The auto industry as a whole has seen impressive gains in fuel economy in the past two decades, especially in the crossover SUV segment. Pickup trucks and larger SUVs, however, still suffer from pretty ho-hum fuel economy figures. It appears owners have started to take notice as a new Consumer Reports study revealed truck and SUV owners are interested in better fuel economy.
Compared to the 42% of owners of all other vehicle types, the study revealed 73% of people driving a large SUV and pickup truck are interested in purchasing a vehicle with better fuel economy. The results follow an EPA report that noted large SUVs and pickups have fallen behind other segments with regards to fuel efficiency.
Overall, fuel efficiency is still a high priority for American car buyers. Of the numerous categories, the majority of respondents (37%) said fuel economy is the area in most need of improvement for their next vehicle. The answer topped maintenance costs, purchase price and infotainment by at least 11 percentage points. Digging deeper into the fuel efficiency woes truck and SUV owners feel, they were nearly twice as likely to select fuel efficiency as the trait most desired for their next vehicle compared to owners of other vehicle types.
Although the sample size was rather small at 1,078 US adults, 88% agreed fuel economy should continue to rise for all vehicle types. Further, 80% said fuel economy should increase to 40 mpg and the figure is a "worthwhile goal." This is in contrast to current doings at the federal level. The Trump administration is finalizing, though a handful of automakers have revolted and that features a compromise standard.
On the negative side of things, only 34% of Americans felt automakers truly cared about lowering fuel costs for buyers. The rest disagreed or were unsure.