By on May 24, 2018

Average fuel prices in the United States managed to triple between the years of 1999 and and 2012. While we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy relatively low prices at the pump over the last few years, analysts predict the current spike will continue through the summer.

However, a recent study from Kelley Blue Book suggests most new-vehicle buyers don’t give a flip about it, with consumers claiming the price surge won’t influence their vehicle purchasing decisions in the slightest.

The assumption that the cost of gas will stabilize in the fall could play a factor for some, but many respondents say the price per gallon would have to reach $4 before they became rattled enough to consider swapping to a more economical vehicle. 

Kelley Blue Book’s Current Events Panel, which conducted the survey, found that more than 20 percent of respondents expect fuel to “move up significantly in the coming year.” But roughly 60 percent of respondents say it’s unlikely that the recent surges will affect the next vehicle they decide to buy. While that bodes well for automakers that are hurriedly pumping more crossovers into their lineups, it doesn’t give them much incentive to improve fuel economy.

“What we see now is more of the sport utility vehicle [and] crossover vehicles are built on car platforms, and they get much better vehicle economy, in fact there isn’t much penalty between a midsize sedan and a compact sport utility,” Michelle Krebs, senior analyst with Autotrader, told Automotive News. “Despite the rise in gas prices, people still want the versatility and practicality of those utility vehicles.”

Let’s use Honda’s Accord and CR-V as an example. In its most efficient form, the crossover manages to average 28 city and 34 highway mpg, while the base sedan manages 30 city and 38 on the highway. While that’s not insignificant, you probably won’t notice huge savings at the pump on a day-to-day basis. While the Accord is more powerful, lighter, and costs a bit less, the crossover recipe has proven it to be the clear winner with consumers. Last month, Honda moved 28,323 CR-Vs and 21,751 Accords in the United States.

However, gas prices have only been increasing by a noticeable margin for a few months. The market could shift if shoppers find themselves saddled with a full year of expensive fuel. Even then, most experts believe it would be difficult to pry most consumers away from CUVs. Analysts from Kelley Blue Book suggest that fuel prices would need to climb more than 35 percent from current levels to affect the industry in a meaningful way. But that could just cause people to buy more economical crossovers, rather than re-adopt cars.

“They haven’t been high for long enough that we would see any change and I think the desirability of crossover vehicles and various utility vehicles outweighs concerns about higher gas costs,” Krebs said.

[Image: Daniel Christensen/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

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79 Comments on “Study Claims Car Shoppers Don’t Care About Swelling Fuel Prices...”


  • avatar
    redapple

    Gas price goes up
    Gas Consumption slows
    Restart the moth balled US frack oil
    Gas inventory increases
    Gas prices fall.

    Homeostasis attained. Might take a year or so.
    (within a $0.50 to $1.00/gallon window)
    Big whoop.

    • 0 avatar
      road_pizza

      This. My bet is that the frackers are drooling right about now.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        I can tell you from experience with a client of mine in the oil and gas industry: they’ve already started drilling and opening closed wells to take advantage of the prices. In fact, the big issue is finding employees for mothballed drill rigs.

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      The price has dropped $7 in the past couple of days.

      New car buyers are wealthy and don’t care much about fuel economy. It may affect residuals though if the price stays high.

      Your analogy is a bit contrived. A real comparison would be between a full sized V8 pick up and a sedan.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’m not sure I believe that. When gas hit $4.00/gal. in the summer of 2008, I considered selling my ’95 F-150 (it averaged 13mpg, and my most expensive fill-up at the time was $105). But, gas prices came back down, and I hung onto it. I traded it in four years later, when I was in a position where I could pay cash for my ’13 Tacoma.

    If gas hit or exceeded $4.00 again, and stayed around there, I’d consider selling, and looking for something more fuel-efficient. A turbo-diesel pickup like the RAM 1500 or the Colorado/Canyon would be desirable then.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      @duke –

      The big question is what you define as a reasonable timeline to “stay” there.

      Back during the 2008 surge, the majority of people who panicked and sold their SUVs did so at a significant loss.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Back during the 2008 surge, the majority of people who panicked and sold their SUVs did so at a significant loss.”

