Five Automotive Trends to Watch in 2014

The new Mazda 6 could be the one to usher in the era of diesel cars, some automotive pundits predict.

Just as dozens of “Top 10″ lists, naming highlights of 2013, are coming out it’s also time to look forward to the new year with a look at trends that will take over and shape the automotive industry in the coming year. Here are some of the top trends for 2014:

  1. Hybrids Take Over: Chances are you know at least a dozen people who are driving hybrids and that number is predicted to rise steadily as they become the norm. As hybrid manufacturers add new models to their lineup there will be more options for people who currently can’t find one which they like. Prius alone already boasts four different models. And as people trade in their old hybrids, the second-hand market will have more choices for those who don’t want to buy new.
  2. Better Budget Cars: As American car makers jump in to relatively new territory, the options on these cars–highly targeted at the youth market–are going high-tech with features such as audio streaming, accessibility to services like Pandora, touch-screens and more. Additionally, many of these are delivering better gas mileage like the Ford Fiesta getting a whopping 45 miles per gallon on the highway.
  3. Decent Diesel Choices: With such a great range and high fuel economy, it’s hard to deny the benefits of driving a diesel. Though there aren’t many budget options for these yet, it’s only a matter of time before more American’s get on board and buy a diesel vehicle. Among the best choices available right now are the Mazda6, Chevrolet Cruze and Volkswagen’s Beetle, Jetta, Golf and Passat.
  4. Lighter Cars with Improved Safety: Using the most up-to-date technology, auto makers are working to create lighter cars which will increase fuel economy. While the average driver won’t notice much of a difference, a difference there will be. Using high-strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber, safer, stronger and lighter cars will rule the highways of the future.
  5. Automatic Cars: While not entirely automatic and hands-off, the 2014 models are keeping up with the gradual changes toward an autonomous car. Some of the latest features of smart cars will be lane sensors, parking assistance and adaptive cruise control (from Volvo) which automatically brakes when it senses humans and animals in the road.

What do you think? Which trends will you jump on board with in the coming year? Share with us on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.

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