Obvious to just about anyone except the people running the study. I'm retired, so I drive fewer miles than I used to and I now live closer to the things I drive to. I'm older and don't see as well at night - like many old people as their rods and cones are no longer as functional as they used to be. I personally don't drive slower, but older people recognize that their reflexes are slower, so they tend to drive slower. As far as abrupt direction changes, apparently the people running this study haven't spend much time in major urban areas or on the beltways surrounding these cities. Seeing someone in the number 3 lane crossing over to the number one lane (usually without looking) is a daily occurrence. And the majority of these people aren't older. So this study would appear to prove nothing.
Seems like car manufacturers are widening the gap between "affordable" and "flagship" cars on their lots, especially in the US. VW, Volvo, Hyundai have all dropped everything except the top tier trims in their hatchbacks and station wagons. Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge all expect a minimum of $45,000 MSRP for any full size pickup truck on the lot except the work trucks. Mitsubishi has nearly gone extinct altogether after dropping the Lancer and Galant even though they offered a cost friendly alternative to similar Japanese makes. Nissan is rebranding as an upscale "luxury-lite" and new Sentras cost over $20,000. Ford doesn't even make cars anymore, opting only for bigger (i.e. more expensive) CUVs and SUVs.
Eventually the average consumer will be left choosing between the modern day equivalent of a Yugo or dropping $600 a month on a car payment for something they weren't looking for in the first place.
I totally agree, and using waiting lists. Almost every new vehicle released in the past five years or so requires a sign up on their waiting list. This started well before Covid and is being made worse by it and supply issues. This almost guarantees no dealer or maker discounts. It appears that all makers are slowly steering away from building for the masses and mass production as it once was, focusing instead on fewer sales to the wealthy. More profit per unit economics.
I think Ford is making the right move on the f150. Like it or not, e and hybrid are the future and if there are more 3.5 eco boost hybrids being ordered the cost may come down. I know people love diesels but times are changing. I also think that if there are more hybrid platforms in trucks and cars the increased popularity may slow down the forced full e powertrain. As we get older we drive the same routes to get places because we have tried the shortcuts and there is so much traffic now that it makes no difference anymore!
I can give a pretty fair comparison between a V10 F250, a diesel F250, and a EcoBoosted F150 because we have them in the extended family. Worst fuel economy, towing, highway, or city - V10. It is a deplorable fuel pig. HP/TQ wise it is pretty comparable to the EcoBoost, but even with the power loss at elevation, towing a trailer and off-road Bronco, the V10 beats the EcoBoost. It is just a more stable platform. Empty, that EB is a fuel economy champ. It is more peppy and feels more car like. The V10, more like a diesel, but quicker. The diesels are slow. PAINFULLY slow. But listen, those diesels hauling 12,000 lbs is still better than the F150 EB towing 7,000. That said, the Ford F-150 diesel wasn’t that good by comparison and I don’t see the point in getting one over a 2.7 EB, unless one has an all-diesel fleet and lives on some rural property. It is hard to make a diesel gas-engine like, unless it is paired with a hybrid system that boosts acceleration with the motor. Then maybe.
“ according to fueleconomy.gov, the added expense of diesel fuel eliminates the savings”
States and prices vary, but where I live Diesel is usually equal or nearly equal to low-grade 87 octane. Ford’s own literature indicates EcoBoost require 91 octane for towing in our desert climate. So, around town maybe 87 is okay, but the $0.50 difference between diesel and premium is significant.