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Fuel costs now top consideration for car buyers

A recent survey has revealed that, with the price of a fill-up hovering at record highs, gas mileage is the number one consideration for consumers in choosing a new vehicle, the Detroit News reports. That finding is the result of a recent AAA survey, which studied consumers' attitudes toward fuel prices. "The survey results clearly demonstrate that gas prices have reached levels sufficient for consumers to dramatically alter their driving behaviors and car-buying habits," said Kathy Harrison of AAA.

Looking into blind spots

Ford is actively addressing motorists' demands for increased visibility with the introduction of two new features, the Blind Spot Mirror and the Cross Traffic Alert with Blind-Spot Monitoring System, arriving in 2009. As Motor Matters reports, Ford's Blind Spot Mirror answers demands for better visibility as drivers change lanes or parallel park. Motor Matters says this affordable mirror technology will first launch early next year and find its way onto many future Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles as standard equipment.

What about ethanol?

As the specter of $4-a-gallon fuel looms in front of the motoring public, thoughts turn to fuel alternatives such as ethanol. So, what about ethanol? Well, a popular myth out there is that ethanol is very rarely used in American cars. Most likely, according to, you're using ethanol in your car without even knowing it. In many regions, small amounts of ethanol are blended with gasoline to reduce emissions. Mixtures as high as E10 (10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline) are safe for use in most vehicles. Much of the news lately has been about fuel blends that have higher ethanol content. The most common is E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline), which can only be used in vehicles that are designed for that fuel.