Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

July's Hot Cars: Gas Sippers Being Gobbled Up

2007 Toyota Prius

If you thought the move toward hybrids and fuel-efficient sub-compacts was a trend that had perhaps slowed down, think again. This week J.D. Power and Associates released its list of the fastest selling cars and trucks in July and the hottest rides are gas sippers.

The Prius was the fastest selling model in the country, followed by the Honda Fit and Scion xB. Call it the trifecta of small but popular cars. What's most intriguing with this list is the fact the Prius remain red hot.

On this sight, I regularly hear from other bloggers or readers a variation of the comment, "Prius is a fad and when the public realize the fuel savings aren't that great, the hybid won't be as popular". But well, after it first hit the street, the Prius is not slowing down. In fact, it's in as much demand as ever.

I think you can attribute some of the demand to people who want better fuel efficiency -- even as gas prices are coming down. But another reason is that people want to make a statement and driving the one hybrid that has a quirky design makes a statement.

Ultimately the "fashion" of the Prius may be as important to its success as its gas-electric motor. That's not what Toyota had in the cards when it built the Prius, and well after the design of many models have worn off, the Prius "look" is still in demand.

Note: keep sending in your emails about what you would want to see from Chrysler to be interested the American automaker again.

Questions?  Comments?