The 8 Least Fuel Efficient Cars by EPA Size Class Are Probably Out of Your Price Range Anyway
The opportunity to drive some of the world’s most expensive cars often costs the most at the pump too. Some of the least fuel-efficient cars carry the highest price tags, but they’re still fun to peruse. So, until that lottery ticket pays off, window shopping is as close as most of us will ever get with that gas mileage.
Which production cars are the least fuel-efficient?
The U.S. Department of Energy (USDoE) publishes fuel economy data for most production passenger vehicles. The eight cars at the bottom of the USDoE are some of the most expensive cars in the world:
The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport gets an estimated 9 mpg combined and carries a starting price of $3.6 Million. The Pur Sport features a 16-cylinder engine that produces “at least 1500 horsepower,” according to Car and Driver.
Minicompacts and Subcompacts
The Bentley Continental GT comes in a coupe or convertible model and gets either 14 or 15 mpg, depending on your choice. The base Continental GT Coupe starts at $201,000, and prices range up to $310,000 for the Speed Convertible model. Bently’s standard 4.0-liter V8 makes 542 hp capable of propelling the Continental GT Coupe from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. An optional 6.0-liter W12 engine makes more power, but the folks at Car and Driver recommend sticking with the standard twin-turbo V8.
One of the least expensive gas guzzlers on our list, the BMW M3 Competition M gets an estimated 18 mpg combined and starts at the low price of $73,000. The M3 Competition features a 503-hp engine and your choice of rear- or all-wheel drive.
If you’re on a strict budget but still want luxury performance regardless of how much fuel you burn, consider the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, with its starting price of around $60,000 and an estimated 18 mpg combined. The CT4V Blackwing features a 472-hp twin-turbo V6 that provides 445 lb-ft of torque.
Car and Driver call riding in a Bentley Flying Spur “an ultra-luxurious experience.” Its estimated 15 mpg combined puts it near the middle of our list for fuel economy, and so does its $200,000 starting price. The Flying Spur’s drivetrain features an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive behind a twin-turbo 542 hp V8.
Other variants include the Speed and Plug-In Hybrid models. Choose the Speed version if you need the additional power provided by its 626-hp W12 engine. The Flying Spur Hybrid gets up to 19 mpg but still delivers plenty of performance with its twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 and electric motor powertrain combined for 536 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque.
Priced at around $93,500, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is one of the best-value performance luxury sedans on the market. Although the Blackwing’s combined 15 mpg isn’t going to make you environmentalist of the year, it offers world-class performance at a relatively modest price. Performance comes from a supercharged V8 that makes 668 hp mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost, powered by a 563-hp 6.7-liter V12, gets an estimated 14 mpg combined and starts at $343,000. With an “all-wheel-steering system and 50/50 weight distribution,” the Ghost appears dedicated to “driving satisfaction, according to Car and Driver.
Midsize station wagons
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan features the same 563-hp V12 as the Ghost and returns the same 14 mpg combined estimate, but its price starts at $351,000.
Why do expensive cars get lousy fuel economy?
The bottom line is that performance and luxury are expensive. To paraphrase a famous movie line, “if it’s heavy, it’s expensive.” For example, the plush seats that make the Bently Flying Spur ride like a cloud weigh more than those found in the Toyota Corolla, and that’s just for starters. The engines that power these cars must make large amounts of power to move them adequately, and some, like the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport, are merely supercars in street trim.