**A MilesPerHr Exclusive**

All auto shows have themes.
Regardless of subtlety, there’s a theme to each one.

Recently, the theme has changed based on the price of gas.
When gas was nearing $3 a gallon 5 years ago, the automakers began cranking out hybrids.
Then when the price of oil dropped 3 years ago, the giant SUV’s returned to the show floor.
This year, the NYIAS showed us something new.

small, fuel efficient vehicles are coming to the US in a big way

Think of all the auto makers who brought out either a sub-compact, smaller engine option, or hybrid:

-Ford has the 2012 Focus with a fuel-sipping 4-banger and the 2.0 Liter eco-boost engine in the 2013 Taurus.

-Chevy has the 2011 Cruze Eco and the only-optioned 2.5 Liter 4-cylendar engine for the 2013 Malibu.

-Honda gave the 2012 Civic 40-MPG credentials.

-Mercedes previewed the A-class concept with a 2.0 liter power plant.

-Scion gave us the close-to-production FR-S with a flat-four.

-Kia has its Rio5 sedan and hatch (which actually make small cars look stylish).

…and this is no all-encompassing list.

The point is that car makers agree: We can no longer live in Excess

For years, we drove big SUVs and sedans with lazy, gas-chugging V8s.
Truth is, I LOVED it! Power and Space are luxuries and I’m pretty attached to suburban truck living.

So let’s weigh the pros and cons of this new small-car, less-displacement theme.

-fuel economy
-environmental friendliness
-new standard features

-build quality
-some reliability concerns

Forgive me if I’ve left out some positives and negatives, I’m only scratching the surface.

Thinking about these details, do the pros really outweigh the cons?

-As an enthusiast, I would argue for my V8, but I can definitely acknowledge how much weight savings and turbo charged engines means to a driver.
-Pragmatically, I love the new standard tech. and convenience features and the fuel economy, but I feel some American car culture is lost with the new trend.

This being said, I’m interested in other POV’s. So please share and let’s tell the automakers if they have
the right idea after all.