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Table 4-23. Average Fuel Efficiency of U.S. Passenger Cars and Light Trucks

Table 4-23. Average Fuel Efficiency of U.S. Passenger Cars and Light Trucks

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  1980 1985 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Average U.S. passenger car fuel efficiency (mpg) (calendar year)                       
Passenger car 15.9 17.4 20.2 21.1 21.0 20.5 20.7 21.1 21.2 21.5 R21.6 21.4
Other 2-axle 4-tire vehicle 12.2 14.3 16.1 17.0 17.3 17.4 17.3 17.3 17.2 17.2 R17.2 17.1
New vehicle fuel efficiency (mpg)a (model year)                       
Light-duty vehicle (passenger cars plus light trucks)                        
Domestic 21.4 24.0 23.9 24.4 23.9 24.3 23.7 23.8 24.1 R23.3 R23.3 23.7
Imported 28.6 30.3 28.5 28.4 27.9 28.1 27.7 27.9 27.7 27.5 27.6 26.9
Passenger car                        
Domestic 22.6 26.3 26.9 27.3 27.0 27.8 27.5 27.7 28.3 R27.8 R28.1 28.2
Imported 29.6 31.5 29.9 30.1 29.2 29.6 29.6 30.3 29.7 R30.1 R30.0 28.4
Light truck (<8,500 lbs GVWR)                        
Domestic 16.8 19.6 20.3 20.9 20.5 20.7 20.5 20.3 20.5 R20.2 20.5 20.4
Imported 24.3 26.5 23.0 23.0 22.7 22.8 22.1 21.5 22.2 22.1 22.9 22.5
CAFE standards (mpg)a (model year)                       
Passenger car 20.0 27.5 27.5 27.5 27.5 27.5 27.5 27.5 27.5 27.5 27.5 27.5
Light truck 16.0/14.0b 19.5 20.0 20.2 20.2 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.7 20.7 20.7

a Assumes 55% city and 45% highway-miles. The source calculated average miles per gallon for light-duty vehicles by  taking the reciprocal of the sales-weighted average of gallons per mile. This is called the harmonic average.
b 2 Wheel Drive/4 Wheel Drive. No combined figure available for this year.

KEY: CAFE = Corporate Average Fuel Economy; GVWR = gross vehicle weight rating; mpg = miles per gallon; R = revised; U = data are not available.

NOTE: The fuel efficiency figures for light duty vehicles represent the sales-weighted harmonic average of the combined passenger car and light truck fuel economies.

SOURCES:
Average U.S. passenger car fuel efficiency:
1980-94: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics Summary to 1995, FHWA-PL-97-009 (Washington, DC: July 1997), table VM-201A.
1995-98: Ibid., Highway Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual issues), table VM-1.
New vehicle fuel efficiency (based on model year production):
1980-90: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, final fuel economy calculations for the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,  as cited in Internet site www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/fuelecon/index.html.
1991-99: Manufacturer's preliminary estimates for the U.S. Department of Transportation, as cited in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Automotive Fuel Economy Program, Twenty-Fourth Annual Report to Congress, Calendar Year 1999, Internet site www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/fuelecon/index.html.
CAFE standards:
1980-99: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Automotive Fuel Economy Program, Twenty-Fourth Annual Report to Congress, Calendar Year 1999,  Internet site www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/fuelecon/index.html.

Updated: Saturday, May 20, 2017