Vincent DiBisceglie in Mechanical and Welding Automotive Technology (Technician) Student • Osbourn Park High School Jan 8, 2017 · 2 min read · ~100

Cars Are Getting Very Big

Let's take a look back into the 1970's. Cars were machines of elegance. I could even vouch that trucks back then looked good as well. However, when the automotive industry crashed in the latter parts of the decade, thanks to the OPEC oil crisis and the Iranian Revolution, cars were found to consume a lot of gas but get little to the mile. In order to combat this, cars got smaller. Really smaller. 

Cars Are Getting Very Big

Introduced to the world in the late 1970's was the Honda Civic; the Toyota Camary being brought to life only a couple of years prior. Datsun, although it began production in the 1930's, merged into the parent company Nissan by 1985. The flooding of these small Japanese cars into the market caused them to be cheap, easy to fix, and to be fuel-efficient. Almost from the start they took off and to this day Honda has sold 80 million cars in the United States in just 40 years. As time went on into the 1990's, a knowledge somewhat forgotten was reintroduced into the minds of the engineers: if you round the car, it is made way more aerodynamic and can save on fuel. Everyone used this idea back then. Cheverolet fixed the underpowered C4 Corvette and rounded it out while still including flip-up headlights for one-last decade, the Camaro became less boxy and so did the Pontiac, both part of the same body-type and were rounded by the time 2000 rolled by. Even trucks became rounder, thought this did not have a major effect on gas mileage because trucks were never exactly aerodynamic. The Ford Mustang was looking more like a sports car than a muscle car. Cars also became lower, which decreased drag from the rear bumper of the car and the roof of the vehicle as well. However, by 2002-2004, the market for these small little cars had saturated, thanks in-part by the complete takeoff of the SUV market, which collapsed less than a decade later and is why SUVs don't fetch a lot of cash on the market.

In 2002, the Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird ended production after 50 years. In 2004, Oldsmobile shutdown production, and the 5th generation Ford Mustang had ended production. The next year, cars got bigger. Ford introduced a completely redesigned Mustang in 2005, based on the classic look from the 1960's, and it sold like hot cakes. Failing companies like Chrysler saw the opportunity to seize the day, and they brought back cars like the Dodge Charger, which hadn't seen production since the 1980's, and the Dodge Challenger, which wasn't produced since the 1970's, though this did not stop them from almost going broke without the help of the US government in 2010. The Camaro was revived in 2009, and once again it was completely redesigned, though it was based on the Camaro design from the later 1960's and very early 1970's. These cars get a surprisingly decent gas mileage of around 19/21 city and 30/31 highway (both Dodges get less but it's not a large difference), though they are still easily beaten by the Honda Civic with it's 2017 model getting 35 MPG highway. Pontiac was shut down in 2010, though the cars by then look almost exactly like Chevys with incredibly similar grilles and they integrated after General Motors closed the Pontiac brand. Speaking of the company, even Honda cars got bigger. The Civic was enlarged and made taller, the CR-V was made more curvier than it already was, even though it was basically a Honda Civic with a tall hatchback and a sporty front bumper to begin with, as well as an upgraded engine, and the Honda Pilot grew drastically from being a tad bit bigger than the CR-V to becoming nearly the same size as Honda's truck, the Honda Ridgeline. The Honda Civic's changes have dominantly been for the better, however. Honda took a car that had become the butt of all jokes concerning a cheap Japanese import and turned it into an incredibly sporty piece of machinery, while Chevy can barely squeeze out 12 MPG with the SS ahile continuously making too many knock-off hatches. The rims of a Honda are something out of the future. The new hatchback, which is being produced and imported from Great Britain, is another example of the hardcore effort being put into place by Honda in an attempt to make the brand shine even more than it already did, and if the reviews and sales haven't said it yet, it has without a doubt payed off for the company.

Brian McKenzie Jan 9, 2017 · #1

I believe it is invariably tied to the expanding waist-lines and ever growing obesity in the US that is driving the Supersize auto trend. You can't even buy a 'mini-truck' in America any more. In 1964, the Mustang had the foot print of a Falcon and was $2,000 - a dollar a pound. It will never see that size nor price again.