By on June 29, 2017

fuel gauge

A recent study from Consumers Union — the public policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports — shows continued interest among U.S. residents in seeing automakers improve fuel economy figures, even as gas prices remain fairly low.

While this should come as a shock to no one, nearly nine in 10 surveyed consumers agreed automakers should continue improving fuel efficiency standards on all vehicles. As well, only 30 percent believed manufacturers actually cared about lowering fuel costs for their customers.

This might be true but, then again, why would automakers do such a thing when the general populace has essentially turned its back on economical passenger cars? With little incentive to sell them, especially if the Trump administration alters 2025 emission targets, any top-tier automaker focusing exclusively on building MPG-focused automobiles would be placing itself at major financial risk.

The survey indicated fuel economy as the area perceived to possess the most room for improvement in modern vehicles. However, consumers have not used their wallets to bolster economy car sales. There appears to be a disparity between what the public claims to value and how it actually behaves. At a minimum, consumers may have misunderstood everything it would take to see fleet-wide fuel consumption decline. If they want to see higher MPGs, they’re going to have to make some sacrifices and the survey doesn’t allude to that fact. 

Number one, with a bullet, is to settle for less automobile or shell out additional money. Fuel efficient cars already exist — they’re called economy cars. While I’ve never owned one myself, I’ve driven plenty and they are perfectly serviceable modes of transportation. However, North America is abandoning them. Subcompact sales are already down 17 percent in the United States this year and aren’t expected to bounce back as crossovers occupy more of the market every single day.

Alternatively, shoppers can purchase an electric vehicle, but we all know how that’s going. Even with federal tax rebates, EVs remain a comparably expensive niche item and often serve as a second vehicle to homes that can easily afford them. They will come down in price eventually, but that could take over a decade to accomplish. In the interim, electric cars will continue to be smaller, more expensive, and force consumers to sacrifice driving range and convenience.

The only other option is to force automakers to implement fuel-saving technologies on the types of vehicles customers actually want to buy. Data from Consumers Union showed 87 percent of the Americans surveyed agreed automakers should continue to improve fuel economy and 73 believed the government should mandate higher standards for vehicle efficiency.

“Consumers see the value in fuel efficiency, and the technology more than pays for itself through fuel savings,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “As automakers increase vehicle efficiency, consumers benefit from greater savings.”

That’s true, especially if you are moving from a real gas guzzler to something substantially more efficient. However, let’s do some crude math to see how this plays out in the long term. The survey stated 79 percent of Americans believed increasing fuel economy from a real-world average of 25 mpg today to 40 mpg in 2025 is a worthwhile goal. Assuming fuel prices suddenly ballooned to $3 per gallon, the average person driving a 25 mpg vehicle would eat up $1,440 driving 12,000 miles annually. Someone getting 40 mpg would spend $900 a year. While that only equates to about ten bucks a week in savings, it’ll add up over the lifetime of the vehicle.

Here’s the problem: you’ll usually just break even. The Toyota RAV4 starts at $24,410 while the hybrid variant starts at $29,000 and only improves average economy in town, not on the highway. It also doesn’t come anywhere close to 40 mpg — admittedly, no SUV does. If consumers want to see that kind of rating, they’re going to have to shoulder even more technological development costs or welcome affordable, lightweight cars back into their lives. A Mazda3 can manage 37 mpg on the highway right now, and all for under $20,000. Otherwise, shoppers will have to wait for SUVs and crossovers to catch up and continue to pay a premium for cutting-edge engine tech.

By some measurements, car buyers will have to pay anyway. Hybrid and electric units are typically several thousand dollars more expensive than traditional internal combustion models, but the latter is set to become more expensive while the former gradually decreases in price. “We have two curves,” Gilles Normand, Renault’s senior vice president for electrics, explained in a May interview. “One is EV technology cost reductions because there are more breakthroughs in the cost of technology and more volume, so the cost of EVs will go down. ICE going to go up as a result of more stringent regulations especially regarding to particulate regulations.”

In the end, consumers who genuinely care about the environment or saving money at the pump should look at how they’re spending their own money. Passenger cars make up only 37 percent of the U.S. marketplace, and those sales are dropping fast. The solution to fuel economy woes is already out there in the form of petite and inexpensive hatchbacks — models that would be much more popular if people were serious about their convictions.

Instead, many want to have their cake and eat it too — which is something automakers are working on. The industry knows the public likes larger vehicles and doesn’t want to return to Nixon-era fuel economy, but we’ll have to meet automakers halfway if we want them to work a miracle.