        … And I expect it to happen again with a lot more people if fuel prices continue to rise.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    My Opinion- correct me if I’m wrong- and I’m sure you will-
    People who can afford a NEW car can afford the fuel for them. Baby boomers who made good salaries for 45 years are retiring with BIG BUCKS in savings. And those still in the workforce making good money don’t seem to care about saving- they willingly spend $50,000 to $60.000 for a car to impress their neighbors. They also don’t care about the price of gas. The only people who are deeply affected by high gas prices buy used cars anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Careful with your baby boomer assumptions. While some have big bucks in the bank a large portion of this generation have never seen a dollar they were not willing to spend or borrow. For a lot of them, their retirement savings plan is the inheritance they will receive from their now aged parents who actually knew how to save money.

    • 0 avatar

      Think you’re correct scarey. I am a boomer, but one of the ones that did not make a good salary for 45 years. (Lost my $16/hr job in 09, now making $11.75 average at 2 jobs with disabled spouse whose has had 15 yrs of poor health issues resulting in medical debt we’re working on paying off.)

      I’d buy a new car today if I could afford it. I can’t. But you’re right, if I could the cost of fuel wouldn’t be a consideration at all. I currently pay around $33 a week for fuel – I commute RT 84 miles. I still miss when fuel was in the $2.50 range.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Oh, such a jump in fuel prices will affect my buying plans. I’m already seeing a 25% jump in my fuel costs, despite only needing to fill up my pickup once a month; my other vehicle gets filled about every 2.5 weeks. For the smaller vehicle, seeing a fillup that ran usually less than $20 rise to $25 and the ‘larger’ (but older) going from $23 to $32 doesn’t mean a whole lot, true, but I also know when I trade that older vehicle I’ll also be driving it about twice as much. Since that will be a pickup for pickup trade, it means I definitely be seeking and upgrade in fuel economy where the old truck already gives me better than 20mpg average (albeit with a 2.3L I-4.) The new trucks, because of their massive size and weight, cannot promise me better economy and now many of them are demanding a more expensive grade of gas from what I currently use to get the best performance and economy out of them.

    So yes… where what I sought started out needing specific interior features alone, comfortable that I wouldn’t lose that much economy I’m now forced to consider the fuel economy on top of the interior factors.

    • 0 avatar
      ItsBob

      Vulpine…
      Found this rather hard to read and trickier to follow? Tried 3 times.
      Can’t tell if you have 2 or about 6 vehicles in this story.
      Doesn’t matter. Just a comment. Carry on eh.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Try again, itsBob. I’ll give you a hint; I only have two. One purchased brand new and the other now 21 years old (though I’ve only had it three years.)

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

    >Study Claims Car Shoppers Don’t Care About Swelling Fuel Prices

    I believe Ben Franklin had a saying about money…

  • avatar
    JMII

    Actually the study (really just a survey) indicates people don’t give a flip until the price reaches $4 a gallon. So they care… just not about the small increases we see pile up every summer. However we are not that far away as the average current price per gallon is $2.97 (number between GasBuddy and AAA).

  • avatar
    jkross22

    KBB should follow up with these folks in 12 months and ask if they bought a new (or new to them) vehicle and check out if the fuel economy of said vehicle exceeds the avg fuel econ.

    What people say and what they do often have a loose affiliation with one another.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    When I was a teenager my dad proclaimed “If gas hits 75 cents a gallon we’re selling the goddamned car!”. Those were the days, lol.

    • 0 avatar
      Kalvin Knox

      Soon it will be “if gas hits $7.75 a gallon we’re selling the goddamned car!”

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Yeah it’s all relative. The $2,500 car is $25,000 today. But I’m not willing to cram my family and a couple dogs plus gear into a micro car with a 1 liter diesel, European style, until I absolutely have to.

    • 0 avatar

      My observation has been that people grumble when the total cost of a fill-up crosses some pain threshold.

      During the last price spike I was filling up somewhere near the OR/CA border and a TV crew were interviewing an old couple in an Explorer at the next pump who were complaining that it cost them over $100 and “something must be done !!!”. The quick (and cynical) solution from Ford would have been to half the size of the gas tank or make the low-fuel light come on when there’s still 5 gallons left.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Sad but true. Then again, I swallowed hard and paid the equivalent of US$350 to fill up the tank of my dad’s Audi V8 Quattro way back in 1996, so maybe my standards are skewed.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          @dal20402- what were the details of that transaction ?

