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Honda Punches Up Ridgeline Fuel Economy by 5 MPG

Automakers finding way to get car-like mileage out of trucks.

by on Apr.29, 2016

The 2017 Honda Ridgeline made its debut at this year's Detroit Auto Show.

Honda expects to get as much as five miles per gallon better mileage out of its reborn Ridgeline pickup when it goes on sale over the summer.

That’s in keeping with a general trend that’s seen a big boost of the fuel economy of next-generation trucks and SUVs. And, industry leaders are betting, it will mean that American motorists will be far less likely to flee back to conventional sedans and coupes if – or, more likely, when – fuel prices start rising again.

The Last Word!

According to figures filed with the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees mileage testing, the front-wheel-drive version of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline will deliver 19 mpg in the city, 26 on the highway. The all-wheel-drive model will trim a single mpg off those numbers, to 18 and 25.


Ram Diesel Claims Lead in Truck Fuel Economy

But will Ford take the lead with aluminum F-150?

by on Feb.04, 2014

The Ram EcoDiesel is leaving competitors behind with its 28 mpg highway rating.

In the race for supremacy in the enormously profitable full-size pickup truck market fuel economy has become an increasingly competitive issue – and is likely to become even more important going forward, so makers that once put horsepower and towing limits atop their ads are now just as likely to emphasize mpg.

That’s meant some significant changes in truck design, with a growing emphasis on so-called “lightweighting,” and the emergence of a new generation of higher performance V-6s, such as the Ford EcoBoost V6 that has left competitors domestic and foreign scrambling.

Fuel for Thought!

But Chrysler has struck back with its new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, landing a string of kudos, including the coveted Motor Trend Truck of the Year. And now, Chrysler is claiming what could be an even more significant victory, the EPA giving the diesel version of the Ram a car-like 28 mpg Highway Cycle mileage rating – the best ever recorded for a full-size half-ton pickup.


White House May Back Down on 56.2 MPG Fuel Economy Proposal

Compromise could mean lower requirement for light trucks.

by on Jul.15, 2011

President Obama during a visit to Detroit.

Compromise seems to be the watchword for the White House, and even as the president continues to seek consensus on a bill raising the federal debt limit it appears the administration might also aim for an acceptable alternative to the 56.2 mpg fuel economy standard it floated several weeks ago.

While already below the original proposal of 62 miles per gallon in 2025, the numbers still didn’t add up for most automakers.  Only Hyundai, of all major manufacturers, had indicated its belief it might even be able to come close.  Industry lobbyists gained a strong ally in their fight in the form of the United Auto Workers Union, which argued that a significant increase in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard could cost potentially 100s of thousands of jobs.

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While Washington still appears to be set on the 56.2 mpg number for passenger cars, which would be a 5% annual increase over the 2016 standard of 37.5mpg, it is now raising the possibility of a reduced standard for light trucks.  A report in the Wall Street Journal quotes sources who say the requirement for SUVs, pickups and other trucks would climb only 3.5% annually.