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European Cars In The U.S.  
User currently offlineaf773atmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2688 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5367 times:

While MPVs, wagons and hatchbacks are popular in Europe, in the U.S. sedans, pickup trucks, and SUVs are probably the most popular types of vehicles. There seems to be a strong presence of hatchbacks in America, but wagons are still pretty limited, and the only true MPV sold in the U.S. at the moment is the Mazda5 (we still have plenty of options for minivans but those are much bigger than European MPVs).

So with gas prices constantly getting higher and Americans looking for more efficiency will wagons once again make a comeback, and will MPVs be introduced to the U.S.? I don't have a lot of knowledge about what kind of road taxes European countries have, but aren't there certain taxes that make people want more efficient vehicles like wagons and MPVs? Will certain taxes in America be raised or introduced to convince people to buy more practical vehicles? Are there other factors that may convince Americans to look at wagons and MPVs over the usual crossover SUV?

As I'm typing this I'm looking at some cars from Volkswagen, Opel, and Citroen. I'm in love with their MPVs and they're definitely my practical dream car. Ford is introducing a Transit Connect MPV to America next year, but from pictures I'm not sure if its being marketed as a minivan or a commercial van.

A few of my favorite MPVs:
http://www.carautoportal.com/car-images/citroen/citroen-c4%20Picasso/citroen-c4%20Picasso-2008.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/VW_Sharan_(1).JPG

http://www.midlandsbusinessnews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Vauxhall-Zafira-Tourer.jpg

And here is the 2014 Transit Connect:



It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
123 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2982 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5346 times:

Out of all the great cars that they have in Europe and that we're screwed out of here in the US you go and choose the familymobiles? If I were going to import a Euro-only car there are many on the list before any MPV...


The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5323 times:

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 1):
Out of all the great cars that they have in Europe and that we're screwed out of here in the US you go and choose the familymobiles?

No kidding. I'll take an RS3 and M550d. Maybe squeeze a KTM X-Bow on the boat if there's room.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3996 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5304 times:
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I drove a Citroen Picaso as a walk-in, take-that-or-else rental from BRU a year ago. I was very surprised at how well it handles given its... unusual shape.

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 1):
If I were going to import a Euro-only car there are many on the list before any MPV...

None of them you can afford, until you get to the MPV I bet... So maybe that selection isn't so bad.
  



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2654 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5237 times:

Why MPVs? Is there some "must be big" thinking going on here?

In the UK at least, the smaller the engine and thus it's emissions, the less tax you pay and less fuel you need.
Which mainly translate into: Smaller Car = Less cost.

A 2009 onward Ford Fiesta will cost £30 to tax for a year for the 1.4 Diesel, £80 to £120 a year for the Petrol engines).

A 2012 Citroen C4 Picasso with the smallest diesel will cost you £125 a year to tax.

Bigger is not always better.
Of course, it depends what your circumstances are. If you have a large family, an MPV is a must.
But if you're on your own or a couple a Fiesta makes a lot of sense.

And before anyone say anything about "But the smaller cars are less well equipped". Think again.
Depending on the trim level you choose, most cars these days will be fairly equally equipped.



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5200 times:

Taxes aren't unified in Europe but there is a framework, it's common to tax according to CO2 emissions for example (when in the past it was number of cylinders, displacement, or power that was the basis). All going in the same direction, the most frugal the car, the less taxed. In France we have a "bonus/malus" on top of that, in a narrow margin of emissions you don't get another tax, under it (mostly very small cars and electric cars) you get a bonus, and over it an increasing tax.

But the main difference is fuel taxes. More than half of the price of gas here is tax, making it twice as expensive as in the US. A pretty big incentive to only drive what you need, when you need it.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineaf773atmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2688 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5109 times:

The reason I bring up MPVs is because if someone in Europe wants a family car, or just a car that can carry more people and cargo than a regular car then a MPV is usually considered. In that same situation in America a SUV is the preferred choice over a minivan. The U.S. doesn't have gas prices like Europe or any taxes that I know of that make a MPV more attractive than a SUV. We are also a culture that for whatever reason, sees minivans as unattractive and the same would probably be said for MPVs. I don't how much better fuel economy MPVs get over SUVs, but if gas prices keep getting higher it may finally convince people to look at minivans or MPVs.

For whatever reasons wagons also haven't been popular in the U.S. It seems that if people want something bigger than a sedan then the next choice is a SUV even though with a wagon you get the same fuel economy as a sedan, but almost as much cargo room as a SUV.



It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
User currently offlineBoeing717200 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 855 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5108 times:

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 6):

Minivans not popular in the US? You should see my street. Don't by the exaggeration. Many people have SUV but must are in the mid size category. Very few people can afford the $60k+ gas guzzlers.

[Edited 2013-05-26 08:35:07]

User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5106 times:

Don't get fooled, the crossover market (especially small crossovers) is large in the EU and growing larger.

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5077 times:

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 6):
We are also a culture that for whatever reason, sees minivans as unattractive and the same would probably be said for MPVs.

Whatever reason? The reason is that they are lame.

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 6):
For whatever reasons wagons also haven't been popular in the U.S. It seems that if people want something bigger than a sedan then the next choice is a SUV even though with a wagon you get the same fuel economy as a sedan, but almost as much cargo room as a SUV.

I can tell you exactly why: it's CAFE and the gas guzzler tax. Those pushed out the wagons and ushered in SUVs.

People have to remember that before those laws were enacted, SUVs did exist. Pretty much every manufacturer made one: Jeep CJ and Wagoneer (possibly the first modern, kid hauling SUV), Ford Bronco, Chevy Suburban (at the time it was already about 40 years old), IH Scout, and Dodge Town Wagon. They were all utilitarian by modern standards, but they were trucks and trucks were for work. If you wanted to haul kids, you bought a wagon.

Once CAFE and the gas guzzler tax hit the scene, consumers were punished for buying the big station wagons they really wanted. The SUVs got around the regulations and manufacturers obliged by bringing more civilized and luxurious SUVs to the market, which were for all intents and purposes the same as the station wagons. That is how SUVs came off the farm and pushed out station wagons for trips to the school and the mall.

The moral of the story is that the consumer always wins and capitalism always wins so you might as well embrace it rather than fight it.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4991 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
The moral of the story is that the consumer always wins and capitalism always wins so you might as well embrace it rather than fight it.

The moral of the story is that government screws up the market when they try to be too smart. A simple gas tax, along the lines of Europe, and all vehicles get hit equally, resulting generally smaller vehicles on average. But the US government went to CAFE, hitting some classes hard, some less, and exempting others altogether (light trucks being originally exempt because of the Farmers' lobby).

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Because of CAFE, station wagons, which used to be very common here have completely disappeared. I don't think any American manufacturer makes one anymore - the Dodge Magnum was the last. Subaru sells the Outback but it's not a full-size wagon.

Europe was smarter, and as a result they have a variety of good station wagons for sale. I used to own a BMW 540i station wagon which was awesome..



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4979 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 5):
Taxes aren't unified in Europe but there is a framework, it's common to tax according to CO2 emissions for example (when in the past it was number of cylinders, displacement, or power that was the basis). All going in the same direction, the most frugal the car, the less taxed. In France we have a "bonus/malus" on top of that, in a narrow margin of emissions you don't get another tax, under it (mostly very small cars and electric cars) you get a bonus, and over it an increasing tax.

But the main difference is fuel taxes. More than half of the price of gas here is tax, making it twice as expensive as in the US. A pretty big incentive to only drive what you need, when you need it.

  

I just bought myself a Smart as a second car beside my Landrover Defender for local trips. I figured that 95% of the time I´m driving alone within 50 km of my home and I don´t need a 3 ton truck to go to work or to go shopping in the supermarket in the next smalltown (I´ll still keep the defender, so that I have something, which can get through the snowdrifts here in winter and which can haul a big trailer).
The additional bonus with the Smart is that, if I drive to a city like Frankfurt or Cologne, I´ll always find some parking space, while the Landrover is much too big to fit into the usual multistory car parks.
And it also makes a big difference if my car uses 4 liters of Diesel on 100 km or 10 liters.
And I don´t need a penis extension, so the little car does me well.

Jan

[Edited 2013-05-26 12:26:38]

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4945 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
A simple gas tax, along the lines of Europe, and all vehicles get hit equally, resulting generally smaller vehicles on average.

The only reason there should be a gas tax is to fund highway infrastructure. And when I say "highway infrastructure" I mean actual highway infrastructure, not diverting a bunch of it to subsidize money losing public transportation.

I'm okay with hitting cars with it though, even though they do little damage to roads compared to trucks. If the US wants to help save fuel, the way to do it is less government intervention via tax equalization between diesel and gas as well as matching European diesel emissions rules so those cars could be imported with minimum cost.

The point is that the only valid reason for a gas tax is because the government needs funds to maintain and build roads. Levying a tax (or similarly offering a tax credit) as punishment for driving the wrong car or using the wrong fuel is an assault on freedom and just shouldn't be done.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
I don't think any American manufacturer makes one anymore - the Dodge Magnum was the last.

Actually I think the CTS was the last, but it appears that the new CTS won't have one.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
Subaru sells the Outback but it's not a full-size wagon.

It's not really an option unless you're a lesbian anyway.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4925 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
Subaru sells the Outback but it's not a full-size wagon.

It's not really an option unless you're a lesbian anyway.

Hey! I like it. Probably the most generally useful vehicle on sale in the US. Reliable as hell, plenty of space for a family of 4, 4-wheel drive take you anywhere in any weather, plenty of space in the trunk, and much better mileage than any SUV.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Levying a tax (or similarly offering a tax credit) as punishment for driving the wrong car or using the wrong fuel is an assault on freedom and just shouldn't be done.

I disagree (to an extrent). Reduction of our dependence of oil imports is a reasonable national policy. And I would much rather do that by a flat tax per gallon of fuel across the board, then some complicated structure such as CAFE which tries to dictate what companies can build and what people can buy, which as you correctly point out, resulted in the SUV going from being the exclusive realm of hunters, fishermen, and farmers to replacing the more rational station wagon as the typical family car. A gas tax would have resulted in more European-sized cars.

One thing that I would very much like to see diminished is the US' extraordinary dependence on long range transportation by heavy trucks. I would like to see some sort of push to get long range cargo transportation to tranship - i.e. use trucks for the last door-to-door sections, but use trains for the bulk of the miles. All trailers would essentially be standard cargo containers which could be moved onto a train and back in a couple of minutes, like below:



But that can be the subject of another thread.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4911 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
Reduction of our dependence of oil imports is a reasonable national policy.

Reasonable policy for the government, but not reasonable for them to forcibly extend that policy to me personally. It makes perfect sense for the government to strive for better fuel economy for military and government vehicles, but I should drive what I want and not be punished for it. Adding on a tax because the government believes gas is not expensive enough is nothing if not a restriction on freedom.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5712 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4905 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
punishment for driving the wrong car or using the wrong fuel is an assault on freedom and just shouldn't be done.

You do realize where a huge chunk of your money ends up every time you fill up at the gas station? And no, I do not mean Uncle Sam's coffer.
Textbook one-liners are great but reality is often more complex than that. It's infantile and naive to argue with "freedom" when reality is simply being wasteful with serious consequences. National security concerns should definitely have priority over compensation of deficiencies in someone's pants.


