In a market long driven by bigger is better, a surprising number of American motorists have begun to adopt a different mantra: Small is beautiful.
Though big cars and trucks still dominate the sales charts, small and economy cars comprise the fastest-growing segment of the market.
The reasons are many, industry analysts say. Among them, the weak economy has led many buyers to downsize purchases. And even though fuel prices have fallen since their mid-2008 peak, American motorists generally assume they will climb again.
There’s yet another reason for the shift, analyst Dan Gorrell suggests. “There are a lot more 8good small cars to choose from, and they’re no longer the stripped-down econoboxes most of us, especially baby boomers, grew up with,” he says.