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American Car Buyers Say that Vehicle Size Matters

March 25, 2008

A new, exclusive survey conducted by automotive consumer web site shows that despite rising fuel prices, Americans are not yet ready to make the switch to smaller vehicles.

The online survey of new buyers showed that 44 percent of the sample were looking for a car that was the same size as the one they were replacing. In addition, 28 percent were looking for a larger vehicle and only 28 percent said that they were looking for a smaller car than the one they currently drive.

This trend in size preference surfaced despite the fact that fuel economy was the most popular reason cited as influencing buyer’s vehicle size selection. Thirty-one percent chose fuel economy, while the next most popular choice was interior comfort with 21 percent. Tying for third was safety and passenger capacity both with 18 percent of the response.

Industry experts say that, as a general rule smaller vehicles will achieve better fuel efficiency. But the U.S. consumer has been resistant to embracing the compact or sub-compact segment that dominates the market internationally.

“In most other countries drivers have faced far higher fuel costs, purchase prices and other factors which tend to push consumers toward smaller cars for decades,” says dealership executive Dan West.

The survey sample of 3308 was taken amongst the over 50,000 monthly users of the web site’s online price quote service. All participants stated that they were within 30 days of making a new vehicle purchase.

According to the sample, the overall number of passengers is not necessarily a major reason behind buying a larger vehicle. The majority of respondents said they usually carry only two to four people in their vehicle, while only 13 percent said that they carried more than 4 people in their vehicle regularly.

This survey was the latest in a series of polls being conducted by which when researched together provide one of the most up-to-date and comprehensive pictures of the car market today. is a consumer advice and Internet price quote site that features tips and advice for car buyers, new car reviews as well as the latest news and information from the automotive world.

For more information on this report or please contact the BuyingAdvice Insider Team.


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