2011 Hyundai Accent

According to a new survey of 911 adult car owners in the United States conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center, 56 percent expect their next new vehicle to be the same size as the model they currently own. However, those looking to go smaller are motivated by improved fuel economy, lower maintenance and repair costs, environmental concerns, and improved reliability.

“Despite the common drive to reduce car-operating costs, not everyone wants to downsize. Many young drivers have older vehicles, and as their careers grow, there is a natural ambition to have a new or newer car that is more comfortable and reliable—often that means stepping up from a small car to a midsized sedan or other vehicle. This younger demographic may also be in their family-starting years, and likely in need for more passenger space,” said Jeff Bartlett, deputy online editor, Consumer Reports Cars.

Among those surveyed, a quarter plan to downsize, while 19 percent actually expect to buy a larger vehicle.

Reasons for downsizing include:

  • Improved fuel economy (92 percent)
  • Lower maintenance and repair costs (71 percent)
  • Environmental concerns (67 percent)
  • Improved reliability (67 percent)
  • Lower purchase price (65 percent)
  • Don’t need the passenger / cargo space (61 percent)
  • Improved safety (59 percent); Don’t need as much power (54 percent).

Reasons for upsizing include:

  • Need more passenger / cargo space (80 percent)
  • Improved comfort (72 percent)
  • Improved safety (66 percent)
  • More reliable (60 percent)
  • Improved fuel economy (55 percent)
  • Lower maintenance and repair costs (50 percent).

- By: Omar Rana


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  • Anonymous

     Wow I thought this would be the other way around.  But larger cars are now starting to hit the 30+ mpg range so I can see how this makes some sense. However, downsizing has the better overall benefits.