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Yup – almost $200 to fill the tank of my ’11 328i in the summer of 2011. 15 gallons at ~$12/gal US.

          Makes you appreciate how cheap gas is in the US.

          That Audi must have had a YUUGE tank, and/or the exchange rate in ’96 was even worse than in ’11, or both.

          I’m only annoyed that this spike is coinciding with my having to drive two of my cars a combined 3000 miles to get them where they need to be in the next month. Otherwise, I hope it cuts down the traffic a bit.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Pedantic OCD point, but the CR-V should be compared to the CIVIC!

    The Pilot is comparable to the Accord.

    That said, it would be interesting to see how the vehicles are cross-shopped.

    • 0 avatar
      quickson

      Yes.

      The EQUIVALENT of the Accord/Camry/Fusion is actually the Pilot/Highlander/Edge, but often for MPG comparisons, TTAC likes to use the compact SUV/CUV for this, which is weird, since you’re losing a lot in the way of dimensions for that equivalent MPG.

      So when comparing MPG, I agree that you shouldn’t be comparing a CRV to an Accord.

      However, I find in my own anecdotal experience that people tend to go a size DOWN when they buy an SUV/CUV/Crossover/Whatever. I don’t know if it’s that the perceived size is that much greater with a higher ride height, or few inches of width, but when I tell her that a Ford Edge is actually the raised equivalent of her Fusion, my wife replies that an Edge is “too big.”

      Still, if you want the same SIZE vehicle

      • 0 avatar
        Chris FOM

        Really? The Accord can seat 8 like the Pilot? What matters when making comparisons is cost and interior volume. A CR-V may have a smaller footprint than an Accord but it costs a similar amount of money and has very similar passenger and cargo space. The smaller footprint just makes it easier to park.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      People shop price.

      The CR-V is priced straight across from the Accord.

      The HR-V is priced straight across from the lower trims of the Civic.

      Honda does not make a sedan priced across from the Pilot.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        I mean, Dart/200 are Compass/Cherokee sedans, to use my biases.

        CR-V not compared to Civic? The Civic Recreational Vehicle?

        What reality is this?

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        “The CR-V is priced straight across from the Accord.”

        Yep. The same thing happens for Toyotas, the Rav4 and Camry get cross shopped and the Rav 4 has a lot more usable room and uses the same engines(or at least used to).

  • avatar
    carguy67

    Slowly rising prices just make people grumble a bit more (until regular hits $5/gal or more). What might make people seriously consider fuel economy would be a major supply shock; say, if Israel gets the shooting war it wants with Iran and gets its wet dream: dragging the USA into their war.

    Back in the ’70s ‘crisis’–yeah, I’m that old–it wasn’t the price, which was painful, it was the long lines at the station and/or complete unavailability. Then, every drop counts, whatever the cost.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      “Slowly rising prices just make people grumble a bit more”

      Unless it’s a five cent rise as the result of an increase in the gas tax. That’ll cause lynchings. We’re OK giving more money to oil barons, but not giving more money to improve the roads.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Lock the funds to road improvements, and I’ll vote for that tax increase. But we both know those nickels are going to go somewhere else.

        • 0 avatar
          fIEtser

          California passed a gas tax and simultaneously advanced a ballot measure to ensure said lock on funds, yet GOP out here still immediately latched on to repeal the tax increase and hasn’t said a peep about encouraging people to vote for the lock on funds next month.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            Nobody’s accused the GOP of rationality or consistency since I was a kid.

            (I’m almost 40.)

            I used to love reading Thomas Sowell and the like when I was a teenager, but the intellectual leaders of the conservative movement have been dead or retired for decades, and their idea mill hasn’t come up with any workable solutions to any problem since the 1990s. They mostly seem to start wars and ways to pretend that serious problems don’t deserve a solution.

            Acknowledging a problem (say, poorly maintained roads & bridges), and allowing a carefully vetted solution (a gas tax increase specifically dedicated to fixing roads) is against everything they stand for and must be opposed at every stage of the discussion. If you can successfully pretend the problem doesn’t exist, then you’re under no obligation to discuss a solution.