User currently offlinepetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3369 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4897 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
The moral of the story is that government screws up the market when they try to be too smart.

Not really, the morale of the story is that the US government is not that smart. But then we are told that all to often on this forum. 

In the Netherlands there is a similar system as described by Aesma in reply 5. These rules mostly apply to company lease cars, but then the majority of new cars is on lease anyway. Indeed the vast majority of new cars sold in the Netherlands apply to the lowest tax brackets. The applicable tax rate is based on the amount of Co2 a car makes, where the target is increased every year. This year the target is 96 gram Co2/KM for petrol and 89 gram Co2/KM for diesel. Next year the targets are 89/86 and for 2015 the targets are 83/83.

Plug-in (hybrid) electrical cars are tax exempt. Considering we have some of the highest taxes on car ownership the stimulus from a tax exempts car is very large. This shows in the sales figures as well. During the first few months of 2012 the Fisker Karma outsold the Audi A8, BMW 7-series and the Mercedes S-class. (don't have more recent data) The Opel Ampera is sold more in the Netherlands then anywhere else in Europe (May 2012 figures).



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4885 times:

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 15):
It's infantile and naive to argue with "freedom" when reality is simply being wasteful with serious consequences.

I bought the gas, I'll be wasteful with it if I want to.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4875 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):

Actually I think the CTS was the last, but it appears that the new CTS won't have one.

If they want to sell it in Europe, and they have said they will, they will need a wagon and a diesel, otherwise very few will buy it even if it is good.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4836 times:

The gas tax in the US should go to fund all your fancy carrier strike groups and other costly military endeavors, since they're mainly used to secure oil countries and routes.

[Edited 2013-05-26 16:39:43]


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineb787900 From Canada, joined Sep 2011, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4753 times:

Quoting petertenthije (Reply 16):

I am just curious, why does everything in the US or elsewhere have to be exactly like in Europe/EU? I find that a little unsettling.

Here in Canada, when you purchase a car you only pay sales tax, registration fee, and a few other minor fees. There are no special taxes on top of that. None as far as I know (unless I am mistaken). It does not matter whether it is a large SUV or a smaller vehicle such as Ford Focus/Honda Civic. The insurance rates do differ depending on the vehicle, but that is the case in US, Europe and everywhere else.

I personally prefer 4 door sedans (Charger, Accord, Camry, 300, etc) over compacts, let alone sub-compacts, but that is simply my preference. I do not need the government to decide for me what sort of vehicle I should be driving. I appreciate the freedom of being able to purchase and drive what fits my wants, needs and interests.

Not everything has to be exactly like in Europe.

[Edited 2013-05-26 21:55:03]

User currently offlineCargolex From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1271 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4732 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Once CAFE and the gas guzzler tax hit the scene, consumers were punished for buying the big station wagons they really wanted. The SUVs got around the regulations and manufacturers obliged by bringing more civilized and luxurious SUVs to the market, which were for all intents and purposes the same as the station wagons. That is how SUVs came off the farm and pushed out station wagons for trips to the school and the mall.
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
Because of CAFE, station wagons, which used to be very common here have completely disappeared.

That's really not the case. And if there's one thing I can't stand, it's revisionist history.

Factually speaking, the customers actually didn't want the big station wagons once they discovered something else - the Minivan. In fact, they were walking away from the largest station wagons, at first slowly but then in droves after 1980, for almost a decade before the November 1983 introduction of the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager.

Indeed, full size cars as a whole got shellacked in 1974, and saw a moderate rebound in 1976 and 1977 - when the GM downsized B and C cars debuted and people bought up the remainder of the outgoing cars - everybody knew that cars that large were a dying breed. But after the 1979 oil shock and subsequent recession, sales of full size cars never really recovered. They continued to sell cars like this for a long time - the Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, and Town Car have only recently departed this mortal coil - but they would never recover to the normal positions they once had, when Ford and Chevy could count on the Impala/Caprice and LTD being one-two in the best seller list.

In the early 1980s people were still buying mid-size wagons - tons of Cutlass Cruisers and Fairmonts, but in those days the biggest wagons were on the wane, and that was largely down, again, to the price of gas, not the CAFE restrictions. For a small but dedicated group who wanted the big wagons, they were still available long into the CAFE era - the basic 1977 GM B-body wagons were available almost unchanged until 1990, and revised, somewhat modernized versions were available until 1996. GM even bothered to update them with OBD-II for 1995-6, and that's twenty years after CAFE. Ford's big Panther-platform wagons lasted until 1991.

In 1976, the last high water mark for the true full sized cars, Chevrolet sold 72,819 full size wagons (Impala/Caprice) and 64,721 mid-size wagons (Chevelle/Malibu). In 1979, they sold 124,615 full size wagons (Impala/Caprice) and 120,439 mid-size wagons (Malibu). All of these were smaller than their 1976 equivalents - and sales went up because the vehicles were better. We'll skip 1980 as that was a terrible year and go straight to 1983 - 53,028 full-size wagons (Caprice Classic), 55,892 mid-size wagons (Malibu Classic) - both outsold handily by the then-new Cavalier subcompact wagon, at 60,756 units. That was before minivans. In 1986, Chrysler sold 222,616 of its own minivans and 35,000 Mitsubihsi-derived Colt Vistas (a kind of mini-minivan).

In 1989, Chrysler sold 468,081 of its own minivans.

That's more than all the full-size wagons on the market that year (Buick Estate Wagon, Chevrolet Caprice Classic, Ford Country Squire, Mercury Colony Park, Pontiac Safari, Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser) combined and more than double the year's sales of a certain new-to-Chrysler product - the Jeep Cherokee.

The fact is they were not that practical as driving vehicles even if they could load alot of stuff, not particularly desirable to all but a few, and they had a stodgy image of 1950s suburbia to overcome for many, many people. It's easy to look back on them now and see them as cool. They are. But they weren't always, or at least not to everyone.

Minivans were much more practical, and in the 1980s, after Chrysler found massive and instant success with those two models, the other manufacturers rushed to get their versions into production. We tend to think of Minivans as being a very uniform segment these days - they're all very similar to one another. But that wasn't the case back then. When a segment is new you see a bunch of different approaches - the same way the first generation of wide-body jets gave us the 747, A300, L-1011, and DC-10 - three different approaches to the concept.

Back then you had the more truck like Chevy Astro, the car-like ChryCo minivans, the Ford Aerostar, the commercial seeming mid-engined Toyota Van, which gave way to the mid-engined Previa, the miniature minivans like the Nissan Axxess and Mitsubishi Expo (and related Dodge/Plymouth Variants), the aging VW Vanagon, Mazda's half-SUV/half-minivan MPV hybrid. Alot of different approaches. The sign of a mature segment is when all the products are essentially the same. Today the only minivan that stands out from the crowd is the Nissan Quest, and not for good reasons.

People chose SUV's for a variety of reasons. One of them was that gas prices fell dramatically in the 1980s and SUV's spoke of manifest destiny and cool, Minivans on the other hand quickly earned the same stodgy reputation as grocery getters as their station wagon predecessors had. Just ten years after the minivan was introduced (in Europe as well as North America - for Europeans the first Minivan was the 1984 Renault Espace), it had become a very monolithic market and Minivans reeked of "Soccer mom." SUV's were more appropriate for your hunting buddy or for recreational activities - they'd been around a long time and were about the outdoors and adventure. They made people feel more interested in an attainable family vehicle. They did the same job as a Minivan but were much cooler and often more interesting.

In the summer of 1997, I could fill up my 455-V8 powered Pontiac Grand Prix, or my 403-powered Olds 88, for 97 cents a gallon. Historically speaking, that was less than a third of the price of gas in 1980, adjusted for inflation. Little wonder then, that people gravitated at that time towards less fuel efficient but "cooler" vehicles that did the same job as the minivan and the wagon. The wagon, by 1997, was virtually dead. The last of the traditional wagons were gone, and only one has been revived since (the now cancelled Dodge Magnum, which also sadly failed to sell).

You can make the argument that CAFE's designation of SUV's as light trucks helped them, because they were bound by less stringent regulations on mileage and emissions. But back then, when I was putting gas into my huge and decadent cars - I also had another GP, a big Eldorado, a Nova SS, some other big detroiters - nobody really cared that much about fuel mileage. If three vehicles were available, a station wagon, a Minivan, and an SUV, the buyers of the 1980s and 1990s were going to choose either the minivan or the SUV. And that's just how the consumers chose it.

Market forces at work.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):

Whatever reason? The reason is that they are lame.

I have news for you - that's exactly what people said about Mom & Dad's monster station wagon back in 1983. And in 1973, for that matter, when the cool cars were all personal/luxury coupes and everybody wanted a Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, Cougar, or if they still wanted a little bit of the rapidly waning muscle car magic, a Satellite Sebring or a Mustang Grande. Back then, a station wagon conjured images of Dinah Shore and Levittown.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
the Dodge Magnum was the last.

I drove a Magnum right after they debuted, and I loved it. Still do. It was a great car - although it's practicality was limited due to the low height of the roof and the high load level. It was really almost a five-door hatchback. But a nice car and light years beyond the Intrepid it replaced. But the market did not want such a car, and that's why it was quietly dropped. In 2007, just three years after introduction, they struggled to move 30,000 units for the entire year. And that was before the recession. The numbers just weren't there.

[Edited 2013-05-26 22:40:54]

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4722 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 21):
Factually speaking, the customers actually didn't want the big station wagons once they discovered something else - the Minivan.

I think the minivan is largely a parallel phenomenon. If minivans were really what supplanted the big wagons, it doesn't really change the argument when people traded up from minivans to SUVs. They wanted something bigger and didn't care if it burned more gas, so that's what they got despite the government's best efforts.



Quoting Cargolex (Reply 21):
In the early 1980s people were still buying mid-size wagons - tons of Cutlass Cruisers and Fairmonts, but in those days the biggest wagons were on the wane, and that was largely down, again, to the price of gas, not the CAFE restrictions.

Again, this doesn't make the case for government regulation. You're just saying that rather than backfiring, CAFE just did nothing.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineCargolex From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1271 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4699 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 22):
If minivans were really what supplanted the big wagons, it doesn't really change the argument when people traded up from minivans to SUVs. They wanted something bigger and didn't care if it burned more gas, so that's what they got despite the government's best efforts.

In 1998, Chrysler's minivans outsold the Jeep Cherokee two to one. But by then, gas prices had been relatively low for 15 years, despite a strong uptick in 1990-1991 thanks to the Gulf war and events surrounding it.

Fuel prices were less of a factor for the average consumer. But consider that CAFE regulations had essentially done what they had set out to do, and more. You're contending that CAFE didn't do anything but steer people away from big cars, and that perhaps it only steered them into big trucks instead.

In 1975, when CAFE was enacted, most American cars got pitiful mileage. I have right in front of me a list of the most efficient cars being sold on the US market in 1974, as the legislation was being debated. The highest mileage traditional American car on the list is the AMC Hornet 2-door hatchback, with a 360 V8, at 17.8 mpg. It came in 43rd. In 49th place is the Buick Apollo 350 at a spectacular 14.7 mpg.

The Apollo and the Hornet - and I've driven both of these, 1974 models too - were compacts at the time, they were the economy-minded small-mid sizes, the equivalent of the Ford Focus today. Best sellers like the Impala and LTD were, in that era, single digit MPG cars.

