Go back an additional 20 years to the 1960s and you will see that cars then were for the most part much larger (although not necessarily heavier) than modern cars. I can remember when I was a kid and some of the neighbors had to extend their gargages to fit their new cars (and these were Fords, Chevrolets and Dodges). A modern large car, even a large sedan like an S Class Mercedes and a 7 Series would easily fit in one of those garages. Then a trend started where large cars began to get smaller.
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus
My thoughts exactly. In the last 20 years that I've been driving, cars have grown massively in size and power. But the roads haven't grown any bigger. Parking lots haven't grown any bigger. Most garages haven't grown any bigger unless you've bought a new house. And the speed limits haven't increased.
Since I live in a city, the new 3-series and Audi A4 can't be on my shopping list. They're just too big. The VW GTI, Audi A3, Subaru WRX, and BMW X1 fit my life much better. I owned a 1998 Audi A4 Quattro and a 2006 BMW 330Cic (E46 generation), and the new A4 and 3-series are utterly massive in comparison.
Now we seem to be on a cycle where small cars are getting bigger. The Honda Accords and BMW 3 Series of today compared to the 1980 would be a good example. Virtually no manufacture is making a 3 door hatchback today and compact hatchbacks were one of the most popular configurations 25 years ago.
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