Online Searches Suggest Consumer Interest in Fuel Efficiency Dips When Gasoline Prices Dip
CHICAGO --- As gasoline prices begin to fall, so doesconsumer interest in fuel-efficient vehicles, according the latest Cars.com Consumer Search Index. Cars.com is reporting a decline in searches for hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars, all of which saw dramatic increasesover the last several months when gas prices were at all-time highs. Hybrid vehicles including the Honda Civic Hybrid, the Honda Insight, the Toyota Prius and the Ford Escape Hybrid were all among the site's used cars with the greatest decline in search activity over the last month."This is fairly consistent with what we've experienced in past years with the ebb and flow of gas prices," said Patrick Olsen, managing editor of Cars.com. "As gas prices decline, we are starting to see people searching for crossover vehicles and some SUVs. We have yet to see a sustained movement away from gas-guzzlers. Instead, we find that consumers are reacting to current prices at the pump when it comes to their automotive search and buying behavior."The used cars with the largest decrease in searches in July are as follows: 1. Ford Escape Hybrid 2. Geo Metro 3. Honda Insight 4. Honda Civic Hybrid 5. Toyota Prius 6. Geo Tracker 7. Mazda MX-5 8. BMW Z3 9. Hyundai Azera 10. Lexus SC 430The Cars.com Consumer Search Index offers a comprehensive look at the Internet search behavior of Cars.com visitors. The statistical information is compiled by tracking the more than 9 million unique visitors that log onto Cars.com each month and the vehicles that are most popular. The lists are based off a minimum of 10,000 searches.