ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The fuel economy for new cars sold in October averaged 25.3 mpg, according to researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).
The October average is the same as that reported for September but still represents an improvement of 5.2 mpg from October 2007, when the researchers began compiling data.
The UMTRI report noted: "The unchanged average fuel economy is likely a net consequence of two opposing trends: less demand for fuel-efficient vehicles because of the decreasing price of gasoline, and improved fuel economy of 2015 model year vehicles compared to 2014 model year vehicles."
UMTRI calculates average sales-weighted fuel economy from the monthly sales of light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, vans and pickups) and the combined city/highway fuel economy ratings that appear in the EPA Fuel Economy Guide and on vehicle window stickers.
The latest monthly UMTRI Eco-Driving Index showed that the average emissions of greenhouse gases generated by the driver of a new light vehicle purchased in October stood at a record-low 0.76. That figure indicates that the average new-car driver produced 24 percent lower emissions than in October 2007.
According to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas nationwide dipped to $2.92 on Wednesday, down from $3.20 a month ago.
AAA notes that average gas prices have now dropped for 48 days in a row, the longest consecutive decline since 2008. And the average price for gas is below $3 per gallon for the first time since December 22, 2010.
In the past week, fuel prices have dropped in 47 states and Washington, D.C. The biggest savings were reported in Indiana (with a 15-cent drop), Michigan (-13 cents), Oregon (-10 cents) and Montana (-10 cents). Bucking the trend are North Dakota, South Dakota and Ohio, where drivers are paying fractions of a penny more at the pump.
Said an AAA statement: "Barring an unexpected market-moving development this winter, motorists can expect to pay retail prices that are relatively low, and could see the price continue to tick downward even a little further as gasoline stations adjust to falling oil prices in the global market. AAA predicts the national average could fall another 5-15 cents in the coming weeks, which could make for the cheapest Thanksgiving gas in half a decade."
Edmunds says: Car shoppers continue to have a wide choice of new vehicles with better fuel economy, even as gas prices keep trending downward.