More than a third of those surveyed said fuel economy will be their most important consideration when shopping for a new car.
Quality was a distant second at 17 percent, followed by safety, value and performance.
"We can see car owners are open to different ways of saving at the pump, from downsizing to getting an alternative-fuel vehicle," said Rik Paul of Consumer Reports.
Most drivers expect their next vehicle to get better mileage than the one they are currently driving. In fact, nearly three quarters say they'll consider opting for an alternative vehicle such as a hybrid or an electric car.
While high gas prices are a key motivation for opting for a more fuel-efficient vehicle, 62 percent of those surveyed also cite the desire to be more environmentally-friendly.
And more than half say they are concerned about America's dependence on foreign oil.