            Don’t hold your breath for GOP to become a rational party any time soon.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Here in California they raised the gas tax and people bitch like crazy. Maybe it’s just conservatives who have another reason to blame Brown for all their troubles.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      I think you’re right. My unscientific poll of my conservative friends tells me they think cheap gas is a right, up their with their right to pack heat everywhere. More liberal types think taxes–including gas taxes–are the price of admission to live in a civil society.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        Liberal types believe that “civil society” means having their God (the State, in actuality little more than a criminal gang) forcibly extract more money from each gallon of gasoline than the people who actually produce the product – and of course it’s never enough. Far from any legitimate intent of raising funds to build and maintain roads, the liberal seeks to hijack the funding for every other “social” purpose imaginable, in addition to using such thievery to “nudge” people into making choices that the Left deems appropriate.

        The liberal always wants as much intrinsic violence, coercion, and theft in their “civil society” as possible, as long as it is the State responsible for it. Violent, rapacious government, growing endlessly like kudzu and packing heat against helpless individuals to force them into toeing the liberal line, is the Leftists’ idea of utopia. Really it is just another form of slavery. A clever one to be sure, where the slaves are hoodwinked into loving their chains and demanding more of them.

        Thanks but no thanks.

  • avatar

    Here we go again: the most trusted brand, you know, Ford, will they change their mind if gas price goes up?

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      >Here we go again: the most trusted brand, you know, Ford, will they change their mind if gas price goes up?

      Rumor has it that Ford has Model T’s and Edsels ready to mobilize on the production line in the event said prices exceed the $4.00/gallon plateau.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    In other news water is wet, no ones going to change their habits when we have fuel price increases or decreases. Americans traditionally don’t want small car, and while we may temporarily try them we always go back to what we want and what, realistically, is the better choice.

    Regular is still only $2.67 I’m not sure what the big deal is, granted premium just went above $3.00 but unless you have a luxury car that’s irrelevant.

  • avatar
    AtoB

    “Maybe it’s just conservatives who have another reason to blame Brown for all their troubles.”

    I read that as a racist observation. But also accurate.

  • avatar

    wanna bet?

  • avatar
    hamish42

    What are you going to do? I live in Southern Ontario. I filled up this afternoon at $1.25.6 per litre, which I think is about a quart. I was in British Columbia last week, and my brother was paying over $1.60. So what? It’s a cost of doing business you have to do, there’s no alternate, so really it’s a non-issue. I just don’t drive F-150s

  • avatar
    JGMotorsport64

    My truck is paid off. It’s a Frontier and it gets a whopping 16mpg, as I drive almost exclusively during rush hour.
    The extra $10/week is an inconvenience but I’m not gonna buy a different car over it.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Most people budget from payday to payday and scrape by, so a $10 or $20 hit is big. They notice these kinds of things and it will affect decision making when purchasing a vehicle.

    I just paid $1.60 ($4.50US per gal) Aussie for a litre of diesel, for me it doesn’t have much of an impact other than costing a lot more if I want to travel from Brisbane to Sydney or something. But, to many it has an effect.

    The recent price hikes will have many families consider what to drop in their usual weekly routine. To the point it affect diet, kids activities, etc.

    I’m smart enough to know it’s supply and demand. Cause unnecessary issues in the Middle East and with the Ruskies prices go up.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      “Most people budget from payday to payday and scrape by, so a $10 or $20 hit is big. They notice these kinds of things and it will affect decision making when purchasing a vehicle.”

      Most people aren’t in the new car market after years of government expansion. Sure, there are some people who still get credit they shouldn’t, but what percentage of new car buyers are they?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Todd,
        I believe the price of fuel affects future purchasing decisions for the very reason I pointed out above.

        This also covers used vehicle choice.

        If fuel remains pricey there will be quite a few large cheap vehicles on offer soon.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The point of the game is to “zero out”, I guess, and if there’s money leftover by payday (savings), they’re not doing it right.

    But even $100 a month extra on fuel, just equals a handful of less Starbucks and couple bagged lunches. Totally worth it, it seems.

    If $8 a gallon puts anyone in bankruptcy court, $4 a gallon was probably a huge problem too.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Over 1/2 the US population is living paycheck to paycheck. Rising fuel prices impacts everything from groceries, clothing, etc. This hits the working poor the hardest.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Carguy nailed it!!!

    A war in the Middle East will have all kinds of unforeseen consequences.

    The average US vehicle is more fuel efficient than in 1973, yes.

    America was ‘car dependent’ in 1973, when a larger percent of the population lived in cities (vs suburbs), where they had access to bus service.

