Are old habits dying hard?

U.S. fleetwide fuel-economy figures from last month suggest that some buyers are going back to relative gas guzzlers. New-car miles-per-gallon averages for May fell for the second straight month, according to TrueCar.

New U.S. cars got a combined 23.2 miles per gallon in May, which was up 5.9 percent from the 21.9 mpg recorded a year earlier but down slightly from 23.3 miles per gallon in April, TrueCar reported. The publication indicated that falling gas prices may be causing some new-vehicle buyers to be a little less mpg-sensitive. Average U.S. gas prices reached about $3.90 a gallon in early April before falling to about $3.55 a gallon earlier this month, according to AAA.

When compared to 2011 numbers, though, mpg figures from specific automakers are still showing gains. Hyundai's fleetwide fuel efficiency rose two miles per gallon from a year earlier, while Honda and Toyota each showed year-over-year gains of 1.6 mpg.

New car fuel economy numbers reached record highs earlier this year. March's new cars hit a 24.1 miles per gallon average, up from 23.9 miles per gallon in February and from 22.5 for the 2011 model year, according to numbers (calculated using a different methodology than what TrueCar uses) from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 45 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      just incredibly bad average. it's hard to find a single model in europe with that bad mileage yet USA manages that as an average. can only be ignorants in pickups
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Not really... some folks use pickups because its a required tool for their trade. Which is totally OK. What gets me is the folks that buy em just to have em... kind of a poser-ish thing to do really. For example, I have a good friend that drives a Dodge 2500 diesel, he uses it as a commuter... goes to work, and sits in a cube all day, then he complains about fuel prices. Hilarious. But thats just how some people roll.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spiffster
          Yeah, that friend of yours has a problem. I have zero sympathy for him complaining about fuel prices. He's just pouring money down the drain because of small man's complex or something.
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      OMG! Gas prices dropped 5 cents and people started buying more trucks this month....and we're surprised??? ROFLMAO Whatever. The only reason we survive as a species is because breathing is an autonomous bodily function. Otherwise, most of us are so F'ing stupid we'd suffocate.
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder if construction is picking up and contractors are buying pickup trucks.
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Now that I think about it - This is construction season here in the snowbelt. I'll bet theres spike in truck purchases every spring.
        Dave D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        You know, that's a positive thought I'd really like to believe. I hope you're right.
      Anderlan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Every customer in the market doesn't have infinitely effective forward-thinking self interested behavior. To paraphrase Amory Lovins, if the market was perfect, there'd NEVER be any changes or innovation in the market. CAFE is a crude tool, but any tool is better than market failure. Without a steep CAFE curve this blog would have nothing to do and the autoligopoly would have no reason to improve its engineering.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pathetic...inbred....stupidity...idiotic.... Open minded....?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        It is rude language but the situation frustrates people. It is like watching a car accident happen in front of you but not being able to stop it. But yeah, I guess people should rephrase things using words like sad, misguided, uninformed, etc. But then one may come off as condescending.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          LOL! I personally would never buy one without absolute need (not sure it would fit in my garage), but I am loathe to judge people on their choices, although I respect those that point out the higher use of fuel and exhaust.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      We Americans like large vehicles especially trucks and SUVs, always have, always will. Even if gas goes above $5 per gallon, a sizeable number of people will still buy them.
      george costanza
      • 2 Years Ago
      EU has higher standards and more altruism and thinking ahead. however right wing fiscal austerity thanks to stupidity of populace is coming here too. and really there is no choice anyway. everything in US is unsustainable. look around. it is everywhere. all towns are very depressed looking with giant communist mart taking up acres with nothing else. maybe lowes or HD or target. every single town in US looks identically depressing now. most other countries have MORE selection in bikes motorcycles public transportation high speed rail. US you get tundra suburban denali excursion etc...for giant as*( americans. then you choose from you get. like the presidency..both sorry candidates. nobody who is intelligent WANTS to run and deal with ninth grade education level of denialist congress. really really pathetic situation in our govt. for the people my a*(. when corporation are people actual humans get bained on.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @george costanza
        I'm trying to figure out how this relates to cars.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Some people aren't happy unless they are complaining....
        sirvixisvexed
        • 2 Years Ago
        @george costanza
        "every single town in US looks identically depressing now." The moment when your opinion became a creditless mouth foamer, and your bias and separation from reality revealed.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      A bit provincial, aren't we all? Always be very, very careful trying to have one person determine what another 'needs.' Next thing you know, they will be telling us how many ounces we can have in a cup, or if we can put salt.... Oh sh*t....
