A recent study by the University of Michigan has found that today's vehicles offer drivers an average of 14 percent better fuel efficiency compared to just four years ago, reports Autoblog.
The study looked at cars from 2012 and 2008 in order to compare the average miles per gallon each year offered. For this model year, the average for all vehicles was 21.5 MPGs. Four years ago, that was just 18.9. Of the cars that drivers actually buy, the average fuel economy rating is a full MPG higher - 22.5.
"This implies that consumers tend to choose vehicle models with better fuel economy than the average of all vehicles available," said Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. "The recent economic downturn, coupled with rising gas prices, has led to an increased interest in purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles."
Drivers can improve the fuel efficiency of their current vehicles by taking them in for auto maintenance. Inflating tires to the correct air pressure, getting a tune-up or making certain car repairs have all been known to raise the MPGs of a vehicle, according to the Department of Energy.