Federal safety regulations like crash protection also happened in the last 3 decades. This made cars heavier which lowers mpg.
Not a very well-researched article. As Greg says, cars have gotten much bigger and heavier due to both gov regs and consumer expectations. Anybody want a car with roll-up windows, no AC? Didn't think so. The EPA also changed the method used to compute mileage to more accurately mirror real-world results. On average, cars today are light-years ahead of what was available 10, 15, 20 years ago.
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