Imagine living in a country where a car like the Toyota Yaris is big.
That’s the direction America appears headed, as our panic-happy society demands immediate changes along with the ever-evolving landscape of our economy.
When gas prices were down, Americans hollered for bigger, more powerful cars. Before we knew it, Toyota’s Tacoma expanded from a compact pickup to the size of a Suburban. Then gas prices rose and a backlash erupted against SUVs and pickups, as though the American people are insulted that car companies ever built such massive beasts.
Toyota is again a perfect example of adapting to public outcries and introducing the cars we say we want. So the Yaris isn’t small and efficient enough for you? How about the iQ – a miniscule “4” passenger car measuring 117 inches long (the Yaris is 150 inches).
Though not yet officially slated for a U.S. release, Toyota’s iQ is set to hit the streets of Europe and Japan soon. Success there is assured, though I question whether or not the iQ would be successful in America, especially now that gas prices are stabilizing. Two months ago I paid $4.20 per gallon and just today I filled up for $3.01. Americans could very easily get used to gas that costs three bucks, and frankly I am not convinced that the iQ would sell here if gas remains at that level.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: American SUVs are not dead. What we’re seeing now is America in flip-out mode. Soon we’ll recover our wits, get used to the gas prices and resume our habit of relishing the rumble of a good ol’ American V8.
The iQ, while a nice piece of engineering and a valiant effort in fuel economy, could become a laughing stock in America. I don’t think the answer to reducing our use of foreign oil is in miniscule gas-powered cars. I’m putting my money on Americans opting for larger electric-powered cars, and forking over the costs of keeping their SUV tanks full while we wait for them.
I want to know: How much would gas prices have to fall in order for you to get back into your SUV?