Our Point of View: Big Reasons for Small Cars

April 10, 2008

by Toyota Open Road Blog

If you’ve been following along with the business, you’ve seen that a growing number of drivers are embracing smaller cars.

As you know, Toyota is a full-line manufacturer, with a set of wheels for pretty much every driver, no matter his/her needs or tastes.

But as you also know, we made our reputation as a purveyor of small, economical cars, and we have kept the faith. So as car buyers trend toward sub- compacts, small crossovers and midsize cars with four-cylinder engines, they’ll find that we’ve probably got what they’re looking for.

One primary motivation to pilot a small car hasn’t changed, from my college days until today. It’s gas mileage. Whether gas cost 35 cents a gallon, as it did when I was in college, or climbing toward (and perhaps past) $4 per gallon, as it now is doing, a tank that holds just 10 or-so gallons of this precious elixir, and an engine that carefully sips it like the valuable volatile it is, gets my attention.

But there’s more to it than just a reluctance to spend money on fuel. Small cars often seem more nimble, more responsive, more fun to drive. A Matrix or a Corolla S, for instance, just seems lighter on its feet than some larger cars do.

Today’s small cars offer levels of comfort and convenience not even dreamed about in the minimalist days of, for instance, the first Corolla. You used to have to sacrifice comfort and convenience when you drove small. Now, you don’t.

Are there downsides to all this? A few, maybe. When you drive a small car, the number of people you can take with you is limited. The amount of luggage and gear you can haul also is limited.

These are two reasons why small cars are not for everyone, and it’s why we’re a full-line manufacturer that offers vehicles ranging from the micro Yaris all the way up to the macro Sequoia, which marries surprising efficiency with the ability to haul up to eight passengers.

It is, after all, part of the American way to drive what you want. And now it seems that a growing number of folks want small. Small wonder, when you think about it, and not at all a big surprise.

So here’s my question: Are you big on small? If so, please tell us about it – especially if you switched from big to small. And please don’t forget to tell us why.

Originally published on the Toyota Open Road Blog on April 10, 2008.


Displaying comments 1 - 5 of 6:

Tom Simpson said...
I am interested in supplying my new 2009' Toyota Venza with a rear view camera. The Venza I purchased did not come equipted with one. I would like to have the camera work just like the one that comes with the model (not one of those license plate aftermarket types). Does Toyota plan on offering this as an add-on through their dealerships service department?
11/13/09 at 12:00 AM

Zoe said...
Make it a hybrid and I agree. This type of vehicle is extremely useful and has the possibility of good mileage. Make it long enough so I can sleep in the back when camping.
7/27/09 at 12:00 AM

Bill Mack said...
I'd very much like to see a station wagon--longer than the crossovers (like Subaru Outback), and much more gas-efficient than SUVs (I have a 13 yr old Suburban at present). The lower height of a station wagon would be good to make it easier to loan boast on top. If it were well-equipped like a Camry without being positioned as an expensive luxury car, that would be a decider, in my book.
6/29/09 at 12:00 AM

EJ Garner, Toyota Newsroom said...
Hi Vito, Thank you for your comment and question. We have nothing to announce at this time or comment on future products. (toyota_newsroom@toyota.com)
6/12/09 at 12:00 AM

Vito Formica said...
The Venza appears to be a forward looking vehicle and yet does not offer laser cruise control. You offer it on two of your vehicles. Why not the Venza? It's unfortunate......for me it's a dealbreaker.
6/9/09 at 12:00 AM

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