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Cash for Clunkers Boost Fuel Efficiency of New Cars in August

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Cash for Clunkers helped boost the average gas mileage of new cars and light trucks to a record average of 23 mpg in August, according to Ward’s Auto Fuel-Economy Index. This beats by 1% the previous high in July when the program began, and it represents an 8% gain from a year ago when the average was 21.2 mpg.

Ward’s calculates the data using reported U.S. light-duty vehicle sales, engine options and fuel economy ratings.

Overall, Toyota had the best average at 26.9 mpg, which relied mostly on sales of the Camry and Prius. The Camry had the second-best sales month of its quarter century on the market; the Prius nearly sold out by mid-August.

Kia was the runner-up with a 25.1 mpg average, with Honda close on its heels at 24.9 mpg. The 2009 Jetta TDI helped push Volkswagen’s average to 23 mpg for fourth place, and BMW rounded out the top five with 22 mpg.

A total of 34,331 hybrids were sold, which is the second highest volume ever sold in a single month.

August Light-Vehicle Sales Achieve Record Fuel-Efficiency Rating (Ward’s Auto)

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