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2007 models best yet for gas mileage

September 01, 2007|Martin Zimmerman | Times Staff Writer

New vehicles are expected to set records -- barely -- for average gas mileage in 2007, driven by improved technology and demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, the federal government says.

Vehicles from the 2007 model year are projected to average 26.4 miles per gallon overall, a gain of 1 mpg over the previous year and above the previous record of 26.2 mpg in 1987.

The increases are attributed to higher demand for hybrids and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Honda Motor Co. was estimated to lead the way, averaging 39.9 mpg for its imported vehicles and 33.7 mpg for vehicles built in the United States. Toyota Motor Corp. is second with 38.5 mpg for imports and 31.7 mpg for cars and trucks produced in North America.

The difference in mileage between continents comes from the different models that are produced at each location. For example, the Toyota Prius, the top-selling hybrid, is made only in Japan.

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