The Smart ForTwo microcar proved that some American car buyers—more than 37,000 of them, according to parent company Daimler's latest sales calculations—like it small. And now, with the EPA proposing average fuel-economy standards of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, more car companies will begin relying on pint-size transportation to make their fleets legal. That will require convincing far more than 37,000 drivers that tiny can be cool. These four new cars are designed to do just that.
The Fiesta is already Ford's best-selling model in Europe; now the charismatic subcompact is coming here. The 2011 model will have a 119-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and such options as the new PowerShift twin-clutch automatic transmission and leather seats. With a claimed 40 mpg, it's a thrifty alternative to pricier hybrids.
LENGTH: 13 ft., 4 in. EST. MPG: 40
General Motors has long been notoriously small-car averse, but the Spark, positioned as a fashion-forward runabout for the urban hip, is the company's attempt to show that it takes the small stuff seriously. GM hasn't revealed many details, but it says the Spark will hit American dealerships in time for the 2011 model year and cost $12,000.
LENGTH: 11 ft., 11 in. EST. MPG: TBA
In 2007, Fiat decided to chase the success of the Mini Cooper with a chic update of its Cinquecento, as the 500 is called in Italy. A hit in Europe because of its distinctive shape and copious accessories, the 500 arrives in the U.S. next year as a result of Fiat's investment in Chrysler. It will probably come in a hatchback, a convertible, a wagon and a sports model.
LENGTH: 11 ft., 7 in. EST. MPG: 45+
Mazda hasn't sold a subcompact in the U.S. since 1985 , but it's reversing course later this year, when American buyers get their first shot at the sporty 2011 Mazda2. Thanks in part to its fuel economy and surprisingly generous passenger head- and legroom, the Mazda2, already on sale in Europe, was named 2008 World Car of the Year by a jury of auto writers.
LENGTH: 12 ft., 11 in. EST. MPG: TBA
What do they have in common? They are all fugly green turds.
There is no recession in India. China just surpassed us in the "most cars bought" race. The price of gas is never coming down again. Get used to "fugly" cars. You'll be driving one soon.
Wrong on at least one count, the Ford is blue.
As for being fugly, I like at least half of them.
I think the Mazda looks pretty slick, but for the colour.
wow cars get smaller and smaller ....do anbody there know where to buy bubble cars ??...
The ford and the mazda are the only two worth a shit. after the crap GM pulled, it just ain't happening.
I think we'd be better off if we aggressively engineered our roads for safety for bikes and velomobiles and the typical family went from two to one car also with the help of better public transportation. We'd be healthier, we'd have less of an economic burden of having to buy and maintain so many cars, and gas would be cheaper with the smaller demand.
@geebob: Yup, that's feasible. Completely redesign America from the ground up, wonder how you might get every local municipality to agree on so many changes not to mention just getting the Senate or House to agree on something...
nice models me like, except maybe for the fiat.
great driving around san francisco or alameda.
only 35.5- 40 MPG by 2016! That sucks! my 2006 mazda gets 36.3 MPG on the highway now. When are they gonna improve the MPG rate.
<em>wonder how you might get every local municipality to agree on so many changes not to mention just getting the Senate or House to agree on something...</em>
Yeah, so do I. How do we get america to change to protect our modern way of life without having to go through the economic melt down when our attempts to reduce our energy needs for transportation fail to work in time before the next gas crisis is even worse since the rest of the world will consume more and more or new technologies run into similar shortages of resources such as we very well may run into with electric car technologies that may depend on neodymium and lithium. How do we prevent the very likely ecological melt down of continued gas consumption as well. That's a good question. Course a defeatist attitude won't help.
That said, its a good thing that we can solve so many of the world's problems in the comment section of popsci!
I wouldn't mind driving something smaller, but not on the same roads as giant semi-trucks and SUV's. I wouldn't feel safe in something so small. If the size of Semi's and other big trucks were reduced I think people like myself wouldn't have such a hard time thinking about driving a tiny car.
I own a VW New Beetle TDI. It gets 45 to 50 mpg. When it was released it was rated best in class for safety. That was over a decade ago. It has excellent head and leg room. So the future is 35 mpg, unsafe cars with no leg room? Sheesh...
Robert1234 Yea, much better to do nothing at all, huh? Get real, America is no longer competitive with the rest of the world based on idiots like you who love the status quo, regardless of the fact that its killing our nation. Just keep on voting in the same corrupt idiots who got us where we are and you'll guarantee your grandchildren will be riding old bicycles because our economy will be in tatters.
Ford Fiesta. The color green is beautiful and I already know the car runs well and is zappy for city living. Although it is efficient I would still like to see it as a hybrid option.
I think the Ford Fiesta looks good and with this MPG info certainly will make it even more attractive. does anyone know if this new Fiesta can "fit" more things in it than the "FIT"? it's really amazing how much well the FIT can fit things inside...
The spark has a little bit of spunk. That slimy green is just perfect. I do like the sporty but smooth look. The interior ( if you view the official website) is also quite trendy almost retro. It has hints of the green throughout and the seating looks comfortable for a car in this price range. General Motors have also demonstrated their pride in this unusually small car for GM by stating that this car is 100 percent Chevrolet from the ground up.
Its such a biggest release by Ford. Ford Fiesta is a hatchback with a 1500 cc engine and low fuel consumption. The design of Ford Fiesta called the Kinetic Design has best aerodynamic to minimize noise, body vibration, and increase fuel efficiency.