Audi A3, Chevrolet Equinox Make Biggest Strides in Fuel Efficiency

The Audi A3 sedan and Chevrolet Equinox crosser SUV have made the biggest improvements in fuel economy since the 2008 model year, according to an analysis by Edmunds.com.

Audi AG boosted the A3’s fuel economy from 19 mpg in 2008 to 29.1 mpg in 2012, a 38.5% improvement.

Meanwhile, General Motors boosted the Equinox’s fuel economy from 19 mpg in 2008 to 25.1 mpg in 2012, a 32% improvement.

No. 3 on the list is the Kia Sorrento crossover, with a 30.4% improvement in mpg, followed closely by the Dodge Challenger, with a 30.3% improvement.

Overall, the industrywide fleet of light vehicles has increased its fuel economy more than 16% over the same period, according to Edmunds.com.

“The 2008 spike in gas prices served as a wakeup call for manufacturers whose fleets just weren’t cutting it for consumers who were demanding vehicles with better fuel economy,” said Edmunds.com analyst Ivan Drury. “Automakers responded by de-emphasizing fuel-chugging V6 and V8 engines and turning their focus to fuel-sipping four-cylinder and diesel engines.”

Top 10 Vehicles with Biggest Jumps in Fuel Economy

1. Audi A3 -- 38.5%
2. Chevrolet Equinox -- 32%
3. Kia Sorento -- 30.4%
4. Dodge Challenger -- 30.3%
5. Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class -- 28.3%
6. Ford Explorer -- 27%
7. Hyundai Sonata -- 25.8%
8. Porsche Cayenne -- 24.8%
9. Buick LaCrosse -- 24.1%
10. Volkswagen Passat -- 23.7%
Industry -- 16.4%

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