Smaller-Engine Vehicles Sell Well in U.S.

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J.D. Power blog

Dur­ing the past five years, there has been a rise in demand in the U.S. mar­ket for mod­els equipped with more effi­cient, pow­er­ful and eco-friendly 4-cylinder engines.

Find out what J.D. Power’s Tyson Jominy has to say.

Dur­ing the past five years, there has been a rise in demand in the U.S. mar­ket for com­pact– and even midsize-segment car and light-truck mod­els to be equipped with more effi­cient, pow­er­ful and eco-friendly 4-cylinder engines. In fact, more than one-half of new vehi­cles pur­chased or leased in the first five and one-half months of 2013 were equipped with a 4-cylinder, accord­ing to data pro­vided by our Power Infor­ma­tion Net­work (PIN)®  division.

One rea­son behind the larger per­cent­age of smaller engines (PIN defines small engines as 3-, 4– and 5-cylinders) in the sales mix is that more brands in the U.S. mar­ket now offer these more fuel-efficient pow­er­trains than they did five years ago. Some of the notice­able changes in pow­er­train pen­e­tra­tion that PIN has tracked between 2008 and 2013 are summarized:

• In 2008, 10 name­plates in the U.S. mar­ket did not even have engine options smaller than 6-cylinders. Today, there are only three brands with­out small (below 6-cylinders) engines in their sales mix.

• In 2008, there were only five name­plates with over 90% small-engine pen­e­tra­tion. Today, there are 11 brands with greater than 90% penetration.

• Four name­plates have 100% small-engine pen­e­tra­tion— Mini, smart, Fiat and Scion. Volk­swa­gen, Sub­aru, Hyundai and Kia also score well above 90% small-engine penetration.

• The largest change is for the Buick brand, which did not offer 4-cylinders in 2008, but now is above 50% in its sales mix.

• Audi remains the top lux­ury mar­que with 4-cylinder pen­e­tra­tion, while BMW, which did not offer 4-cylinders in 2008, is now No. 2.

This trend of offer­ing more small pow­er­trains is being advanced by vol­ume automak­ers in the U.S., too.

 

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