Mon | May 29, 2017

Smaller means savings

Published:Sunday | August 16, 2015 | 8:00 AMKawain Fearon
The Suzuki Celerio, one of the small cars on the Jamaican market.

I can't say I have always been a fan of the small-car concept. I don't really think they fit me. Maybe it is my inflated concept that a car should sit on the road with nice-sized tyres, or the fact that I like to offer a ride to my friends and family - the more the merrier, Coaster bus style.

However, that idea is quickly taking a beating every time I go to the pumps, hear our goodly finance minister on the news or enter a parking lot in our busy commercial districts.

In fact, so entertained am I now with the idea of a small car that there is some level of envy, which translates in my boorish behaviour towards small car owners. To me, they are cheats. They get better gas consumption, are able to cheat their way into tight parking spaces and the cost of vehicle maintenance is less, when compared to us sedan, crossover and SUV drivers. Unfounded, I know, but it's the envy speaking.

There are many times I have to play parking wars with fellow motorists. I creep, waiting to see an empty spot. The second I think I have identified one it's acceleration time. I drive up only to find that a small car is already snuggly in.

What outrage! Time to park somewhere else and walk back.

The small-car concept has really caught on, along with the many memes about smaller being better and small girls rock. The same seems to be true for our other small girls, Betsy and Shelly. In this economy, the aim is to be prudent with our expenditure and investments. So whether it's a Tata Nano, Honda Fit, Daihatsu Mira or whatever small car you have, the getting there may be a couple minutes slower, but look at the bright side - you can at least have an extra treat at some point before your next gas stop.

On to serious matters, however. There seems to be a 'go small for big rewards' initiative among car manufacturers these days. Going small effectively will translate to better fuel economy, savings for consumers, while getting a nod from 'go-green' campaigners. A win-win for all, actually. However, with the ever- improving technology for engines to burn fuel more efficiently, how much longer will small cars have that advantage?

Inflated ego aside and savings up front, smaller is better - even if just for now.

Tell me what savings you get from driving a small car at kawain.fearon@gleanerjm.com.