    Now, with much more suburban sprawl, with just in time supply chains, America is even more car (oil) dependent.

    If availability of fuel becomes an issue, we may have more than grumbling…

  • avatar
    jh26036

    I am waiting for gas prices to spike to $5 so I can pick up a late model used SUV or truck for a nice deal.

    My buddy back in 2008, picked up a 3 year old Grand Cherokee Hemi for $12k from a dealer. Drove it for like 6 years just to “lose” maybe a few grand in depreciation and added on 60k miles.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Our next vehicle will be a Durango to replace the one we have. If we didn’t tow I would get a minivan. We are not going to buy another small crossover. You don’t really gain usable space over a sedan and other than sitting higher they have nothing over a sedan. If I want to sit higher a minivan works and has a bunch more room and still gets decent mileage.

    A small CUV is like Starbucks drinks. Everyone wants one because it is trendy. It doesn’t matter if it is good or makes sense.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Nailed it.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      They are more space efficient (generally) than sedans. The CUV seating position is more upright, passengers have more room on a shorter wheelbase. The cargo area in CUVs is also more upright, which provides better cargo capacity ratio to overall length. It’s why the CR-V and Accord are comparable despite their differences in wheelbase and length.

      The drawback to better dimensional packaging in CUVs is a relatively inconsequential 12% hit to fuel economy.

      CUVs are the smart choice from a function standpoint. The question is “why consumers are willing to pay such a large price premium for CUVs compared to their sedan counterparts?” (that’s where trendiness applies) and “why haven’t the manufacturers responded by improving the packaging for sedans?” (this is where the unintended consequences of CAFE 2025 and footprint regulations apply).

      • 0 avatar
        redgolf

        TW5 – not such a “large price” difference, when I got my Buick Encore, $25 k and knocking off $5k, so $20 k for a very nice riding efficient ride, 28MPG combined, just hope we don’t go back to “drive 55 and save” the old slogan that was used in the 70’s – I can’t drive 55 !!!!!!! the wife would love it though!

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I think it will be a combo of things, gas will go up and folks will feel it, food has already gone up and folks will feel that so they will look to “save ” somewhere. When it will be time for new tires < which have gone up and folks realize the last time they put tires on a car they were 16in but of this ride the wanted the big wheels so 19 inch were great until it is time to replace them. So they will make the "smart decision" and lease a new SUV/CUV or take out a 84 month loan to save on tire cost and gas cost. People are being squeezed left and right w prices going up but people do not always make the best choices. I do not see folks going from a Pilot to a Honda Fit but rather a Pilot to a CRV.

  • avatar
    vehic1

    redapple: That may very well happen; I certainly hope prices don’t skyrocket. However, the question is – what will people believe? Will they be calm, cool – or, as in a stock market crash, get frantic?
    “scarey”: The high-end folks won’t notice; middle-range folks will be mixed, depending upon their spending priorities; low-end people will either get the most fuel-efficient/cheapest new vehicles, or drop down to used.

  • avatar
    road_pizza

    “Average fuel prices in the United States managed to triple between the years of 1999 and and 2012.” Umm, no. Ever heard of “inflation”? According to several websites gas averaged $1.30 in ’99 (seems to me that’s pretty accurate for my area, n.e. Ohio), and right now I can get 87 for $2.68. A buck thirty in 1999 dollars is about $1.98 in today’s dollars, so in reality gas has only gone up about 30 or so percent at most.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Prices may have dropped below a dollar at some point in 1999, as I recall. And the second reference point was 2012, not right now. The inflation point is valid, though remember that the price of anything you buy includes a cost for energy, which means that gas prices themselves drive inflation indirectly. So you can’t just back out inflation perfectly.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I remember getting 89 octane in Michigan in 1999, when I was 23.

        WTI was under $10 USD per barrel and I think that Brent was less than $11 a barrel.

        The economy was doing really well, and the middle class still had access to plenty of affordable, good health insurance, relatively inexpensive college tuition, and jobs with actual pensions and real benefits employees, not independent 1099 contractors), but the dot.com implosion was just around the corner (it was more concentrated in NASDAQ tech stocks, and nit nearly as massive or widespread as 2008-2009 equities meltdown).

        The 90’s were my favorite decade (19o5 to 1995 was a good time in America).

