Mazda's vehicle lineup is the most fuel efficient and least polluting in the auto industry, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), despite being among the few mainstream automakers that doesn't offer any electrified models.
The EPA's data comes from its latest analysis of fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions trends. In that analysis, they determined that through the 2016 model year, Mazda is tops in the North American auto industry in terms of real-world economy and emissions performance for its full range of vehicles.
It's a feat Mazda has accomplished through refinements to traditional internal combustion technology, which it promotes through its SkyActiv branding.
The top four places on the EPA's list are occupied by brands that do not sell full-size pickups -- Mazda, Hyundai, Honda and Subaru -- the crossover-based 2018 Honda Ridgeline being the only pickup from that quartet.
But the EPA says pickups are more efficient than ever, tying data from 1986, when the EPA notes that trucks were much smaller and lighter than they are now.
In the SUV segment, the EPA notes that car-based crossover models enjoyed the biggest increase in fuel economy, but both crossovers and truck-based models now offer those segments' best-ever economy and lowest CO2 emissions.
Another data point the EPA calls out is vehicle horsepower, which has increased by nearly 70 percent (!) since 1975, and now sits at 230 when averaged across all vehicle segments.
The EPA is still compiling fuel economy and emissions data for the 2017 model year, but their preliminary figures show that Honda is set to take top spot, and Hyundai will challenge for second place, as both companies have recently expanded their hybrid, PHEV and EV offerings.