Your Next Car: Think Smaller

A generation ago, a classic advertisement for the VW Beetle had a simple headline: Think Small. A good idea then, and considering current economic conditions, an even better one today.

A generation ago, a classic advertisement for the VW Beetle had a simple headline: Think Small. Today, even if a small vehicle like the Beetle doesn’t fit your needs and life style, it may still pay to think smaller, say consumer advisers. Even ownsizing from a humongous SUV to a full-size car can save you not only on the purchase price, but also on fuel costs and insurance.

Today’s vehicles may surprise you, too. You might be able to trade in the one you’re driving for a smaller one–a supersize SUV for a midsize model, for example–without giving up much in the way of cargo room. If you’re looking to buy new, the same thing applies. A midsize model SUV won’t cost you much in terms of size compared the big ones, but it will save you big both in the dealer’s showroom and at the gas pump.

And if your family is downsizing, you may be able to get away with an smaller SUV that doesn’t carry as many passengers, which could put you in the compact SUV class, where prices are even lower and gas mileage even better.

If you’re in the market for a midsize sedan, try looking at compact models. Many midsize cars have put on weight in the past few model years. If you can fit into a smaller car, you’ll pay a lot less to own it and also to maintain it. For a look at specific swaps you can make, take a look at this article at Edmunds.com.