Fuel efficiency tops wish list of new-car buyers

May 28, 2012

Fuel efficiency was the most important car-purchase factor for 37 percent of those surveyed in the new Consumer Reports National Research Center car-owner survey.

Although only a little more than one-third of car owners cited as the most important factor, the answer was well ahead of the second-most-popular choice, quality. Of the consumers surveyed, only 17 percent considered a vehicle's quality as the most important car-purchase factor.

Safety came in just behind quality with 16 percent. Other car-purchase factors included value (14 percent), performance (6 percent), design/style (6 percent) and technology/innovation (3 percent).

Consistently high gas prices are affecting car purchases. About two-thirds of the survey respondents said they expect their next vehicle will have the same fuel efficiency as their current vehicle, or better..

A vehicle's fuel efficiency is so important to 60 percent of car owners that they would be willing to sacrifice on the size or the capacity of the vehicle in order to purchase a that has a better fuel efficiency rating.

The survey also examined what motivated car owners when they were researching or buying a new car. Motivations cited by survey respondents include:

-Lower (90 percent)

-Latest fuel-saving technology (69 percent)

-Environmentally friendly/green (62 percent)

-Dependence on foreign oil (56 percent)

-Change in lifestyle/family (34 percent)

Car buyers aren't interested only in fuel-efficient traditional gasoline engines; they are also interested in options. and flex-fuel vehicles draw the most interest with 40 percent of survey respondents citing interest in those technologies. Interest in natural gas-powered vehicles and all-electric vehicles is also rising.

Explore further: Inspired by Los Angeles, researcher takes a new approach to urban planning

More information: © 2012, Mother Nature Network
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User comments : 3

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88HUX88
5 / 5 (1) May 28, 2012
fuel economy would be a lot better, ic engines have had years of efficiency improvements but the vehicles they go in still have poor economy because they are heavy and because people want to go fast. You can't have your cake and eat it too, big profits are made on large vehicles. Joe Public loves them. Change the mindset to make economy a selling point. Hyping efficiency is a sales trick, as if it were synonymous with economy; it's not.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet May 28, 2012
Want to triple your fuel efficiency? Drive half as fast.

Want to double it again? Get a scooter.
NotAsleep
5 / 5 (1) May 30, 2012
Get rid of A/C, cut weight by removing unneccesary materials (seat adjustments, seat padding, trunk, air bags, etc.), reduce battery size and alternator weight/load by decreasing electronic loads (radio, various gauges, cigarette lighters, interior lights), make the car out of plastics and aluminum...

I don't plan on giving those things up either but I often get the feeling that Average Consumer thinks car companies should just apply the following equation:

everything I want X ? = a car you can actually make