By on May 5, 2015


According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the monthly average U.S. new-car fuel economy fell 0.2 mpg to 25.2 mpg in April.

The drop in fuel economy was likely aided by the ongoing demand for SUVs and trucks fueled by lower prices at the pump, Edmunds reports. The current average was last seen February for much the same reason, and though still below the August 2014 peak of 25.8 mpg, the average is still 5.1 mpg higher than when UMTRI first began tracking new-car fuel economy in October 2007.

Meanwhile, the average price at the pump nationwide is $2.62/gallon, per AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The current average is $1 less than it was a year ago, but around 30 cents higher than last month. The slight jump is due to increasing demand, seasonal maintenance, and production of summer-blend gasoline. The travel group adds that prices will remain below $3/gallon for the remainder of 2015, “barring any major supply disruptions.”

[Image credit: UMTRI]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

14 Comments on “US New-Car Average Fuel Economy Down To 25.2 MPG In April...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Thankfully, the CAFE in my household fleet is about 52.3 mpg, if I just take an average:

    Sedona: 20
    Optima Hybrid: 38
    Leaf: 99

    • 0 avatar

      CAFE is a harmonized mean. You can’t add the numbers together and then divide by 3.

      Your Sedona uses 5 gallons per 100 miles. Your Optima uses 2.63 gallons per 100 miles. Your Leaf uses the equivalent of 1.01 gallons per 100 miles.

      The fleet consumes 8.64 gallons per 300 miles or 34.7mpg

  • avatar

    Regular at my local station in L.A. $3.79 today.

  • avatar

    Here’s what happens when we shrink engines to save fuel, but at the same time put everyone in a new rounded-block shaped CUV.

    • 0 avatar

      Take heart, CAFE is already inexorably carving that rounded block down to an allowable maximum. In how many new vehicles on the lot right now could you sit behind the wheel and with any seat-height adjustment you care to make but without ducking, see under the RVM?

      • 0 avatar

        Once that allowable max gets so low, we’ll have a return to sedans/wagons, just almost all of them will have AWD.

        This will also see the return of the PLC!

        • 0 avatar

          Speaking of sedans with AWD, I still see a surprising number of Subaru’s oddball Outback sedan here in Pennsylvania…usually two-tone with LL Bean trim or whatever.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s called the SUS!

            I have seen between one and three in my whole life. Everyone bought the wagons here instead.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This proves that fuel pricing is an effective instrument in modifying vehicle purchasing behavior.

    Maybe the US should remove CAFE, allow the manufacturers to create vehicles that they want and use fuel pricing via taxation to influence the market.

  • avatar

    After Jack’s positive Prius review I may have to get serious about replacing my ’02 Sable wagon with a Prius V. If everyone else is jumping into the biggest beast they can find, the Toyota dealer must be getting worried about his bottom line.

  • avatar

    Donuts to Dollars, I bet that the “drop” is statistically insignificant and well within the standard deviation based on sample size.


    • 0 avatar

      It should be population data, not a sample. Automakers report deliveries at the end of each month (although they don’t report details on volumes for each drivetrain, so I’m not sure how UMTRI deals with that.)

      It really doesn’t seem significant. The graph exaggerates the effect, as the axis doesn’t start at zero.

    • 0 avatar

      I have just about given up on hoping that anyone in the press has any understanding of statistics or how to create or interpret graphs. The is the same thing as the attempts by financial pundits to interpret daily fluctuations of 1/2% in the Dow Jones when its control limits are +/- 3%.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • redgolf: Well, I’m just glad I’m retired, I rack up only 7 K miles/year and that includes numerous joy...
  • redgolf: ToolGuy – I can’t stop laughing here at 4:30 am It’s gonna be a good day! Do you have...
  • ToolGuy: I see curb weight as 5,103 pounds, which makes the torque-to-pork ratio… well nevermind, we should...
  • Lou_BC: @redapple – interesting. “An acre of mature trees can capture 2.6 tonnes of CO2 per year.”...
  • dal20402: OK, that’s a new one, but taking it at face value… (1) If it is actually possible to engineer a major...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber