I’m probably going to be accused at firing upon an easy target with a title like that. But let’s face it – easy targets are called ‘easy targets’ for a reason. The American obsession with all things big is at pretty much at odds with most other automotive markets around the world.
Rising fuel prices are levelling the field somewhat, and it’s good to see a dinky-di publication like Edmunds starting to push the virtues of smaller cars. This excites me a little as once again, as with several other emerging trends, I really believe that Saab are well positioned to capitalise on the US growth in small and medium size vehicles.
Now there’s a new oil crisis, caused by hurricanes and high prices. Once again, Americans are downsizing. Once again, Japanese and European makers are benefiting (will the domestic automakers ever learn?).
But instead of despairing, Americans should celebrate! Smaller is better. Starbucks teaches us why. It reversed the longtime American trend of quantity over quality. When it was easy to buy a Big Gulp-sized cup of coffee for a quarter, why spend a few dollars on a smaller cup of Arabica bean Costa Rican? “Because our coffee is better,” argued Starbucks. It was a sociological shift for Americans.
Saab aren’t mentioned in the article, but it does provide a good insight into the growing fuel-consciousness over in the US and the increasing acceptance of medium size vehicles over there. It also questions the age old thought that’s been handed down from generation to generation – that bigger is always better.
….that old anachronistic adage — “Bigger and better,” as though the two words were synonymous — still pervades the American auto mentality.
It makes no sense. Why buy a mushy-sprung roly-poly big sedan or SUV when — frequently for less money and certainly for lower gas bills — you can buy a compact sedan or small sportster that handles better, goes faster, is lots more fun to drive, is mechanically more sophisticated, is frequently more comfortable and, in these uncertain economic times, will almost certainly hold its value better?
OK, so maybe Saabs aren’t going to win votes in the holding value department (mainly a perception issue if you ask me). But on every other score you care to mention (handling, power, fun to drive, comfort and safety), I’d take a Saab over the big competition 8 days a week.