By George Polgar

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Reveling in gas prices in the $2.75 per gallon range, with predictions of a further 20% drop, Trucks and SUVs are poised to expand an already dominant market position.

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Auto manufacturers are way ahead of the curve increasingly exploiting and relying on big Truck and SUV profits.

This is a head-on course versus recent small car gains as the fastest growing US auto segment, with sub compacts trending big among younger buyers. And yet for manufacturers and dealers, small cars yield margins easily swamped by Truck and SUV sales.

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A recent Ford Fiesta test drive was a rousing endorsement of small car practicality and pure fun.

This $13-$18,000 3 cylinder 123 horsepower scamp with a 5-speed manual trans, is just a hoot to drive. The Fiesta is low and close to the action, with great road manners. The exterior dimensions belie the ample interior space, enhanced by great all around visibility. The 37 City/ 45 Highway MPG EPA ratings just cinches the deal.

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With added punch and great new looks, the new 180 horsepower i-VTEC equipped 6-speed manual Honda Fit is another standout sub-compact.