Consumers are purchasing smaller cars and crash protection has been growing, along with the size of the small cars themselves, MSNBC reports. Today, small cars feature an array of impressive technologies and thoughtful design touches aimed at maximizing their safety, including front and side airbags. High-strength steel withstands blows with less intrusion into the cabin, and electronic driver aids such as antilock brakes and electronic stability control help reduce crashes.Additionally, today’s small cars are much bigger and heavier than those of the past. Consider that a 1984 Honda Civic hatchback weighed 1,830 pounds. The lightest version of today’s hot-selling version of the Civic tips the scales at 2,628 pounds, and the Si version weighs 2,945 pounds, more than half a ton heavier than the 1984 model.According to MSNBC, small cars used to fare poorly in laboratory crash tests and produced grossly higher fatality rates in real-world driving. While many don’t mind the thought of giving up some surplus cargo space or towing capacity that went unused in large cars, they balk at the idea of trading away safety for fuel economy.