NADAguides, a website that offers car prices and specifications for customers, has announced that compacts are stirring more interest in the U.S. of A than before. According to their figures, consumer interest in the compact segment increased by 96 percent between January and March 2008. This number is based on searches Americans are doing for compact cars.
Every year, Consumer Reports picks what it thinks are the best and worst cars of the past twelve months. This year, a lot of the winners (or losers, as the case may be) are retreads. The Honda Accord (best family sedan), Infiniti G35 (best upscale sedan), Mazda MX-5 Miata (most fun to drive), Toyota RAV4 (small SUV) and Toyota Sienna (best minivan) all won the same categories last year. The Accord, for that matter, has won six years in a row.
I've written in this space on previous occasions about the reality of specific fuel consumption (the amount of fuel needed to produce a given amount of power) in modern cars. While the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards have remained static for the past two decades, the power output of modern engines has skyrocketed at the same time that mpg numbers have stagnated. When car-makers whine about not being able meet proposed new standards, it simply doesn't ring true because if they can make s