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Should read “I remember getting 89 octane for 97 cents a gallon and 91 octane for 99 cents per gallon in Michigan in 1999, when I was 23.”

          Edit function is broken, again.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    High fuel prices are nothing compared to the price of cars these days. We had a sticker shock last night and we looked at pricing.

    We’re planning on replacing our aging ’06 Odyssey in 2-3 years. We went and looked at how much a 3 year old Odyssey costs and it’s mind boggling. Since we buy everything cash it means saving 600$ each month for 3 years. That gives us 21,600$ (CAD) for a cash purchase, it barely qualifies us for a base LX model!

    I appreciate that the level of content in recent cars is very good but it’s hardly a necessity and the tech inflates the prices artificially. It’s no wonder that car debt is so prevalent when vehicles cost so much.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      This was my thought as well. The phrasing of the question may have made a difference. Moving forward a new car purchase by a couple of years to save on gas is probably a bad idea, just because the new car will almost certainly cost a lot more. (Especially since you are by definition trying to unload an unwanted gas guzzler in a time of high gas prices!)

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    I don’t buy the premise that if gas rises above $4 a gallon the customers choice would be between a CUV and a sedan. A CUV with better mileage, perhaps, but it doesn’t automatically suggest in any way a return to sedans for better gas mileage.

    Equinox for a Trax, perhaps, but not a Cruze or Malibu.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Fuel consumption is ALWAYS a key element of my car shopping process. I drive about 25k miles a year, and pay for my own fuel. I won’t consider any vehicle that can’t return at least 30mpg. As such, I stick to 4 cylinder cars. I am averaging 33 mpg in my 2015 Mazda 6, and have been very pleased with it.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Interesting link;

    https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/markets/most-expensive-and-cheapest-countries-to-buy-gas-in-2018/ss-AAxId0n?ocid=spartandhp

  • avatar
    skor

    “Average fuel prices in the United States managed to triple between the years of 1999 and and 2012.”

    Tripled in absolute terms or inflation adjusted? If we look at inflation adjusted prices the cost has risen about 40 percent over the stated time period. There are other factors in play as well. Over the same time period engines have become more efficient, and cars require fewer repairs.

    People will budget a certain percentage of income for transportation, only if that percentage rises significantly will they start cutting back.

  • avatar
    ernest

    I’m going to throw out a different line of thought,

    1. The price of gas DID triple between 1999 and 2012. And inflation? Did everyone forget about the Great Recession? There was no inflation- the price of everything… and the wages to pay for them… crashed and burned during the tail end of that period.

    2. Unemployment shot through the roof. This was a perfect storm. People with jobs weren’t sure how long they would keep them, people without jobs wondered how long before they were homeless.

    In that environment, the car biz crashed and burned. But it wasn’t just about fuel efficiency per se, many families were just figuring out how to make it from one paycheck to the next. And hoping the paychecks keep coming. That’s a TOTALLY different environment than we are in today. The US is on track to be the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world by… oh… this year or next. Availability isn’t the issue here. Unemployment is at historic lows- that isn’t the issue either. I won’t go so far as to say people don’t care about the price of gas, but it isn’t as big an issue when the wolf isn’t knocking on the proverbial door.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    It affected my latest car purchase. Instead of buying A V6 engine in my 2017 Impala I went straight for the 2.5 model which was far more plentiful, optioned the way I liked and had the exterior color I wanted. While real world MPG isn’t drastically better it does get 3-4 better in everyday driving than my V6 W-body Impala, is very refined and offers plenty of power for the type of driving I do. Also of note, the EPA highway rating of 30 is 100% bogus for this car. With 3 people in the car going 75 MPH and the A/C blasting I easily exceeded that rating by 3-4 MPG on average and have seen upwards of 38 MPG at lower speeds.

    So far I am very happy with this decision.

  • avatar
    Maksym

    Not trying to throw political crap but I still get flashbacks from the last time a Republican was president and $5 regular was a thing. This is why I’m preemptively getting rid of my Sierra relatively soon with a sort of “better be safe than sorry” kind of attitude. If gas stays low, fantastic. It’s over 10 years old now and it’s time to finally get into something more practical anyway since I’m no longer in construction. I actually like sedans and not too fond of crossovers so I hope to gain a minor advantage buying/selling because pickups are hot right now and sedans are so-called lot poison.

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  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber