Fuel Economy Reaches New Record of 23.6 MPG, Mazda Leads the Way

By | December 13, 2013
The average fuel economy for 2012 model year vehicles reached an all-time high of 23.6 mpg, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency. This number is up 1.2 mpg from the previous year, representing the second largest annual increase in the last 30 years. Overall, Mazda achieved the highest average fuel economy of all automakers for the 2012 model year: 27.1 mpg. Honda and Volkswagen rounded out the top three contenders, and Toyota was close behind with an average 25.6 mpg. Due to their reliance on heavy trucks, American automakers performed at the bottom of the pack; Chrysler-Fiat scored the worst at just 20.1 mpg. Mercedes-Benz also scored poorly. According to the report, the increase in fuel economy is the result of both more efficient traditional gas models and the adoption of alternative technologies. This year, gas direct injection models increased their market share tenfold to 30 percent compared to 2008. At the same time, there are three times as many hybrid offerings and twice the diesel choices as there were in that year. Vehicles are making slow and steady progress in the race to better fuel economy. In the last five years, fuel economy is up 12 percent. This has also had the positive effect of reducing carbon emissions, according to the EPA. By 2025, new government standards will mandate that automakers achieve an average 54.5 mpg by 2025. Well, at least we're almost halfway thereā€¦