In gas usage, that is.

The trend I mentioned awhile back has gotten some attention in the press now. Seattle Times

The thing I found most amusing about it is this line.

The Dodge Neon, which Chrysler stopped making two weeks ago, saw a 69 percent increase.

Dodge dropped the Neon in favor of the Calibur, which has an engine roughly the same size but newer and cheaper design, optional AWD, and is a station wagon styled like a gaudy SUV. At least they probably didn’t drop the gas milage too much in the transition.

They primarily cited low sales of Neons since they stopped advertising it (Remember the old “Hi.” commercials?) Also cited was the undeserved reputation of having too many problems and defects. The primary defect in early Neons was fixed in 99 and there haven’t been a serious defect since. The AWD would be really nice though on a Neon. Too bad they aren’t putting out a Car version of the Calibur rather than the ugly station wagon/hatchback/suv thingie it is now.

If Dodge doesn’t come to its senses and give us another nice little car, hopefully with awd, I suspect my next car in 5 years will be a Subaru.

(here’s a link with some pics of the Calibur.)