8 Cars for 2017 That Suffer From Poor Gas Mileage

Updated March 8, 2017

8 Worst Low-Mileage Cars in 2017

With the kind of selection that’s out there today in terms of new cars, there is a kind of balance that all new car buyers will reach when deciding on a new vehicle to take home. Price, fuel economy, practicality, and fun all factor into the decision. Gone are the days when everything was just a different body on the same chassis and you could expect similar power and fuel economy out of every car on the lot.

Now, if you want a lot of storage, a lot of seating, all-wheel drive, etc., you can go with a sedan, wagon, crossover, compact SUV, or van that will offer a good number of features for the money you pay. Because of this wonderful selection consumers face, cars that are particularly bad in one category are almost doomed. The easiest way to doom a car? Bad fuel economy.

Well, actually, the easiest way to doom a new car is with a price that is way too high for what you get, but bad fuel economy is a close second. And for good reason. Even if gas prices are low now, technology is moving towards more fuel-efficient ways of making forward motion and gas guzzlers do not hold their value nearly as well as more conservative vehicles. Here are eight 2017 cars that missed the mark on fuel economy (a couple may surprise you):

8. 2017 Nissan Murano

The 2017 Nissan Murano is not a particularly special car. It is comfortable, roomy, and does a decent job of handling the terrain as long as you don’t wander off of dirt roads. It does it all, without question, adequately.

It is about as warm and charming as a cheap office chair and it exists for essentially the same reason: people need somewhere to sit as they move about. It relies on its practicality, which is why it is totally unacceptable that the all-wheel drive V6 model gets 21 mpg city gas mileage and just 24 mpg combined.

If you get a 2017 Murano, you probably want better fuel economy than you would see in a small truck. A crossover packs extra utility onto a car’s footprint, but when the drawbacks of the large body become that noticeable, it is hard to look past when there are so many other options out there.

7. 2017 Infiniti QX50

I want to stay objective here but I genuinely dislike the 2017 Infiniti QX50. It just looks really sad, like it has already given up on something. It doesn’t seem necessary, given the cool styling usually seen from Infiniti, for the QX50 to be simultaneously boring and unappealingly soft-looking.

Infiniti is supposed to be a luxury brand that makes cars that are a clear upgrade from Nissan models and other cars in lower price brackets. In this case, I don’t see how that’s justified. Even if the interior is comfortable, it’s not like the design revolves around functional interior space.

With 20 mpg combined and only 17 mpg city, the compromise buyers make when they settle for a big, soft crossover does not seem worth it. Combine that with the pricing you see from an import luxury brand, and you’re left with a package that doesn’t really stand out from the crowd.

6. 2017 Chevy Equinox

Speaking of not standing out from the crowd, the 2017 Chevy Equinox suffers from nearly the same problem as the Infiniti. Even when you consider the fact that the Chevy is considerably cheaper than the Infiniti, poor fuel economy is bound to leave a bad taste in the mouths of consumers.

In this case, the combined mpg is a shaky 18, which is made worse by the fact that the city mpg is only 16. What I don’t like about this is the fact that the Equinox has the potential to be a really smart choice for people who want a small SUV that can do what they need and remain affordable throughout the process. It’s a subtle but useful little car.

The fuel economy kills this concept and also plays right into the stereotype of american cars having no consideration for efficiency. The 2017 Equinox would be a great car if it was lighter and had a less wasteful engine under the hood. Hey, there’s always 2018.

5. 2017 Toyota Tundra

The only reason the 2017 Toyota Tundra is on this list is because Toyota has proven that it can do far better than what it shows in this truck. The combined mpg of the two-wheel drive model is 15, while the city mpg is 13. The two-wheel drive model should be among the most efficient, and is often used in work vehicles that won’t see off-road use.

The means that consumes looking to Toyota for a cheap, reliable, full-size pickup truck will be left with less than stellar fuel economy for a brand that is otherwise renowned for their efficiency. I can’t help but think this has something to do with the redesigned model coming in 2018.

It seems like Toyota has just made the base two-wheel drive version of the Tundra clunky and fuel-hungry to keep costs down while tempting buyers with higher-spec packages that include other engine options. I have a feeling that this will change with the 2018 model, so waiting a bit may be a smart move if you’re in the market for one.

4. 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan GT

The minivan, when new, was absolutely revolutionary. Vans were once in the same class as trucks and other utility vehicles, and until the Dodge Caravan came around and offered customers looking for middle ground between cars and vans a good option, there were basically just for people with three or more children. But are minivans as necessary in 2017?

Well, the short answer is “yes”, but on some conditions. Vans, to keep up their end of the bargain, have to continuously offer customers similar performance and fuel economy to family sedans. Otherwise, and SUV is a lot more useful once you decide to compromise fuel economy. A great example, then, of vans that don’t offer this is the 2017 Dodge Caravan GT.

This minivan gets a depressing 11 mpg city and only 17 mpg combined. I mean, honestly, why would you buy this car? It’s big, heavy, dull, inefficient, slow, and probably won’t hold its value well. With the new wave of hybrid power and electric vehicles, there is no reason to have a simple, practical family van that gets 11 mpg.

3. 2017 Ford Expedition EL

In the case of the 2017 Ford Expedition EL, I was never expecting to see stellar fuel economy. But even my low expectations could not prepare me for what the numbers actually were. The combined mpg score of the Expedition EL is 14… which is pretty bad by itself. City mpg? Only 10.

Essentially, no one who was planning on doing any kind of stop-and-go driving can really consider this vehicle to drive regularly. The EL does offer a third row of seats and pretty decent looks for an SUV, but I just can’t get past the fuel economy.

The 2017 Expedition EL feels like something that would be a hit 10 or so years ago. Now with everything moving towards smaller, more efficient and more practical platforms, you just don’t need a vehicle as big and wasteful as the Expedition EL.

2. 2017 Chevrolet SS

Now, the 2017 Chevy SS doesn’t quite fit the theme of this list. It isn’t at risk of being killed off because of its bad fuel economy. It has, in fact, already been discontinued (model line ends with 2017 year). This is due to a couple of factors, but fuel economy certainly played a role.

As an enthusiast myself, I can’t deny that the Chevy SS is an awesome car. Basically a twin to the Australian Holden Commodore, this sedan packs a big V8 and sends the power straight to the rear wheels through a manual transmission. But really, only people who knew of the Commodore could appreciate the SS.

The name is terrible, as Chevy has plenty of other models with “SS” in the name for one reason or another. Seems confusing. And it wasn’t marketed well. Basically, customers in the showroom saw a normal-looking family sedan that gets 12 mpg city and 17 mpg combined fuel economy. It’s a shame to see it go.

1. 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG G65

While high-end cars get a pass for the most part when it comes to fuel economy, it is hard to ignore when the consumption of a vehicle seems completely unreasonable. That is to say, in trying to make a vehicle that packed a big punch, Mercedes removed some of the functional nature of the G-wagon.

The 2017 G65 AMG from Mercedes gets 11 mpg city and a combined rating of only 12 mpg. Again, this isn’t far off from what a supercar or high-end luxury car like a Rolls Royce would see, but the G65 isn’t just a luxury car. It is also supposed to be a capable and adventurous off-roader.

To go far off the beaten path, you are going to want something than can do a lot better than 12 mpg. In an age where luxury electric SUV’s roam the roads and no class of car seems to be untouched by hybrid technology, large luxury cars seem more antiquated each year. The 2017 G65 AMG is a prime example, though hopefully a company like Mercedes will have more options going forward.


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Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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