ne of many “good
news” stories coming
out of the auto indus-
try this year is that choosing an
economy car no longer means
settling for bland, boring and
powerless. Many carmakers are
offering affordable vehicles that
are fun, dependable and miserly
at the pump.
Sub-$20,000 cars come in
all shapes and sizes: two and
four-door sedans and hatch-
backs, wagons, crossover utility
vehicles and even a few sporty
coupes. A few things they have
in common include a small size,
frugality and fewer creature
comforts than those offered by
full-size and luxury models.
These cars may be thrifty, but
they don’t skimp on the best
new technologies, from navi-
gation systems to world-class
audio systems to push-button
Most importantly, going small
doesn’t mean giving up safety.
Today’s subcompacts offer
comprehensive air-bag systems,
antilock brakes and stability
control — many are adding fea-
tures such as blind-spot alerts
and rear-view cameras.
Another highlight you might
not expect from an economy car
is styling. New offerings such as
the Dodge Dart, Chevy Spark
and Ford C-Max are as appeal-
ing to look at as they are fun
and frugal to drive.
Seattle Auto Show Official Guide
Today’s economy cars are fun, frugal, affordable
Above left: Chevrolet Spark. Above right: Fiat 500 Turbo. Below: Dodge Dart.
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