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Average fuel economy for new cars stands at 22 mpg

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There are different views as to whether the number is up or down, but two different reports out this week said the average fuel economy of vehicles sold in September was about 22 miles per gallon.

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute said the average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in September was 22.1 mpg --unchanged from August and at the lowest level in 12 months.

But auto information company TrueCar.com said that the September fuel economy for new vehicles sold stood at an average 22.0 mpg compared with 21.7 in August and 21.4 in September 2010.

Hyundai had the most fuel-efficient fleet, with an average of 26.7 mpg, according to TrueCar. Chrysler had the least efficient, just 19.2 mpg.

Not surprisingly, import brands, which are heavily weighted to sales of passenger cars, had higher fuel economy ratings than the domestic auto manufacturers, which sell more gas-thirsty trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

Michael Sivak, a research professor at the University of Michigan’s institute, said fuel economy has gone up from 21.1 mpg two years ago and said he was not surprised by the difference between his calculations and the TrueCar measure.

“The two methodologies and the data sources are slightly different. However, the actual values are not that different from each other,” he said.  

A congressional panel will hold a hearing Wednesday on the Obama administration's plans to raise fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

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-- Jerry Hirsch
twitter.com/LATimesJerry

Photo: Traffic travels north on the Harbor Freeway with the Los Angeles skyline in the background on July 18. Credit: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times

 
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