The goal of CAFE standards was to raise the average fuel economy of ordinary vehicles. And it worked. But it also had some side benefits.

I don't know if you've ever driven a car from 1974 back to back with one from 1994. Let's take two average cars - that Buick Apollo and, say, a Ford Escort. The Escort weighs about 2/3rds as much, is almost as quick, handles far better, and starts every time regardless of weather. The switch to fuel injection in the 1980s as standard was largely mandated by CAFE and emissions standards. Carburetors couldn't do the job. In the 1994 car, you'll also notice a six digit odometer, where in virtually every 1974 car you'll find a five digit odo. What does the Apollo have going for it? Well, it's exponentially cooler, for one thing, but that's not really something an ordinary consumer is going to choose. For most people looking for transportation, the cars of 1994 were much better than those of 1974. And most of that was because the cars needed to be improved for a variety of reasons - some stemming from Emissions and some from CAFE and some from competition from cars from other countries that had more of a tradition of smaller vehicles.

The first fruit of CAFE was the 1977 GM B and C body cars. I've mentioned them before. Today they seem like antiques, but back then, they were a real change. They were the same size as the outgoing intermediates - the Chevelle and such. But they had as much space as the really huge full-size cars they replaced. They were lighter, they were smaller, they handled far better, and they were more efficient. Customers like them, preferred them to the cars they replaced even though they were smaller and had smaller engines. They just worked better. They were still big - but more logical. Work had begun on these cars before CAFE, even before Opec 1, because customers were lukewarm on the cars getting bigger, and they were absolutely monsterous by 1972, when initial planning began. They could not get any larger.

A year later, in 1978, GM's A-body was downsized, and customers liked those too, along with the Ford Fairmont, also introduced for 1978. There were some serious missteps on the way, but overall, having to meet these standards made cars better across the board.

In 1974, cars were built to last 100,000 miles. In 1994, they were still built to that, but they tended to last longer. In 2013, it's common to see cars that are not particularly used up - three, four year old cars - with 120K on the clock in western states. We're at a point where a typical lifespan might be 180,000-200,000 miles or more. That's remarkable for people like me, who's first car was a Triumph TR-6.

Consider that in 2013, the market once served by that Apollo and then by that Escort is now served by the Ford Focus - a car which will run rings around either of those old machines, is exponentially safer, more comfortable, and better in every way to drive - and gets 27 MPG city. 4 mpg better than that tiny old Escort and twice that of the Apollo.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 22):
Again, this doesn't make the case for government regulation. You're just saying that rather than backfiring, CAFE just did nothing.

I don't recall making a case either way, but since you asked...

I don't think you really understand what the goal of CAFE has been, and what it has done overall. You seem to think that CAFE was imposed to curtail choice. It wasn't. It was designed to make the entirety of the choices better - and it did. I drive old cars and new cars. I've literally lost count of how many cars I've had. I prefer old cars. But there is no way I can argue that the cars of 2013 are not better in every way but one than the cars of 1973. They are safer, they are faster, they are more efficient, they are more reliable, and they are more comfortable. The only downside is that they are much more complex. This is a result of improvements made by having to meet new regulations - not only CAFE but safety and emissions as well - and respond to customer demands.

For me, when I buy a car, I want either pure utilitarian practicality or something interesting. And that's reflected in my choices. I usually have one modern and one old car. In past years I used to have as many as six cars at a time. I don't feel any less free to choose what I want because of CAFE.

The goal of CAFE was to provide consumers with a better, more efficient fleet, and it did. And you can go right down to the dealer tomorrow and buy a Dodge Challenger SRT-8 that will be every bit as punchy as a a 1971 Hemi Challenger. It'll be faster, it'll be safer, it'll be more reliable, it'll last longer, it'll need less maintenance for sure (if you know anything about the street hemi), and guess what, it's about as profligate as it gets - 14 MPG in the city. But you're still free to buy it. In fact, it might not have been possible without the technological advances needed to navigate the CAFE requirements in years past. The performance numbers of cars like this are astronomical compared to the performance of cars from the pre-emissions, pre-CAFE days. In 1970, the numbers put up by a car like the Corvette ZR-1 (current) were pure race car numbers. You can buy a car at the dealer today that could win the 1970 LeMans 24 hour.

And don't think it's lost on anyone that the Challenger SRT-8, one of the worst MPG cars you can buy in 2013, is on par with one of the better regular American cars of 1974 in terms of fuel economy. Would you rather have 14 mpg in a 1974 Apollo or 14 mpg in a 2013 Challenger SRT-8? CAFE.

CAFE did plenty. And it isn't just cars that have a CAFE standard. The current CAFE standard for light trucks was formally phased in back in 1992 at 20.2 mpg and has since risen to 24.1 mpg. The first light truck standards were enacted in 1979 but the methodology was different until 1992. Until then, manufacturers could choose to meet the standard set for 2wd or 4wd versions of their products (unsurprisingly, they always chose the lower 4wd number). Even then, the standard was at least 19 mpg from 1986 onward.

To be exempt from the CAFE requirement, a truck made after the 1980 standard had to be above 8500 lb GVWR (until 2010 when regulations were changed). Not many SUVs are in that category - only things like the Hummer H1 and H2, Ford Excursion, and the largest pickups were exempt.

At the height of SUV mania ten years ago, the CAFE standard for light trucks was 20.7 mpg. In 1974, most trucks other than the six-cylinder work truck variety were in single-digit territory.

Now, when gas prices went up again, SUV demand dropped off a cliff, and has remained lower ever since. This isn't to say there is no demand - because there is.

But CAFE improved the vehicles, and it made each vehicle more efficient - and because of the processes needed to make the vehicles more efficient, we saw the side benefit of making the vehicles better overall.



[Edited 2013-05-26 23:47:13]

User currently offlinepetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3369 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4700 times:

Quoting b787900 (Reply 20):
I am just curious, why does everything in the US or elsewhere have to be exactly like in Europe/EU? I find that a little unsettling.

Did I say the USA had to take our approach? I responded to a statement that the [US] Government made a mess of how they implemented vehicle taxes, and that this was typical for any Government intervention. So I explained our approach to car taxes and that it seems to have the desired result. That's all. Now if that is enough to get unsettled I would suggest you got to a forum populated by US / Canadian members only.  

Hell, in my opinion the Dutch road and vehicle and petrol taxes have gone waaaaay overboard. We pay more on taxes then any other country in the world when it comes to cars.



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 25, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4774 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 23):
You seem to think that CAFE was imposed to curtail choice.

It has had that effect. Also the gas guzzler tax which doesn't curtail choice but does outright punish consumers for purchasing something the government deems unworthy.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 23):
It was designed to make the entirety of the choices better - and it did.

They would have gotten better anyway, but perhaps not in the same ways. A lot of the ways you can improve gas mileage can improve performance and maintain the same mileage. But with increasing prices, consumers don't need to be told that they should seek better mileage and manufacturers know that.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 23):
In fact, it might not have been possible without the technological advances needed to navigate the CAFE requirements in years past. The performance numbers of cars like this are astronomical compared to the performance of cars from the pre-emissions, pre-CAFE days. In 1970, the numbers put up by a car like the Corvette ZR-1 (current) were race car numbers.

Cars had been getting better and faster for decades before the government stepped in. Market forces were making them more efficient even without government intervention.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 23):
But you're still free to buy it.

Sort of. It comes with a $1000 gas guzzler tax.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 23):
To be exempt from the CAFE requirement, a truck made after the 1980 standard had to be above 8500 lb GVWR (until 2010 when regulations were changed). Not many SUVs are in that category - only things like the Hummer H1 and H2, Ford Excursion, and the largest pickups were exempt.

The gas guzzler tax has a lower threshold.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 23):
But CAFE improved the vehicles, and it made each vehicle more efficient - and because of the processes needed to make the vehicles more efficient, we saw the side benefit of making the vehicles better overall.

Those improvements would have come about anyway even without government intervention thanks to market forces.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20636 posts, RR: 62
Reply 26, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4726 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 23):
In 1975, when CAFE was enacted, most American cars got pitiful mileage.

A lot of truth and accurate history in these posts. Kudos.   

I'd forgotten about the Buick Apollo. My first car was a Pontiac Sunbird V6—it was a toss-up between that and the Ventura coupe. Shell unleaded was in the 50¢ per gallon range. Station wagons were still so popular back then, we had a small fleet of the Cutlass wagons for our Driver's Ed. cars in high school. Huge things for an 'intermediate'.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 27, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4743 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):
Sort of. It comes with a $1000 gas guzzler tax.

People who can afford those kind of cars aren't worried about an extra $1000 in tax.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):
Those improvements would have come about anyway even without government intervention thanks to market forces.

No really, sometimes it takes a push in the right direction to get the improvements through, CAFE was that push. IMO they haven't gone far enough and for a developed nation fuel in the US is still way to cheap, it should be at least 50 to 100% more expensive.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21625 posts, RR: 55
Reply 28, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4694 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
Probably the most generally useful vehicle on sale in the US.

I'd argue the Volvo XC70 has that title, but the Outback is a very worthy contender. I'd consider buying one if I were in the market (and I probably will be in a few years, but the Volvo will likely be out of my budget).

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3643 posts, RR: 5
Reply 29, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4647 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
If the US wants to help save fuel, the way to do it is less government intervention via tax equalization between diesel and gas as well as matching European diesel emissions rules so those cars could be imported with minimum cost.

The so called diesel tax argument is old and stale. And largely untrue. Diesel is taxed $.05/gallon more. On the other hand, a comparable diesel engine is spewing ~3 times the pollutants as a similar gas engine, except for CO2. Diesel should be banned in cars.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
Reasonable policy for the government, but not reasonable for them to forcibly extend that policy to me personally.

When will you go put your life on the line securing that fuel?

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 23):
The switch to fuel injection in the 1980s as standard was largely mandated by CAFE and emissions standards. Carburetors couldn't do the job.

That in itself made CAFE worthwhile. Cars (and motorcycles) became instantly more reliable and easier to maintain. Who can forget the incessant carburetor rebuilds. Good posts Cargolex.


User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3313 posts, RR: 34
Reply 30, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4616 times:

Quoting petertenthije (Reply 24):
Hell, in my opinion the Dutch road and vehicle and petrol taxes have gone waaaaay overboard. We pay more on taxes then any other country in the world when it comes to cars.

No but close, Denmark and Finland are squeezing even more.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 31, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4618 times:

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 27):
People who can afford those kind of cars aren't worried about an extra $1000 in tax.

First, that doesn't make it right and second, the Charger isn't that expensive of a car.

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 27):
IMO they haven't gone far enough and for a developed nation fuel in the US is still way to cheap, it should be at least 50 to 100% more expensive.

And I think Red Bull should be 50-100% cheaper, but do you think that's gonna happen? Can I get the government to manipulate that market too?

If gas really should be more expensive, it would be. That's how economics works, and we all know that oil companies are holding prices down as a public service. Asking the government to come tamper with the economy just because you don't like it is ridiculous.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 29):
Diesel is taxed $.05/gallon more.

On the federal level. States sometimes widen the gap.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 29):
When will you go put your life on the line securing that fuel?

When somebody pays me a hell of a lot of money to do it.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 29):
Cars (and motorcycles) became instantly more reliable and easier to maintain. Who can forget the incessant carburetor rebuilds.

