Big on content, small in stature
It's no small secret that small cars are on the rise. Compact cars are the ones currently capturing solid gains, more so than the subcompacts, but there is a clear and defined strategy here.
As fuel costs continue to increase, consumers will migrate further and further down the food chain. As this is inevitable, car manufacturers are making sure to be noticed and present in the subcompact segment. Of the few car builders that are not players here yet, most have plans to bring in a real small car sooner rather than later.
As well, they represent any carmakers' saving grace when it comes to lowering the fuel economy average of their product line-up. But most importantly, they represent the bridge between us and hybrids and EVs. The latter are not viable at the moment, nor will they be for some time to come.
Subcompact and compact cars are affordable, better built than ever and a good deal more rewarding than hybrids in most respects.
In our 2011 subcompact compact test showdown, the Ford Fiesta ranked first. We therefore set out to find out how good some of the latest players in the segment are compared to the Fiesta.
Note that all of the cars in this test scored high safety marks, as they are all equipped with stability and traction control as well as at least six airbags. The prices we mention are the MSRPs and exclude all others fees associated with the purchase of a new car.
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