Back when gas prices were still reasonable, Americans were quite happy to drive big, V8-powered cars. Power and performance trumped everything, even with family wagons. But now, they're forced to turn to smaller, thriftier engines.
Modern four-cylinders deliver more horsepower than just a few years ago, which explains their recent surge in popularity across the US. So far in 2012, over 50% of all new vehicles sold there had four-cylinder engines. In 2007, it was merely 36%.
|Photo: Luc Gagné
People have embraced these cars partly because technological advancements have made them just as fast as older models with bigger engines. For instance, the new Hyundai Sonata offers a 2.4L four-cylinder engine that produces 45 more horsepower (198 total) than a V6-equipped 2006 Ford Taurus.
Despite their superior potency, smaller engines are still proving to be more fuel-efficient. Government data shows a 5% drop in consumption from the same period a year ago.
Source: Arizona Daily Star