Cars became more fuel efficient in 2012, TrueCar reveals

TrueCar has released new statistics which indicate that the average fuel consumption of new cars is slowly but surely decreasing, in what will be received as positive news for any fleet manager who has often found themselves struggling to identify ways in which to improve the efficiency of their organisation's fleet.

In a statement released January 9, the automotive pricing and information website revealed that the average miles per gallon (MPG) fuel economy rating for cars sold during the previous year increased nearly one whole mile, from 22.3 MPG in 2011 to 23.1 MPG in 2012.

In metric terms, that equates to an increase of roughly two kilometres per litre, from 52.5 km/litre in 2011 to 54.4 km/litre in 2012.

Further statistics released by the website showed that Honda and Toyota were the two brands which showed the biggest improvement in car fuel consumption. Both marques improved the average MPG of their vehicles by 1.1 MPG between 2011 and 2012.

However the title of producing the most fuel efficient cars went to two different brands - Hyundai/Kia and Volkswagen, which in 2012 achieved an average MPG of 27.1 and 26.5, respectively.

According to TrueCar senior analyst Jesse Toprak, the shift is being driven by increasing consumer demand for cars that consume less fuel and are more environmentally friendly.

"Consumers' never ending appetite for more fuel efficient vehicles continued to propel manufacturers to further improve their MPG figures in 2012 with a wider selection of smaller vehicles and less fuel-thirsty powertrains," said Ms Toprak.

"An increase of 0.8 miles per gallon in fuel economy translates into a reduction in fuel consumption of 348 million gallons or a savings of about $1.2 billion in fuel annually in the US."

While comparative statistics for the Australian market were not available at the time of writing, it is likely that local consumers are also benefitting from this influx of more fuel efficient cars.