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The Volkswagen Passat, with fuel economy of 22 city/32 ... The Volkswagen Passat, with fuel economy of 22 city/32 highway, has helped lead VW to an average fleet fuel economy of 26.6 mpgs. (Photo courtesy Volkswagen).
Fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the United States has reached an all-time high according to a University of Michigan study.

The average fuel economy of cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs purchased in October reached 24.1 miles per gallon, up from 23.8 mpgs in September. The mark is the highest since university researchers began measuring statistics five years ago.

Since researchers at the school's Transportation Research Institute began studying the fuel economy of new-car sales, fuel economy has increased by 20 percent, rising from 20.1 mpgs in October 2007 to 24.1 today.

Researchers estimate that the increase in efficiency has resulted in a savings of 6.1 billion gallons, enough to fuel all U.S. vehicles for approximately 13 days. It also amounts to a reduction of 120 billion pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions, according to the report.

The uptick in fuel economy underscores a shift in consumer preference for smaller cars as gas prices have risen and become more volatile over the same timespan. They also reflect the push for automakers to produce more fuel-efficient cars, as they seek to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.

"GM, Toyota and Honda increased their fuel economy the most over a year ago, as consumers continued to flock to small cars due to unseasonably high gas prices and compelling product" said Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence at TrueCar.com.

Hyundai maintained the most fuel-efficient vehicle lineup overall at 27.5 MPGs, according to TrueCar.com., although that numbers may be skewed. On Friday, an EPA investigation revealed Hyundai and Kia's fuel-economy numbers had been overstated, in some cases by as many as 6 MPGs. Both automakers were forced to revise their fuel-economy numbers downward.

Behind Hyundai, Volkswagen maintained the most fuel-efficient vehicle lineup overall, averaging 26.6 miles per gallon across its fleet. VW increased 0.2 mpg from the previous year measured.

Of the eight manufacturers measured, Detroit's Big Three all ranked at the bottom of fleet-wide fuel economy. Chrysler fared the worst with an average fuel economy of 20.0 MPGs. GM ranked second to last with average fuel economy of 21.5 MPGs, although it had improved by 1.1 MPGs over the past year. Ford had a fleet-wide average of 21.9 MPGs.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      American car manufacture will never learn. If we stick to the program we will succeed.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This would not have happened with a republican "Drill baby drill!" in the White House.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oil companies need money to keep operating. Gas prices should be going up to compensate for the lost revenue.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Come on AOL, at least show a Chevy Cruze, Volt or Ford Focus with your article! A VW? Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        • 2 Years Ago
        Maybe this is why. From the last paragraph in the article. "Of the eight manufacturers measured, Detroit's Big Three all ranked at the bottom of fleet-wide fuel economy" You do realize that they where comparing fleet averages rather than that of one particular model within a fleet don't you?
          • 2 Years Ago
          The Big 3 are full line manufacturers and sell SUVs, light trucks and big cars which American consumers still purchase in large numbers - hence their lower average mpg. Their averages are not limited to small engined vehicles. I would like to see the Big 3 get credit for the new fuel efficient vehicles they are building.
      • 2 Years Ago
      How US Drivers Saved 6.1B Gallons of Gas. Being unemployed.
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      About time, now about the gouging oil companies......
      • 2 Years Ago
      VW TDI is the best!
        • 2 Years Ago
        was thinking about getting one, what is your best MPG on the highway?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its not the cars its the price of fuel . Nobody can aford it !
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not sure I'm believin a lot of this-example: my faithful old 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan finally gave up the ghost this summer after 200,000+ hard miles. it was doing about 20mpg overall. Loved that car so I went down to my friendly Diodge dealer to try on the new Caravan. Very nice, priced reasonably with good features. Just what I wanted. Then I looked at the MPG-18/22!!! How after 10 years has gas mileage only improved by 2-3 MPG!!!! Bought a Honda CRV-gets 35 freakin MPG and it cost LESS out the door with MORE features incl AWD! ACK!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thats all fine & dandy, but why is there barge after barge of gas being shipped to central america? Or why is the idea of LNG plants being built on the east coast to ship natural gas to Europe even being considered? Why has`nt obammer banned the export of fuel? In case those questions are in your head, the answer be $$$$$$$$$$$ . Its all about $$$$$, just like the red light cams are. Wake up AMERICA.
        • 2 Years Ago
        The government is not allowed to restrict who big oil can do business with.Big oil pays for those leases to drill.It's not owned by the US after that.Tony,when will you learn,everything is about money.
      • 2 Years Ago
      A good way to use less fuel is alter your driving habits. Avoiding jackrabbit starts, not constantly changing lanes, avoiding (as much as possible) hitting the brakes at the last second) and sticking to the speed limit all help increase fuel economy. When freeway driving once you go past about 60 MPH fuel economy drops quite a bit. Since a lot of freeways have 65 MPH limits, going over 65 is really going to drop the fuel economy. It's a matter of driving more smartly, not just fuel efficiency ratings of cars.
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