The average fuel economy of new U.S. light vehicles sold in March rose to 25.4 mpg, according to University of Michigan researchers, the highest since the researchers began collecting data in October 2007.

Automotive News reported the fuel economy of new U.S. light trucks, cars, SUVs and vans sold last month rose 0.3 mpg from the revised figure for February and is 5.3 mpg higher than the October 2007 average, according to a monthly report from the university’s Transportation Research Institute.

Average sales-weighted fuel economy was calculated using the monthly sales of individual models and the combined city-highway fuel economy ratings from the EPA Fuel Economy Guide for each model.

Meanwhile, the institute’s national Eco-Driving Index which calculates the monthly greenhouse gas emissions from a U.S. driver who bought a new vehicle during the month, held at 0.80 in January. A lower index score is better, and the scores are compared with a base score of 1 in October 2007, when researchers began collecting data.

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