...so fuel injection would have become commonplace anyway.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineCargolex From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1271 posts, RR: 8
Reply 32, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4605 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):

Cars had been getting better and faster for decades before the government stepped in. Market forces were making them more efficient even without government intervention.

Not really, no. Although fuel economy was less of a factor before WW2, most pre-ww2 cars got better gas mileage than their post-war equivalents. Although speed and reliability had been going up since 1925, fuel economy had largely been going down. The average car of 1959 - let's say a 1959 Ford - got appreciably worse mileage than it's 1929 equivalent.

But we're going further back than we need to there. In 1969 Chrysler introduced new full-size cars, popularly known today as the "fuselage" cars. In 1971, GM replaced it's full size lineup with a round of new cars - bigger than ever. Just about every design change from 1960 to 1974 resulted in larger, heavier, less efficient vehicles - with new cars at the bottom of the lineup - sometimes sourced from foreign companies like Simca or Mitsubishi - to cater to the demand for smaller European-type cars. In many cases those bottom-end ideas were not very good, or had some fatal flaws. Certainly the Vega, Pinto, and Gremlin couldn't match something like the Opel Ascona or Ford Cortina, cars that were available to these manufacturers but which they chose not to use, or use only tangentially (the Opel was sold here as the Opel 1900 from 1971-1974).

GM's first wave of downsized cars were so significant because they proved that the big cars didn't have to be slovenly and unnecessarily wasteful. They didn't have to have doors ten inches thick that weighed 120 lbs. each.

Market forces were there to demand that the car makers cater to those who wanted more efficient cars - but even those cars have been greatly improved by CAFE, because the across-the-board nature of such standards are meant to improve the entire pool.

The highest MPG cars in 1974 America were:

1. Datsun B-210 (35 mpg)
2. Fiat 128 (34.8 mpg)
3. Renault R17 (34.5 mpg)
4. Toyota Corolla 1200 (33.9 mpg)
5. Alfa-Romeo 2000 Berlina (32.1 mpg)
6. Honda Civic (30.4 mpg)
7. Lotus Europa (30.4 mpg)
8. Renault R12 (30.4 mpg)
9. Chevrolet Vega 2300 (30 mpg)
10. Toyota Corolla 1600 (29.8 mpg)

These are from that same list mentioned earlier, a test conducted by Motor Trend in March, 1974.

You'll notice that this is a motley crew indeed - the Lotus Europa, Renault 17, and Alfa were all expensive cars back then, and extremely rare. While the others are extremely basic vehicles in many cases - having driven the R12, owned three 128s, and having driven several of the others, these weren't exactly the same as plunking down your money on a Nova or a Chevelle.

Consider that there are dozens of cars now, practical cars you would actually want to drive, that get better mileage figures than this ancient top ten. That's what CAFE did. To attribute 100% of that change to CAFE is incorrect, but it was the CAFE standards that first essentially dictated a switch to electronic fuel injection, increased use of computer technologies to manage how an engine runs, and the use of Aerodynamics - something not entirely foreign in 1974 but definitely not part of pushing "the formal look" through the air bearing spring-loaded hood ornaments, half vinyl tops, and Waterfall grilles.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):

Those improvements would have come about anyway even without government intervention thanks to market forces.

Maybe, maybe not. But I think you need to stop trying so hard to suggest that government intervention is always a problem, always wrong, and in this case totally unnecessary.

Your contention that "it would have happened anyway without government intervention" lies on the concept that market forces would have driven Americans more toward European and Japanese cars and their higher mileages, and that American manufacturers would have adapted.

That's partially true. I have no doubt that if CAFE had not happened, we would have seen an increase in efficiency if only because of Opec II. But I don't know that we would have seen the across the board improvements that made all the choices better. CAFE cannot be totally credited with the improvements, nor can consumer demand. But we do know that a variety of early-CAFE era choices were presented to consumers for many years, and they chose other things.

But I digress.

If you go back to the years from 1945 to 1965, you'll see that most of the European market - and by extension the Japanese market, where many cars of the fifties and sixties began as licensed copies of European cars - was strongly shaped by - guess what - Tax policy and governmental intervention. Most of these policies existed in one form or another before WW2, particularly in the UK where tax laws favored long-stroke, small bore cars.

Two popular old cars you might see at a classic car show are the MGB and the Fiat Spider. In concept, these cars are very similar - and similar to the Mazda Miata. But under the hood, you'll notice that the MGB is powered by a long-stroke OHV engine, a torque surfing engine. The Fiat is powered by a high revving twin cam. That's down to the legacy of regional tax policies in the UK and Italy.

Americans who remember Renault when it sold cars here will probably remember quirky, small, often unreliable economic cars. But in 1938, Renault was building a few cars that were genuine rivals to the big guys like Rolls Royce. You've probably never heard of the Renault Nervastella or Reinastella and it's not so important that you have, but they did build them. After the war, Renault was nationalized. France enacted a taxation by displacement scheme similar to that of Great Britain only much more punitive. Cars over 3 liters were taxed to death - France effectively killed it's luxury and exotic car industry - arguably the finest in the world at that time. One by one, Delahaye/Delage, Bugatti, Talbot-lago, the post-war Facel, succumbed to the plutocrat tax. Manufacturers like Citroen and Peugeot, the big manufacturers able to adapt and primarily building family cars anyway, focused on smaller and more efficient cars. No French luxury car has really been taken seriously since then other than the Citroen DS Pallas and maybe the Citroen SM. I actually had a Citroen SM for a short time, but sold it when the bills got scary. No coincidence that France's only recent attempt at a car like that had a maximum displacement of 3 liters.

More important than the specific vehicles is that these policies - enacted all over western Europe and spread via licensing to Asia, Africa, and South America, set the tone for a global fleet of more efficient vehicles - the same vehicles you believe would have conquered here with or without CAFE. But they're still a result of government intervention.

Tax laws on displacement are still around although less arcane than they once were. In 1982, you could buy a Ferrari 208 - in Italy only. This smaller-displacement variant of the 308 was one of the more high profile tax dodge cars of that era. Not too many actually sold, but it was there. 155 hp from a 1991-cc V8.

That's not an argument for whether that is good or bad, btw.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 33, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4587 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 32):
In 1971, GM replaced it's full size lineup with a round of new cars - bigger than ever. Just about every design change from 1960 to 1974 resulted in larger, heavier, less efficient vehicles

...because that's what consumers wanted.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 32):
Consider that there are dozens of cars now, practical cars you would actually want to drive, that get better mileage figures than this ancient top ten.

That's pushing it.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 32):
but it was the CAFE standards that first essentially dictated a switch to electronic fuel injection, increased use of computer technologies to manage how an engine runs, and the use of Aerodynamics

All of that would have happened anyway.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 32):
"the formal look" through the air bearing spring-loaded hood ornaments, half vinyl tops, and Waterfall grilles.

If that's what consumers want, that's what consumers should get even if it costs them a few MPG.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 32):
But they're still a result of government intervention.

There's also the matter of practicality. But how is it fair that for decades Europeans were deprived of big cars, because their government decided they were bad? And a Camaro still costs upwards of $50k on the other side of the pond.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 32):
In 1982, you could buy a Ferrari 208 - in Italy only.

Now they sell next to nothing in Italy because the government has started harassing people in nice cars.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20636 posts, RR: 62
Reply 34, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4582 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 32):
But I don't know that we would have seen the across the board improvements that made all the choices better.

I think that a third influencing factor which needs to be considered was the introduction of more stringent emissions control devices in the 1975 model year. I'm not nearly as well-versed as you on the mechanics of such devices, but I recall that gas mileage went down as more stringent emissions systems were introduced. My memory may be faulty on this, but I thought the greatest advance in the use of fuel injection came with the introduction of catalytic converters. (Feel free to poke holes in my memory on all this, from nearly 40 years ago.)



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 35, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4559 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 28):
I'd argue the Volvo XC70 has that title,

The V70 is a better car, I know they are almost the same but the V70 rides, handles and looks better than the XC70.



Should never have sold this car, damn being super fertile, I'll get another one when the new model arrives in 2015.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 31):
And I think Red Bull should be 50-100% cheaper, but do you think that's gonna happen? Can I get the government to manipulate that market too?

I know someone who works at Red Bull it's an expensive drink to make, more expensive than cola, hence the higher price, plus people pay for it so why should they drop the price, supply and demand as you're so fond of saying. The US has some pretty terrible road infrastructure, with something like 10,000 highway bridges which need to be replaced, banging up the petrol tax would go a long way towards sorting the funding issue.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):

Now they sell next to nothing in Italy because the government has started harassing people in nice cars.

If Italians actually paid taxes instead of hiding them the govt wouldn't need to harass the people who don't pay. Tax avoiders are fair game if you ask me.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 36, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4537 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 32):
Consider that there are dozens of cars now, practical cars you would actually want to drive, that get better mileage figures than this ancient top ten. That's what CAFE did. To attribute 100% of that change to CAFE is incorrect, but it was the CAFE standards that first essentially dictated a switch to electronic fuel injection, increased use of computer technologies to manage how an engine runs, and the use of Aerodynamics - something not entirely foreign in 1974 but definitely not part of pushing "the formal look" through the air bearing spring-loaded hood ornaments, half vinyl tops, and Waterfall grilles.

The European market has a wide variety of cars to day that are more efficient, offer a wider variety of engines (including diesel), use fuel injection and all the stuff you mention, and did so before such features became common in the US, and did it without CAFE, but with fuel taxes instead.

In fact, most of the European cars sold in the US are only sold with the largest and most powerful engine options. In Europe you can get a 3-series BMW with smaller engines (316, 318, 320, 325). But you can only get the 328, 330 and 335 here.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 37, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4532 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 36):
In fact, most of the European cars sold in the US are only sold with the largest and most powerful engine options. In Europe you can get a 3-series BMW with smaller engines (316, 318, 320, 325). But you can only get the 328, 330 and 335 here.

Powerful cars in many European countries are highly taxed, like they should be in the US, hence the reason why Europeans favour BMW's and the like with 4 cylinder diesel engines.


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 38, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4524 times:

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 37):
Powerful cars in many European countries are highly taxed, like they should be in the US, hence the reason why Europeans favour BMW's and the like with 4 cylinder diesel engines.

And marketing and image is one of the primarily reason that BMW and the other German luxury makers have avoided bringing them here (at the least the gasoline 4 cylinders) although that is slowly changing ( thanks in part to CAFE!). Not government interventions or market desires. I'm sure most people would gladly buy a 4 cylinder BMW here, they would do what most Europeans do- check the badge delete option    , but BMW and the likes won't let them.

[Edited 2013-05-27 12:07:53]

User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 39, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4486 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 32):
But under the hood, you'll notice that the MGB is powered by a long-stroke OHV engine, a torque surfing engine. The Fiat is powered by a high revving twin cam. That's down to the legacy of regional tax policies in the UK and Italy.

It that really the story, I would have thought it was more to do with cost than anything else, the MGA had a twin cam option but it was a very expensive motor to produce so it wasn't an option on the MGB.


User currently offlineMah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32781 posts, RR: 72
Reply 40, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4452 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 36):
But you can only get the 328, 330 and 335 here.

The United States has the 320i, 328i, 328d, 335i and ActiveHybrid.

The variety of engines offered on U.S. cars is on a major upswing lately.