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74 Comments on “Study Shows Nearly Nine in 10 Americans Want Better Fuel Economy, But There’s a Problem...”


  • avatar

    I still hear customers believing in the 100 MPG carburetor…

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Consumer survey questions:
    1. Would you like 25% better fuel economy? Yes
    2. Would you like 25% more horsepower? Yes
    3. Would you like 25% more interior space? Yes
    4. Would you like 25% smaller exterior size? Yes
    4. Would you like 25% fewer emissions? Yes
    5. Would you like 25% lower price? Yes.

    Article headline: “Survey finds most consumers want more fuel economy.”

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      It does smell like a contrived headline.

      Then again, I wouldn’t put it past the average CR subscriber to bark “MPG” like a trained seal when asked about automotive priorities. They’re not exactly known for their love of manual shifters or perfectly-clipped apexes.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      That about sums it up.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Consumers Union is a lIberal-socialist-communist organization whose members should be required to register with the FBI as agents of a foreign philosophy. What did we expect?

        I DO NOT want better fuel mileage: 15-25 MPG is just fine.
        Instead, I want cheaper, simpler, more durable, more easily repairable, longer-lasting vehicles.

        If you want to see the insanity of the brainless CR Liberal dweeb who had the audacity to apply suburban NY criteria to the popular Jeep Wrangler, watch this:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkhZTINmgr8

        ======================

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          You’re largely getting your wish, as vehicles today are provably more durable and longer-lasting than they were in the past; and modern OBD makes repair vastly easier.

          They get better mileage too. And are safer. And faster.

          If this is a result of the liberal commie socialist philosophy then I want more of it, comrade!

        • 0 avatar
          sidecar

          Agree with your assessment of Consumers Union. Had subscribed to CR for about 10 years, but their articles started to gag me more and more every issue until I could not stand them and and dropped them.

        • 0 avatar
          HahnZahn

          I suppose you think global warming is a farce, too. Better fuel economy = cheaper. It’s always satisfying to see someone lament paradigm shifts to safer, more efficient vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          Hydromatic

          “Consumers Union is a lIberal-socialist-communist…”

          When a comment starts out this way, I tend to dismiss the commenter as a crank and tune out anything else following that line.

  • avatar
    dwford

    People love their crossovers, but no matter what the window sticker says, they all get crappy gas mileage. I think automakers could win people over to hybrids by making more crossover hybrids. The current generation were not designed to be hybrids, so there are compromises. But once consumers start seeing 30mpg for real in their crossovers, instead of a promised 30mpg highway which really turns out to be 23mpg, they will see the value.

    Consumers have turned away from small cars because most of them are crappy, they aren’t really cheaper than the next size up, and they don’t really get better gas mileage, so what’s the point?

    • 0 avatar
      bts

      You nailed it with your second paragraph. Auto companies exist to make money and their products are made to convince you to upgrade to a higher trim level or next model size up or whatever product they have with a higher margin.

      Fuel economy could easily be increased in all products if horsepower was kept constant, instead we have 200 hp base Camrys.

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        But the Camry does offer up to 41 mpg. By any measure that is fantastic – meeting or exceeding the mpg of little sh*t boxes. If people regain the ability to bend over to get into a car, sales would be through the roof! (Okay, you may need to blindfold the people when they buy it, but you get my point.)

        The 50+ mpg hybrid would also be a best seller if people actually purchased what they claim they want.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @dwford: Exactly right.

      People are surely surprised that their CUVs are getting 23 mpg, but they don’t really want a small, low-slung car for only a few bucks less.

      I would note that the new Kia Niro is a real step in the right direction – a roomy car designed as a hybrid, with fuel economy in the high 40s.

      One aggravating factor is the market’s infatuation with AWD. Only a Tesla gets *better* fuel economy with AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        Hydromatic

        I think that sooner or later all cars will be hybrids in some form, to the point that the “hybrid” tag goes away. After all, what’s the use of the hybrid callout when every car has hybrid tech? Once that happens, crossover buyers will finally get to have their 30+ mpg cake and eat it, too.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    “Mazda3 can manage 37 mpg on the highway right now, and all for under $20,000”

    That’s just it. I think those of us that can get by with a compact sedan or hatchback are well-positioned. An ordinary, non-hybrid Golf, Jetta, Mazda3, Civic, Cruze or Elantra will easily do high-30s to low-40s in highway driving, average low-30s…and not cost much money at all. And if gas mileage suddenly became a pressing concern, that’s probably where I’d look, rather than spending thousands on a hybrid. For some reason, I’m drawn to the Elantra and its clean lines and bang-for-the-buck…even though Hyundai is not on my good side right now because of how my mom’s 2012 Sonata Limited has held up. It’s all of $22K for something with leather, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, CarPlay / Android Auto, adaptive cruise, and 40+ MPG. And if you’re going to run it to at least 120,000 miles or so and not trade it in, you’ll outpace Hyundai’s terrible depreciation, because most compact sedans are worth more as guaranteed transportation than as trade-in fodder at that point anyway.

