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Subject:  What a $3,000 car looks, feels and drives like Date:  10/2/2012  10:49 PM
Author:  lindytoes Number:  45726 of 128100

Don't look at the picture of the car on this webpage and think it is about cash for clunkers. I heard this on marketplace today and thought Art would especially like to hear it.

audio and article
What a $3,000 car looks, feels and drives like
But to get a car’s price tag down to $3,000 or even $5,000, auto designers have to toss out features most American drivers take for granted. Bernard Swiecki, senior project manager for Sustainability and Economic Development Strategies at the Center for Automotive Research, says start with airbags, then move on to anti-lock brakes, electronics, stability control and strong emissions control and other environmentally-friendly features.

Two-cylinder engines, manual transmission, cheap interior fabrics and trim are also ways to get a car’s sticker price below $10,000.

Gary Vasilash, editor-in-chief of Automotive Design and Production, says automakers are testing smaller, no-frills cars for the American market (like the Toyota Scion IQ) but it’s a luxury vehicle compared to something like the no-frills Tata Nano in India.

Still, he says the Scion IQ feels tiny, especially the backseat. “I guess if you were driving with the Keebler elves you could put three of them in the back,” he jokes.
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