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US car buyers choose size over hybrid as fuel prices fall

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Better fuel efficiency in new models such as the Ford Escape (pictured) allows people to go for size and feel less guilty about it.

Detroit

IT is the automotive equivalent of Pavlov's bell: when petrol is expensive, US car owners try to downsize, but once pump prices ring down, they salivate over big pickup trucks and SUVs.

With petrol prices dipping below US$3 a gallon last month for the first time since