Americans Giving Up Gas Guzzlers in Favor of Smaller, More Efficient Cars

US Spec Fiat 500 1 photo
Photo: Fiat
Americans are world famous for their simply monstrous sedans and pick-ups, which used to be twice as heavy their European or Japanese counterparts. This ‘upsizing’ trend was fueled (literally) by very low oil prices throughout the country, plus GM getting their cut from every gallon of fuel sold on US soil (as some conspiracy theorists claim).

However, things are changing rapidly, and with fuel prices having risen from $1 per gallon under the Clinton administration, to $3.654 (€2.902) per gallon which translates into just under $1 (€0.8) per liter under current Obama administration. This rise in fuel price over the past two decades, coupled with major advancements in more efficient ways to get around are finally catching up with US motorists.

According to Consumer Reports, with 37% of the people questioned said that they would buy a smaller, more fuel efficient car as their next vehicle, with fuel economy as being the key deciding factor here. This is followed by quality which was key for only 17% of people, with safety, value and performance following with 16%, 14% and 6%.

Also, 67% of the people questioned claimed that their next car would be more fuel efficient than their current one, with 62% of these people wanting their future vehicle to be environmentally friendly and 56% raising concerns about the US’s dependency on oil from foreign countries.

Interestingly, a large percentage, 73% claimed that they’d be interested in alternatively fueled vehicles, such as flex-fuel, hybrids, EVs and efficient diesels. Furthermore, the large SUVs which used to be so appreciated a few years ago, have seen their popularity dwindle, along with that of large sedans and minivans.
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