According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, passenger cars get an average of 22.4 miles per gallon (9.5 km/L). The overall miles any one car is driven yearly varies, but when you look at the numbers, upgrading to a vehicle with improved fuel economy of 5 or more MPG (2.1 km/L) can greatly reduce emissions as well as fuel use and cost. As gas prices continue to rise, this is invaluable.
There are many steps a car owner can take to improve the fuel economy, like driving the speed limit and keeping tires inflated. To get up to 27 MPG (11.5 km/L) may require swapping your current car for one with better mileage, if financially possible. It doesn’t have to be new or even a hybrid; a pre-owned vehicle might do the trick. Upgrading also sends the message to car manufacturers that efficiency is in demand.
However if your current car is in good shape, it may be eco-friendlier to hold onto it until it reaches the end of its useful life and then go for an upgrade with significantly more than a 5 MPG (2.1 km/L) improvement.
Determine the average fuel economy of your current car. Then check out the fuel economy of other cars you might be capable of upgrading to—do any of them represent an improvement that would get to or over 27 MPG (11.5 km/L)?
Weigh the pros and cons of upgrading in terms of the savings you might see from reduced operating costs versus the cost of upgrading. If it makes sense, go for it.