2008: The most fuel efficient year yet

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the fleet of cars sold in the U.S. through the first half of the year averaged 26.8 mpg. That's a new record, and it is being pushed by the rapid move from larger cars, trucks and SUVs into smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. For reference, last year's rating stood at 26.6 miles per gallon. While these numbers can be useful for tracking the overall average mileage of new cars in the States, these are actually the CAFE numbers that the government uses for keeping tabs on the automakers. As has been widely covered, these figures aren't really the most accurate numbers available as there are provisions for automakers to improve their scores through the use of alternative fuels. Some manufacturers also carry over credits from past years when they surpassed the CAFE requirements. Still, a fuel mileage improvement is a good thing, and it's likely to only get better as fuel prices remain high enough to impact purchasing decisions.
[Source: The Detroit News]

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