Consumers want more from their cars these days. More space. More performance. More equipment. More fuel consumption.
What was that last one again?
Actually, we mean less fuel consumption. Because while we want more of everything else, rising prices mean that even large cars are expected to guzzle less gas than they used to.
And it makes us wonder--is 25 mpg fast becoming the new minimum standard expected of full-size sedans?
It certainly seems that way. While mid-size sedans have quickly rocketed over the 25 mpg mark--with some now averaging up to 40 mpg--full-size sedans seem to be following.
Most currently hit 23 mpg on average, with a select few like the 2012 Hyundai Azera, 2012 Chrysler 300 and 2012 Dodge Charger all managing around 30 mpg on the highway.
Set to topple all of those is the upcoming 2013 Ford Taurus EcoBoost, which should get 32 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined.
That's not much by usual GreenCarReports standards, but when its 2003 equivalent managed only 26 highway and 21 combined (figures matched by the 1993 Taurus), it's clear that full-size sedans are finally making progress.
The engine may have been downsized, at only 2.0-liters in capacity, but in all other respects the 2013 Taurus is better-equipped, more spacious and quicker than ever--giving consumers exactly what they want, without paying more at the pumps.
It's unlikely to be long before other full-size sedans break the 25 mpg average either, so as to avoid being left behind. And fuel economy standards are only going to get stricter, forcing manufacturers to come up with increasingly clever ways to make their cars more efficient.
It may not be long before every car sold--apart from a select few trucks, at first--will be able to beat 25 mpg on average.
And that, we think, is great news both for consumers--who'll save hundreds of dollars per year in gas--and the environment, as all those large sedans use hundreds of gallons less fuel per year.
Still, why stop there? We're waiting for the 30 mpg full-size sedan...