A new report by J.D. Power and Associates claims that 49% of American car buyers opted for four-cylinder powertrains in cars and light-trucks purchased during the month of April. Concerns over fuel economy and gas prices helped spark a trend in consumers picking the smaller engines in the first quarter of 2010, with 46.5% choosing them, versus 41.9% last year.
Manufacturers are also hoping on the four-banged only bandwagon. Hyundai‘s Sonata and Buick‘s all-new Regal are both available exclusively with four-cylinder engines, and offer turbocharged variants for those who want six-cylinder power. The Regal has historically offered six or eight cylinder powerplants, but GM and Hyundai feel that technologies like direct-injection, six-speed gearboxes and turbocharging will give consumers the perfect blend of power and fuel economy.
With most four-cylinders developing the same power as the V6 engines did a decade ago, the reasons for buying a V6 sedan look increasingly redundant, and consumers are beginning to take notice. After all, who needs a 300 horsepower V6 family car when the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Turbo puts out 274 horses and 34 miles per gallon on the highway?
[Source: USA Today]