But keep in mind that one reason the U.S. doesn't get the smaller engines is because of how much cheaper cars are in the U.S. A BMW 320i costs roughly €25,000 in the States; while an Italy a stripped 316i (and that's with less standard equipment than a stripped U.S. model) is close to €31,000.

[Edited 2013-05-27 13:35:30]


a.
User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 41, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4424 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 19):
The gas tax in the US should go to fund all your fancy carrier strike groups and other costly military endeavors

Said the man who would be speaking German otherwise.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 42, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4360 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
There's also the matter of practicality. But how is it fair that for decades Europeans were deprived of big cars, because their government decided they were bad? And a Camaro still costs upwards of $50k on the other side of the pond.

It's fair because our governments looked at the commercial balance and didn't want oil to sink it, nor spend fortunes in buying middle eastern governments that later would bite our ass.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 41):
Said the man who would be speaking German otherwise.

Doubt it, I studied it at school for 9 years and never got the hang of it. Besides Germany might have won the war (I'm sure the soviets and brits would argue that point) but that wouldn't mean they could actually occupy France effectively. Today we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first reunion of all resistance groups unified by Jean Moulin.

Besides, my 4 grandparents were born in 4 different countries not on the same sides of WW2, so I would not exist.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 43, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4355 times:

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 35):
I know someone who works at Red Bull it's an expensive drink to make, more expensive than cola, hence the higher price, plus people pay for it so why should they drop the price, supply and demand as you're so fond of saying.

In other words, the market should set the price.

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 35):
The US has some pretty terrible road infrastructure, with something like 10,000 highway bridges which need to be replaced, banging up the petrol tax would go a long way towards sorting the funding issue.

If they need to increase the gas tax to fund necessary projects, fine. But the gas tax should not be used as punishment, and I'll add some more caveats:
1. Infrastructure projects should have a significant local funding component. The locals who actually use the thing should have to pay a sizable portion of the cost, otherwise it's too easy to just say yes when Uncle Sam starts dropping off bags of money.
2. Stop diverting gas tax revenue to public transportation projects, other than things like buses using the same roads of everyone else.
3. Privatize viable portions of infrastructure (some airports and a smaller number of roads) and use the proceeds to fund other projects as needed. New infrastructure should also be constructed as public-private partnerships where possible.

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 35):
If Italians actually paid taxes instead of hiding them the govt wouldn't need to harass the people who don't pay.

They weren't being harassed for not paying taxes. They were being harassed for driving a nice car.

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 37):
Powerful cars in many European countries are highly taxed, like they should be in the US,

Like hell they should be. Nothing like paying Lamborghini money for a BMW. Unless I'm reading something wrong, a BMW Z4 35is costs the equivalent of $198,000 in Denmark.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3643 posts, RR: 5
Reply 44, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4315 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 36):
The European market has a wide variety of cars to day that are more efficient, offer a wider variety of engines (including diesel), use fuel injection and all the stuff you mention, and did so before such features became common in the US, and did it without CAFE, but with fuel taxes instead.

I don't think so. My '85 grey-market S-class had a first generation mechanical fuel injection system. Emissions played a big role in that as well, VW went Fi on the Rabbit and killed the Beetle because of emissions.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 41):
Said the man who would be speaking German otherwise.

Nevertheless, he speaks the truth. The last three wars and several more future ones were/will be over oil. We don't rotate 2-3 carrier groups in the Gulf for love of Abdullah.


User currently offlineBoeing717200 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 855 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4301 times:

Quoting mham001 (Reply 44):

Yeah man. We're flying high on that cheap Iraqi and Afghani oil!  


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8269 posts, RR: 8
Reply 46, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4289 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
The moral of the story is that the consumer always wins and capitalism always wins so you might as well embrace it rather than fight it.

Looking at the cars of today it sure looks like the Government has won in terms of safety, emission standards and fuel economy. The government won and therefore the consumers have won. Business actually had to pull their head out and do some modern engineering.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
The moral of the story is that government screws up the market when they try to be too smart.

They sure didn't screw it up when they set new safety standards. Seat/shoulder belts - great idea. Air bags - wasn't that considered a communist plot? Like fluoride in the water? Wonder how many lives those two government requirements have saved.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
And when I say "highway infrastructure" I mean actual highway infrastructure, not diverting a bunch of it to subsidize money losing public transportation.

Public transportation is simply a way a reducing highway loads and is a valid investment of Highway Funds.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Levying a tax (or similarly offering a tax credit) as punishment for driving the wrong car or using the wrong fuel is an assault on freedom and just shouldn't be done.

You want to drive a car on PUBLIC roads? I sure don't see you being punished for all the roads that have been built and made available to you. That is where your "freedom" is. It's amazing that you can't appreciate all that has been developed before for your use. All I see is winging because you have to pay a gas guzzler tax.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
Adding on a tax because the government believes gas is not expensive enough is nothing if not a restriction on freedom.

Sadly we, as a nation, are not prepared to bow down to your individual demands for your personal freedom. Pay the taxes if you want to drive the cars. You'll be driving on roads that have been financed by previous generations paying their taxes so you are actually getting a hell of a deal.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
It makes perfect sense for the government to strive for better fuel economy for military and government vehicles, but I should drive what I want and not be punished for it.

Sadly supply & demand impacts the costs of fuel for the country. Efforts to bring down consumption levels with laws and regulations AND incentives have a positive impact on the costs paid by the consumer. If you want to drive a hot rod then fine. Just get your wallet out

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 21):
Factually speaking,

Thanks for some very interesting comments.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):
They would have gotten better anyway, but perhaps not in the same ways.

Like poor safety standards, high emissions, poor gas milage. But they would sure look flash.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):
Cars had been getting better and faster for decades before the government stepped in.

Faster? My parents' '52 Ford could go as fast as the speed limits today. Faster isn't what is really needed.

Better? Are you kidding? Take a look at the collapsable steering shaft - that is one simple example of how the government demands for improvement were developed. In the old days that shaft was one piece of steel. A good head on impact and the steering wheel went right through the driver's chest.

And the engineering that would allow engine mounts to break and the engine to go under front seat pax instead of in their lap?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):
It comes with a $1000 gas guzzler tax.

You want the car then pay the tax.

Personally I believe in tax incentives to provide better milage and emissions. And taxes for gas guzzlers.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 31):
When somebody pays me a hell of a lot of money to do it.

I think you missed a huge opportunity. Three years as a Naval Officer in Aviation, bit of seeing the world, learning real leadership and getting experience that companies like Boeing pay top dollar for. Cash over country is OK. We see it all the time in the US.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
...because that's what consumers wanted.

Or that's what consumers were told they wanted. You actually believe that consumers would have chased, say, that solid steering shaft in that pretty land yacht? They bought those cars

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
But how is it fair that for decades Europeans were deprived of big cars, because their government decided they were bad?

Post war Europe was a place with far more important priorities than making sure someone could buy a Lincoln or Caddy Land Yacht. Or an Imperial. they were hot stuff back in the day.

Of course some of those cars were physically too big for some of the smaller roads in "Old Europe".

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
Now they sell next to nothing in Italy because the government has started harassing people in nice cars.

Harassing a tax cheat? IIRC when the program started they discovered far more tax cheats than they thought they would. I don't see the Tax Office easing off anytime in the future. What I can see is a computer based system where the cops can enter a license number, get the car details and see a "tax clearance" for that year - all in the file. The file would then get updated every year. The file could even be started when a new car is purchased.


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5712 posts, RR: 18
Reply 47, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4285 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 17):
Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 15):
It's infantile and naive to argue with "freedom" when reality is simply being wasteful with serious consequences.

I bought the gas, I'll be wasteful with it if I want to.

An answer to be expexted from 16-20 age bracket of the "me only me" generation. However, since you are always trying to enlighten us with your one-dimensional world of textbook capitalism I have thought that the idea of individual responsibility - in this case responsibility of not funding Saudis (and other Gulf-based sponsors of terrorism) more than absolutely necessary - would come as a natural to you.
Whenever in the US the sight of a soccer mom driving her Escalade or a Suburban with obligatory "Support our troops" sticker on its bumper is priceless.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 48, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4284 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
The government won and therefore the consumers have won. Business actually had to pull their head out and do some modern engineering.

Of course that ignores the first six decades or so of automotive innovation. The consumers don't need the government to tell them that seatbelts are good.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
Public transportation is simply a way a reducing highway loads and is a valid investment of Highway Funds.

No it isn't. Public transportation should support itself. If you can't support service via fares, you shouldn't have the service.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
It's amazing that you can't appreciate all that has been developed before for your use. All I see is winging because you have to pay a gas guzzler tax.

All I see is the government charging some people more for the same services. Not to mention that people who buy more gas pay more taxes anyway. Are you really going to tell me that a Viper does more damage to roadways than a Prius?

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
Like poor safety standards, high emissions, poor gas milage. But they would sure look flash.

If you ignore the fact that people like not flying through windshields, quite a few people are eco-friendly hippies, and people like saving money, that might be a plausible scenario.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
Faster? My parents' '52 Ford could go as fast as the speed limits today. Faster isn't what is really needed.

Doesn't matter what's needed. It matters what is wanted.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
You want the car then pay the tax.

Personally I believe in tax incentives to provide better milage and emissions. And taxes for gas guzzlers.

I shouldn't have to pay the tax. People who buy efficient cars already save money, they don't need money out of mine too.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
You actually believe that consumers would have chased, say, that solid steering shaft in that pretty land yacht?

A smart marketing person here and there, and you bet they would have. Volvo hasn't had trouble moving merchandise.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
Post war Europe was a place with far more important priorities than making sure someone could buy a Lincoln or Caddy Land Yacht. Or an Imperial. they were hot stuff back in the day.

Of course some of those cars were physically too big for some of the smaller roads in "Old Europe".

In other words, there are better reasons to drive small cars than because the government declares them sinful.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
Harassing a tax cheat?

Harassing people who drive expensive cars actually. Unless they happen to have an "I didn't pay my taxes" bumper sticker, it's just pure class warfare and profiling.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
The file could even be started when a new car is purchased.

Not when it's purchased elsewhere.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 47):
An answer to be expexted from 16-20 age bracket of the "me only me" generation.

You want to swipe your card when I go to the pump?



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 49, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4265 times:

Quoting mham001 (Reply 44):
I don't think so. My '85 grey-market S-class had a first generation mechanical fuel injection system. Emissions played a big role in that as well, VW went Fi on the Rabbit and killed the Beetle because of emissions.

Uh, that wasn't first generation. Mechanical Fuel injection started appearing in the 50s. and electronic fuel injection just a few years later. the first truely effective and reliable electronic fuel injection system was the Bosch Jetronic system that came out in the late sixties Your Mercedes and all Mercedes built in the 60s, 70s and 80s that had an 'E' in the model name (like 280 SE, 350 CE etc) had electronic injection. That's what the 'E' meant.

Jetronic systems were also used by Porsche, BMW, and even VW. Yes, the Beetle had Electronic fuel injection available since the early-mid 70s.

The Beetle wasn't killed for emissions. It was killed because it was a 1930's design that had more than outlived its usefulness.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
They sure didn't screw it up when they set new safety standards. Seat/shoulder belts - great idea. Air bags - wasn't that considered a communist plot?

