New Car Buyers Care Most About MPG Indicator: Study

New Car Buyers Care Most About MPG Indicator: Study

J.D. Power and Associates released its 2013 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study today. 

It reveals that consumers are most interested in tech that displays and improves fuel economy, followed by wireless connectivity for cell phones.

New car buyers were asked twice which new tech feature they most wanted on their new vehicle; once when price was not a factor and then again with the price as a factor. Out of 22 features polled, both a fuel economy indicator and active grille shutters made the top five new technologies that consumers most want in both the pre- and post-price poll.

“Vehicle owners are continually aware of rising fuel costs and the need for better fuel economy,” said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. “As they have come to understand the benefits of new automotive technology, they are increasingly interested in those that allow them to manage their fuel consumption with greater efficiency and help better manage their cost at the pump,” he said.

In-car cell phone technology has continually been growing, with 67 percent of vehicle owners now possessing a smart phone. Not surprisingly then, the top choice on the pre-price list is device/application link, which drops to the second position once an average price of $300 is introduced. Since last year, interest in having a link from a consumer’s smart phone to their car’s infotainment system has grown by 10 percent. New vehicle owners want their car’s infotainment system to powered by their smart phones, says J.D. Power.

Safety continues to make the list as well, with a surround-view camera sitting in the fifth spot on the post-price list. This system is listed with an average price of $500, making it the most expensive feature that consumers say they want the most.

There is some interest being shown to autonomous vehicles, but mostly to safety features associated with self-driving cars such as emergency braking and steering and automatic park assist.

“While it will take more time for vehicle owners to embrace fully autonomous driving, the gateway for acceptance is underway given relatively strong interest in many semi-autonomous features,” VanNieuwkuyk said.