A Consumer Reports study finds that 79% of consumers surveyed say they plan on buying a car with better fuel economy. [Consumer Reports]


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  1. So, people are going to buy hybrid SUV’s now like the GMC Yukon?

  2. mgy says:

    Wha…? Who are these 21% that don’t want better fuel economy?

    The way this question is worded, you might as well ask “Do you want to make more money?”

  3. @mgy: “Do you want to make more money?”

    “Suuure, we all do. Hi, I’m Sally Struthers”

  4. Skiffer says:

    @mgy: The ones that already bought cars with decent enough fuel economy, perhaps?

  5. boss_lady says:

    Except for that redneck asshole in every town who has a decal on his pickup truck that says: “Burnin’ Gas And Haulin’ Ass!”

  6. Bladefist says:

    @boss_lady: Both Red Necks and people who know gas will come back down when the economy stabilizes.

    I don’t care how much gas costs, getting another car costs more. Psh the sales tax alone will kill any gas savings you might make.

    So I’ll hang tight, and wait for the market to do, what every market does, and the rest of you can go spend 10k to save 1k.

  7. theblackdog says:

    I want Consumer Reports to survey these people in a few years if prices drop and find out if they actually followed through.

  8. Skiffer says:

    @Bladefist: “Plan to buy” doesn’t necessarily mean they’re selling their perfectly good cars today…

    I “plan to buy” another car, in ~5 yrs after my current one dies…

  9. packetsniffer says:

    I’d venture to say it’s not that they don’t want it. It’s that it’s not available in a vehicle they need. Find me a good gas mileage F350 crew cab for my pulling my horse trailer with family.

  10. kc2idf says:

    @mgy: We are also the ones who (a) already have an efficient car and (b) use public transit most of the time.

    Sure, a car with better efficiency would be nice, but for how little I drive, it’s not that big of a deal and not worth the hassle of darkening a dealer’s threshold. I can think of many better ways to spend an afternoon.

    OTOH, I’ll buy a Tesla if the prices are ever within reach for me. They’re not just efficient, but also wicked cool.

  11. piratebull says:

    I am one of those getting a more fuel efficient vehicle. I currently drive a 2001 Dodge Ram(paid off) and it is costing me $90/week to get to work and around town. Next week I will be purchasing a 2003 Honda Accord. With payment and gas the Honda will still be cheaper then driving my truck which I am not going to sell b/c might need it down the road. Just going to put a sign on it that says DRILL HERE NOW, PARKED b/c of ridiculous gas prices.

  12. howie_in_az says:

    @kc2idf: Supposedly they’ll have a sub-$30k electric car in four years and a $60k “luxury” EV before then. There’s also the TH!NK Ox that looks like a Civic 4-door hatchback, 155 miles/charge, top speed of 80mph, all for $25k.

    Our next car will be an EV. And I really wanted an M3…

  13. balthisar says:

    @mgy: That’s a dumb comment (note: I’m not saying you’re dumb). Using that, the entire commuter fleet of the United States would already be driving Geo Metros, because there have always been cars available with better gas mileage than what one is currently driving (unless that’s already a Geo Metro). For lots of people, it’s cheaper to keep their well maintained, paid-for cars than it is to drop $25,000 (or $10,000, or whatever your budget is). How much will I spend for gasoline the rest of the year? Probably almost $2500. If I bought a new car that got twice the mileage, I’ll have spent $31,250. Yeah, which one’s cheaper?

    And I’m using the Geo as an example. There are certainly other cars that can do even better than the Metro.

  14. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: It doesn’t cost $10K more to get a more fuel efficient car. A lot of the most fuel efficient cars are small and inexpensive, and a lot of the gas-guzzling SUVs were rather expensive. Now, it might not make sense to replace your car right away – I’ll grant you that. But it certainly makes sense when you need to buy a new one anyway.

    And keep in mind that “fuel efficient” is not necessarily the same as “hybrid” or “tiny”. You can get a nice full-sized Japanese sedan with a smaller 4-cylinder engine that isn’t as powerful as some other cars of the same size and it will be quite efficient compared to the majority of cars on the road today. It might not be the most efficient car you can buy, but it will be pretty good compared to an SUV.

  15. Bladefist says:

    @johnva: Well, if you are going to replace your car based on gas, I would say you’re going to have to get a newer car, that has the new technologies. And that is going to cost you a lot more money.

    I’m not saying they aren’t affordable, or stylish. I’m saying if your doing it to save money, then don’t. Buying a car, and paying sales tax on it, will not give you a good ROI for a long time. But the time you are profiting, gas should be back down.

