According to data compiled by Edmunds, SUVs have grown on average ten inches in length and gained 474 pounds over the past decade, a trend that's reflected in almost all other segments. The Honda Accord and Civic models are a prime example of the practice that's occurring right across the industry. For example, the current '07 Civic sedan (pictured) has nearly the same legroom as a 1990 Accord and they're only around 100 pounds apart.
The major problem lies in fact that more weight requires more horsepower, which usually requires higher fuel consumption, a vicious cycle that automakers are now being forced to change.
There are still some carmakers using innovative packaging and better technology to make new models lighter. Mazda lopped off a massive 100kg from its already super-small Mazda2 model, and the new Audi TT is lighter than the outgoing car thanks to an aluminum spaceframe construction.