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"Which one of the following attributes would be MOST important to you in your choice of your next vehicle?" was the question asked in an August 2009 survey. The choices were dependability, safety, fuel economy, quality, and low price. This same question was asked in previous surveys and the results are compared in the graph below. Dependability was chosen most often in nearly every survey. In 2009, 24% of the survey respondents indicated that fuel economy would be the most important vehicle attribute, while 29% of respondents chose dependability. Quality was chosen by 15% in 2008, but that rose to 19% in 2009.

Most Important Attribute for Your Next Vehicle
Graph showing which attributes (fuel economy, dependability, low price, quality, and safety) consumers rate as most important when purchasing a vehicle for various years from 1980 to 2009. For more detailed information, see the table below.

 

Supporting Information

Q: Which one of the following attributes would be most important in your choice of your next vehicle?
Year Fuel Economy Dependability Low Price Quality Safety
1980 42% 31% 14% 4% 9%
1981 20% 40% 21% 7% 12%
1983 13% 38% 30% 11% 9%
1985 8% 41% 29% 12% 10%
1987 4% 44% 31% 8% 14%
1996 7% 34% 11% 19% 29%
2000 11% 33% 11% 22% 24%
2001 11% 30% 8% 22% 30%
2004 22% 26% 10% 19% 23%
2005 12% 33% 7% 21% 28%
2006 20% 28% 7% 20% 26%
2007 21% 30% 7% 17% 24%
2008 27% 27% 8% 15% 23%
2009 24% 29% 10% 19% 18%

Source:
For 1980-87: J. D. Power (data based on new car buyers).
For 1996: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 70550, December 12, 1996.
For 2000: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 709318, August 3 – 6, 2000, N = 1,013.
For 2001: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 710288, July 12, 2001, N = 1,004.
For 2004: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 713228, May 27, 2004, N=949.
For 2005: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 714209, May 20, 2005, N=1012.
For 2006: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 715238, June 8, 2006, N=1,007.
For 2007: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 716328, August 9, 2007, N=1010.
For 2008: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 717318, August 3, 2008, N=1,005.
For 2009: Opinion Research Corporation International for NREL, Study # 718339, August 14-17, 2009, N=1003.

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