Mintel has a new US report out on small cars.

I was really curious what Americans had to say about this…because it is quite well known that Americans love their trucks and SUVs.

Living in Chicago, you see a lot of people with small cars, which makes sense in a city: small parking spots, zipping around in traffic, not a lot of families with multiple kids. BUT, I previously lived in a standard American suburb in Florida…where everyone claimed that they “needed” their SUV or “needed” their enormous pick-up truck. Once you dug a little deeper, you noticed this person who needed the SUV only had one kid and the one who couldn’t live without his big pick-up truck didn’t actually haul anything for work or fun. So, did they really need these fuel guzzling, bad for the environment, over-priced road warriors?!

According to the report:

Some 43% of respondents will consider a small car for their next car purchase, a figure much above the 8% who purchased a small car in the past 24 months. Interest in considering a small car for the next car purchase declines with age, with more than half of adults aged 18-34 willing to consider a small car purchase.

The overriding reason, cited by 60% of respondents, for not purchasing a small car is the perception that they are too small for their needs.

I’m happy to see the government is doing their part:

With an aim of reducing American dependence on oil, the government is making strides to encourage consumers to seek more fuel-efficient means of transportation. New federal CAFE (Combined Automobile Fleet Emissions) fuel mileage and greenhouse gas emissions requirements covering 2012 through 2016 model years set the standard at around 35 mpg. Further, the Obama administration has set a goal of having 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

Unless you have three or four kids…or cart around other people’s kids…or need a big car for work purposes….then, do you really “need” an unnecessary gas guzzler? Maybe you just want one.

What are your thoughts on small cars? Are the escalated gas prices forcing you to consider one, even if you never have in the past?

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