So your March Madness bracket didn’t win Warren Buffett’s billion-dollar challenge and you’re really, really lucky if you picked the correct Final Four, but if you’ve still got bracket fever and mad appreciation for the environment, the bracket below is just for you.
Just click a vehicle name from each matchup, based on which you think gets better average miles per gallon. We’ll show you which ones and how many you got right, and in the end, you’ll find out which model tested with the best mileage of 2014. The data is from fueleconomy.gov. Note: We didn’t include electric vehicles, just gas and hybrids. Good luck, and see below for more on this data.
Note: MPG data from fueleconomy.gov varies for some vehicles based on specific engine type, other factors.
In case you’re wondering how this data is compiled, here’s some background. Since 1978, vehicle makers have been required under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to maintain minimum fuel efficiency standards. Violators are subject to fines called a Gas Guzzler Tax (similar to how greenhouse emitters would be under a carbon tax, but that’s a different story). The fuel-efficiency testing is actually conducted by the manufacturers under legally specified procedures. The EPA spot-checks 10 to 15 percent of the vehicles, and sends the data to the Fuel Economy Information Project, managed by Bo Saulsbury at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Saulsbury told Mother Jones that “in the old days it came in as one basic data dump…now it comes in every two weeks.” In fact, you can already find data there for many 2015 models.