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Worst Gas Guzzlers of All Time

Fuel economy is a big issue these days, and it has been for quite some time. Even before the US government enacted the Combined Average Fuel Economy minimums (CAFE) in 1975, Consumer Guide was doing testing of its own.

That testing led to their report on the “Worst Gas Guzzlers of 1973” – a list that included 12 cars, none of which could achieve 10 mpg (23.5 L/100 km).

These days, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains fastidious records of every passenger vehicle on the road – including Light Trucks and SUVS. Those records are online dating back to 1984. We’ve used that list, mostly, for our look at the worst gas guzzlers of all time – with a few special mentions thrown in too.

For example:

The Beast of Turin. Fuel Usage: Absolutely all of it.

beast of turin Worst Gas Guzzlers of All Time

Fiat built this behemoth in 1910. The Fiat S76 had a whopping 28.3L of displacement – which is only more impressive when you learn that it had but four cylinders. That means each cylinder had more displacement than an entire Hellcat engine. The rig made 300 hp, or so they say, and it inhaled fuel, air and nearby Italians with unmatched ferocity.


Worst Compact Car: 1995 Saab 9000 – 18 mpg or 13 L/100 km

A search through non-truck, non-sports, non-luxury cars sees the venerable Saab come bubbling to the top of the “I’ll drink you under the table!” Olympic – at least in the welterweight division. Proving that you don’t need a big engine to swallow swimming pools of dead dinos, the 2.3L four-cylinder in the Saab put it away like a champion.

Also proving that you don’t need to be big to be bad is the 1995 Volkswagen GTI VR6 – which turned 12.4 L of fuel into fanboy drool every 100 km.


Worst Mainstream Sedan: 1985 Dodge Diplomat – 12 mpg or 19.6 L/100 km

In 1985 Dodge was making cars big enough to hide the very biggest of secrets. But the 19.6 L/100 km it took to keep the 5.2L V8 sweet was excessive, even for the 80s.

Hat tip to the 2007 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG which at 14 mpg or 16.8 L/100 km is the worst performing car of this century but is disqualified because it’s not mainstream. The 2006 Dodge Charger, when fitted with the 6.1L V8 also deserves a mention at 15.7 L/100 km.


Worst Mainstream SUV: 1984 Ford Bronco – 10 mpg or 23.5 L/100 km

1983 ford bronco Worst Gas Guzzlers of All Time

Okay, this is only slightly fair. After all, the Bronco was a massive, body-on-frame SUV that had actual barns as its “skinny friend”. The Bronco made a deck of cards look curvy, and was powered by a 5.8L V8. As with all US V8s from the ’80s output was pitiful. This particular rating is for the “high-output” 210-hp version.


Presidentially Speaking: Cadillac One, AKA The Beast – Pure Dark Matter

Maybe it’s because it’s about as long as a Nuclear Submarine. Maybe it’s because it has an armoured body that would make an Ankylosaur jealous. Or maybe, it’s because it’s the President’s personal ride and don’t you dare question it, capisce? Either way, we’re pretty sure the highly classified engine is powered by pure dark matter, sucked straight from Area 51’s secret black hole laboratory.


Worst Modern Pickup Truck: 1987 Dodge W250 – 9 mpg or 26.1 L/100 km

This 4WD workhorse got itself a 5.9L V8 engine, and extra fuel tanks. It needed them. This truck had unrivalled chugging abilities. Even when Dodge decided to put the Viper’s 8.3L V10 into the 2004 Ram 1500 for the legendary SRT10, the W250 stood tall as the thirstiest truck ever tested by the EPA.


1,000-Horsepower club: Bugatti Veyron – Half of Lake Superior/100 km

lions gate in back Worst Gas Guzzlers of All Time

Eccentricity doesn’t begin to describe the Bugatti Veyron. In a quest for 1,000 hp the mad Germans behind it gave it 16 cylinders. Then, for better or wurst, shaped it like a W. Someone bolted four turbos on to help feed air into the 8.0L engine, while someone else hooked a 20-inch hose directly to the nearest oil field.

Just Missed: Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Limousine – 8 mpg or 29.4 L/100 km

For everyone who thinks British aristocracy is about decorum, understatement, and reserve – LOL. No, it’s about copious excess and gluttony. Maybe they should have given the 6.2L eight-cylinder more than three gears to work with?


Officially Worst Ever: 1986 Lamborghini Countach – 7.0 mpg or 33.6 L/100 km

countach 2 Worst Gas Guzzlers of All Time

When you’re a 5.2L V12 and you make noises that contribute to Italy’s global reputation in a very positive and totally inappropriate way – you can be forgiven for being a bit thirsty. The five worst cars on the EPA’s list are all Countaches, which really only makes their chest hair stand more proudly.


Unofficially Worst Ever? 1973 Lincoln Continental – 7.0 mpg or 33.6 L/100 km

What weighs 5,282 lb (2,395 kg), has a 7.8L V8 engine, and makes a measly 212 hp? The 1973 Lincoln Continental. A land barge so consumptive it would make some modern water yachts blush.

It’s big, it’s brash, and it’s the unquestionable champion of sinking juice.


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