        Dave D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        I don't think anyone is telling people that can't buy one if they need it. We're just questioning the IQ of people who buy one that really don't need it. They're hurting themselves when gas prices go back up. You can't really judge by anecdotal data because we can all have stories one way or another. But it's clearly a fact that some people buy them for the image and that really is not too bright. If they can afford it, it's their choice but if those same people start whining about the price of gas next year....they should be wearing one of those dog collars that shocks them every time they "bark" LOL
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          I know! You are right! Like, people buying a Prius opposed to a fusion, Camry, civic, or other hybrid because everyone KNOWS they have a hybrid! All about image.... :D
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          +1 Exactly my thoughts... its all about image for some people.
          sirvixisvexed
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          Though you're right Dave that there are indeed people who buy one for image, I never hear a leftist (not referring to you, whether you are one or not) have any respect for contractors and people who build the crap they live in and move around all their stuff. America is a utility oriented place, and even when there are electric vehicles abound, there will be more electric "get sh!t done" vehicles in the USA versus the EU. Most leftists just have a problem with truck users in general and have mouth foaming prejudice against them. I know, I have many leftist friends who won't hesitate time and time again to accuse someone in a pickup truck on the road of being a cross burning racist who goes to KKK meetings.
          skierpage
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          @sirvixisvexed , what the?? You are suffering from blinders, strawman-itis and "No true Scotsman", and need to get out more. I love my contractors, especially the supervisor and landscaper both in company Priuses, and feel for their gas bills. And I give *individual* SUV and pickup drivers the benefit of the doubt and assume when not yakking on a cellphone and chugging a Frappucino she drives three kids and/or a mountain of stuff to the wilderness. But the majority are self-centered poseurs who value "commanding road presence" despite the downsides of funding terrorists, ruining America's balance of trade, wrecking the other car in an accident, huge carbon footprint, etc.
          sirvixisvexed
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          @skierpage I need to get out more because I don't know how you personally are the exception to the rule? Makes lots of sense. (no it doesn't). As I said in my post, I do get out, and continually hear the same thing from leftists, baseless prejudice towards any large vehicle. As in i'm in the car with them, see their facebook posts, etc etc. I've had experience with just as many sedan and compact idiot drivers as I have truck/SUV drivers. Your obvious sarcasm about chugging latte's and yakking on cell phones fails hard at being funny because it just identifies your actual opinion: horrendous bias. The crap you blame on SUV drivers (which are all actually crossovers now, which 8 years ago were considered the "smart fuel efficient alternative" to SUVs) but none the less relentless whiners such as yourself blame the reason for needing to purchase foreign oil on crossover drivers. Wow.
        Dave D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Besides...they may have outlawed 16oz+ sodas in NYC....but they made an ounce of pot legal LOL Great routine Jon Stewart did on about it: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-june-7-2012/jon-stewart-tries-to-figure-out-what-he-s-allowed-to-put-in-his-mouth
      george costanza
      • 2 Years Ago
      americans dont think. they are incapable of it. anything anybody in US does is only directly related to gas prices on that day; thanks to koch tea party giving a sh!t about anything is at 'an all time low!!". americans are knee jerk reactionaries. say you care about future or are altruistic and you are a socialist...live for today. if gas falls five cents buy a hemi. no thinking necessary. because thinking ahead is, like, hard and stuff. if somebody didnt need it last month, they dont need it this month. that is really really stupid. americans are spoiled. they are materialistic. one of these days we are going to get another rightie warmongerer who will force conservation by starting war. right wont say anything but regurgitate big govt mantra when it comes to healthcare. because that affects corporate profits. ie. treating people decently and corporations dont like that and post corporation united they can buy the presidency. Obama isnt really progressive. he bailed out GM which locally has tundra denali suburban all tanks and mostly for trophy wives and soccer moms to race through downtown to mao mart while on cell phone of course. obama gauged the 'recovery' which didnt happen by RV sales!!!! totally idiotic. he was in elkhart IL more looking at RV mfg. than he was campaigning. all baloney and all garbage. romney or obama. everybody loses. romney will just usher in fiscal austerity faster which will lead to EU type riots faster and more meaningless wars for 'cheap; oil and geopolitical garbage leading to paradigm change faster. Romney 2012.
