The WardsAuto Fuel Economy Index shows the average fuel economy of light vehicles sold in the U.S. in October was 25.5 mpg (9.2 L/100 km), up 0.7% from year-ago.
The national average gasoline price was $2.621, 5.1% lower than in September but 11.1% above year-ago.
The index share of standard gasoline models fell slightly to 96.3% from 96.6% in same-month 2016. Share of electric vehicles stayed flat from prior-year, and plug-in hybrids and regular hybrids showed small upticks.
Cars sold in the month averaged 30.5 mpg (7.7 L/100 km), up 0.3% from year-ago. Domestically built cars slipped 0.3%, while imports rated 2.3% above year-ago.
The small-car segment reached an all-time high of 32.1 mpg (7.3 L/100 km), benefiting from the growth in hybrid sales.
Midsize cars showed the largest year-over-year gain, up 1.5%. Luxury models took the greatest downturn, 1.7%.
Light trucks scored 22.8 mpg (10.3 L/100 km) on the index, a 2.9% gain on prior-year. The average rating for domestics increased 2.7%, and imported models improved 2.1%.
CUVs reached a best-ever 25.4 mpg (9.2 L/100 km) with a 3.7% gain from October 2016. Penetration of electrics and hybrids in the segment rose from year-ago.
Volvo’s index score rose 3.8% to a record-high 25.0 mpg (9.4 L/100 km), boosted in large part by an increase in plug-in hybrid sales.
Volkswagen showed the greatest decline from prior-year, down 4.3%, due to a decline in hybrid and electric sales.
Mazda’s score fell 3.5%, brought down by sales shifting from cars to CUVs, a common market trend.
Mitsubishi was the highest-rated automaker (excluding electric-only Tesla) at 29.8 mpg (7.9 L/100 km).
FCA recorded the lowest rating of tracked OEMs, coming in at 20.7 mpg (11.3 L/100 km). Rising sales of SUVs and large cars counterbalanced the positive effect of the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid van, pushing the automaker 1.0% below same-month 2016.
The industrywide index rating for the first 10 months of 2017 was 25.5 mpg (9.2 L/100 km), up 0.4% from like-2016.