According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Avoider Study, gas mileage is more important to consumers than ever. “The study finds that gas mileage is the most influential reason for purchasing a particular vehicle model in 2012, surpassing the influence of other key reasons such as reliability, the deal and exterior styling, which were the most influential purchase reasons in 2010,” says J.D. Power in a press release.

With gas mileage becoming more important in the automotive market, J.D. Power says that vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius have successfully captured the attention of new buyers.

However, the reasons why shoppers ultimately choose the Volt, Leaf or Prius vary. Edmunds writes, “For the Volt, the image the model portrays is a prominent reason for purchase, while buyers cite low maintenance costs for the Leaf and reliability for the Prius.”

In addition to consumer demand, automakers also need to prepare for federal government fuel economy standards that have been set for 2025. General Motors President, North America Mark Reuss says that the automotive industry needs these types of goals. “If we don’t have those kinds of challenges in front of us, then we’re probably not doing our job as engineers,” said Reuss in an interview at the Washington Auto Show. “We need to be able to innovate and produce products that satisfy that [fuel economy] at a price point that people enjoy and are comfortable with.”

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