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Funny Thing, That…

June 4, 2007

American carbuyers are a stubborn lot.  Sure, they abandoned SUVs in droves after Katrina and the ensuing hike in gas prices, but come January 2006 it was right back to the big, thirsty monsters.  Fuel economy has become more important in the purchase consideration, but according to just about every survey out there continues to rank behind color, appearance, power, number of cupholders, and the car’s ability to cope with alien invasion.

But this past month’s sales numbers indicate that times are changing.  Honda’s performance is, I think, a case in point:

Honda Cars

  • Fit                        
    -1.8%
  • Accord
                   
    -17.0%
  • Civic      
                   32.6%
  • Civic Hybrid             50.4%
  • S2000                   -46.0%

 

Honda Trucks

  • Odyssey               
    -13.3%
  • Pilot                      -24.2%
  • CR-V                     
    35.9%
  • Element               
    -41.2%
  • Ridgeline               
    -25.6%

So how about it, readers (all three of you)?  How important will fuel economy be in your next ride?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2007 4:17 pm

    I read somewhere since a gallon of gas costs about the same as a gallon of milk, that it is strange that people go so crazy about getting every last job maximized from their gas, while no one seems to care if they pour four times the necessary amount of milk into their bowl of cereal each morning.

    That person has a point… why does the “it’s only a couple of bucks” thing win out with milk, but not so with gas?

    In other news…it won’t make a big deal to me.(I know that makes me evil). In fact I fill up at the pump without even looking because the reality is that gas is a necessity…there is no way to avoid it. The price is what it is…and I would much rather alter my lifestyle by eating out one time less per week or something than to buy an entire car that I may not like that much just so I can save a couple of bucks at the pump.

    This makes me an evil environment-hating conservative, I know… but on the bright side..I don’t eat breakfast, and only have milk with my tea, so at least I make it up with milk conservation!

  2. June 5, 2007 4:42 pm

    I agree with Mark. I will find other things to cut out before I drive a car I don’t like. I tried it once when I went from a Ford F-150 to a Honda CRV. Nothing against the Honda (I loved my wife’s Odessey while we had it), but I felt like I was driving a toy car. So I pay an extra 15-20 bucks a month at the pump, is that really such a big deal? Especially when you consider taking the family out to dinner once will cost us around $50. The real scam is between the mid range and premium gas.

  3. June 5, 2007 4:54 pm

    The difference between gas and milk is that the average American buys fourteen gallons of gas a week.

  4. June 5, 2007 5:07 pm

    I think I’m in the minority here in that I prefer smaller cars. Not because they are more fuel efficient, but because they are, in my opinion, so much more fun to drive. There’s an agility and a connection to the road that can’t be matched by larger vehicles.

    Fuel efficiency, to me, will always take a backseat to a car’s handling, styling, interior quality, and overall driving experience. That is, I’m not about to chuck myself into a penalty car for the sake of getting an extra five miles per gallon.

    Personally, I’m hoping the Mini lasts until all the promised diesel models start showing up. Comparable performance to gas engines, with 30-40% better fuel economy.

  5. June 6, 2007 12:49 am

    Good point on the milk vs. gas consumtion!

  6. Jamie permalink
    June 6, 2007 10:41 am

    Mark and JB I love you both, but….

    You are both environmentally irresponsible! And the last time I checked, milk is not going to harm our planet. And I don’t think Matt would EVER suggest someone “settle” for a car just because it gets good gas mileage. But it should at least be in your top 5 things to consider when buying a car.

    You should never spend your money on something you don’t like. But there is a point of compromise here. Instead of getting the crazy SUV that gets 15 miles per gallon. Why not get a smaller SUV that gets 20? Or any of the other possiblities that get reasonable mileage.

    I traded in my Pilot in part because of its poor gas mileage. And if anyone says my Mustang is a car to “settle” for, I may hit you the next time I see you.

    Concession though, I do agree with JB that the difference between regular and supreme gas is outrageous.

    And no, I am not a Gore supporting, global warming shouting environmentalist. Matt and I actually agree (imagine that!) on the whole global warming thing. But to purposefully make a choice that is harmful to the planet is irresponsible, no way around it, sorry guys.

    Jamie

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