1994 was the best year in car selling history, and for good reason. Every year, automakers top their previous efforts with cars that are safer, sleeker, more powerful, roomier and more economical than the year before.
A theme you’ll hear repeatedly this year is space efficiency - new models ranging from Chrysler’s new Cirrus to the new Mazda Protege squeeze surprising amounts of interior room out of modestly-sized cars.
That means you can carry more passengers in greater comfort using less fuel.
This year will see an increased use of airbags and anti-lock braking systems in even the entry-level models. Minivans, sport-utilities and trucks - categories which have lagged behind cars in safety - are rapidly catching up.
One maker, Volvo, introduces the first side-impact airbags this year.
But don’t think for one minute that all this talk of efficiency and safety means cars have become boring - to the contrary, there are more exciting models offered today than ever.
Check out the entry level Nissans, or the Dodge Neon Coupe, for budget-conscious fun. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are the GM twins, Chevy’s Camaro Z28 and Pontiac’s Firebird TransAm, or BMW’s radical M3, Toyota’s Twin-turbo Supra, Cadillac’s Seville Touring Sedan (STS).
Yes, there’s still plenty of fun to be had and much of it without the penalty of wastefulness.