The latest Trends study released by the Environmental Protection Agency on fuel economy and CO2 emissions revealed that the 2013 adjusted Corporate Average Fuel Economy number for all light-duty gasoline and diesel vehicles reached a record 24.1 mpg, 0.5 mpg higher than in 2012. At the same time, the adjusted CO2 emissions rate dipped to a record 369 grams/mile, down 7g/mi from 2012. Those figures show a continuing trend that has seen these efficiency ratings significantly improve in eight of the past 9 years, with mpg rising by 25 percent and CO2 emissions declining by 20 percent. According to the EPA Trends study, the bulk of this latest bump comes from the expanded use of new technologies including turbocharging, direct injection on gasoline engines and more efficient transmission designs that add additional gears or employ continuously variable ratio technology. 

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With a 28.1 mpg mark - a 1.0 mpg uptick from 2012 -- Mazda reprised its number one rating among all automakers in the Trends study that has tracked mpg from 1975 to the present. It was followed by Honda (27.4 mpg) and Subaru (26.7 mpg). Nissan topped the list of full-line makers with a 26.2 mpg stat, and recorded the best year-over-year gain of 2.1 mpg in the process. It was followed by Volkswagen (25.7 mpg) and Toyota (25.1 mpg). Rounding out the list was BMW (24.5 mpg), Daimler (22.4 mpg), Ford (22.2), GM (22.0 mpg) and Chrysler-Fiat (20.9 mpg). Of that group, only Toyota and Ford saw minor mileage decreases from 2012. Neither Hyundai nor Kia was included in the rankings due to ongoing EPA investigations. Based on corrected data, Hyundai would have registered a 29.0 mpg number for 2013 and Kia 27.4 mpg.

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The news continues to look good for 2014. While final numbers won't be available until spring, mpg figures for nearly every automaker are headed up and CO2 stats down. The sole exception -- at least in the preliminary mode - is General Motors, which looks to hold steady at its 2013 levels in both areas.

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