• Tom Posted: 2/12/2010 11:04am PST

    I believe that volatility impacted people's purchases more than the actual price point. When $4 gas hit it hit suddenly and people didn't base their purchases as much on affording $4 per gallon but the fear of it going to $6 or $8.

  • Stan Posted: 2/12/2010 8:31am PST

    My father was big on fuel economy long before it was fashionable. We had a vacuum gauge on our standard transmission Volare sedan to keep us light footed. So, I have generally also been interested in maximizing mileage. To me, using more fuel is both bad for the environment and a waste of money. That being said, I am not too keen on the complexity, cost and future battery replacement/disposal of hybrids. I am very likely to try a diesel when my 2003 Saab (5 spd, 2.0 LPT, always 30-35 mpg) gives up.

  • automaan Posted: 2/12/2010 7:45am PST

    part of the problem i believe is the lack of sex appeal to the moderate priced hybrids, if they can figure out how to spruce up the design I would assume demand would pick up

  • Fizz Posted: 2/12/2010 7:24am PST

    Four dollars a gallon is the tipping point for sure. However, people quickly found ways to travel more efficiently and use less gas. People will drive what they want to drive based on their needs. Hybrids for taxis and buses will make a bitof a difference, but not your everyday single consumer-as geedo explained.

  • Green Observer Posted: 2/12/2010 7:00am PST

    Greedo's right to focus on the actual amount of gasoline displaced (going 12 -- 20 mpg saves WAY more than 33 -- 50 mpg), and the industry knows that people will buy the biggest car that meets their needs & they can afford. Gas engines will get WAY more efficient (and pricier) in the next 10 years. Which is a good thing despite the hybrids-are-for-wimps BS.

  • Jaw Dropping Posted: 2/12/2010 6:58am PST

    Yep, sure. The Prius is a deathrap. It's all a hoax. Burning gas is good. Real men drive V8s. Small is always cheap. Only big cars are nice. Kee-RIST, who ARE you people ? ? ?

  • howard Posted: 2/11/2010 8:36pm PST

    Are small cars ever going to be something that you don't trade down to? Other than a very demographic, I think not.

  • Damien Thomas Posted: 2/11/2010 5:14pm PST

    Here in Australia fuel prices are much higher than just a few years ago but sales of thirsty V8s and SUVs are still high. I'm even look to buy a new V8 sedan instead of my current V6 :-) I think it has a lot to do with the level of income too. People here earn much more than they use to as well so are willing to pay extra.

  • LimousineLiberal Posted: 2/11/2010 5:10pm PST

    pretty convinced that $4 is the psychological tipping point. as prices approach that amount per gallan, feels like a significant share of drivers do pay more attention. if/when the world economies finally start breathing again, no reason to think a pretty dramatic run-up in prices won't happen. just a matter of time.

  • greedo Posted: 2/11/2010 5:09pm PST

    Even if you buy half as much gas per year, unless you drive like 40K miles, you're not really saving much money. 15K mi @ $4/gal and 15 mpg = $4,000. 15K mi @ $4/gal and 30 mpg = $2,000. That's a pretty extreme case, as most SUVs get a bit better than 15 mpg these days. But even so, saving $2K/yr vs. not having the vehicle you need, maybe people are just running the numbers.
    On the other hand, maybe it's all the new more fuel-efficient crossovers (Equinox/Terrain, Edge, etc) that have people looking for an in-between solution.

  • tee Posted: 2/11/2010 4:58pm PST

    No surprise since the most popular hybrid is now considered a deathtrap.