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New survey data from Consumer Reports shows strong interest in fuel economy despite low fuel prices

Fuel economy is the attribute that Americans cite most often as having the most room for improvement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — New survey data from Consumer Reports shows consumers continue to value fuel economy, even as many people are driving less often and fuel prices are currently low.

Consumer Reports asked Americans’ opinions on whether automakers should continue to improve fuel economy for all vehicle types:

  • 86% of Americans agree that automakers should continue to improve fuel economy.
  • 9% are unsure.
  • 5% disagree.

The nationally representative sample of 2,164 adult U.S. residents were questioned from April 2 to April 13, 2020. During that time, the national average for gas was below $2 per gallon.

“Consumers want automakers to improve fuel economy because it saves them money and fuel-saving technology provides a great return on investment” says Chris Harto, senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports. “Oil prices are infamously erratic, and a vehicle that gets good fuel economy helps to protect consumers from these price swings.”

CR also asked Americans which three attributes of their current vehicle have the most room for improvement. Fuel economy topped the list, selected by 44% of those who currently have a vehicle.

Respondents were asked to select three attributes of their current vehicle have the most room for improvement.

In addition, 59% of Americans say that fuel economy is highly (very or extremely) important to them when purchasing a vehicle. Only 9% say it is not all that important to them.

Respondents were asked how important is fuel economy to you when purchasing a vehicle.



Note: With the continued impact of COVID-19 on health and the economy, Consumer Reports is working to give consumers the latest information and CR advice related to the pandemic.

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