POLL: Buy a more efficient car to save money or the environment?

As we've watched the sales of trucks and SUVs implode faster than a twenty-year-old Las Vegas casino over the past year, we of course wonder why? Not that we don't consider this a good thing around these parts. I personally have long felt that American consumers' fascination with SUVs was at best dubious and at worst idiotic. Nonetheless, the dramatic swing to small cars still has to raise an eyebrow or two. Certainly there are those among us who would like to believe that Americans have suddenly realized that a lot ocean-front property and polar bear habitat is disappearing and want to stop it. Others just want to see us stop sending so much hard currency to countries that are not exactly our friends. While we'd like to think people's motives are more high minded, the reality, at least according to a new survey done by Auto Trader, appears to be far more mundane. As a skilled speech writer once coined, "It's the economy, stupid!" Or, in this case, fuel prices. When asked about their reasons for downsizing, 82 percent reported that it was all about saving money on gas. A mere 21 percent cited the environment. This probably shouldn't come as a surprise. If you have downsized recently, tell us why in the poll and in the comments.

Update: I added all of the above to the poll

[Source: The Auto Channel]

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