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hate this class of vehicle. But, I also have to recognise that as foolish as these vehicle are, they are bought by consumers who love the image they represent. These huge, impractical machines represent a section of America that once loved large cars and station-wagons. Maybe these vehicles are an act of defiance and rebellion at the Californian originated regulations that killed the big US sedan and coupe/convertible. Maybe, the folk who own them and drive them with pride and pleasure do so to prove that it's their right as an American to be different, and defy the restrictions of overly patronising, moralising, self-righteous, group's who claim to speak on behalf of the 'people', while secretly despising anything the common says, desires or values? Seen in that light, I start to understand why these vehicles outsell EV technology 100 to 1, in the US, it also explains why these vehicles outsell, more practical competitors. Slowly, hybrid technology is beginning to penetrate this market, and hopefully with more mainstream acceptance, produce vehicles that do have sufficient appeal in this, the most American of market segments.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        People I personally know that owns them: Girlfriend's dad, who is a plumber and uses it for work. Sister's partner who loads it up for hunting and camping. Blonde porn star - daily commuter. Girlfriend's dad, who has a landscaping biz Redneck friend - daily commuter. Minor utility use. Boating Friend - uses it to tow his boat. 4 of 6 have a real need/use. The other two...especially the porn star....no idea. The camera and lighting equipment fit in the 370z just fine.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          No one cares I know porn stars? Are you not men?
          Dave D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          So how DO you know the porn star? LOL
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          BTW, how is strike season going out there in France / Italy? Anyone getting any real work done, or just still complaining about having to work?
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          none of them have a real need. it's worth noting that here in Europe we don't have pickups and certainly not the oversized poser pickups. we have trailers and we have actual work vehicles. vehicles born from rational use, not inbred posing. we have flatbed trucks with 2 liter 4 banger diesels. for actual serious work. they are ugly and low to the ground. noone puts V8s in anything other than big rigs. you'd have to be as dumb as an american to do that...
          super390
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Spiffster: America wrecked the global economy in 1929 and 2008. There would have been no Hitler or Tojo without banks lending Americans money to pour into an asset bubble, and then voters starting a global trade war to bail themselves out. It took less than 80 years for us to forget and make the same mistakes all over again. Maybe this time we will launch the World War ourselves.
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          yes, EZEE... how does one manage to befriend porn stars? Im ready to take notes...
          Dave D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          EZEE, :-) Actually, I did comment on it but somehow the posting got lost. I had remarked that you have an eclectic group of "acquaintances" :-)
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @Dave Arthur Dent once was called a very different man. He replied, 'I would like to think I am more differed too, than differing.' I think that is me.
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Your right DF... Europeans are much smarter than us dumb ummericans. We can thank Europe for everything good in the world... huge thanks goes out to Greece and Spain for their positive influence on the global economy ;)
        Anne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        The emotions involved are not that sophisticated. What do animals do to impress of others? Make themselves big and make a lot of noise. Pure instinct.
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      The average US consumer appears to have the memory of a common field mouse... oh well. Nothing wrong with consumers consuming I guess, good for the economy, at least for now. :)
      Mark Schaffer
      • 2 Years Ago
      The public is stupid.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mark Schaffer
        There is really not much more to say than that. I'm sure they'll be happy with their new cars now. 2 or 3 years down the road when gas prices are much higher, they'll be swearing up a storm.
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