    Unless you’re driving a really nice expensive car, and you downgrade to a hybrid or something. I’ll assume that’s not the majority of people though.

    consumerist did an article about this a while back. Gas would have to be insanely expensive before buying a new car would be the money saver.

  16. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: Did you read my comment? I agree that it doesn’t make economic sense to replace most cars with a new one purely to save money. That’s why I specifically said that it makes sense “when you need to buy a new one anyway”. What I was taking issue with was your statement that you have to spend more money to get more efficiency. That is only true if you want exactly the SAME car with higher efficiency. It’s not true if you just want something that is FUNCTIONALLY the same (and I don’t believe that most city-dwellers need a full-sized SUV to function).

  17. @Ash78: win!

  18. Skiffer says:

    @Bladefist: New technology?
    Come on, for being such a regular at consumerist – you should remember this Jalopnik article:
    Ten Fuel-Efficient Used Cars You Can Buy Today!

  19. mac-phisto says:

    i plan to buy one of these once they start marketing on the east coast –> [www.aptera.com]

    240mpg on the hybrid version. should save me ~$3500/year in gas (& i’ll only have to fill up quarterly).

    some people say it looks fugly, but i think it looks freakin’ awesome.

  20. mac-phisto says:

    @howie_in_az: see my post about aptera. production is supposed to start this year & they’re EV is $26,900 with a range of ~120 miles & i think it only takes a few hours to fully charge.

    of course, you can only buy one if you live in california at this time.

  21. Bladefist says:

    @johnva: I read your comment. I mis-read that sentence.

    @Skiffer: I missed that article. But I wouldn’t drive any of those cars unless it was given to me free. I’m not a car snob or anything, but come on? There a geo metro on the list. How you gonna score chicks in a geo metro? lol

  22. Bladefist says:

    @mac-phisto: Thats a cool looking car man. Doesn’t look safe though.

  23. mac-phisto says:

    @Bladefist: supposedly, it exceeds mandated safety requirements. you can read about safety here: [www.aptera.com]

    from the site: “The Aptera’s composite safety cage is similar to Formula-1 cars.”

  24. TouchMyMonkey says:

    @Skiffer: Thank you. We have a 9 year old Honda Accord that just won’t quit. Runs like new (but doesn’t look like it) at 160,000 miles. Gets something like 25/30, which is, uh, acceptable. We’ll definitely be taking advantage of the trend toward more fuel-efficient cars next time, but that won’t be for several years yet.

    The moral of the story is, people who kept fuel economy in mind when gas was under a buck a gallon are miles ahead of those who saw gas under a buck and thought, “gee, it sure would be wonderful if I had me a new Tahoe to drive the kids to school in and get groceries.”

  25. Bladefist says:

    @mac-phisto: I read about it. The 3 wheel design just doesn’t seem safe. If you go off the road, you have a much higher chance of rolling. As far as the crash safety, I can believe it. It’s a cool concept car, but I wouldn’t drive it more then 10 miles from home, off highways.

  26. mikelotus says:

    @Bladefist: except Obama will surely do the right thing and push through an increase in the gas tax for the first time in 16 years to stop it from dropping below $4.50 a gallon. And we will still be paying less than most countries. Or let me quote Tom Friedman from [www.nytimes.com]

    “Two years ago, President Bush declared that America was “addicted to oil,” and, by gosh, he was going to do something about it. Well, now he has. Now we have the new Bush energy plan: “Get more addicted to oil.”

    Actually, it’s more sophisticated than that: Get Saudi Arabia, our chief oil pusher, to up our dosage for a little while and bring down the oil price just enough so the renewable energy alternatives can’t totally take off. Then try to strong arm Congress into lifting the ban on drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    It’s as if our addict-in-chief is saying to us: “C’mon guys, you know you want a little more of the good stuff. One more hit, baby. Just one more toke on the ole oil pipe. I promise, next year, we’ll all go straight. I’ll even put a wind turbine on my presidential library. But for now, give me one more pop from that drill, please, baby. Just one more transfusion of that sweet offshore crude.”

    It is hard for me to find the words to express what a massive, fraudulent, pathetic excuse for an energy policy this is. But it gets better. The president actually had the gall to set a deadline for this drug deal:

    “I know the Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past,” Mr. Bush said. “Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions. If Congressional leaders leave for the Fourth of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why $4-a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act.”