    I’m starting to learn that I’d almost rather have a boring, but efficient commuter and then maybe a fun project car while I build up some savings…than to have something fancy as a daily-driver. So even though part of me wants to spring for something fancy like a loaded Regal TourX or even a V90 R-Design, another part of me would be fine with a cheap commuter and a warranty…at least at this stage.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m wondering how the question was presented.

    Just in general, if you asked me if I wanted better fuel economy I would say yes.

    However, in practice that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy a Mazda3 for my next car. It just means I’m willing go from a 18MPG V8 vehicle to a 22MPG V8 vehicle.

  • avatar
    Dan

    You don’t have to wait until 2025. The Prius has met those standards for years. So have the Volt and the Leaf and all of the other green cars, all of which put together amount to 1% of the new car market.

    Money talks, bullchit walks, and there’s an awful lot of walking going on here.

    • 0 avatar
      bts

      Those fuel efficient cars are purposely handicapped by the car companies so they won’t sell. Many customers are put off by the unique looks or weird interior styling

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        bts, I don’t believe car companies purposely handicap hybrid styling. Consumers voted with money for cars like the Toyota Prius that are obviously hybrids over cars like the Camry, Accord, and Fusion hybrids that don’t look much different than their non-hybrid equivalents. One reasonable hypothesis is that people who actually buy hybrids want everyone else to know that they’re driving a hybrid. Fully electric cars have taken that virtue signalling up a notch, making hybrids less special.

  • avatar
    arach

    I think there is a huge problem with assuming its mutually exclusive.

    One of the most important things to me IS FUEL ECONOMY.

    I also drive a Porsche SUV, a Ford F350, and have sports cars that call 8 MPG home.

    Does that mean I’m a hypocrite? No, not at all.

    Look at the excitement over the 25 MPG ecodiesel in the ram. You see, I want a 1 ton pickup truck. If Ford’s 1 ton pickup got 15 MPG, and Rams got 35 MPG, I would buy the Ram and jump for joy and talk about how great it is.

    But thats assuming all else- towing power, size, etc. is equal.

    So I DO think fuel economy is important, but thats only “given” the vehicle type the buyer wants. IE if they want a large SUV, they do care about how much gas the large SUV gets but switching to a different vehicle class is not an option.

    I’m irrational, but I keep waiting for the 35 MPG pickup trucks. I want it, but I’m not going to pay more for it AND I’m not going to “downsize” for it.

    Fuel economy is important, but not enough to change my lifestyle or settle for less than I want.

    I don’t think fuel economy is enough reason to change behavior.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      “Fuel economy is important, but not enough to change my lifestyle or settle for less than I want.”

      “You keep using those words. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya, paraphrased

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        ““You keep using those words. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya, paraphrased”

        “Anybody want a peanut?” – Fezzik the giant

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        I’m confused by your response.

        Say your husband or wife wants “mexican food”. Then “Mexican Food” becomes your “Consideration set”. Then say you decide your on a budget, so you choose the cheapest mexican restaurant. In that case, Price was your most important decision factor, but only within your consideration set. Even if a chinese or italian restaurant was cheaper, it wasn’t what you wanted.

        If I want a Full size pickup truck, fuel economy can be very important to me… but moving to a different class of truck is like moving to a different type of restaurant, thats not an option, and wouldn’t make sense. Within the class of truck however, fuel economy can matter big time and be the primary deciding factor.

        therefore I could choose a 17 MPG Diesel truck over a 15 MPG diesel truck.

        I think this is what 99% of people mean when they say “fuel economy is very important”. Its important within the consideration set.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      That’s right. Live it large, today. There is no tomorrow!

