Environmental issues have many Americans thinking “green” and, one might think, the ever-rising cost of fueling up might make people start placing efficient hybrid vehicles on their new-car wish lists. But that is not the case.
A survey conducted by Swapalease.com, a website specializing in lease transfers and assumptions, found that hybrids scored the lowest on people’s dream-car lists, even if vehicle price was not a factor.
“People might be dreaming of fuel independence and better gas mileage, but they aren’t dreaming about hybrids,” says Swapalease.com executive vice president Scott Hall. “Our dream car survey illustrates that people want more fast and furious in their vehicle of choice, not lean and green.”
More than 200 Swapalease members across the United States took part in the What’s Your Dream Car? online survey, conducted from July 15 to Aug. 15, and the results showed an overwhelming avoidance of hybrid vehicles. In fact, when given the choice to select their favourite hybrid vehicle, most people didn’t choose one at all.
“It’s not terribly surprising that hybrids haven’t topped the list of people’s dream cars,” Edmonds.com features editor Carroll Lachnit says. “So far, hybrids have tended to be utilitarian-looking vehicles, not sleek and fast-looking, and their relatively new, unfamiliar technology has only resulted in sales to about three per cent of U.S. car shoppers in the decade-plus they have been available.”
Many respondents to the survey indicated diesel as the preferred source of fuel efficiency for the future.
“Diesel popularity is understandable,” says Lachnit. “Diesel cars get phenomenal mileage and don’t require drivers to get used to anything new, other than pulling up to a different pump at the gas station.”
So, what cars are people dreaming about? BMW and Mercedes scored the highest on people’s wish lists. Land Rover’s Range Rover was the highest rated sport-utility vehicle (SUV), receiving nearly 30 per cent of the vote. Other SUVs following close behind were the Porsche Cayenne and the Hummer 2. The ever-popular convertible also scored highly in the survey, with the Audi R8 Spyder and the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet getting the most attention. The Ford F Series was the favourite truck.
But, when it comes to dream cars, exotic brands always get their share of attention. The Maserati Quattroporte was the favourite luxury sedan and the Ferrari 559 GTO got the nod as the sports car of choice. A ’67 boss Mustang fastback and 2012 Chevrolet Camaro “in yellow and black with 0 miles on it” also have their places in sports car enthusiasts’ hearts.
And where are the hybrids? Statistics at Swapalease.com show that interest in them is waning, as is evident in the 16-per cent decrease in average daily searches for the Toyota Prius at the website since the beginning of July.