NEW YORK (MainStreet) If you're thinking about buying a new car, this may be all the motivation you need to do the deal. Take a look at soaring gas prices and then consider this: If you're driving a six-year-old vehicle, it's likely you'll save hundreds of dollars a year on gas by trading up to a new 2014.
Just-released research by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) notes that since 2008, the average fuel economy of new cars has increased by 20% -- from 21 miles per gallon (mpg) to 25.6 mpg. Driving a typical 2014 new car means you'll spend nearly $300 less per year for gasoline than being behind the wheel of an average 2008 car (based on driving 15,000 miles annually).
With manufacturers aiming to hit new fuel efficiency targets over the coming years, your carbon footprint is likely to continue shrinking. Current federal fuel economy standards will rise to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The CFA reports that of the 29 all-new vehicles introduced in 2014, 19 have a model that is compliant with 2014 requirements, 13 are equal to 2016 standards and seven meet 2018 standards. Three vehicles are actually already meeting 2020 standards: the Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Rogue and Toyota Highlander.
"Car manufacturers are well on their way to meet the 2025 fuel economy standards," says Jack Gillis, CFA's director of public affairs. "Because the new federal standards are in line with consumer demand, carmakers understand that meeting those standards is one of the best ways to ensure market success in the future."
Leading manufacturers with the highest percentage of models compliant with 2014 fuel economy standards are Mazda (80%), Subaru (52%), Honda (51%), Kia (40%) and Mitsubishi (39%). Tesla, with only one electric model, was 100% compliant with current requirements.