*The values used in this article are as of 2022-2023.
In this article, we’ll examine whether 16 MPG, or 14.7 L/100 km, is a reasonable fuel economy for a general automobile, and then we will discuss 16 MPG for specific vehicle types.
The focus will be on combined fuel economy. We will, however, briefly discuss city and highway fuel economy.
Is 16 MPG Good?
For the average vehicle, 16 MPG is very bad gas mileage. A 16 MPG car is 30.43% less fuel efficient than the median vehicle, which gets 23 MPG. For specific vehicle types, 16 MPG is the standard gas mileage for V8 pickup trucks and SUVs.
The following tables illustrate how bad 16 MPG is for several types of vehicles.
|Vehicle Type||Median Fuel Economy||16 MPG is||16 MPG/Median Difference|
|All Automobiles||23||Terrible||– 26.09%|
|Small SUV||27||Terrible||– 37.04%|
|Large SUV||21||Very Bad||– 19.05%|
|Sports Cars||19||Bad||– 10.53%|
|Pickup Truck||18||Bad||– 5.56%|
As we can see in this chart, 16 MPG is below the median gas mileage for all major vehicle categories.
The median is a better measure of assessing whether or not 16 MPG is good. Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids can significantly inflate average gas mileage values.
For example, we calculated that the average MPG for a pickup truck is 20.6 miles per gallon. However, 20.6 MPG is above the 70th percentile for all pickup trucks. That means for every 10 pickup trucks, 7 get lower gas mileage than the average of 20.6.
The median MPG, or 50th percentile, much better reconciles the large efficiency gap between electric and gas-powered vehicles.
16 MPG – City
16 MPG in the city is bad. The median car (50th percentile) gets 20 MPG in the city.
For a vehicle that uses regenerative braking, 16 MPG in the city is very poor. In the city, the typical hybrid (MHEV/HEV) vehicle achieves 23 MPG.
The fuel efficiency of a vehicle in the city is typically lower than its efficiency on the highway. Full-hybrid cars, on the other hand, are often more efficient in the city than on the highway because of regenerative braking systems.
16 MPG – Highway
On the highway, 16 MPG is extremely terrible fuel economy. It’s well below the median of 27 miles per gallon for highway driving. That’s a difference of 10 miles per gallon. Typically, a 16 MPG highway rating translates to a combined (city/highway) gas mileage of 13-14 MPG for most vehicles.
The cost of 16 MPG
Compared to the average driver, you will pay much more to drive a car that gets only 16 MPG.
At $5.00 per gallon, a vehicle that does 16 MPG will generally cost you $0.31 per mile. A 15-mile commute to work will cost you $4.69 in gas.
When driving 15,000 miles per year, the annual cost of fuel for a car that gets 16 MPG is $4687. At 16 MPG, you spend, on average, $1426 more on gas than with the median car.
How many miles is 16 MPG?
MPG is a measurement of how far your car can travel per gallon of gas. So, at 16 MPG, your car can cover a distance of 16 miles for every gallon of fuel. A 16 MPG car with a fuel capacity of 15 gallons can travel up to 240 miles before having to refuel.
16 MPG in L/100 km
16 MPG is 14.7 L/100 km. That means you burn 14.7 liters of fuel for every 100 kilometers driven.
At 14.7 L/100 km, you can go 6.8 km with one liter of gas.
16 MPG on SUVs
16 MPG is regarded as poor gas mileage for the vast majority of SUVs. However, there are a lot of factors to take into account before deciding whether or not 16 MPG is good or normal fuel economy for a particular vehicle.
There are 2 main categories and 4 subcategories for SUVs: full-size and mid-size SUVs fall into the large SUV category, while compact and subcompact SUVs fall into the small SUV category.
We’ll take a look at each subcategory.
For full-size SUVs, gas mileage of 16 MPG is within the range of what is typically expected. Full-size SUVs typically get average gas mileage of between 16 and 18 miles per gallon.
16 MPG is usually seen in the more powerful full-size SUV trims, typically fitted with 8-cylinder engines.
The 2023 6.2 L, 8-cylinder Cadillac Escalade, is a full-size SUV that has an average gas mileage of 16 MPG.
For a mid-size SUV, 16 MPG is considered very low gas mileage. It is 5 miles less than the median MPG for the segment, which is 21 MPG. 16 MPG is below the 25th percentile of the gas mileage for mid-size SUVs.
16 MPG is generally seen in performance mid-size SUVs with 8-cylinder engines.
The 4.0 L, V8 2023 Lamborghini Urus Performante is a mid-size SUV that gets 16 miles per gallon.
Small SUVs – Compact and Subcompact:
For small SUVs, 16 MPG is considered extremely poor fuel economy. It is 40.7% lower than the median and is lower than the lowest percentile of the gas mileage for all compact and subcompact SUVs. The median fuel economy for this segment is 27 MPG.
If you are getting 16 MPG or less on a subcompact SUV, it is likely due to poor driving habits or conditions. If not, then you should have the car inspected in a garage.
16 MPG on Pick-up Trucks
16 MPG is not a good gas mileage for a pickup truck. The average (median) fuel economy for full-size pickup trucks is 18 MPG, while mid-size pickup trucks are 16% more fuel efficient, with a median of 21 MPG.
16 MPG is generally seen in full-size pickup trucks that have 8-cylinder engines. Most 8-cylinder pickup trucks will get between 14 MPG and 19 MPG, with the average being 16 MPG.
An example of a full-size pickup truck that gets 16 MPG is the 6.2 L, V8 Chevrolet Silverado with 4WD.
To get a better idea of what you can consider good fuel economy for pickup trucks, please check out our articles covering the fuel economies of mid-size and full-size pickup trucks.
16 MPG on Sedans
As we can see in the above chart, which illustrates the different percentile ranges for sedans, 16 MPG is considered terrible gas mileage for a sedan. It is 12 MPG lower than the segment’s median (50th percentile), which is 28 MPG, and is below the 5th percentile of the gas mileage for all sedans.
16 MPG is typically seen in 8-cylinder sedans, as the average (median) gas mileage for a V8 sedan is 17 miles per gallon.
An example of a full-size sedan that does 16 miles per gallon is the Cadillac CTS V, which has a 6.2 L, 8-cylinder engine.
To get a better idea of what you can consider good fuel economy for a sedan, please check out our articles covering the fuel economies of every type of sedan vehicle.
16 MPG on Sports Cars
16 miles per gallon is around the 10th percentile of the gas mileage for sports cars, which is considered very poor. 16 MPG is acceptable for sports cars that have V8 engines; good for V10, V12, and even W16 engines, and terrible for ones with 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines.
An example of a sports car that gets 16 MPG is the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, which is fitted with a 6.2 L, V8 engine.
In a general sense, 16 MPG is terrible gas mileage for most vehicles, as it is 7 miles per gallon lower than the median for all automobiles. However, with respect to 8-cylinder engine vehicles, 16 MPG is considered to be normal fuel economy.