A recent poll conducted by Progressive Insurance and NADA asked participants to rank their most important new-car attributes. 46% of the respondents stated that "price" is still the #1 concern (that constant background noise you hear in the auto industry is another round of incentives being cranked up), where as only 3% stated that "fuel economy" was their biggest concern. 11% went so far as to rank efficiency as their least concern. "Vehicle make and model" was ranked second in the survey, while "performance" and "safety" tied for third.
So, then, we need low-cost vehicles that consume a lot of fuel, but we don't necessarily want that fuel consumption to be used to enhance the performance or safety of those vehicles. I'm pretty sure the '78 K5 Blazer I had in high school would have fit those criteria.