Tuesday, September 7, 2010
What's the small vehicle market lacking?
Oh what a few years has made. We've got more small vehicle options now than we have since the 1980s. And, undoubtedly, they're the best small vehicles, too. We've got three-door hatchbacks, four-door sedans, and five-door hatches. We've got front drivers (from the majority of manufacturers), all-wheel drives (Suzuki SX4, Nissan Juke, MINI Countryman), and if you count the Mazda Miata, rear drivers, too. But is there something lacking in the small market? Something that perhaps should be there but isn't (or isn't yet)?
If I had to say there was a missing link, it'd be the small SUV. I'm not talking about a RAV4, CR-V, Escape, or Grand Vitara—none of those are that small anymore. I'm talking small like an old-school Suzuki Samurai or perhaps a Daihatsu Rocky, Geo Tracker, etc. Something bigger than a kei car, but smaller than the aforementioned currently available vehicles.
I know there's a bunch of folks who'd love to see Suzuki import its Jimny. (Whether it could meet federal crash standards, I don't know). Maybe there's a niche to be filled here?
So what small vehicles do you think the market is lacking? What voids would you like to see filled in subcompact landscape?