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      arach, would you pay extra for incremental fuel economy savings that pay for themselves in 7 years? Extra dollars spent up front for extra gear ratios and lighter materials vs. extra money spent over time for fuel, assuming the buyer keeps the vehicle that long. Making large, thirsty vehicles 10% more efficient is more likely to pay for itself at the pump than making a compact car 10% more efficient because the compact car fuel costs start out pretty low. Taken to the extreme, fuel economy is very important to the buyers of semi tractor trailer trucks and it has nothing to do with virtue signalling.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        George B,

        slightly trick question. Assuming capital doubles in value every 7 years, if you get 100% return in 7 years thats a really bad investment.

        However, if it would pay for itself twice in 7 years, then I’d gladly pay extra.

        But even with that, I might even pay more if its close just because I generally believe its best to conserve resources.

        So if Car A was $50,000 and would cost $10,000 in gas over 7 years, and car B was $55,000 and would cost $5,000 in gas over 7 years, I wouldn’t buy car B. The extra $5,000 saved has relatively high opportunity costs.

        On the contrary, if Car A was $50,000 and would cost $20,000 in gas over 7 yeas, and car B was $55,000 and would cost $5,000 in gas over 7 years, I’d buy car B. The extra $5,000 to save $15,000 is very much worth it.

        When I bought my Ram, I bought the smaller V8 instead of the Hemi because it offered enough POWER to do what I wanted and got slightly better fuel economy (it was also cheaper, thats a plus). I would NOT have bought a compact or subcompact car or even a small to midsize, because switching to a different class of vehicle isn’t what I would consider “a reasonable way to procure better fuel economy”.

        I’m really looking for technologies like a variable compression engine, direct injection, etc. which give you simply more efficiency. You can have a motor with the same power, and a vehicle of the same size, but then they get better fuel economy to boot. I’m NOT willing to give up on the purpose of buying the car just for fuel economy though.

        I don’t think I’m alone in that. I have plenty of people who I help buy large SUVs, and they are comparing between the large SUVs primarily on fuel economy. They would never consider a smaller car despite the primary decision based on fuel economy.

        in other words, fuel economy does NOT get cars into a “consideration set” for most buyers, but DOES influence buying decisions within the consideration set.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      arach,
      I like your analogy.

      I think this is why people buy an EcoSieze Ford using the inflated MPGs as a deciding factor. Irrespective of real life MPGs.

      Yet a Hemi Ram in real life is not much different. It can and is probably returning better FE than many EB Ford pickups.

      So, people will buy a Ram, even if the sticker gives it a lower MPG rating. They are cheaper to get into.

      FE is a consideration for me……..if it’s got enough torque and power to do what I want.

      I want a 4×4 pickup. It will cost lots. But I choose the best vehicle overall to suit my “wants”. FE and 4×4 ability are balanced. I will choose a slightly lower MPG if the 4×4 is more capable off road and consider my vehicle a worthwhile purchase.

  • avatar
    carve

    Of COURSE everyone wants better mpg; it’s just that’s not the only thing we want, and obviously not the most important thing, so we trade off efficiency for other things we want.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      Some of the idiots who claim to want better fuel economy are the ones you see jack rabbit starting from stop lights, weaving in and out of lanes only to get caught at the next light……then do it all over again. They are also seen on interstates doing 85-90 MPH.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      Some of the clowns who claim to want better fuel economy are the ones you see jack rabbit starting from stop lights, weaving in and out of lanes only to get caught at the next light……then do it all over again. They are also seen on interstates doing 85-90 MPH.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    “Consumers see the value in fuel efficiency, and the technology more than pays for itself through fuel savings,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union.

    One can buy a whole lot of gasoline for the cost of rebuilding a gazillion speed transmission.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    I would take a subcompact over a cute-ute or SUV anyday. Call me a dying breed or just 45 years old. Mazda3, VW GTI or Golf or even a CVT 2017 Corolla SE in white. Thats what I have now, thanks to unemployment for a while. Its cheap on a lease. 35MPG combines and will run for ever and ever.

