According to University of Michigan researchers, the average fuel economy of new vehicles sold last year rose to 23.8 mpg, an increase of 1.4 mpg compared to the 2011 average of 22.5 mpg.
The 23.8-mpg figure is the highest since the researchers began tracking full year data in 2008 and proves that automakers are continuing to improve fuel efficiency across their model lineup. Average fuel economy is calculated based on the fuel economy figures posted on window stickers of all new cars and light trucks sold.
Sales of fuel efficient compact vehicles also rose last year, with the Fiat 500 selling more than double in 2012 with 43,772 units sold while the Chevrolet Volt’s sales tripled to 23,461. According to Toyota, hybrid sales increased nearly 83 percent last year, much thanks to the expansion of the Prius family.