Fear not the future, dear green-car enthusiast. For the youngest drivers like good gas mileage. And they don't really like SUVs or trucks. Breathe easier.

About 80 percent of drivers ages 16 to 21, part of what's known as 'Generation Z,' prefer cars more than any other type of larger light-duty vehicle, with about half of that group preferring compact cars, The Detroit News says, citing data company MaritzCX.

That company polled about 1,100 prospective young car buyers and found them to put a priority on fuel economy because that group is... well, cheap. To put that demographic's vehicle choice into perspective, just a third of light-duty vehicles sold in the US last year were cars, while the rest were SUVs and trucks. So the future is bright, and possibly devoid of some of the smog we're now seeing.

Meanwhile, Ford is the most popular brand among younger drivers, again reflecting that company's more recent emphasis on hybrids, plug-ins and high-fuel-economy gas-burning engines. Ford's US green car sales fell 1.4 percent last year to about 86,500 units (falling C-Max Hybrid demand pulled the American automaker's numbers down), so we'd think that this is very welcome news for the Blue Oval.

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