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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
      • 5 Years Ago
      Really 20.4 is a record???

      How come American MPG is so low?
        • 5 Years Ago
        quote from Bob-omb:
        -"And no matter how many Cobalts GM sold, the fuel economy is lower than a Corolla. So the average is less in that case, too." -

        How so?

        Chevy builds numerous Cobalt variations that meet or exceed the mpg's of a Corrola. Is this just your "unbiased" opinion there or care to back it up with some facts?

        In any case, Chevy selling a Cobalt that gets 30mpg(on average) is not going to drop the average of their fleet down to 20mpg which is the whole point of this comment thread anyhow.

        SImple answer, despite all the C4C stuff and everything else, trucks are still the best-selling vehicles in the US. The number of trucks that average over 20mpg is very small, not to mention that the most popular trucks are full-size ones where the mpg's tend to be even lower.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Probably because they sell a ton a trucks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        sorry no edit button, gallons were reversed, the other calc seems ok
        • 5 Years Ago
        What does trading in a truck have to do with people picking a Corolla? People buy what they want to buy. And no matter how many Cobalts GM sold, the fuel economy is lower than a Corolla. So the average is less in that case, too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        krische, does the average person need a suburban or expedition for their family of 4? NO, but thats what they got a few years ago, it was the 'cool' thing to do. my point is the vehicle they traded in they really didn't need anyway, so us the taxpayers get to buyout their foolishness, and allow them to get into something more that fits what they should have bought in the first place.

        yes i can rent a truck... but how much money will i save? If i need to do that as little as two times a year, that can be $100 in rental fees, etc. now how much gas savings will i get from buying a no interior room for anything 30mpg car, vs my 24mpg SUV?

        I was curious, a calculation i did: 15000 miles per year, a 24mpg vehicle will use 500 gallons, vs a 30mpg car uses 625 gallons. So figure its $50 after all said and done to rent a truck every time after taxes, etc, you would need to use your vehicle to haul something more than just a few groceries 6 times in a year to break even (at $2.40 for gas)... interesting. I know when my wife and I each had grand ams (or any small car) it was difficult as hell to buy anything, could never fit it in the car to bring it home...
        • 5 Years Ago

        "Really 20.4 is a record??? How come American MPG is so low?"

        20.4 mpg = 11.5 l/100km (for our European friends reading this)

        For many reasons, main one being environment-conscious Americans won't let those dirty 1.4 liter, 70 mpg, diesels to be sold here.

        That you can buy 6.0 liter gas car with a slap on the wrist (Bad boy! Pay $3,000* for gas guzzler!) is irrelevant. As long as you consume enough gasoline, come to the party. But we won't have any business with people consuming so little that they get 65-70 mpg. No, sir.

        • 5 Years Ago
        It is a rather skewed view. I bet most those "american cars" that were sold were actually trucks, or a vehicle used for something other than transporting one person back and forth to their office.

        I want to know how that person that traded in their 6mpg full size van or truck will be able to get a 4x8 sheet of plywood in their new 35mpg toyota corolla.... hense the 20mpg for 'american cars'.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And all the negative nancies come out crying against the gub'ment. Gub'ment does something good, that works according to plan, and they complain about big gub'ment. Something goes wrong, complain about inept gub'ment. Funny that gub'ment did many things wrong from 01-08 (lies about wars, trample of liberties, torture, Katrina, et. al.) and was controlled by those who despise gub'ment. Those who believe gub'ment is a force for good and for the people do things that actually improve lives. Witness healthcare: get money from lobbyists = no public option/buy private insurance, or else, bitches. Care about people and real costs: introduce public option competition to drive costs lower, expand access to healthcare.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Thank you for the joke sir gub'ment troll. If this were not a CAR website, I would ask you to explain how health care costs will go down if you add more people to the system yet do little to drive the actual costs down. Administration costs my ass, you need to do more than just get rid of those to lower the costs. Of course, you with your rose-colored glasses believes anything the government says, right? Actually, ignore that. Don't answer the question. I don't want to read some bs I've seen and heard a thousand times already.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really, it's just that our current health car system is terribly inefficient. I mean, the US government spends 14-16% on coverage that doesn't even include everyone. Whereas most other developed countries (canada, european) spend only 10% and cover everyone.
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