Once upon a time, everyone was declaring that they would never give up their SUV. No matter how much gas cost them, they loved the space. That little pledge seems to have disappeared. Even in rural areas, the SUV seems to be on the decline. Small cars are back!
Every car manufacturer is introducing small, and supposedly space efficient cars. The features in these little vehicles are becoming more luxurious, too. Since the small car can’t carry a sticker price like a huge SUV, there have to be some “up sales” that will make it a better deal for the car dealer.
There’s nothing wrong with a small luxury car. In fact, it’s smart and financially responsible. Why not have leather seats and a great sound system? It’s simply a perception shift. Where big used to be the signal of affluence, now small and loaded with high end features is the way to impress.
Of course, fuel efficiency is the real reason the small car is back. It’s been said that a well designed combustion engine can get the same gas mileage as a hybrid. That seems to be true. Gas in America is still cheap compared to other countries, so the urgency to create alternative fuels seems to be a little slower in the U.S. In fact, Ford is creating some of the most fuel efficient cars out there. Certainly Honda and Toyota are making a splash with hybrids, but the U.S. auto giant seems to be keeping pace with the times.
SUVs may be on the decline, but truck sales seem to be holding. The truck is the ultimate utility vehicle, and it can never go away. It serves too many practical purposes. It could be that the new big family car of choice will be that double cab pick-up that can hold five people, pull a camper and be loaded with gear.
Lifestyle will dictate the new family car.