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Small car wars redux

Small car wars redux

I wrote earlier about the introduction of the Nissan Versa and the Toyota Yaris as an indication of a serious fight for the subcompact segment. At Detroit, I saw more fuel for the fire in the shape of the Honda Fit. Carmakers have obviously seen a need for renewed focus on this area, whether it's due to higher gas prices, bad economic times, or possibly a large late-teens/early-20s population segment. These are all well-made cars that get good mileage and cost not much more than $10,000, which addresses all of the above issues. The best new American car-offering competition is the Dodge Caliber, which comes in with more horsepower and a slightly higher price, although it's still less than $15,000. Of existing cars, the Ford Focus also competes well in the segment, but I would like to see some of the options and variations on the models that are offered in Europe and Japan show up in the United States.