Ford Says Buyers Willing To Pay More For Fuel Efficiency. Would You?

Ford is expecting buyers wanting extra efficiency out of its 2013 Fusion sedan to pay dearly for it. Not only is the hybrid substantially more expensive, but auto start/stop is a stand-alone option. However, Ford may not be so off base: a new study shows that customers are willing to pay more upfront to empty their wallets less at the pump.

According to the automaker's new survey, more than half of people queried have altered their driving habits to save fuel. Further, 25 percent of respondents would gladly shell out an extra $1000 of discretionary income toward a vehicle or vehicle option that reduces their cost of refueling.

That's good news for Ford, as the automaker will offer a total of six different hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles, as well as a raft of three-, four-, and six-cylinder turbocharged engines in almost every other model. With the new start/stop function on the Fusion, Ford claims a 10-percent increase in fuel efficiency compared to models without.

The survey results also had one unsurprising finding: fuel- and energy-efficient technologies are important to almost everyone, and that saving money is one of the leading factors driving consumers to to buy efficient products.

So would you shell out extra coin to get better fuel economy? If so, how much? Technology like auto start/stop costs just $295 on the 2013 Fusion, but to step up from the Fusion to the Fusion Hybrid will set buyers back a whopping $5500. Let us know in the comments section if you think it's worth it to pay more upfront to pay less at the pump.

Source: Ford

Wolf47
I once owned a Camry Hybrid, hated the car.  Sold it after 18 miserable months.  Felt like I was driving a vacuum cleaner.  Very unsatisfying to drive, though it did delivery the advertised gas milage.  I for one would not pay more for higher milage unless there were other performance enhancements included.  I thing the Ford Fiesta with the 1liter, 3 cylinder is worth the extra cost because it also gives more performance.  I would not buy a Ford C-Max, though we like its wagon look, because it's a hybrid.  Hybrids are more costly, heavier and slower than other cars. 
Mike S
So, is this the way automakers will fund R&D for the pie-in-the-sky 54 mpg CAFE? If so, I want no part of it. My '09 Corolla already gives me 40+ mpg highway. Why in the world would I buy a hybrid, which is heavier, has less room in the trunk, is more costly to buy, has more complicated parts and systems to repair down the road, and creates MORE pollution to make (batteries) than a petrol car will produce during its lifetime? Why? Oh, so I can feeeeeeel good about it. Extra cheese on my pizza makes me feeeeeeel better, than you very much. You can keep your batteries and put 'em somewhere, EPA.
TomServo
I already have. I bought a Chevy Volt, and love it. I haven't used/purchased ANY fuel since mid April. We anxiously await the Cadillac ELR as the Volt's stable mate.

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