About fuel consumption ratings

Fuel consumption ratings help consumers make informed, energy-efficient purchase decisions by providing a reliable comparison of the relative fuel consumption performance of different vehicles.

The annual fuel consumption information is collected in conjunction with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Energy and Transportation Directorate. ECCC monitors the emissions of new light-duty vehicles sold in Canada by collecting detailed data from manufacturers and importers and by testing selected vehicles.

Use the Fuel Consumption Ratings Search Tool to compare the fuel consumption information of different models. The vehicle with the best fuel consumption ratings and lowest estimated annual fuel cost can save you fuel and money for years. Remember, the lower the litres per 100 kilometres (L/100 km) rating, the lower the fuel consumption. Conversely, the higher the miles per gallon (mpg) rating, the better the fuel use.

Fuel consumption testing

It would be difficult to drive every model of new vehicle on the road to measure fuel consumption, and almost impossible to consistently duplicate on-road testing results because many variables can affect a vehicle’s performance. That is why vehicle manufacturers use standard, controlled laboratory testing and analytical procedures to generate the fuel consumption data that appear in the Fuel Consumption Ratings Search Tool and on the EnerGuide label for vehicles.

Manufacturers use the 5-cycle testing procedure, introduced for model year 2015, to determine the fuel consumption ratings of new light-duty vehicles. The improved procedure better approximates typical driving conditions and styles, resulting in fuel consumption ratings that are more representative of a vehicle’s on-road fuel consumption.

The 5-cycle testing procedure supplements the standard (2-cycle) city and highway tests by integrating three additional test cycles that account for air conditioner use, cold temperature operation and driving at higher speeds with more rapid acceleration and braking.

View our video about the fuel consumption testing procedure.

Model year 2017 update

Some of the calculations used by manufacturers to determine the fuel consumption ratings of their new vehicles were updated to better reflect today's more fuel-efficient vehicles and advanced technologies such as hybrids and turbocharged engines. As a result, the ratings for a 2017 or later model may differ slightly from the model year 2016 ratings for the same vehicle.

Published ratings are a useful tool for comparing vehicles before you buy, but keep in mind that they're based on standardized tests and may not accurately predict the fuel consumption you will get on the road. Your fuel consumption will vary depending on how, where and when you drive.

How vehicles are tested

Selected test vehicles are “run in” for about 6,000 km before testing. The vehicle is then mounted on a chassis dynamometer programmed to take into account the aerodynamic efficiency, weight and rolling resistance of the vehicle. A trained driver runs the vehicle through standardized driving cycles that simulate trips in the city and on the highway. Fuel consumption ratings are derived from the emissions generated during the driving cycles.

Detailed test information

Which vehicles are tested

Vehicle manufacturers are not required to submit fuel consumption data for the following:

  • sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and passenger vans with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds [lb.]) – GVWR is the weight of the vehicle plus maximum carrying capacity (passengers and cargo)
  • other vehicles with a GVWR of more than 3,856 kg (8,500 lb.) or a curb weight of more than 2,722 kg (6,000 lb.) – curb weight is the weight of the vehicle without passengers and cargo

Vehicles that exceed these limits are not tested, so their fuel consumption ratings do not appear in the Fuel Consumption Ratings Search Tool or on the EnerGuide label.