditions damage the paint/body in less than five years.
Great article, by the way! I am a car fanatic. Love it!
You missed a catagory: Midsized SUV. I say this because I'd like to nominate my 2011 Honda Pilot for worst fuel efficiency (16 city, 19 highway). I think it's because they put an underpowered engine in it (I suspect the Accord engine). As a result the transmission is always hunting. It will downshift on a hill greater than a 2% slope. This can't help the fuel economy. I truly believe that if thay used a slightly more powerful engine, it would work less hard and the transmission would stay in overdrive more. When I bought it, my choice was narrowed down to the Pilot or the GMC Acadia. I think I made the wrong decision.
All I can say is different strokes for different folks... And there's no need for name-calling just because some people have enough disposable income and are willing to spend it on toys.
You value economy/efficiency. Yours is a more utilitarian view. You want basic transportation that doesn't cost much to operate and if it doesn't clutter up the environment in the process, all the better. It gets you to work and back in one piece with a little thicker wallet to show for it, so mission accomplished. Am I right? Absolutely nothing wrong with this view, although it is rather boring.
Personally, I rather enjoy driving and I'm willing to spend a little more on gas in a sports car if I have to in order to make my time spent commuting in my car a little more enjoyable. Heck, I've been known to go out for a drive for no other purpose than to simply go take a ride, maybe out on a nice curvy road somewhere out of the way... Shock! Horror! Burning gas for no purpose other than my own personal amusement!
Different strokes, man. Not everyone has the same utilitarian views as you. Maybe you choose to spend your entertainment money in other ways. That's your prerogative. I enjoy driving. Doesn't make your choices more valid than mine.
You are quite right. Our kids are just dying to pick up their rifles and march off to some middle-eastern desert to fight for the petroleum to run the gas-hogs. And we can ceertainly endure the climatic consdquences of the CO2 they pour into the atmosphere. So, have fun and let the rest of us suffer for it.
Wow, I'm not even going to waste my time arguing any further if you're going to jump straight to the desert war boogey-man argument. I'll simply leave it at this:
A high performance car can be had for reasonable prices these days that still get around 30+ MPG. Mustang, Camaro, even Corvette come to mind. What your idea of reasonable fuel economy is not necessarily the same as everyone else. Where's the cut-off? What level of economy does it take to ease your superiority complex? Some would view 30 MPG as pretty darn good. The people at the other end of the extreme say anything less than 50 MPG is unreasonable cuz TDI or cuz Prius or cuz Tesla Model S. Trust me, if I could afford a Tesla Model S, I'd get one in a heartbeat. I'd have a blast driving it and I'd be saving the planet all at once. Well, at least until it comes time to scrap out all those batteries anyway... Same goes for all the other electric and hybrid cars out there.
I don't go burning gas just for the sake of burning gas. If that was the case, I'd just save the time and start gasoline bonfires at random. If I can get the best of both worlds of performance and economy, then great. By all means, go for it. I'm not saying automakers shouldn't strive to meet that ideal. All I'm saying is I'm willing to sacrifice some fuel economy if I have to in order to make my driving experience more enjoyable. Some people are willing to sacrifice more or less to meet that end.
You people that are complaining here get your panties all in a bunch if someone drives a car that gets worse fuel economy than you'd personally find acceptable. You're the type that harrass others at the gas station for driving a vehicle different than yours. I've seen the type. I saw a lady driving a Prius hassling a soccer mom driving an SUV for having a gas guzzler. Soccer mom said simply, I'd like to see you try fitting half the soccer team with their equipment in her shoebox. LOL
But, yes, you're right. Your superiority complex is ALWAYS right. Everyone should always get 100 MPG, never have any fun driving their car (wait... are you German or Russian?), and no one can ever get less fuel economy than you do or else they are bad, evil, children haters that would rather send their kids to die in the desert. Middle ground is impossible and the world is starkly black and white at all times. Narcissistic extremist much?
Vipre, you are quite correct. We have fought only two petroleum driven wars in the past quarter century.
Just for the record, I do drive a small efficient car but I never make derogatory remarks to those who do not, unless they raise the question. And even then I try to argue the science, rather than raise personal attacks based on assumed (but unverified) facts about the other person. And I dertainly do not ascribe psychological syndromes to anyone based on a few lines of his writing.
As for a standard of efficiency, I would like to see at least 35 to 40 mi/gal, but realize that people's needs vary. Very few, except occupations such as farmers and forest workers need a high clearance 4-wheel drive SUV. If one needs to carry a lot of stuff, a light (2 wheel drive) station wagon would seem more suitable.
Perhaps SUVs should have to be registered as trucks or agricultural vehicles with the associated rules. Note that the SUV driver you cited was using the vehicle for recreation (soccer).
