Charting Model Year MPG Improvements for ICE Vehicles



A silver SUV sits on a gray concrete surface with water in the background.

The Volvo XC60’s fuel economy increased from 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway in MY 2019 to 22/28 in MY 2024. Driving 15,000 miles per year, the fuel savings is $545 over a three-year period. (2024 Volvo XC60 shown). 


“Fuel economy improves with subsequent vehicle generations.” This assumption proves true with a glance at the U.S. EPA’s light-duty average fuel economy over the years.

Of course, fleets don’t put fleet drivers in vehicles on averages; they spec specific models. How much does their fuel economy improve over time?

ICE Vehicle MPG Changes

To find out, Automotive Fleet asked the lifecycle cost experts at Vincentric to calculate the fuel expenses of popular fleet models for the 2019 and 2024 model years. We kept this analysis to internal combustion engine (ICE) models.

We only chose vehicles that existed in both model years for an apples-to-apples comparison. Though vehicle options and trim level designations change between model years, we chose the closest matches.

Vincentric calculated fuel at three years, 15,000 miles per year, $4.09 for vehicles requiring premium fuel (BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Cadillac Escalade, and Volvo XC-60) and $3.31 for regular (the rest).

The Results

Our comparison shows an improvement in overall MPG, but not by a significant amount. Average MPG improved from 23 city and 31 highway in 2019 to 24/32 in 2024. From the 2019 to the 2024 model year, total average fuel expense decreased by 2.7%, from $6,243 to $6,077.

Six models saw their fuel economy worsen. Six stayed the same, and 11 improved.

The big winners were Ford Explorer, with a 16.5% decrease in fuel expense, Mazda CX-5 with a 14.2% decrease, and Kia Sportage with a 12.1% decrease.

In the case of Ford Explorer, the vehicle entered a new generation between those model years and offers a broader range of engine choices.

The Takeaway

First, a caveat: This is only a snapshot of a small subset of models and does not represent the breadth of engine choices for each model.

In this admittedly narrow analysis, subsequent vehicle generations don’t always show meaningful improvements in fuel economy.

Manufacturers engineer vehicles not just for improvements in fuel economy but also for vehicle functionality, safety, and driver comfort. Fleets spec holistically too.

In this case, revising their selector lists is a more productive path for fleets that have improving fuel economy higher on the priority list. A more comprehensive initiative to move toward more fuel-efficient models, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and pure electric models where applicable, will result in a quicker path to lowering fuel expense and carbon emissions.

 

































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































2019-MY Vechicles
Make Model Series Engine City MPG Highway MPG Fuel Total
BMW 3-Series 330i 2.0L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC 16-valve Twin turbo  26 36 6,355
Honda Accord EX 1.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC 16-valve Turbocharged  30 38 4,665
Nissan Altima S 2.5L transverse Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC 28 39 4,756
Mercedes C Class C300 2.0L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC 16-valve Turbocharged 23 34 6,936
Toyota Camry LE 2.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC 28 39 4,756
Mazda CX-5 Signature 2.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 22 27 6,462
Ford Edge SE 2.0L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged EcoBoost 21 28 6,490
Buick Enclave Essence 3.6L V6 SIDI DOHC 18 26 7,254
Chevrolet Equinox LS 1.5L Inline 4-cyl SIDI DOHC Turbocharged  24 30 5,868
Cadillac Escalade Luxury 6.2L V8 SIDI 14 23 10,738
Ford Escape SE 1.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged EcoBoost 23 30 5,991
Ford Explorer Base 3.5L V6 SMPI DOHC Naturally Aspirated 17 24 7,776
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3.6L V6 SMPI DOHC Pentastar  19 26 7,074
Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.5L Inline 4-cyl DOHC Turbocharged ECOTEC 29 36 4,874
Subaru Outback Limited 2.5L Horizontally opposed 4-cyl SMPI DOHC 25 32 5,568
Toyota RAV4 LE 2.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC 26 35 5,214
Nissan Rogue SL 2.5L transverse Inline 4-cyl SMPI DOHC 26 33 5,376
Hyundai Sonata SEL 2.4L Inline 4-cyl GDI DOHC  25 33 5,480
Kia Sportage EX 2.4L Inline 4-cyl GDI DOHC 22 29 6,231
GMC Terrain SLE 1.5L Inline 4-cyl SIDI DOHC Turbocharged 26 30 5,637
Volkswagen Tiguan S 2.0L transverse Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 22 29 6,231
Chevrolet Trax LS 1.4L Inline 4-cyl SMPI DOHC Turbocharged 25 33 5,480
Volvo XC60 T5 – Inscription 2.0L transverse Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 20 27 8,373
  2019-MY mpg & fuel expense averages 23 31 6,243



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































2024-MY Vehicles
Make Model Series Engine City MPG Highway MPG Fuel Total
BMW 3-Series 330i 2.0L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection Turbocharged 25 34 6,674
Honda Accord EX 1.5L 1.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 29 37 4,808
Nissan Altima S 2.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Naturally Aspirated 27 39 4,835
Mercedes C Class C300 2.0L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 26 36 6,355
Toyota Camry LE 2.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC 28 39 4,756
Mazda CX-5 S Preferred 2.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC 26 31 5,546
Ford Edge ST-Line 2.0L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 21 28 6,490
Buick Enclave Essence 3.6L V6 SIDI DOHC 18 26 7,254
Chevrolet Equinox LS 1.5L Inline 4-cyl SIDI DOHC Turbocharged 24 30 5,868
Cadillac Escalade ESV Premium Luxury 6.2L V8 Direct injection OHV 14 18 12,267
Ford Escape Base 1.5L 1.5L Inline 3-cyl GDI DOHC Turbocharged 27 34 5,199
Ford Explorer Base 2.3L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection Turbocharged 21 28 6,490
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3.6L V6 SMPI DOHC 19 26 7,074
Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 27 35 5,123
Subaru Outback Limited 2.5L Horizontally opposed 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC 26 32 5,460
Toyota RAV4 LE 2.5L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC 27 35 5,123
Nissan Rogue SL 1.5L Inline 3-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 29 36 4,874
Hyundai Sonata SEL 2.5L Inline 4-cyl GDI DOHC 25 36 5,234
Kia Sportage EX 2.5L Inline 4-cyl GDI DOHC 25 33 5,480
GMC Terrain SLE 1.5L Inline 4-cyl SIDI DOHC Turbocharged 24 29 5,970
Volkswagen Tiguan S 2.0L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 24 31 5,774
Chevrolet Trax 1LS 1.2L Inline 3-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 28 32 5,258
Volvo XC60 B5 – Core 2.0L Inline 4-cyl Direct injection DOHC Turbocharged 22 28 7,848
  2024-MY mpg & fuel expense averages 24 32 6,077



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