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US buying better mpg cars

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Posted: 10 am ET

Although there is a lot of talk about regarding the new fuel-economy standards that are requiring automakers to improve the mpg ratings of their car fleets overall, we all know that consumers' "vote" on their favorite models based on the cars they buy. In 2012, consumers purchased more fuel-efficient cars than ever.

An analysis of actual fuel-economy numbers for the new cars that were purchased in 2012 shows that the cars consumers purchased average 23.1 mpg, compared to 22.3 mpg in 2011, according to an analysis by TrueCar. Part of the reason for the increase is that consumers are gravitating toward cars with better fuel economy as a way to save money on gas.

In addition, automakers also are building more fuel-efficient cars than ever as a whole, which means they are offering more fuel-efficient cars that consumers want to buy.

On average, automakers improved the fuel economy in their car fleets by 1.2 mpg and their truck fleets by 0.3 mpg, which translated to a 0.8 mpg improvement on average. TrueCar says that a 0.8 mpg improvement reduces fuel use by 348 million gallons, saving about $1.2 billion in fuel costs in the U.S. annually.

How about you? Are you gravitating toward a fuel-efficient car for your auto purchase?
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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January 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Bob W
Imperial gallons are significantly more than US gallons. The equivalency is roughly 5 US quarts to 1 Imperial gallon. If your purchases and mathematics and driving were done in the UK then it is probably using Imperial gallons. (Obviously I can't be positive of this, as you did the math.)
So if you were doing a lot of highway driving in the UK you would possibly be getting around 43.8 mpg in US gallons. While still extremely good mileage, it is not shockingly so.
As an aside, I am not so sure of your comment about catching up with the rest of the world, as the US sells a huge number of the same cars as are sold around the world: Volkswagon, Toyota, Kia, etc.

January 25, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Just picked up a Jetta TDi - 42MPG. But I rented a standard car for a couple of days and the net fuel economy was 54.8MPG in the UK. Still have a long way to go to catch up to the rest of the world.