The Environmental Protection Agency is currently in the process of compiling the the fleet average fuel economy numbers for model year 2009, which recently concluded, and it looks like Honda will be on top yet again. The final numbers are still some months away as the data is collected on exactly how many cars were sold and in what configurations. Based on early numbers, Honda's fleet average comes out to 23.6 mpg with Hyundai-Kia close behind at 23.4 mpg. Both of those companies are down slightly from 2008 when they averaged 23.9 and 23.7 mpg, respectively. Of course, last year Honda sold huge quantities of Civics and Fits when gas went to $4 / gallon. This year, those sales – along with everything else – are down, bringing the average mpg number down.
The three Detroit brand automakers brought up the rear with Ford, GM and Chrysler at 20.5, 19.9 and 18.7 mpg, respectively. All three of those manufacturers had a higher proportion of truck sales than cars but even their car numbers are lower because they sell more large cars than their foreign counterparts. As the new small cars from GM and Ford come to market in the next 12-18 months, this should change their position significantly. Chrysler will have to wait a bit longer for Fiat-based cars to hit the U.S. market before their numbers improve. You can find the full 2009 report here.