An econobox is a slang term for any of a series of small, boxy, fuel-efficient car with few luxuries and a low sticker price. The term may have been coined by Car and Driver magazine as an alternative to their usual term for such an econobox: "shitbox".
Possibly the first econobox was the Austin Mini, first built in England in 1959. The best known American econoboxes were the Chevrolet Chevette and the Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon. Japanese econoboxes include the Honda Civic (in particular the first and second generations) and the Datsun B-210. The Fiat 127 and its Yugoslavian counterpart the Yugo are also famous econoboxes.
Automakers created new lines of entry-level economy vehicles, such as the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa, whose base models are no-frills vehicles. However, due to engineering advances, they have an aerodynamic shape to reduce drag and improve on fuel efficient, while also providing substantial interior volume, despite the exterior dimensions. Unlike original econoboxes, current entry-level vehicles now incorporate more safety features, while amenities such as power windows and air conditioning are available as options or on more expensive trims. Indeed, while offering base models allow the manufacturer to claim a low MSRP for advertising purposes, the most common models produced will actually be the the mid-level trims that contain some of these luxuries.
Subcompacts shed their econobox image, lure buyers; Sales this year expected to easily surpass totalof 175,387 sold in 2005
Aug 17, 2006; DETROIT -- A few years ago the subcompact car in America was a tiny, cheap Econobox with a noisy engine and no frills that...
The folks who spawned the econobox now eyeball the Luxotrux, a new vehicle variant gathering momentum around the industry.
Feb 01, 1999; It's been a long journey from the sedan to the station wagon and pickup truck, from the wagon to the conversion van and then the...