Fuel economy regulations are slowly changing the auto industry and subsequently new cars are more fuel-efficient than ever with average consumption landing at 24.9 mpg for the month of August, 2013.
Since the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute began tracking average fuel economy in October of 2007, new vehicles have become about 5 mpg more efficient.
To establish these numbers, the institute looks at monthly car sales and averages the EPA assigned fuel economy numbers for each of those vehicles. In cases where different fuel economy ratings are assigned to the same vehicle, the institute takes the average of all of the assigned combined mpg ratings and uses it as the overall fuel economy average for the vehicle.
Thanks to CAFE, average mpg numbers will continue to increase, helped in part by new technologies which are hitting the market here in North America including diesel engines, hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
[Source: U of M Transportation Research Institute]