  • avatar
    YeOldeMobile

    That’s a good point about break-even cost. If I’m just leasing a car for 3 years, the higher cost of a hybrid isn’t justified economically. Even a diesel is a stretch, even though I’d love to go from 16 mpg to 30 on a sedan.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    We are already at the point where CAFE is forcing automakers to spending 2 bucks to save 25 cents worth of gas. All the easy fuel economy gains have been implemented, so the only way to better fuel economy is to drive a small low powered car, which 95%+ of the the US driving public does not want to do – especially when gas is $2.25 per gallon.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      There’s still a few trucks up the sleeves… Variable compression engines for example, camless engines as another, so there may still be some “easy” fuel economy gains (not easy as far as engineering might easy, but as far as return on dollar easy. they may return $2 for $1)

  • avatar
    derekson

    Just virtue signaling. Actions speak louder than words.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    9 in 10 Americans want other American’s cars to get better fuel economy but feel their own vehicle is good enough.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Consumers are dumb.
    Check this. You get a car with 18-in wheels that go for 40K miles and cost $900 installed.
    Or you get 16-inch wheels that go for 60K miles and cost $600 installed

    There is $500 right there. Why save on fuel if you spend on tires?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      The next time it loses a tire, I’m buying 16″ steelies for my XC-70.

      Because the stock 18s are too big, and frankly I think they’re ghastly.

      And the tires are far more expensive than is justified.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      The larger diameter, lower profile tires will give a slight edge in accident avoidance, somewhat negating the average SUV’s higher COG; the extreme case being the Explorer rollover scandal.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I think that when consumers say they want better fuel economy, what they REALLY mean is that they want better –>efficiency<– from the car they already planned to buy.

  • avatar
    zip89123

    Of course buyers want better fuel economy, they just don’t want to be seen in an ugly Prius. Bottom line is whatever the market will bear, whether it be the price of vehicles, the price of fuel, or a combination of both. Legislation can do more harm than good. I reference MTBE, CARB, EPA, & DEF. I’d rather a vehicle have an annual state inspection instead of a smog check. I worry way more about someone driving with no insurance, bald tires, scored rotors, failed headlights or taillights or brake lamps than I ever will worry about questionable exhaust. Back on subject, what we want regarding mpg versus what we do about it is usually two different things.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    Revealed preference wins every time.

    (I’d love better fuel economy!

    But I don’t want it *forced* on me at the expense of power or price or cargo capacity – the things I actually make car-buying decisions based on.)

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Sounds like this survey was conducted as a tool to pressure the Trump Administration into leaving Obama’s fuel economy standards alone, because “Americans care”.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Gads,

    Matt Posky: “The Toyota RAV4 starts at $24,410 while the hybrid variant starts at $29,000 and only improves average economy in town, not on the highway. It also doesn’t come anywhere close to 40 mpg.”

    Did you factor out equipment differences? Did you factor in the lower upkeep of hybrids? Did you notice the price premium for hybrids is shrinking?

    35mpg is “anywhere close” to 40.

    I don’t come to a site called: “the truth about cars” to read urban myths, thankyou. Even compared to the awd Rav4, the highway mileage for the hybrid is better. And the Rav4 Hybrid is awd. The same was true for the Escape Hybrid. There are good reasons why hybrids get better highway mileage than equivalent non-hybrids. You should know this prior to embarking on the subject.  This article may have been acceptable 7 years ago, but it isn’t now.

    dwford: “I think automakers could win people over to hybrids by making more crossover hybrids. The current generation were not designed to be hybrids, so there are compromises. But once consumers start seeing 30mpg for real in their crossovers, instead of a promised 30mpg highway which really turns out to be 23mpg, they will see the value.”

    Unlike non-hybrids, hybrids really do get the mileages they’re rated for. Escape Hybrids and Rav4 Hybrids get 30mpg and better in the real world. Adding the battery to a crossover is not a big deal because there’s ample wasted space. All the Escape Hybrid lost was a small bin under the cargo floor. All the Rav4 Hybrids are awd. My awd Escape Hybrid is currently getting 36mpg in US gallons.

    stingray65:
    “All the easy fuel economy gains have been implemented, so the only way to better fuel economy is to drive a small low powered car,”

    There is no shortage of hybrid models. They get excellent mileage and many offer better performance than their non-hybrid equivalents. If a Rav4 Hybrid gets the same mileage as a Corolla, why drive the Corolla? Wouldn’t the same logic apply for people to buy larger more powerful cars if they get the same mileage as econoboxes?

    ————-

    Why does everyone think it’s ok to accept the mileage penalty for the utility of a pickup, but not a cuv?

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      One of the neat things about a lot of hybrids is if you drive them right then the brakes will just about last the life of the car. And you don’t have to drive them like an obnoxious granola/sandal/look-at-me hippie to save a lot on the brakes, either.

      No granola or sandals were harmed in the production of this message.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    One of the great things about America is that Americans will lie to pollsters.