I'm not denying you the right to have fun behind the wheel. But I don't see a linear correlation between the price of a car or the power of its' engine and the owners' satisfaction. You can have fun in a 2.0 liter Mazda MX5, too.
The actual MPG figures are not the point - if you are in the bottom 10% of the efficiency table, you are probably doing something wrong.
"Performance" isn't a one-size fits all thing. There's lots of ways to define it. Lots of power, good handling, good fuel economy, hauls lots of stuff, attracts lots of shallow pretty girls, or some combination of the above. A famous race driver once said "It's a lot more fun to drive a slow thing fast than to drive a fast thing slow." I believe that statement. Your example of the Miata is a perfect embodiment of that. It's really any a fast car, but it handles well and gets okay mileage. It's downfall is that isn't not very practical at all. It's a two seater coupe, not a sedan, with a tiny trunk, and it's a terrible winter car for Wisconsin. I need 4 doors that works as a daily driver for myself and my family year-round and I want to have fun doing it. Subaru makes some great options, all of which fall just short of your somewhat optimistic mileage expectations. I wonder if you and I have different ideas of what a "fun car" is.
For the record I drive a 2005 Mazda6 hatchback with a 3.0L V6. My everyday average combined fuel economy is only around 19-20 MPG. I bought this car used and paid $9000 for it. It's got a great blend of performance and practicality, though fuel economy isn't the best and I wish it had a bit more power. On the highway it'll get up to 27 MPG, but my daily commute is mostly city driving so I only end up averaging around 19-20 MPG. Newer versions of the engine I have are making better fuel economy at similar or slightly better power output, but I can't justify the expense on a new vehicle for only a 10% increase in fuel econ. It'll never pay off by the time I'm ready for a different car.
Here in Wisconsin, FWD, AWD, or 4WD vehicles are generally preferred if you need one vehicle for use year-round. Most FWD vehicles are poor performers handling wise because of their propensity for one-wheel spin, wheel hop, torque-steering, and they usually tend to understeer more than I like. In deep snow, this creates a tendency to plow while trying to turn. I had a RWD Pontiac G8 before this car and it was rather good in the snow once fitted with aggressive snow tires. Unfortunately, it got totaled after being rear-ended by an inattentive driver in a Jeep Liberty with bald tires in January last year. That car had similar fuel economy numbers. It was fun to drive with good power and handling and it was a great family car
Look, I and others have stated plainly that the cars in this article are extreme examples. Many of these are granted exemptions to mandated fuel economy requirements because of low production volumes of the ones that are sold, most are not daily drivers that are putting thousands of miles on per year. All are heavily taxed with gas guzzler fees to be a disincentive for buyers, but often on these cars, money isn't a huge hurdle. If you don't care about fuel costs much, then you may not care much about a one-time tax either.
The government is already doing what you ask and are mandating higher mileage from newer cars right around what you're asking for. Schedules are defined when these economy improvements must be made. Are you saying they aren't making these incremental increases rapidly enough or that the rules need to change in how they are applied? Many automakers are already phasing out larger engines because of these rules. Mazda, for example, now only offers 4-cylinder engines in the Mazda6 and is expected to finally offer a diesel version to the US within the next year or so. I even heard that Ford may be building a Mustang with a 4-banger using their impressive new EcoBoost engines. A pony car with a 4-banger! Madness! And I'm sure it will sell, too. This kind of thing is happening industry wide. Don't let this article fool you. It's not representative of everything being built. These are outliers and are a dying breed. But that doesn't mean every car built needs to be a boring econobox. The Tesla Model S is a great role model for where the industry should be headed. Awesome power, handling, aggressive styling, great efficiency... It's got it all except for a price people can afford. Tone down the tech in the cockpit, and use some cheaper interior materials, boost production volumes and that would go a long way to making a car I could actually afford to buy that would keep you lot happy at the same time.
The target market for the cars in this article is not people who want to enjoy the comfort and performance of their cars. It's people who want to stand out from the crowd and hang their chequebooks out in public view, to announce "I'm richer than thou" - the same crowd who will pay 10 grand for an ugly wristwatch or a 4 figure sum for a simple purse or handbag. There's money in this market, but I'm not sure there is much job satisfaction in catering for it,. When it comes to fun, of all the vehicles I've driven, it was a Toyota Hi-lux with a diesel engine that I enjoyed the most. Each to his own.
I understand your sentiment, Cabe, but I have to admit I'm not brave enough to own a Bugatti Veyron. In the past 20 years, I've had two snowblowers stolen from my garage. I can only imagine how those thieves would react if they knew I had a Bugatti Veyron in there.
As A retired USAF Msgt I find your outlook moronic and very like tunnel vision.
Yes, we want the oil but apparently you fail to look up and see that we have more oil under the middle of the USA than all the Arab states combined.
