Survey Shows Buyer Hesitation for Shopping Small

2009hondafit With federal requirements for higher mileage cars looming, car shoppers may have fewer large choices in upcoming years. Automakers have to find a median between what the U.S. market wants — traditionally larger vehicles — and increased fuel economy, which often means downsizing.  

A recent study from AutoPacific surveyed more than 32,000 new car and light truck buyers in the U.S and asked what American car buyers want and how willing they are to downsize into smaller cars. The study found that while people are willing to buy a more fuel-efficient car, they don’t want to significantly downsize.

AutoPacific asked buyers of all types of cars what was important in their current purchase, how satisfied they are with their car and what changes they would make. So what did the buyers of small cars like the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Chevrolet Aveo want, according to the survey? More acceleration, technology and cargo room. With their most recent purchase, buyers said they made a sacrifice for better fuel economy, but according to George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, “in the future they want something more — bigger, faster and with more bells and whistles.”

By Joe Bruzek | September 14, 2009 | Comments (6)
Tags: Car Buying



I'm surprised that the Aveo is mentioned here. The EPA rating for an Aveo automatic is 25/34, while Fusion S is rated at 23/34. Some small cars aren't very efficient.


My 2000 Mirage was EPA rated 32/40,it always gets 35-37 mpg even 100,000 miles later.What would I want? Nothing really,maybe a slightly better ride,but there is plenty of front seat room,and a huge trunk.
Oh yea,what I would want is Mitsubishi to still make the car..not a gas hog(in comparison) 4 door 2 door offered.
I think I have gotten my $7995 worth (bought in 02),NO owner will get his moneys worth from an Aveo today.



If you go to you'll see that the 2010 Lancer rates 5-6 miles per gallon lower than your 2000 Mirage.

How did that happen?


Mark S,
Simple answer is the Lancer is much larger than a Mirage and has way more power to smoke the Mirage at any red light.
Also, there are more airbags, and structural reinforcements. These all contribute to weight, and reduces fuel economy.

Just goes to show - we aren't European or Japanese. Although they have fantastic small cars in both countries, we'll only see a handful of them here, because we still love our bigger and faster cars, even if gas goes to $3 a gallon. It will take $4 or $5 gasoline here to get people to make a fundamental shift in what they seek in a new car.

* *


Yes, small cars are larger, heavier, and more powerful than those of the past. But it seems that some of the manufacturers have invested substantial effort into improving the fuel economy of their midsize cars, rather than the compacts, resulting in little difference in consumption. Perhaps that will change with the Cruze and new Focus.

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