Big, Small Cars Adorn LA Auto Show

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

The Los Angeles auto show is open to the public beginning Friday. It's the first of the U.S. car shows, and it helps set the pace for the new year in the auto industry. Some of the hottest cars there are big luxury vehicles, and the tiny one are terrific too.


NPR's Nina Gregory was also looking around the L.A. Auto Show searching for new extremes. She wanted to see some of the biggest offerings automakers had on display this year and also the littlest.

NINA GREGORY, BYLINE: The newest entry to the teeny tiny market is the Chevrolet Spark, a 144-inch four-door.

BRANDY SCHAFFELS: You might like the sound...


SCHAFFELS: ...of the door slamming because a lot of people associate these small cars with being like little tin cans. But honestly, for a car this size...


SCHAFFELS:'s got a really solid door, so you know you can feel safe in it, too.

GREGORY: That's editor Brandy Schaffels, from the auto information site, She says of the sub-compacts, this one feels big - unlike some of its competitors.

SCHAFFELS: This car actually has a lot of functional space inside. The rear seat can accommodate two full-size people. And if you've got tall people in the front seat, there's still room for the people behind them.

GREGORY: For the back seat passenger who wants a lot more room, it may be worth wandering across the convention center to Bentley.


GREGORY: The Bentley is probably one of the biggest passenger cars that you can buy. Like the Chevy Spark, the Bentley Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept car seats four. But the Mulsanne comes in at 220-inches, twice the length of the Spark. Oh, and as Valentine O'Connor, Bentley's PR manager explains, the Mulsanne also comes with a few extra features.

VALENTINE O'CONNOR: Two rear head screens, one 16 inch screen that drops down from the ceiling and two fully integrated Apple iPads that also have keyboards. We're also famous for our woodwork. This particular car has a contrasting light and dark veneer in the style of a yacht.

GREGORY: Oh, and the $420,000 and Mulsanne also comes with a pen. And at $7000, it's totally a steal. Nina Gregory, NPR News.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.