US Auto Fuel Economy Rating at 25.3 MPG in May

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The average fuel-economy rating for new vehicles sold in the United States in May 2017 was 25.3 miles per gallon, unchanged from the April average. For all of 2016, the average fuel-economy rating for new vehicles sold was 25.2 mpg, down 0.1 mpg from the 2015 average.

Compared with October 2007, fuel economy ratings on new cars sold has improved by 5.2 mpg, or nearly 26%.

While the window sticker average is 5.2 mpg higher than when the data were first collected, the average is still 0.2 mpg below its revised all-time high of 25.5 mpg set in August 2014. When gasoline prices started dropping in the United States, consumers purchased more light trucks, sport utility vehicles and crossovers, which get lower mpg ratings and drive down the average.

The data are based on the average sales-weighted fuel-economy rating printed on a new car’s window sticker and are compiled by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

The sales-weighted unadjusted Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) performance rating averaged 31.5 miles per gallon in May, also unchanged month over month and an improvement of 6.7 mpg since October 2008. These values are not directly comparable to the window-sticker ratings because these are adjusted by the EPA and used to derive the window-sticker ratings.

U.S. auto sales in 2016 rose 0.3% year over year to a record 17.54 million units, compared with 17.48 million units sold in 2015. Earlier this year, another Transportation Research Institute study reported that average fuel economy for all 264 million passenger cars and light trucks in the United States was 22 mpg.