  • avatar
    vvk

    The size and weight arms race has only the bravest people buying low to the ground, relatively light cars. Vast majority of Americans want their family car to be as large and as heavy as possible to have a fighting chance of surviving a collision with by far the most popular vehicle in the land — the full size pickup truck.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    There is still hope for compression ignition engines!

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    Several years ago I was looking to buy a vehicle to tow my trailer with. I was considering newer pickups that got 15-20mpg, but they were all in the $10-15K range. Then I found a 12mpg ’99 Suburban for $5K. I did the math and bought the ‘Burb. Lower-end consumers do want higher mpg, but given a choice between a brand new econobox or a slightly used luxury car for the same price, they’re picking the luxury.

  • avatar
    W210Driver

    As an owner of a diesel Benz, I’d love to see more diesels on sale here. But that’s not going to happen given all the recent negative press about diesels. That’s a real shame.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      So, diesels aren’t gross polluters and VW didn’t really cheat, it’s just ‘negative press’ (and coal rollers are actually saving the environment)? Got it.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Yes, we all want every one else to do the right thing. Let the other person buy an economical car.

    As long as gas is cheap (and it is), Americans will insist on using a lot of it.

    As for Consumer Reports, has anyone read their road tests lately? They are short on data and long on subjective, flowery phrases. They are trying to emulate Car and Driver.

    Yes, they are pushing their consumerist, socialist vision, as they always have, but now they evaluate products that exaggerate the massive over consumption that will consume our country.

    Amusing…and sad.

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      It’s getting to the point where the words “socialist” and “communist” are shorthand for “thing I don’t like” or “thing I was taught/indoctrinated into disliking”.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    It’s not hard to understand, yes the buying public would like better fuel economy but if it is not in a car they want or costs a bunch more to get what’s the point?

    If I’m buying a family vehicle, CUV or mini-van I don’t care that there is a diesel or hybrid hatchback you sell that gets great fuel economy. I want the greater cargo capacity, higher seating position, ease of entry, AWD for the occasional snow and slippery conditions.

    So we want X vehicle to get more MPG without an increase in $$$.

    The only way people will sacrifice is if fuel prices skyrocket to $4 or $5/gal.

    • 0 avatar

      In the last year, I went through this exact scenario. I recently purchased a new 3-row CUV. I looked at all the options, and had it down to a Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Mazda CX-9. Then I found a fantastic deal on a demo 2015 CX-9 (1005 km on the odometer) – the CX-9 was re-designed for 2016. In fact, there was a whole parking lot full of them that Mazda was trying to move out due to the new model. The problem with the 2015 CX-9 is that it has poor gas mileage. When I did the math however, the total cost of ownership – with the worse gas mileage – was going to be less than any of the new brands/models with better mileage.

      So, yes, good gas mileage is important, but at the end of the day if it doesn’t actually save me any money (or costs me more overall), it is a hard sell.

  • avatar
    Steve65

    Number one with a bullet is that people need to stop demanding magic solutions, and just pay attention and learn how to drive.

    Watch traffic the next time you’re on a moving freeway. (freely moving heavy traffic, not stop and go) Count the number of times you see brake lights. If you need to brake on the freeway, you probably weren’t paying attention or thinking more than 20 feet past your front bumper. If you’re regularly braking on the freeway, you’re definitely doing it wrong.

    Things as simple as lifting off the accelerator if you’re closing on a slowing car, or not mindlessly mimicking another car’s 10-15 mph random speed variations will produce tangible meaningful improvements, without spending a dime on complicated advanced technology.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “Count the number of times you see brake lights. If you need to brake on the freeway, you probably weren’t paying attention or thinking more than 20 feet past your front bumper.”

      YYYYES!! I would support computer monitoring that makes these people’s insurance or taxes higher! Call it a slinky penalty. Just being facetious. OK, not completely facetious…

  • avatar
    kosmo

    The actual headline should read:

    Survey shows that people want the VEHICLE THEY CHOOSE to get better mileage than it currently does.

    Note that recent surveys (polls) showed Trump receiving an absolute maximum of 207 electoral votes.


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  • SPPPP: Wow, I don’t remember ever hearing about that Pro-Tec option. Odd.
  • SPPPP: Did the steel beds get a lifetime warranty? I don’t remember that happening.
  • Bigazfordtruck: Agreed, however the local push seems to be for the boulevard option which will push more traffic onto...
  • SPPPP: For context, FCA’s gross revenue in 2018 was 110 billion dollars (billion with a B), but still, nearly a...

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