Consumers At Full Attention For More Fuel-Efficient, Smaller Vehicles

According to the latest New Car Insights Report from AutoTrader.com, consumer interest in smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles increased substantially in January, as the average national gasoline price crept toward $3.40/gallon.

The report shows that compact cars accounted for nine out of the 20 vehicles on AutoTrader.com's ‘Big Movers’ list in January, and two hybrid vehicles appeared on the list as well. Big Movers are vehicles that have experienced a significant increase in shopper interest month-over-month.

‘Gas prices have been on the minds of shoppers lately, and our most recent tracking study showed that 54 percent of consumers said their vehicle choice was affected by this issue,’ says Rick Wainschel, vice president of automotive insights at AutoTrader.com. ‘With projections of even higher gas prices to come during the heavy driving season over the summer, we will likely see a continuation in this surge of interest occurring for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.’

On the list of Big Movers, the Buick Verano made the biggest jump, with a 95.7% increase in share of consumer interest month-over-month. The Subaru Impreza came in at No. 2 with a 39.4% increase in shopper interest. Toyota, however, claimed the most spots on the list of any automaker, with four fuel-efficient vehicles.

In terms of hybrid vehicles, the Toyota Prius experienced an increase in consumer interest of 38.1%, and interest in the recently released Toyota Prius V increased 23.7%.

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