Economy cars have a mixed reputation. In the past, they were widely stigmatized as small, boring, and slow vehicles. That perception still persists somewhat, but fluctuating gas prices, environmental worries, and—most importantly—improvements to economy cars have come together to significantly increase the appeal of these vehicles.

Today, economy cars are a practical choice for many drivers, offering excellent fuel efficiency and overall affordability. Additionally, they now feature many tech options that were only available in top-tier models just a few years ago. They are also often the last refuge for those who prefer manuals to automatic transmissions, and e-brake turns to traction control. 

At their best, economy cars attract a diverse pool of car shoppers with a broad range of interests and priorities. High-quality photos of economy cars can play an important role in marketing these vehicles to their many potential buyers. 

The Evolution of Tech in Economy Cars

In 2014, a sweeping new directive came to all automobiles in the US. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated that as of May 1, 2018, all cars, including economy cars, had to be equipped with wide-angle backup cameras. The result, vehicles in every class began now include console screens that display the video from the backup camera. With this leap in technology, features like smartphone connectivity and apps like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto followed. While these were often already available in premium models and top trim levels, they are now widespread within the economy class.

This means that economy cars now offer much of the value to be found in upper-tier models for a significantly lower price point. Detailed photos of economy car interiors can make these changes clear to car buyers as they explore today’s more complex, practical, and exciting options. 

Increasing Sustainability, Performance, and Practicality

Economy cars are often assumed to be small and slow. In truth, they do tend to be small in size with smaller, less powerful engines. But, in return, they offer outstanding fuel efficiency and the increased ability to absorb fuel price fluctuations. Decreased fuel consumption also has significant environmental benefits, making economy cars well-suited for those who are interested in protecting the environment without making the switch to an electric vehicle. And these benefits can be significant—in 2020, the Toyota Corolla was declared the green car of the year by Green Car Journal, showing just how powerful its fuel efficiency can be.

But economy cars are more than just gas savers. Today, they offer far more in the way of performance than the distinctly pokey economy cars of yesteryear. The quality of the metals used in engines has improved, machining improvements have allowed closer tolerances, and as a result, the pressures and horsepower that can be coaxed from those small and efficient engines have risen. In other words, small, environmentally-friendly cars can still offer reasonable performance. 

As power-to-weight ratios have improved, these cars have also been able to offer more interior space. Indeed, many modern economy cars are surprisingly roomy, with plentiful space for both passengers and cargo. Car interior photos of economy cars can make this evident and reassure car shoppers of practicality. Even those who have avoided economy cars in the past can take a second look and update their understanding of what this class has to offer. 

The Need for Photos of Economy Cars

Economy cars are no longer seen as what you drive until you can afford something better. With the improvements in entertainment options, power, and space, these versatile vehicles are often the first choice rather than a last resort. However, economy cars are still largely overshadowed by higher-end vehicles when it comes to automotive publications or even dealership websites. As a result, it can be more difficult to find the images that are so helpful in comparing vehicles and increasing interest amongst car shoppers. 

With more advanced options appearing all the time, car shoppers have more to choose from than ever before. By providing full picture galleries, car dealers and reviewers can offer car shoppers a more comprehensive understanding of what today’s economy cars have to offer and help them choose a vehicle that makes sense for them.