Oh, they got silly sometimes. Remember the gawd-awful bumpers they mandated in the 70s and 80s? Regarding seat belts, they make perfect sense. Airbags I think are stupid - they serve no purpose if you are wearing a seat belt - it's just an expensive piece of kit that adds cost and weight to a car, hurting fuel economy, and will never help me, since I have worn seat belts religiously since I learned to drive, and I don't relish the idea of an explosive going off in my face. It happened to my wife once - she looked like she had been in a bar-room brawl. I think airbags should be banned. The only people it saves are morons who don't put their seatbelts on. Letting them die would serve humanity by eliminating stupid people from the gene pool.

The alternative to Airbags, you will remember, was the equally gawd-awful automatic seatbelt another contrivance that added weight cost and complexity. I hated every car I had to drive with that thing. And how many morons died driving around with the top part in place (because they had no choice) but did not buckle their lap belt, hit something and got almost decapitated as their body weight tried to go under the belt?

OK, rant over - you uncovered a pet peeve of mine.

But your example of auto safety is flawed, because it did not mess with a market. Sure, it added standards - that's fine. ALL cars had to have seatbelts, ALL cars had to pass a crash test etc. When I talk about screwing with a market, I am talking about structural changes, such as what governments do/did with the mortgage industry, student loans, telecom (I work in that industry and the regs involved would make you puke with rage) etc. And of course with CAFE, where the overall goal (reduce consumption) was laudible, but the method was overly cumbersome, complex to comply with, and arguably did not do much to help.

Do people truely think that, if CAFE had not been around, that we'd still be driving around with carburetors and 2-speed slushboxes? Of course not. Cars continually get better because people want their next car to be better than the last one, and they would rather not spend more on fuel than they have to (given their preferences of course - someone who is wants the excitement of a Lamborghini will be willing to pay the fuel bill).



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5712 posts, RR: 18
Reply 50, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4273 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 48):
You want to swipe your card when I go to the pump?

Why? Is daddy's card maxed out?  


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 51, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4269 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 49):
Your Mercedes and all Mercedes built in the 60s, 70s and 80s that had an 'E' in the model name (like 280 SE, 350 CE etc) had electronic injection. That's what the 'E' meant.

That's also why BMW models still have the "i" tacked onto them.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 50):
Why? Is daddy's card maxed out?

Not at all. I'm just saying that when I buy the gas, it's mine. Whether I use it to go ten miles or a hundred miles isn't really anyone's business.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 52, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4246 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 51):
Not at all. I'm just saying that when I buy the gas, it's mine. Whether I use it to go ten miles or a hundred miles isn't really anyone's business.

It isn't, and no one is restricting on how you use the gas you buy (other than things like speed limits etc). You are just complaining because you can't actually afford to do what you want to do so you are blaming the government for making everything too expensive because of taxes/CAFE/regulations/whatever-isn't-your-fault/etc.

You want a fast car? Buy one. There are pleeeeennnnnttttyyy for sale from all the automakers.
You want an inefficient car? Buy one. There are pleeeeennnnnttttyyy for sale from all the automakers.

Want a super fast car for $10,000? Sorry, that doesn't exist and never did (adjusting for inflation). Everyone in the 50s/60s were not driving muscle cars or sports cars.

[Edited 2013-05-27 19:42:31]

User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 53, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4233 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 51):
That's also why BMW models still have the "i" tacked onto them.

Which has become pointless. I remember when you could buy a carbureted BMW 320, or for a little extra you got a 320i. But is there a single car on sale that does not have electronic fuel injection? I think the last carbureted cars disappeared 20 years ago.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 54, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4243 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 52):
You are just complaining because you can't actually afford to do what you want to do so you are blaming the government for making everything too expensive because of taxes/CAFE/regulations/whatever-isn't-your-fault/etc.

Not really. It isn't the gas guzzler tax that keeps me from running down to the Dodge dealer and putting down the cash for a Viper.

That doesn't make it right though, and it isn't fair for the government to penalize the buyers of such cars (and by extension, people who like those cars). Going fast is expensive, it always has been and always will be, but that's no excuse for the government to make it more expensive than it actually is just because they disapprove. And the same goes for all sin taxes.

Quoting Polot (Reply 52):
Want a super fast car for $10,000? Sorry, that doesn't exist and never did (adjusting for inflation).

I never said it did. Of course, any car I buy in the near future will be used, so no gas guzzler tax there.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 55, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4241 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 54):

That doesn't make it right though, and it isn't fair for the government to penalize the buyers of such cars (and by extension, people who like those cars).

Unfortunately, unlike what your parent told you when you were growing up, most things in life are not "right" or "fair." If you don't accept that then you are always going to be a bitter man.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8269 posts, RR: 8
Reply 56, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4231 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 48):
The consumers don't need the government to tell them that seatbelts are good.

Actually they do. We still have police standing by the curb and waving everyone without their belts on into a parking lot where they are given a ticket. They do it often enough that it more than pays for itself. Should be done everyday IMO as those who don't wear belts cost far more in health care when they go through the window.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 48):
If you can't support service via fares, you shouldn't have the service.

And then we can see how many people ride a bike to work as the roads around those empty commuter rails will be like a parking lot.

But 20 lanes of new freeways in each direction will take care of that problem. And the odds are that they will be toll roads.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 57, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4228 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 53):
Which has become pointless.

It is, but I'd settle for getting the model names to reflect displacements again.

Quoting Polot (Reply 55):
Unfortunately, unlike what your parent told you when you were growing up, most things in life are not "right" or "fair." If you don't accept that then you are always going to be a bitter man.

There's nothing wrong with being bitter, and pointing out ridiculousness is fun anyway.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 56):
Should be done everyday IMO as those who don't wear belts cost far more in health care when they go through the window.

That's a great argument against universal healthcare.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 56):
And then we can see how many people ride a bike to work as the roads around those empty commuter rails will be like a parking lot.

If people want to make that choice, fine.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 56):
But 20 lanes of new freeways in each direction will take care of that problem. And the odds are that they will be toll roads.

Works for me. Privatized toll roads work well in some places.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineIH8BY From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1142 posts, RR: 3
Reply 58, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4203 times:

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
So with gas prices constantly getting higher and Americans looking for more efficiency will wagons once again make a comeback, and will MPVs be introduced to the U.S.? I don't have a lot of knowledge about what kind of road taxes European countries have, but aren't there certain taxes that make people want more efficient vehicles like wagons and MPVs? Will certain taxes in America be raised or introduced to convince people to buy more practical vehicles? Are there other factors that may convince Americans to look at wagons and MPVs over the usual crossover SUV?

The European market is certainly warming to crossovers, but the focus is on a smaller segment than in the US. Buyers have been moving out of both C-segment hatchbacks and D-segment sedans/wagons, as well as MPVs, into compact crossovers such as the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008, which may look like SUVs but are in essence high-riding hatchbacks. They tend to have greater interior practicality and space without much of a price premium over cars in the Golf/Focus/Astra bracket, whilst being marketed as more 'fun' than an MPV.

The next phase is the crossover-isation of the B segment - Nissan was first with its controversial Juke but the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, and others are poised to enter the market imminently. It seems certain that these cars are going to take customers from the upper and lower ends respectively of the B and C segments.

In a way it's a shame because crossovers appear to be overshadowing some fine cars in all the segments they're displacing...



Have you ever felt like you could float into the sky / like the laws of physics simply don't apply?
User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3643 posts, RR: 5
Reply 59, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4208 times:

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 45):
Yeah man. We're flying high on that cheap Iraqi and Afghani oil!  

Umm, no, you missed the entire point. We would not have ever been there if not for oil. Gulf war 1 - oil. Gulf War 2 - an extension of Gulf War 1. Afghanistan - we would have never been there if not for US oil money making the bin Laden family wealthy. Libya - oil. I was wrong, that's the last 4 wars.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 49):
Uh, that wasn't first generation. Mechanical Fuel injection started appearing in the 50s. and electronic fuel injection just a few years later. the first truely effective and reliable electronic fuel injection system was the Bosch Jetronic system that came out in the late sixties Your Mercedes and all Mercedes built in the 60s, 70s and 80s that had an 'E' in the model name (like 280 SE, 350 CE etc) had electronic injection. That's what the 'E' meant.

Jetronic systems were also used by Porsche, BMW, and even VW. Yes, the Beetle had Electronic fuel injection available since the early-mid 70s.

The Beetle wasn't killed for emissions. It was killed because it was a 1930's design that had more than outlived its usefulness.

The "E" stands for einspritzen and indicates both mechanical and electronic systems. My mechanical injection was a 500 SEL.

The Beetle was very much killed here for emissions. I was making a living buying and selling them at the time. Declining sales was not helping. Yes, the Beetle got FI in 75, all because of emissions. I still have a 77 convertible.

Quoting Mir (Reply 28):
I'd argue the Volvo XC70 has that title, but the Outback is a very worthy contender. I'd consider buying one if I were in the market (and I probably will be in a few years, but the Volvo will likely be out of my budget).

There is speculation today that Volvo may not be in this market in a years time.


User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 60, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4179 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
They weren't being harassed for not paying taxes. They were being harassed for driving a nice car.

Which rather like Pols smuggling in Norway was a good indicator of a person not paying tax.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 48):
The consumers don't need the government to tell them that seatbelts are good.

But they do, same deal with motorcycle helments everyone else understood that they were a good idea except riders in the US.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 49):
Airbags I think are stupid - they serve no purpose if you are wearing a seat belt - it's just an expensive piece of kit that adds cost and weight to a car, hurting fuel economy, and will never help me, since I have worn seat belts religiously since I learned to drive, and I don't relish the idea of an explosive going off in my face.

Rubbish, that's the biggest load of nonscense ever, sealtbelts in conjunctions with airbags are far safer than seatbelts along, however some folks (again in the US) appear to think airbags without sealtbelts is also a good idea, which it isn't.

Sometimes govt actually does do the right thing by the people, sealtbelts and crapping on oversized cars are something they did right.


User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2654 posts, RR: 4
Reply 61, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4127 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
But how is it fair that for decades Europeans were deprived of big cars, because their government decided they were bad? And a Camaro still costs upwards of $50k on the other side of the pond.

The vast majority of us Europeans saw and still see American designed and built cars as not very appealing.
Huge fuel bills, wallowing "suspension", interiors with very poor plastics and obviously fake woods and poor build quality to name but a few reasons. European cars were and to some extent still are superior in most every measurable way.
However, US manufacturers have been improving. The modern models of today do seem to sell, if small in number. The styling still leaves a lot to be desired and the interior is still very cheap looking. I've test driven several and just don't like how it feels like I'm in a plastics factory. Even the leather looks plastic!
Chevrolet seem to be doing well, they bought up Daewoo and are continuing their fuel efficient, cheaply priced but moderately well built ethic.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 51):
Not at all. I'm just saying that when I buy the gas, it's mine. Whether I use it to go ten miles or a hundred miles isn't really anyone's business.

That's fair enough.
But if you want to drive a fuel guzzler, man up and pay for it. Don't complain the fuel is costing you too much when there are dozens and dozens of more efficient vehicles to be had.

The glory days of an American pig iron V8 producing a laughable 250 HP with 8MPG and costing $50 a month to fuel with cheap petrol are coming to an end.

