In case you missed it, today is Maximum Mini Cooper Clubman Day here on Los Jalops. A Cooper Clubman is an embiggened Mini with 5 doors instead of 3. And we have no problem with that. Our problem lies in the fact that the new Mini is bigger than the last Mini and that all BMW-based Minis are orders of magnitude larger than the design Issigonis laid down in 1957. We even get all the reasons why (more mandated safety stuff, Americans equate larger with safer, Americans are fatter than ever, etc.). We just don't like it. You know what we like, though? Colin Chapman. We like him a lot.
Remember when the Civic was the smallest car in Honda's lineup? How about VW's Polo? The same goes for the Toyota Corolla, the Nissan Sentra, and the BMW 3-Series. Now they've become so big and bloated over the years that their companies have had to introduce smaller models underneath to supplant the void they've left behind. Park these next to their ancestors and they look like they're gonna stomp all over them like Bigfoot. And people wonder why the new 1-Series is more like the original M3 than the current M3? Hell, I saw a Yaris the other day and it absolutely towered over a mid-90s Chrysler LHS. And it's only been 10 years!
I doubt human evolution has sped up so rapidly that our modern homo sapiens have gained such dizzying heights over those primitive species 30 years ago. Our cars don't need to be bigger, but the manufacturers couldn't give a rat's ass about it.
Of course, I can get away with saying this, seeing as I'm only 5'5". But still, if Jeremy Clarkson can fit in a Peel, then I'm sure we can sacrifice a few inches of headroom for efficiency, nimbleness, etc.