Under the Hood, Size Does Matter

Even in SUVs, Americans opt for smaller engines to conserve on gas
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2008 2:39 PM CDT
Ford has benefited from heightened consumer demand for cars with smaller engines.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)
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(Newser) – Instead of saving on gas by getting smaller cars, many Americans are buying cars with smaller engines. Four-cylinder autos have been zooming off lots nationwide, leaving six-cylinder rides in the dust: Three quarters of mid-size cars sold in May sported the smaller engine, a swerve away from a trend in ever-bigger motors, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Four-cylinder engines are even revving in SUVs, making them cheaper and more fuel efficient. Experts add that consumers are more open to four-cylinders because they have shed their “putt-putt” image. Either way, one analyst said the shift “is a big relief for auto manufacturers,” who have been developing the technology for years. (Read more cars stories.)