Are these small cars the same as the small penalty boxes that small cars were in the 1980′s and 1990′s? Definitely not. Detroit’s automakers have historically put very little effort into their small cars, since profits were small and the car buyer simply didn’t want them. Today Ford and GM have pulled a 180 with models like the Ford Fiesta and Chevy Cruze. GM and Ford now have small cars that are at the top of their respective classes in terms of fuel-efficiency, quality and styling. Car buyers have taken notice. The Chevy Cruze managed to hold onto the top-selling car spot in the U.S. this summer.