Visit www.FuelEconomy.gov, a website maintained by the U.S. Environmental Agency, for everything there is to know about auto mileage. The site provides gas mileage tips, miles per gallon on cars going back to the 1985 model year, tax rebate information on new hybrids, quick and easy MPG comparisons for cars and much more.
Tonight I learned the EPA changed the way it measures MPG in 2008 to reflect faster speeds, faster acceleration and increased air conditioning use. Apparently MPG measurement standards had not been changed for decades. So if you want to see the old vs new MPG estimates for your old clunker, click here. The MPG on my cars was about 10% lower than the original estimate (which is no surprise).
You can also use the site to compare MPG on cars. I compared the mileage on a Toyota Highlander 4WD vs Hybrid 4WD and learned that the hybrid gets about 7 MPG more than the non-hybrid, which would save $800/year if I drove 15,000 miles per year. Based on my mileage, the hybrid would save me maybe $500 per year in gas, assuming $4 per gallon. This is not enough to make up for the additional cost of the hybrid. But the top-rated Toyota Prius Hybrid with city/highway mileage of 48/45, looks tempting.
The last thing I checked out was the current tax rebate status of hybrid cars and discovered that rebates are no longer available on the Highlander have not been available since Sept 2007 (the rebate phases out after 60,000 vehicles have been sold). But I see there is a $3000 tax rebate on your income taxes if you buy a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid.
Thanks to my wife for pointing out this useful and informative site. With gas prices at an all-time high, it is getting hard to ignore finding ways to save money.