With no end in sight to rising fuel prices, Americans more than ever are switching from fuel-heavy SUVs and sporty V8s to economical four-cylinder sedans and compacts. Fuel economy has quickly become the top priority for new car buyers and according to a new survey nearly eight in ten Americans (79%) would choose a car that was ‘greener’ rather than one that was more ’beautiful.’

The survey, which was run by university engineering group Challenge X and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and GM, was based on the results of thousands of respondents who planned to buy or lease a car within the next two years.

The survey also revealed more than one in three Americans (36%) who are on the fence about buying a hybrid vehicle say the tipping point to seriously consider the purchase would be if fuel prices rose to $4 a gallon. Nearly three in four car buyers (73%) said fuel prices would influence their decision to buy a hybrid vehicle as their next purchase.

Some other odd statistics include nine in ten women (88%) saying they would rather chat up someone with the latest fuel-efficient car versus the latest sports car, and 80% of Americans saying they would find someone with the latest model fuel-efficient car more interesting to than someone with a new sports model. If only Toyota hurried up and released a hybrid sports car – then you could win everyone over.