Small Cars Ain’t What They Used To Be

October 17, 2012 10:16 AM

Small Cars Ain’t What They Used To Be
" Small cars have been selling like hotcakes — tiny, 110-cubic-foot-sized hotcakes. Today, they represent 19.3% of America’s new-car purchases, and they’re on track to hit 20.5%, a market share that small carshaven’t enjoyed in nearly 20 years.Part of the allure of today’s small cars is the fact that they don’t feel like the small cars we used to know. In fact, Doctor Who fans might call them TARDIS-like: they’re bigger on the inside than the outside.

The discrepancy is particularly noticeable for those who lived through the econobox decades of the 1970s and 1980s. Spurred in part by troubles in the Middle East and declining North American oil production, those tiny vehicles were champs at the pump, but didn’t offer much in the way of comfort, much less safety features.

The EPA’s classification system for automobile sizes hasn’t changed since then, but the automobiles themselves sure have. To demonstrate, we dug up this handy infographic from Automotive , which looks at the way that popular models like the Honda Civic and the Volkswagen Golf have expanded over the years "

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