Two out of three U.S. car shoppers would sacrifice performance for fuel economy, and reliability is the biggest factor in choosing a new vehicle, according to a study by a Detroit-area consulting firm.
Morpace Inc. asked about 3,000 consumers online on how fuel economy, performance, driving habits and other attributes affect their vehicle choices.
The results: 68 percent said they would sacrifice performance for improved fuel economy, and 62 percent said they would shop various brands to get the most fuel-efficient model.
Just 48 percent said they were willing to pay more for a vehicle that is environmentally friendly, according to the survey.
The study was conducted this fall among respondents who said they planned to purchase or lease a vehicle in the next three years.
Only 31 percent of respondents said innovative new technologies were important when considering a powertrain.
Still, Bryan Krulikowski, Morpace vice president, said: “Powertrain is a critical issue today because consumers are making buying decisions based largely on powertrain performance.”
Seventy-seven percent of respondents said reliability was the most important reason for purchasing a vehicle, while 69 percent said fuel economy and 67 percent said cost to operate, according to the study.
“What is obvious this year is that fuel economy continues to have a significant impact on consumers,” Krulikowski said.