Best Small Cars for Fall

Small cars are getting big billing as gas prices remain high. Here are the best offerings from domestic and foreign manufacturers alike

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For auto manufacturers foreign and domestic, big is out this fall and small is in—big time. The entry-level, small car market is still as petite as the vehicles that populate it, making up a mere 0.8% of the 17 million cars sold in the U.S. last year. But analysts see a boom coming, and major brands have been introducing rafts of smaller-than-small vehicles new to American consumers.

Indeed, J.D. Power & Associates predicts the segment will nearly double, to 1.5% in the next four years. That would make it one of the fastest-growing sectors in the industry. The model horizon is brimming with new entries from nearly every notable brand. Japanese automakers have prepared a trifecta of tiny cars, all new this year. (Like BusinessWeek.com, J.D. Power is a division of McGraw Hill (MHP).)

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