Average Fuel Economy Down in September

All car segments show declines from prior-year, but SUVs were the only light-truck segment to come in behind year-ago.

Erin Sunde, Industry Analyst

October 11, 2017

1 Min Read
Average Fuel Economy Down in September

The WardsAuto Fuel Economy Index shows the average fuel economy of light vehicles sold in the U.S. in September was 25.4 mpg (9.2 L/100 km), down 0.3% from year-ago.

The national average gasoline price was $2.761, 10.7% higher than in August and 18.7% above year-ago.

Share of standard gasoline models fell to 96.2% from 96.4% in same-month 2016. Share of all alternative power types increased.

Cars sold in the month averaged 30.1 mpg (7.8 L/100 km), down 0.8% from year-ago. Domestically built cars slipped 0.4%, while imports rated 1.9% behind year-ago.

All car segments show declines from prior-year. Midsize cars showed the biggest drop, 1.3%.

Light trucks reached a record high market share and scored 22.7 mpg (10.4 L/100 km) on the index, a 2.5% gain on prior-year. The average rating for domestics increased 2.3%, and imported models improved 2.1%.

CUVs reached a best-ever 25.3 mpg (9.3 L/100 km) with a 3.1% gain from September 2016. Penetration of electrics and hybrids in the segment rose from year-ago.

SUVs were the only light-truck segment to come in behind year-ago, declining 0.7% to 18.6 mpg (12.6 L/100 km).

Volvo’s index score rose 1.4% to a record-high 24.1 mpg (9.8 L/100 km), boosted in large part by sales of plug-in hybrids.

Kia recorded the biggest year-over-year improvement among tracked companies in September, jumping 5.4% with a higher share of hybrids.

Volkswagen showed the greatest decline from prior-year, down 10.1%, due to decline in electric and hybrid vehicle sales, along with a shift from midsize cars to CUVs.

Honda was the highest rated automaker (excluding electric-only Tesla) at 29.1 mpg (8.1 L/100 km). Porsche had the lowest score, 20.4 mpg (11.5 L/100 km).

The industrywide index rating for the first nine months of 2017 was 25.4 mpg (9.2 L/100 km), up 0.1% from same-period 2016.

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About the Author(s)

Erin Sunde

Industry Analyst, WardsAuto

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