While this is certainly good news for both consumers and manufacturers that need to meet the government's mandated CAFE standards, the numbers used by the NHTSA aren't really representative of the real-world fuel mileage you should expect to achieve on the road. The testing standards were initially created in 1975 and automakers get certain credits for creating flex-fuel vehicles, which can artificially inflate their miles-per-gallon numbers. Additionally, automakers earn credits for surpassing the CAFE requirements and can carry these credits forward for up to three years. Still, the numbers are somewhat worthwhile when comparing the current model-year with those of the past. Expect to see the year-end numbers set another new record as consumers continue choosing smaller and more fuel efficient models over larger, gas-guzzling choices.
[Source: The Detroit News]