When it comes to car-shopping propensity among younger drivers, look at the numbers, then look closer at the reasons behind them.

Generation Y, or those born after the late 1970s, account for about a quarter of those shopping for new small cars, up from 16 percent in 2008, according to a study released by GfK Automotive. The bigger news, though, is that fuel economy isn't what they're most interested in.

In fact, GfK Automotive says, Gen Y buyers prioritize excitement, looks, and driving fun over fuel economy when it comes to reasons to buy a small car. This is an interesting change from their elders. For example, Baby Boomers, who account for about a third of all small car shoppers, prioritized fuel economy over driving excitement, though were still very bullish on small car looks. And Generation X – those following the Baby Boomers – put an even greater emphasis on fuel economy than the Boomers do. Interesting, no? We've got a summary of the report over on GfK Automotive's site.

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