Gas is cheap, and modern vehicles get better fuel economy than ever. Aerodynamic design, new fuel-saving technologies such as automatic engine stop/start and cylinder deactivation, transmissions with up to 9 forward speeds, and lighter vehicle structures made out of high-strength steel have all contributed to improvements on this front.
And that’s before factoring in the proliferation of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles that are now available to consumers.
As long as the price of unleaded remains low, the percentage of the population citing fuel economy as one of the most important reasons for buying a specific vehicle (37 percent in the most recent J.D. Power survey), will remain relatively low.