To Save Money, Consumers Make Big Shift to Small Engines in the Automotive Market, Reports Edmunds'

To Save Money, Consumers Make Big Shift to Small Engines in the Automotive Market, Reports Edmunds'

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — October 17, 2011 — Smaller engines are taking over the new car market, thanks to improved technology and a push for better fuel efficiency, reports Edmunds', the premier online resource for automotive news and analysis. According to's data, the proportion of vehicles sold in the United States with 4-cylinder engines has climbed from 32 percent in 2007 to more than 45 percent so far this year. And in recent months, the 4-cylinder engine has made up more than 50 percent of sales, placing the smallest engines as the dominant choice in the market.

"New technology has markedly improved the power density of 4-cylinder engines, making them nearly as powerful and torque-productive as recent V6s," says Ivan Drury, analyst at "Ford Motor Co., for example, now has a turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder engine for its Explorer crossover, a vehicle that once was commonly fitted with a V8."

One obvious benefit of smaller engines is better fuel economy, and fuel mileage in 4-cylinder engines has improved in the most recent car models. data indicate that the average fuel economy for all 2012-model 4-cylinder engines is 26.6 mpg, up almost one mpg from the 25.8 mpg average in 4-cylinder engines for 2011 model year vehicles.

For more details on's small engine findings please visit found evidence of the trend toward 4-cylinder engines within individual auto companies earlier this year. According to an April report by Edmunds', the number of retail customers for all Chevrolet models opting for 4-cylinder engines climbed from 23 percent in 2007 to 46 percent through the first quarter of 2011. The numbers are especially impressive considering the disproportionate presence of full-size pickup trucks — which have traditionally carried larger engines — within the brand's sales mix. The full archived report can be found on Edmunds' at

About, Inc. ( Inc. publishes Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders., the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site and hosts the most established automotive community online. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at, makes car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and otherwise on the go. is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at, features the wireless Web's highest quality car photos and videos. provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow on Twitter@edmunds and fan on Facebook at

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