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Fact #833: August 11, 2014 Fuel Economy Rated Second Most Important Vehicle Attribute

A 2014 survey asked a sample of the U.S. population the question "Which one of the following attributes would be MOST important to you in your choice of your next vehicle?" The choices were fuel economy, dependability, low price, quality, and safety. This same question was asked in previous surveys and the results are compared in the graph below. Dependability was chosen most often in nearly every survey after 1980, but fuel economy surpassed it in 2011 and 2012. In 2014, 30% of the survey respondents indicated that dependability would be the most important vehicle attribute while 20% of the survey respondents chose fuel economy and another 20% chose safety.

Most Important Vehicle Attributes, 2014
Graphic showing attributes consumers look for when purchasing a new vehicle. See details in table.

Fact #833 Dataset

Supporting Information

Question: Which one of the following attributes would be most important in your choice of your next vehicle?
Year Fuel Economy Dependability Low Price Quality Safety
1980 42% 31% 14% 4% 9%
1981 20% 40% 21% 7% 12%
1983 13% 38% 30% 11% 9%
1985 8% 41% 29% 12% 10%
1987 4% 44% 31% 8% 14%
1996 7% 34% 11% 19% 29%
1998 4% 36% 5% 20% 34%
2000 11% 33% 11% 22% 24%
2001 11% 30% 8% 22% 30%
2004 22% 26% 10% 19% 23%
2005 12% 33% 7% 21% 28%
2006 20% 28% 7% 20% 26%
2007 21% 30% 7% 17% 24%
2008 27% 27% 8% 15% 23%
2009 24% 29% 10% 19% 18%
2011 30% 22% 8% 18% 22%
2012 29% 25% 14% 16% 15%
2014 20% 30% 11% 19% 20%

Sources:
For 1980-87: J. D. Power (data based on new car buyers).
For 1998: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 707089, February 19 – 22, 1998, N = 1,019.
For 2000: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 709318, August 3 – 6, 2000, N = 1,013.
For 2001: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 710288, July 12, 2001, N = 1,004.
For 2004: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 713228, May 27, 2004, N=949.
For 2005: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 714209, May 20, 2005, N=1012.
For 2006: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 715238, June 8, 2006, N=1,007.
For 2007: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 716328, August 9, 2007, N=1010.
For 2008: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 717318, August 3, 2008, N=1,005.
For 2009: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 718339, August 14-17, 2009, N=1003.
For 2011: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 720229, June 3 - 6, 2011, N=1011
For 2012: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study #721488, November 29 - December 2, 2012, N=1,007
For 2014: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study #723238, June 5-8, 2014, N=1,014

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