The price for regular gasoline in the U.S. averages $3.06, up from $2.65 that Americans paid for a gallon of fuel a year ago, but consumers apparently haven't adjusted their auto-buying habits to lessen the pain at the pump. According to figures published by Autodata (sub. req.), sales of mid-size SUVs and crossover utility vehicles continue to climb, though compact car purchases remain flat.
From January 2010 through November of the same year, total automotive sales shot up by 12 percent, with mid-size SUVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, displaying a greater increase than any other vehicle segment. In comparison, sales of the Toyota Prius, a compact vehicle, fell by 1.7 percent during the same time frame. Of course, if this trend continues, fuel-efficient plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt and all-electrics like the Nissan Leaf may come up short of their sales marks set by General Motors and Nissan, respectively.