Light Truck Fuel Economy on the Rise

The Fuel Economy Index rating for cars sold in August was down 0.8% from prior-year, while light trucks showed a 2.1% gain.

Erin Sunde, Industry Analyst

September 7, 2017

1 Min Read
Light Truck Fuel Economy on the Rise

The WardsAuto Fuel Economy Index indicates the average fuel economy of light vehicles sold in the U.S. in August was 25.4 mpg (9.3 L/100 km), down 0.2% from same-month 2016.

The national average gasoline price was $2.494, 3.3% higher than in July and 9.2% above year-ago. Standard gasoline-powered vehicles accounted for 96.4% of indexed sales, down slightly from 96.6% in like-2016. All electrified powertrains showed small upticks in share.

Cars sold in the month averaged 30.1 mpg (7.8 L/100 km), down 0.8% from prior-year due to a small decline in the share of battery-electric and hybrid models.

Domestically built cars (29.8 mpg [7.9 L/100 km]) declined 0.5%, while imports (30.8 mpg [7.6 L/100 km]) rated 1.5% below year-ago.

Light trucks scored 22.6 mpg (10.4 L/100 km) on the index, a 2.1% gain on prior-year. A higher proportion of electric vehicles in this section of the market helped the average move up.

Domestic light trucks (21.9 mpg [10.7 L/100 km]) improved 2.1%, and the rating for imports (25.0 mpg [9.4 L/100 km]) rose 1.8%.

The luxury-car segment showed the greatest decline from prior-year, down 1.1% to 28.1 mpg (8.4 L/100 km). Vans showed the biggest gain, 3.2%, but accounted for only 4.5% of indexed LVs.

Honda set a new high, growing 1.1% from year-ago to 29.2 mpg (8.1 L/100 km) with a bump in the sales of small body styles and hybrid powertrains.

Year-to-date, the average index rating sat at 23.7 mpg (9.9 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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