Efficiency is No. 1 European car value

May 9, 2006 at 8:17 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 9 (UPI) -- Car buyers in the five largest European countries are more interested in fuel-efficiency technology than any other feature of prospective vehicles.

Harris Interactive said Tuesday a survey of vehicle buyers shows that fuel efficiency is the top technological priority of 41 percent of respondents. That compares with 47 percent of U.S. buyers who named fuel efficiency as their top technological priority in a new vehicle.

Harris also said Europeans in the five major markets are significantly less likely than their U.S. counterparts to say they are "very or extremely likely" to purchase a new vehicle with hybrid electric technology.

Unlike the United States, where hybrid vehicles are in high demand, cost-conscious European shoppers tend to opt for diesel-powered vehicles or ultra-small cars. The extra cost of hybrid technology is a big reason Europeans are noticeably less interested in the technology than U.S. buyers.

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