High gas prices have buyers turning to smaller new cars – if they can find one

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See a small car for sale? Grab it. US Auto market is flooded with SUVs

Unlike during the 2008 gas price runup, today’s SUVs are more fuel efficient. The smaller ones are often built on the same chassis as automakers’ subcompact cars.

Adam Lee knows the drill. He’s seen it before.

When fuel prices spiked during the Great Recession, buyers flocked to his family’s auto dealerships to buy gas-sipping small cars.

“Everyone was trading in their big SUVs and trucks, and we sold every small car we could,” said Lee, chairman of Lee Auto Malls in Maine.

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