    This from a president who for six years resisted any pressure on Detroit to seriously improve mileage standards on its gas guzzlers; this from a president who’s done nothing to encourage conservation; this from a president who has so neutered the Environmental Protection Agency that the head of the E.P.A. today seems to be in a witness-protection program. I bet there aren’t 12 readers of this newspaper who could tell you his name or identify him in a police lineup.

    But, most of all, this deadline is from a president who hasn’t lifted a finger to broker passage of legislation that has been stuck in Congress for a year, which could actually impact America’s energy profile right now – unlike offshore oil that would take years to flow – and create good tech jobs to boot.

    That bill is H.R. 6049 – “The Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008,” which extends for another eight years the investment tax credit for installing solar energy and extends for one year the production tax credit for producing wind power and for three years the credits for geothermal, wave energy and other renewables.

    These critical tax credits for renewables are set to expire at the end of this fiscal year and, if they do, it will mean thousands of jobs lost and billions of dollars of investments not made. “Already clean energy projects in the U.S. are being put on hold,” said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

    People forget, wind and solar power are here, they work, they can go on your roof tomorrow. What they need now is a big U.S. market where lots of manufacturers have an incentive to install solar panels and wind turbines – because the more they do, the more these technologies would move down the learning curve, become cheaper and be able to compete directly with coal, oil and nuclear, without subsidies.

    That seems to be exactly what the Republican Party is trying to block, since the Senate Republicans – sorry to say, with the help of John McCain – have now managed to defeat the renewal of these tax credits six different times.

    Of course, we’re going to need oil for years to come. That being the case, I’d prefer – for geopolitical reasons – that we get as much as possible from domestic wells. But our future is not in oil, and a real president wouldn’t be hectoring Congress about offshore drilling today. He’d be telling the country a much larger truth:

    “Oil is poisoning our climate and our geopolitics, and here is how we’re going to break our addiction: We’re going to set a floor price of $4.50 a gallon for gasoline and $100 a barrel for oil. And that floor price is going to trigger massive investments in renewable energy – particularly wind, solar panels and solar thermal. And we’re also going to go on a crash program to dramatically increase energy efficiency, to drive conservation to a whole new level and to build more nuclear power. And I want every Democrat and every Republican to join me in this endeavor.”

    That’s what a real president would do. He’d give us a big strategic plan to end our addiction to oil and build a bipartisan coalition to deliver it. He certainly wouldn’t be using his last days in office to threaten Congressional Democrats that if they don’t approve offshore drilling by the Fourth of July recess, they will be blamed for $4-a-gallon gas. That is so lame. That is an energy policy so unworthy of our Independence Day. “

  27. Bladefist says:

    @mikelotus: uhhh okay.

    I didn’t think this had to go political. Few key points:

    1) Despite Bush or anyone else, I don’t recall it being the governments job to dictate if we are addicted to oil or not, or have a responsibility to do anything about it. Oil is a commodity. The market dictates price, and they have ZERO right to try to get America off oil. We’ll get off oil when Alternative energy is the cheaper way to go. And I’ll be damned if our Government will force me out of oil.

    2) A real president wouldn’t get involved at all.

    3) You’re right about one thing: Obama. But, if he President, gas is the least of our concerns. With tax hikes all around the board, and added burdens list Health Care, and funds for illegal immigrants, we’ll quickly be in a depression.

    4) America is founded on Capitalism. Capitalism will prevail. Always has.

    5) Please don’t make things political that aren’t. My Avatar does not mean everything I say is political.

  28. mikelotus says:

    @Bladefist: what? the thing that funds terrorism from our wallets to their guns to our deaths? Energy doesn’t need a policy? We just hope the right nuke power plants get built the right way in the right place? And so what about capitalism? There is the concept of a free rider in capitalism and as it stands, people, especially trucks, don’t pay enough taxes to cover the damage to roads or the environment. Its a market failure as defined by Adam Smith. And Adam Smith never, ever, believed that government should not take on big projects no individual company could afford. And Adam Smith sure believed in market regulation as an aside. Most people that spout capitalism have never read any Adam Smith. And on 3), the republicans said the same thing about Bill Clinton’s tax increases. Do they ever get it right or do you think the economy has just been booming along in the last 8 years? Are real wages higher or lower on average than 8 years ago? You know the answer to that one.

  29. Bladefist says:

    @mikelotus: uhh, wages are higher. You sound like one of those people who hates America. You think we damage the world, and hurt the little guy. Your concept of government is way off. Go live in another country for a little bit, then come back and apologize to America.