Spike in small-car sales ups average fuel economy to 22.7 mpg in first quarter of 2011

2011 Hyundai Elantra – Click above for high-res image gallery

A first-quarter spike in small (subcompact and compact) car sales, attributed mainly to rising gas prices, boosted the average fuel economy of light vehicles (LVs) in the U.S. to 22.7 miles per gallon, coming within hundredths of a point of the record set back in the Cash-for-Clunkers days of late 2009, according to Ward's Auto. The posted 22.7 mpg represents a 1.9 percent jump over the average fuel economy of LVs in the first quarter of 2010 and a 2.8 percent increase over last year's third-quarter results.

Small cars accounted for 19.4 percent of total vehicle sales in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2011, the segment's highest percentage since Cash-for-Clunkers. In addition to rising fuel prices, recent entries such as the Chevy Cruze, along with the redesigned Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Jetta, have boosted sales in the small-car segment.

2011 Hyundai Elantra
2011 Hyundai Elantra
View 29 Photos

Photos copyright ©2011 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Ward's Auto]

Share This Photo X