• Sep 29th 2009 at 2:52PM
  • 3
The success or failure of the Cash for Clunkers program that recently came to an end here in the United States has been and will continue to be debatable, but at least some good was accomplished by the legislation. According to data compiled by Wards Auto, the average new car fuel mileage hit a new record of 23 miles per gallon in August, which is a gain of approximately eight percent from August of 2008.

As far as individual automakers go, Toyota came out on top with an average of 26.9 mpg for all cars sold in August, followed by Kia at 25.1 and Hyundai at 24.9 mpg. American nameplates made the biggest mileage jump, rising about four percent from August of 2008 to 20.4 mpg – a new record.

Nobody knows exactly what will happen when the sales figures from September are calculated, but many experts are predicting that fuel efficiency will take a nosedive now that C4C will no longer be offering up to $4,500 to trade up to a new, more efficient car or truck. Overall though, fuel efficiency is likely to steadily increase over the next few years in correlation with the latest CAFE requirements.

[Source: Wards Auto via Green Car Reports | Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Before anybody asks.... those numbers are lower than existing CAFE requirements because CAFE is calculated based on mileage from a very old and optimistic test drive-cycle, while these numbers are based on EPA drive-cycle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've always focused on getting my current cars to get better miles per gallon rather than getting a new one. I'm enjoying watching more people by more efficient vehicles, but it's debatable that cash for clunkers made the industry produce more efficient cars, when many other years have efficiency improvements without that program. When the economy was better and more people could afford the status symbol of the SUV efficiency kept going down on average per manufacturer. I think efficiency is more popular than it was. Just look at how many million sites are on the web for Googling keywords like Truck miles per gallon and there are 7 times the number of websites for that search then there was 3 years ago. I think that efficiency is getting more popular like the SUV before it. Car design takes a lot longer to filter down into really having a car than the time frame that the cash for clunkers can account for. If you're like me and you can't get better miles per gallon by buying new, work on your current car, it's better for us all. I went to another website today that helps make that happen. Thanks AutoblogGreen for helping me learn and share this: http://virileauto.blogspot.com/2008/10/fuel-mileage-and-all-about-author-of.html
      • 6 Years Ago
      While visiting family in the Detroit area, I noticed that in the local paper that GM announced increased production of some popular models partly spurred by reduced inventory because of C4C. It was an Indiana truck plant and the crossover plant in Michigan. Hmmmm...
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