We went there to Free a people from a tyrant, and we did so. I participated repeatedly.
The fact that a lot of them want to install a new tyrant is still a problem.
Were it up to Me we would Glass the entire region & that population and be done with it. But then folks call me extreme but I have a good reason.
Muslims have been invading and attacking non muslims for 2000 years - FACT - HISTORY - READ IT.
The only clear solution is to eliminate them entirely Unless you are willing to put up with them attacking people whenever they think they can get away with it.
Now, about the cars, I drive a Gas Guzzling 4WD SUV most times but I also own a Kia Rio ECO for my daily commute. The SUV is for winter when the Kia cant get out of the driveway. I also use it when we go Camping in the woods, the Kia can't go there either.
My first car was a 1957 Buick Special, 401 CI V8 with a "Dynaflush" transmission. Cost $275 used in 1963. That car averaged about the same as the WORST of this lot, and for sure was a LOT less fun to drive! Of course, back then even Sunoco 260 was about $0.25/gallon, and the EPA hadn't been invented yet. We've come a long way, baby!
Not mine you wouldn't! I only had it for less than a year. That was in NJ, and it suffered greatly from corrosion issues instigated by road salt. I was driving home one night from work and was taking a "jughandle" exit ramp when BOTH A-frames decided to break loose from the frame. Both front tires splayed out at the bottom like a cartoon car. I limped home VERY SLOWLY. The nexrt day, my uncle who lived across the street (who was a used-car dealer who sold me the car) took it to his lot. His mechanic took one look and told him it was unrepairable; that was the last I saw of it! I had already become enamored of "import small cars" and asked him to find me something like that to drive. I ended up with a 1959 Renault Dauphine. That car taught me a lot about auto maintenence and repair, including complete engine rebuilding! But it did get very good gas mileage even by today's standards.
Yes, I buy a 2 million $ car because I am concerned about fuel enonomy. I cannot afford quite $2 mil (yet), but I do enjoy my Maserati Gran Sport and Corvette Z1, and am dissapointed they did not make the list.
I really don't get this slide show. Most of these cars are very high end luxury autos. Many of these cars are investments and a few like the masurati are attempts to break new ground. These cars don't get driven around cause you feel like enjoying a nice drive. They are driven at a specific time and purpose. Go checkout what the used versions of these things have in mileage. If you can locate a for sale sign.
I tend to think a bit like John, my main thought isn that for anybody who can afford any of these vehicles, which probably nobody would insure, that the cost of fuel would be a trivial item. Like the sign in one store said, "if you need to ask the price, you can't afford it", and I have walked into stores like that a few times. I look at the prices and know that I don't belong there.
I was in the boot store at Mall of America, and I asked a sales person to direct me to thye less expensive boots. I saw none of then under about $200, and decided that I ceratinly was in the wrong place.
I have on occassion gone into stores or dealerships knowing full well I could not afford their over-priced goods just to pester the sales people. What amazes me is that I am considered a bother to this snotty bunch and they do not even know if I actually have the money for their goods! I like being a Jed Clampett type.
GTO, you reminded me of story about a guy I used to work with. He always wore bib overalls and cowboy boots, and many times a cowboy hat too. He went to a Buick dealer to look at the Roadmaster, which at the time was about the biggest car on the road, and probably the most expensive thing Buick sold. The salesman sized him up, and just flat out told him he couldn't afford a Roadmaster. He went down the road to the next Buick dealer, bought his Roadmaster, and drove it back to the first dealer to show it to the salesman.
That almost could have been me, except I don't do the bib overall thing. I'm one of those frugal people who stopped paying interest on ANYTHING (except house mortgage) long ago; last time I had a car payment was 1989. I love to "dress down" every 5 or 6 years when it's time to replace mine or the wife's car. I know I'm in the wrong dealership when I can't gat any attention from a salesperson. I generally know exactly what I want and what I'll pay for it, and the GOOD salesperson will pick up on that pretty quickly. Once they locate the car I want, it only takes a few minutes once I whip out the checkbook and pay for it! I LOVE the look on the "Finance manager's" face when I do that while they are trying to convince me to use a loan.
The better "upscale" dealers understand this. The first new car I ever bought was in 1968, a Rover 2000TC sports sedan. The dealer was located in Lake Forest, Illinois, and also sold Mercedes and BMW, a VERY upscale dealer in a VERY upscale town. THEY treated me like any other of their customers despite my youth (and the fact I was trading in a well-worn Volvo 544 with primer spots all over it).
One day I was there getting some warranty service performed. There was a "regular customer" who was there getting a last-minute birthday present for his wife. He ended up buying (then and there) a 230SL roadster that they happened to have in stock and it was delivered (gift-wrapped of course) to her that same day! (He paid cash too...).
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