Want a reasonably fast car with low fuel consumption?
Import a European spec Mitsubishi Evo IX or X. With it's 2.0 Litre engine you'll get more HP than any American V6 with a surprisingly good MPG (upwards of 30 to 35 MPG). Also you'll like the build quality and reliability.

[Edited 2013-05-28 03:15:59]


arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineBoeing717200 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 855 posts, RR: 0
Reply 62, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4046 times:

Quoting mham001 (Reply 59):

That's interesting. I went to that region about 8 times in my military career and not once was it for oil. You must be confused about our real purpose for being there. I suppose if you haven't been there you wouldn't know because all you'd have to go on was a blabbering anti-war idiot in a classroom or some lame news outlet with an agenda.


User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 63, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4019 times:

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 62):
That's interesting. I went to that region about 8 times in my military career and not once was it for oil. You must be confused about our real purpose for being there. I suppose if you haven't been there you wouldn't know because all you'd have to go on was a blabbering anti-war idiot in a classroom or some lame news outlet with an agenda.

Looks like you bought into US govt propaganda big time.


User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3305 posts, RR: 13
Reply 64, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4016 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Why can't you guys all do what I do? I live with the Jeremy Clarkson philosophy: POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My car weighs 3,200 pounds and has 265hp, 280lb-ft of torque (0-60mph in 5.5 seconds). It gets 17mpg city, 23 highway if I'm driving very, very carefully. It's got the suspension of a track-ready sports car that jars your skull over bad roads. However, I can fit 5 people comfortably and II moved into a new apartment in just one trip with all of my stuff including about 800 pounds of furniture/clothes/possessions. I spend ~70 dollars to fill up every 10 days or so. It's the most fun car I've ever driven. It's raw, cheap, fast as hell, and super practical.

Now, don't get me wrong. If someone offered to put me in a proper sports car (Aston Martin Vanquish, mmmmm) I would absolutely give up my car for something a bit "classier" and more refined. And do I sometimes wish my car got 50mpg? Of course, but then it wouldn't have the performance it does, and that's something I prioritized when looking for a new car, so I don't complain. Will I eventually buy an MPV/minivan when I have a family? Of course, but it'll be the best-handling, most powerful one I can afford because I don't ever want to drive something like my parents' old 1992 Mazda MPV. Full-throttle on a highway incline just to maintain speed? No thank you, it ends up getting worse gas mileage doing that than my current car does cruising in 6th going uphill.

Remember, Top Gear did a half-serious fuel efficiency test where they had a Prius go around a track as fast as it could, and then had a BMW M3 do the same. The M3 was more efficient. So would you rather have fun, or drive like an old, blind bat?

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineb787900 From Canada, joined Sep 2011, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 65, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3921 times:

Quoting garpd (Reply 61):

Speaking of American cars, I have driven many different models, the current ones, the ones from the 80s, 90s and mid-2000s.
While I agree with what you said about American cars usually having cheap interior, I find that the most current 2012-2013 models have vastly improved in that area. I hardly see any hard or cheap plastic in any of the current Dodge/Chrysler/Ford vehicles built for Canada/US market. Quite the opposite actually. I find Dodge/Chrysler interior really comfortable, quiet, and well built. The same goes for Ford Fusion and Taurus. Only the cheapest American vehicles such as Ford Focus or Chevy Cruise seem to still have mediocre interior. I am saying this from my personal experience with those vehicles.

I find Korean vehicles such as Hyundai Accent, Elantra and Sonata to be the worst in that regard. The interior in all of them (at least in the ones I have driven) felt unusually cheap. Far cheaper than most American, Japanese or European cars I have either owned or driven. Excessive amounts plastic everywhere, rough and somewhat noisy ride, and mediocre acceleration.

As for the reliability of various car manufactures, I can't comment on that as I don't have enough information to make an informed opinion. But if going from my personal experience, the Japanese seem to build the most reliable vehicles. I also highly doubt that the European cars are as reliable as some say. I heard it largely depends on the actual vehicle or model. I have serious doubts about an average Skoda, Citroen, Fiat, or Peugeot, being any more reliable than an average North American vehicle of today/current generation. But because they are not sold here in Canada (other than Fiat 500), I have no way to get any first hand experience with them to be able to say for sure.

Most recent car reliability stats and reviews (for Canada/US market) suggest that the Japanese vehicles are indeed the most reliable, beating even the best of the best Euro brands.

[Edited 2013-05-28 14:09:35]

[Edited 2013-05-28 14:10:01]

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 66, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3857 times:

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 60):
Which rather like Pols smuggling in Norway was a good indicator of a person not paying tax.

It's an indication of being Polish. Profiling without any actual evidence is xenophobic.

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 60):
But they do, same deal with motorcycle helments everyone else understood that they were a good idea except riders in the US.

If people want to splatter themselves on a road that's their problem.

Quoting garpd (Reply 61):
The vast majority of us Europeans saw and still see American designed and built cars as not very appealing.

I never said they were better cars and there are plenty of good reasons to not drive one. Reasons far better than because the government doesn't like them in fact.

I don't care to ever own the large American car for a variety of reasons. Driving such things is an experience that typically leaves me bored after five minutes and annoyed after ten. But you're making my case for me: people have perfectly good reasons to not buy those cars and consumers aren't idiots.

Quoting garpd (Reply 61):
But if you want to drive a fuel guzzler, man up and pay for it. Don't complain the fuel is costing you too much when there are dozens and dozens of more efficient vehicles to be had.

I don't have a problem with that. But you have to recognize the distinction between the actual cost of fuel and the cost of penalties levied by governments because they decided they should prioritize for me.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20636 posts, RR: 62
Reply 67, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3845 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 68):
If people want to splatter themselves on a road that's their problem.

Your fellow citizens also have a right to protect themselves from the outlay of your upkeep for decades in a vegetative state should you not die after splattering yourself on a road, and also protect themselves from manslaughter and wrongful death suits from your estate because you wanted to act recklessly on the road if you do die in an accident.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7521 posts, RR: 23
Reply 68, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3830 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 21):

With regards to the Station Wagon vs. the Minivan vs. the SUV mantra; there's one item that's been completely overlooked... available towing ability/capacity.

The one (certainly not the only) reason why full-size station wagons (even when some makers of those wagons downsized or dropped their RWD V8 sedan counterparts) survived through the end of the 80s was due to the fact that each one offered an available Class III towing package that allowed such vehicles to pull a 5000 lb. trailer. These were the only vehicles, outside of large trucks and SUVs (Suburbans, Blazers, Broncos & even full-size vans) that offered such capabilities. While successful saleswise, the FWD-based minivans of that era and even today still can not tow as much. Typically a FWD-based vehicle was never designed nor intended for heavy-duty towing. The reconfigured (to a FWD platform) 2011 Ford Explorer indeed took a hit in available towing capacity.

When cars downsized in the 70s (in response to the first Oil Price Shock & CAFE standards); the biggest casualty of such was indeed towing ability & capacity. A 1978 Ford LTD & Country Squire equipped w/the 460 and Class III Trailer Tow Package had a 7000 lb. tow rating. The downsized '79 through '81 models w/the 351 (5.8L) could only handle up to 6000 lbs. and the '82 and later models w/the 302/5.0L (the 5.8L was dropped from the US market (except for police cars) due to CAFE) could only handle up to 5000 lbs.

Once upon a time, even mid-size cars (& station wagons) had more towing capabilities than their newer sucessors. A Torino or LTD II could tow a 6000 lb. trailer when properly equipped. But once those vehicles downsized (and converted to FWD later on), that was it in terms of mid-size cars being able to tow anything substantial.

While RWD-based minivans like the V6-powered Ford Aerostar and Chevy Astro/GMC Safari helped address the towing void somewhat among minivans, it still fell short of what a RWD full-sized V8-powered car (including station wagons) could do. Actually, those vans wound up killing off the passenger variants of the short-bodied full-size vans more than anything else. The cargo versions lived on for a few more years.

It wasn't until Ford and GM started offering large 4-door SUVs like the Expdition and Tahoe (which essentially was a shorter, more garageable Suburban) and V8 variants of the mid-size Explorer and Trail Blazer that ultimately doomed all heavy-duty towing packages for cars and even RWD-based minivans. Ford dropped its tow package off its full-sizes after 1996 and killed the Aerostar after 1997. GM killed off all its remaining RWD-based full-sizes (the plant that made them was converted to assemble Tahoes/Yukons) in 1996. Not only did the newer SUVs (particularly the full-sized ones) offer superior towing ability to the full-size car/wagons (Cadillac offered a 7000 lb. tow package as an option for its '93-'96 Fleetwood sedans) but because they were truck-based, they were only subject to the lower truck CAFE rating and didn't get hit was gas guzzler taxes. By the late 1980s, the 5.8L powered Crown Vic Police Car had a gas guzzler tax slapped on its price. When Cadillac got a larger than a 5.0L engine back on the options list in 1990 (the 5.7L) after a long drought; it initially had a gas guzzler tax.

The remaining station wagons among domestic manufacturers from 1997 until the Dodge Magnum rolled out, were all FWD-based models. The largest models being the mid-size Taurus/Sable and later the Saturn L-series mid-size wagon. People-movers, yes; heavy-duty tow warriors, no.

That said, does everybody that buys a vehicle for towing use it for such purpose 100% of the time? No. But if they have a boat or trailer and need to move it; they want to have a vehicle capable for such readily available. Many actually have more than one vehicle for this reason; a big one to do the towing or carry a lot of people and a smaller more economical vehicle that gets used more frequently. Heck, I know one guy that still keeps an old beat-up '79 Delta 88 coupe (it either has the 350 or the 403) at his summer cottage by the Susquehanna River that's only used to tow his boats in-and-out of the river. His daily driver is a newer mid-size Dodge Stratus sedan.

No sure if the above can be completely duplicated in the various European markets; the oringal topic of the thread.

As far as the general public losing favor overlarge station wagons during the 80s & 90s is concerned; another reason for such was that due to the fact that the very existence of the respective platforms was under a constant threat of elimination every year due to tightening CAFE standards (the car figure went from 20 mpg for 1980 to 27.5 mpg for 1985). At the time, neither Ford nor GM didn't wanted to invest the time and money in upgrading/modernizing their RWD platforms if they were going to be gone/discontinued in another year or two. Both originally thought that gas was going to be $3-$5/gallon by 1985 and that their large RWD platforms would be ghosts by then.

As a result, when gas prices tumbled, their full-size wagons were essentially carry-overs from earlier years. While those familiar with the type still bought them; those seeking something new weren't interested anymore (1978 had come and gone). Hindsight being 20-20, had Ford & GM knew that their RWD platforms were going to be produced as long as they were; maybe they would've modernized them sooner and more frequent. To its credit, GM indeed did such in 1991; but the overall negative reaction to the 'new' look of the 1991 Caprice (except for the police departments and die-hard big Chevy fans) soured the whole line-up including the wagons. While the new Buick & Cadillac sedans were much better looking IMHO; GM treated them like red-haired stepchildren and hardly advertised them.

