The EPA recently announced Mazda’s placement atop its listing of the most fuel-efficient car brands in the U.S. — a ranking that considered several factors. Chief among them was Mazda’s fleet-wide adjusted fuel economy, which stands at a whopping 27.1 miles per gallon — more than 6 mpg higher than last-place finishers.Also helping the automaker earn the top spot in EPA’s fuel-efficiency list was a measure of carbon dioxide emissions. According to EPA, Mazda’s average carbon dioxide emissions of 328 grams per mile beats out every other major automaker. That means drivers aren’t just saving money at the pump — they’re also helping to save the environment.

So how did Mazda earn such high fuel economy ratings without using hybrid power? One reason is the brand’s SkyActiv technology, which combines lightweight materials with highly efficient design strategies. The result is engines that boast adequate power and excellent gas mileage.

Another reason for the automaker’s fuel economy success is the brand’s strong presence in compact and midsize car segments. Mazda offers just two SUVs: the Mazda CX-5 and the 7 Passenger Mazda CX-9. Neither offer V8 engines, and both models are designed to maximize gas mileage.

What it means to you: If buying green is important to you, Mazda’s vehicles boast the “BEST” fuel economy — and the lowest pollution numbers — of any automaker’s lineup.