Price will always dominate the car market, it's a given. But increasingly vehicle mileage has become a major selling point on local car lots. As the cost of energy increases, the cost of ownership goes up and your vehicles mpg just becomes another way to measure price. Automakers it can be said have not been quick to address this issue but now the game is on.
Everyone these days seems to have their hand on fuel economy. When it once was considered economic for cars to get over 30 mpg, is now considered middle ground. New cars for sale today are full of models that get at least 40 mpg but what is most interesting is how everyone has approached that problem.
Toyota for example is king of all other new cars for sale in the hybrid market with its Prius, and has even expanded the family. GM has invested heavily in its combined electric and gas Volt while Nissan has moved away from gasoline entirely with its Leaf electric car. Volkswagen has always had a strong hand in the clean diesel game, and Honda has been tweaking its Civic Natural Gas model for years and soon will be releasing it mainstream to car lots across the country.
But not ready to give up your old faithful gasoline engine? Kia and Hyundai as well as Subaru have recently stepped up to begin turning their whole fleets of cars into 40 mpg machines. Meanwhile Ford has begun rolling out their direct injected turbo engine the Ecoboost into more models including the Escape which while it won't get here in time to be the best 2012 SUV could easily be the best of all new cars for sale in 2013.
There are bound to be winners and losers in this new CAFE inspired war, and there are still hurdles to overcome such as fuel economy in heavier SUVs. The best however will start with a huge advantage over all other manufactors in 2012 and beyond. Cars over 30 mpg? It might not be to long before cars over 50 mpg becomes the new watch word. Then we might have to find something else to fight about.