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Fuel economy: The most important factor when considering the purchase of a new car

Well if you weren’t sure whether or not the purchasing mantra of most Americans was changing due to the recent economic problems, a new Consumer Reports study was released to show that fuel economy has become the most important characteristic that new car buyers are looking for.

The survey talked to 2,009 adults, the majority of which – 1,702 – owned at least one car per household.

Thirty-seven percent of those interviewed answered that fuel economy has become the leading factor in their decision-making process if they were to shop for a new car. Trailing at quite a distance behind that, seventeen percent considered quality to be their main judging factor, while safety accrued sixteen percent of the total. The value of the car came in second-to last with 16 percent and performance took the last spot as the least important characteristic, with just six percent.

So if it just wasn’t clear before, the high fuel prices that have plagued the American market for the past couple of years are still showing their consequences in the buying behavior of current-day drivers.

Almost two-thirds of those interviewed said that they wanted their next vehicle to get better gas mileage than their current car; a staggering ninety percent of those responders said that this was due to the high costs of gas.

It is interesting to note however, that the financial straits aren’t the only reason behind the shift in purchasing tendencies; sixty-two percent of those who took part in the survey also said that they wanted to be more environmentally friendly, while fifty-six percent of them were concerned about the dependence of the United States on foreign oil.

There’s a definite change in the mindset of many Americans, partly due of course to the financial hardships, but also because of the younger generation being much more aware of new technologies. For instance, seventy-three percent of responders said that they would have no problem in considering a hybrid, electric, diesel or flex-fuel options.

A large majority of those who participated in the survey – 81% – said that they are in fact willing to pay more for fuel-efficient technologies.

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