Which of These 16 Cars Wins the Fuel-Efficiency Smackdown?

So you think you know cars? Play our gas guzzler bracket.

So your March Madness bracket didn’t win Warren Buffett’s billion-dollar challenge and you’re really, really lucky if you picked the correct Final Four, but if you’ve still got bracket fever and mad appreciation for the environment, the bracket below is just for you.

Just click a vehicle name from each matchup, based on which you think gets better average miles per gallon. We’ll show you which ones and how many you got right, and in the end, you’ll find out which model tested with the best mileage of 2014. The data is from fueleconomy.gov. Note: We didn’t include electric vehicles, just gas and hybrids. Good luck, and see below for more on this data.

Mobile users: Please check this content out when you’re at a desktop. Sorry!

Note: MPG data from fueleconomy.gov varies for some vehicles based on specific engine type, other factors.

In case you’re wondering how this data is compiled, here’s some background. Since 1978, vehicle makers have been required under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to maintain minimum fuel efficiency standards. Violators are subject to fines called a Gas Guzzler Tax (similar to how greenhouse emitters would be under a carbon tax, but that’s a different story). The fuel-efficiency testing is actually conducted by the manufacturers under legally specified procedures. The EPA spot-checks 10 to 15 percent of the vehicles, and sends the data to the Fuel Economy Information Project, managed by Bo Saulsbury at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Saulsbury told Mother Jones that “in the old days it came in as one basic data dump…now it comes in every two weeks.” In fact, you can already find data there for many 2015 models.

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Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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