EPA Releases Fuel Economy Top 10 Since 1984: Original Honda Insight Still Number 1

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood
2001 Honda Insight.

It seems that these days we never stop hearing about how fuel efficient some new model is, so it may shock you to learn that the highest mileage model currently on the road was introduced back in 1999. That’s right, the original Honda Insight with its hybrid 3-cylinder engine displacing just 1.0-liters was rated at a combined 53-mpg (61-mph highway), which puts it just ahead of the current and third-generation Toyota Prius, rated at 50-mpg combined.

Spots three through six aren’t exactly high-tech machines either, with the 1986 Chevrolet Sprint ER coming in next at 48-mpg, followed by the 47-mpg 1990 Geo MEtro XFI, the 46-mpg CRX and the 43-mpg Civic VX hatchback.

Notably absent are any diesel models in the EPA’s top-10 list, however, a similar list rating models based on real-world fuel economy holds several diesel Volkswagens. There the VW Jetta Wagon from 2002-03 ranks 6th with 48.2 mpg, while the 2000-3 Golf places 9th with 47-mpg and the VW New Beetle 10th with 46.2 mpg. Those numbers are well behind the original Honda Insight at 70.4 mpg.

[Source: EPA]

Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. He has won numerous automotive journalism awards including the Best Video Journalism Award in 2014 and 2015 from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Colum founded Geared Content Studios, VerticalScope's in-house branded content division and works to find ways to integrate brands organically into content.

More by Colum Wood

Join the conversation