After years of little growth, the fuel economy of the typical new car sold in the U.S. is now rising rapidly, according to a new study that found that new vehicles are getting an average 14% better mileage than just four years ago.
For all 2012 light-duty vehicles. including cars, pickup trucks, minivans, vans and SUVs, the average miles per gallon is 21.5, compared to 18.9 mpg for model year 2008 vehicles, according to a new study by the University of Michigan. The averages were 21.2 for 2011, 20.7 for 2010 and 19 for 2009, the study said.
That figure is an average of all the vehicles on the road but when weighted to reflect actual market demand, the shift away from large, gas-guzzling trucks to smaller, more efficient passenger cars and crossover, the shift is even more obvious, raising the average by another one to two miles per gallon.
The typical car sold in 2011 got 22.5 mpg, up from 20.8 mpg as recently as 2008.