Ever since the Pinto went pyrotechnic some twenty plus years ago, sales of little cars have been in a big decline.
They’re all right for grad students and tree huggers and the budget conscious, but for the majority of this country’s drivers, the wee ones just won’t do. Size matters. So do speed, performance, and flash. Who cares if you risk getting stuck in the drive-thru en route to those Biggie fries? But there’s more to little cars than just fuel efficiency, though that’s no small thing in a land of rising gas prices. And, increasingly, there’s style, hipness, and fun.
And thanks to new technologies: hybrid engines, fuel cells, electric motors, to name a few, there are new reasons to think small. How about a tax credit for downsizing your car? Or the promise half-priced parking? The Connection is looking under the hood of the latest little cars.
9Hosted by Jacki Lyden)
Csaba Csere, editor in chief of Car & Driver magazine
Tom Corbin, Vice President, Corbin Motors
Bernard Robertson, Senior Vice President for Research, Technology & Engineering at Daimler Chrysler
and Chris Tyrell, owner of Tyrell Automotive, a Smart car dealership, in Buckingham, England.