Lack of advertising indeed didn't do the full-size cars any favors; although a few models sold decently despite such. There were a lot less ads in print and on television for the then-new '91 Caprice and '92 Crown Victoria than there were for the '77 Impala/Caprice and '79 LTD when they rolled out. Heck, I don't think I even saw an ad for the then-new '92 Buick Roadmaster nor the '93 Cadillac Fleetwood. The thinking may have very well been (guess on my part), if the sales of these cars increased further (due to increased public awareness through advertising - many people forgot that these cars were still in production); the makers would get hit w/more CAFE fines because sales of such cars would drag a manufacturer's overall rating down. By the late 80s and beyond, most new full-size car buyers were likely repeat customers and their continued preference towards these cars (along w/stable gas prices for most of the timeframe) were another reason why these platforms were still produced into the mid-90s (GM) and just 2 to 3 years ago (Ford).



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineaf773atmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2688 posts, RR: 1
Reply 69, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3792 times:

Its still odd to me that modern station wagons have not been accepted by Americans. The Dodge Magnum didn't do well, the Acura TSX Wagon is a great and practical car but it may be discontinued along with the TSX sedan, the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen is still doing well but I wish the Passat Estate and Passat All Track were also available in the states.

It would be nice if Ford brought the Focus Wagon back to America. The Chevy Cruze Station Wagon would also be a great addition to the practical car market as well.



It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2654 posts, RR: 4
Reply 70, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3768 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 66):
I don't have a problem with that. But you have to recognize the distinction between the actual cost of fuel and the cost of penalties levied by governments because they decided they should prioritize for me.

Here in the UK, fuel is taxed at 85% across the board.
You use more, you pay more. It's quite simple. As a result, there has been a significant rise of smaller, more fuel efficient cars in the last 10 years. To me, it shows that this tax has changed a lot of peoples thinking towards vehicles. I see this as a positive step.

If your Government decrees that there is an extra levy on fuel/insurance/taxes for those that choose a gas guzzler from among the dozens of more fuel efficient cars available, then you have to pay for it.

You decided to go large.
You decided on the guzzler
You control how much you drive
You control how fast you go

It seems it is time to start paying for that decision.
Society cannot continue to have to compensate for the selfish "I want big and powerful but want to pay the same as Mrs Smith with a small compact" drivers amongst them.

Unless you live on a farm, miles and miles away from a paved road, there is no need for a giant pickup, 4x4 or SUV with a honking big engine that guzzles fuel. There simply is no need at all.

In short, I do not care for the woes of those who complain their gas guzzlers are costing them dear.
To coin a phrase from an awesome film: "They chose poorly".



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 71, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3732 times:

Quoting garpd (Reply 70):

Already do. More tax already on my two 4X4s because they cost more/weigh more, use more fuel which means more tax there, too.

The point that I do actually live on 24 acres off a non-city, non-county, non-state, non-federal road (gravel road, maintained by ME and my neighbors with OUR $$) has nothing to do with it. Wifey doesn't NEED a Hemi, but she wants one which also has nothing to do with it.

There is a gas guzzler tax here in the U.S. when one purchases said beast. No one (that I know, anyway) seems to be complaining. It seems that most of those who complain are those who can't afford one but secretly want one.

I'll fully agree that many (if not most) large fancy SUVs are probably never used for design intent, but that is the purchaser's choice, wisely in their minds because of want, or foolish in practicality; THAT, however is freedom of choice. And again, the purchaser does pay more in taxes when using more fuel. Only my $0.2 (granted, a lot less than I pay in fuel taxes per gal). kind regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2654 posts, RR: 4
Reply 72, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3725 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 71):

All I can say is fair enough! You made your choices, you're living with them and accept the expense.
Quite a mature attitude and kudos to ya.

If I had the money, I'd get myself something bigger than my 2.0 Coupé.
But as I don't, I make do and don't complain.



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 73, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3724 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 68):
Typically a FWD-based vehicle was never designed nor intended for heavy-duty towing.

Not so fast PHLBOS my former Volvo V70 2.4D had a tow rating of 1800kgs for a braked trailor. They are very popular with Scandinavians who tow caravans.


User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 74, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3709 times:

garpd; thanks kindly for looking at my point of view. I am NOT against smaller efficient (especially the fun to drive) vehicles. I love the Fiat Abarth and have thought of one as a go to town (almost 40 mile round trip) small parts getter and fun runner but remember reading only so-so reports in the car mags. I'll have to do more research. Anyway, that's for another topic, but wanted you to know I very much DO like some of the smaller cars now available. kind regards...jack


all best; jack
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 75, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3701 times:

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 73):
Not so fast PHLBOS my former Volvo V70 2.4D had a tow rating of 1800kgs for a braked trailor.



1800 kg would be here considered low towing capacity. Not to mention that for some reason American cars have lower licensed towing capacity than European ones. I was shocked when I found out that towing isn't recommended for my '02 Oldsmobile Alero (I4 2.2 l, 140 hp). Just for comparison - my last car in Europe was a '96 Suzuki Baleno (I4 1.3 l, 85 PS). The licensed towing capacity was 450/900 kg.

BTW, the basic driver's license allows you to drive a vehicle (or car+ trailer combination) up to 11000 kg and many people are taking advantage of it.


User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7521 posts, RR: 23
Reply 76, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3695 times:

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 73):
my former Volvo V70 2.4D had a tow rating of 1800kgs for a braked trailor.

Metric Conversion Table http://www.metric-conversions.org/we...t/kilograms-to-pounds.htm?val=1800

1800 kg = 3968 lb.

Still less than 5000 lbs. (2267 kg) which was what full-size RWD cars (w/said tow package), and most RWD-based V8-powered truck-based mid & full-sized SUVs were rated at or above.

For comparison purposes, the FWD-based Ford Flex w/a tow package has a tow rating of 4500 lb. (2041 kg) and the current Ford Explorer (also FWD-based) has a maximum tow rating of 5000 lbs. (which finally does breaks the 5000 lb. threshold); however, its RWD, truck-based predecessor (2010 and older models w/the 4.6L V8) had a maximum tow rating of 7200 lbs. (3265 kg). It's worth noting that many considered the previous Explorer's 7200 lb. rating overtly optimistic; a similar argument might be stated w/the current Explorer's 5000 lb. rating

That said, are FWD-based vehicles finally making efforts in improving their towing abilities? No doubt, some of the larger variants (w/the larger optional engines where applicable) can handle some light & medium duty tow tasks; but for larger (more heavy-duty) towing tasks, a large, V8-powered RWD-based truck, van or SUV (no cars offered such tow packages after 1996) is still the best-suited vehicle for such jobs.

BTW, I'm assuming your Volvo is a diesel variant (judging by the 2.4D reference); an enigne type that is virtually non-existant in the U.S. market among vehicles w/heavy-duty tow packages. Out of curiousity, how old was it and why did you get rid of it? Offering a diesel option could give someone a more fuel efficient vehicle (than its gasoline-powered counterpart) without sacrificing towing capabilities.

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 73):
They are very popular with Scandinavians who tow caravans.

How large are those caravans?



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2654 posts, RR: 4
Reply 77, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3690 times:



Quoting cptkrell (Reply 74):
garpd; thanks kindly for looking at my point of view.

No problem. Reason will be met with reason  Smile
Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 75):
I was shocked when I found out that towing isn't recommended for my '02 Oldsmobile Alero (I4 2.2 l, 140 hp)

Seriously, it only gets 140 hp from 2.2 litres? We have 1.5L engines with that here in the UK!
Hell, the Mitsubishi Evo gets 230 something BHP from 2.0 Litres!

[Edited 2013-05-29 06:41:43]


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User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 78, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3673 times:

Quoting garpd (Reply 77):
Seriously, it only gets 140 hp from 2.2 litres?



This engine was used by GM around 2001-2004. It was an Ecotec, so probably you can find a lot of those in Europe as well.

Quoting garpd (Reply 77):
We have 1.5L engines with that here in the UK!



I know. Heck, VW has a 182 PS 1.4 litre engine and a whole bunch of problems with it. Personally, I'd rather stay with the 175 HP produced by the QR25DE.

That said, I have some rather bad experiences with European cars an their fuel economy. In 2009 I cheaped out and rented a Skoda Fabia. With the infamous HTP engine. That thing had no power and my average fuel consumption was just under 9l/100 km while driving around the countryside in Eastern Slovakia and Hungary. Well, this is the Altima's summer fuel consumption in the city.
In 2011 I wanted a Skoda Octavia, but due some problems I ended up driving a diesel Fusion. Again, no space, a lot of noise and shitty fuel economy.

Quoting garpd (Reply 77):
Hell, the Mitsubishi Evo gets 230 something BHP from 2.0 Litres!

Now, that's nothing special. The now discontinued Chevy Cobalt SS was getting 260 HP from 2.0 litres.



[Edited 2013-05-29 07:00:54]

User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 79, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3661 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 78):
Quoting garpd (Reply 77):
Hell, the Mitsubishi Evo gets 230 something BHP from 2.0 Litres!

Now, that's nothing special. The now discontinued Chevy Cobalt SS was getting 260 HP from 2.0 litres.

Engine life = (displacement / power output)

An engine with a power output of more than 1 hp per Liter is overstressed, and will not last long.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 76):
Quoting kiwirob (Reply 73):
They are very popular with Scandinavians who tow caravans.

How large are those caravans?

North Europeans love caravanning. The caravans involved would be laughed off the road in North America, and can weigh as little as a few hundred kg.

But even then it's funny to see these little underpowered cars towing them. they must be flat out on the highway.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3305 posts, RR: 13
Reply 80, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3659 times:
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Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 78):
Now, that's nothing special. The now discontinued Chevy Cobalt SS was getting 260 HP from 2.0 litres.

And my car gets 265 from the factory (with aftermarket tuners getting 340 or so with modifications). The Mercedes CLA has the most powerful production 2.0L petrol engine ever, it makes 355HP in the CLA45 AMG.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7521 posts, RR: 23
Reply 81, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3640 times:

One thing to keep in mind; horsepower is only part of the performance factor, torque is the often-overlooked other.

IIRC, torque is as equally important if not more important than just horsepower with regards to towing capabilities.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 79):
Engine life = (displacement / power output)

An engine with a power output of more than 1 hp per Liter is overstressed, and will not last long.

Quite true, back in the 80s, many turbo-charged 4-bangers didn't last beyond 50,000/60,000 miles.

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 69):
Its still odd to me that modern station wagons have not been accepted by Americans. The Dodge Magnum didn't do well

The Magnum didn't sell too well because it was:

1. Poorly advertised and marketed.

2. For a cargo-carrying vehicle, it was poorly conceived. The low roofline, narrow body and short overall length (for a vehicle w/a 120" wheelbase) made for a very inefficient wagon spacewise. With the seats folded, it's cargo capacity wasn't much more than a compact Ford Focus wagon of the era. In contrast, the big wagons of the 80s had about 90 cubic feet cargo volume and the giant wagons of the 70s had capacities ranging from 95 to 110 cubic feet of cargo volume.

IMHO, the Magnum needed an extra 10 inches in the rear, a slightly wider body and better advertising; and it might've been a sales hit until the economy crashed and gas prices spiked.

As far as automakers not offering wagons in the U.S. markets; personally I think it's more due to misguided marketing rather than actual public acceptance. They're not even willing to try to offer wagons in the U.S. market.


Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 69):
It would be nice if Ford brought the Focus Wagon back to America. The Chevy Cruze Station Wagon would also be a great addition to the practical car market as well.

   IMHO, the Focus wagon body style's better looking than its sedan and hatchback counterpart.

[Edited 2013-05-29 09:16:30]


"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3305 posts, RR: 13
Reply 82, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3632 times:
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Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 79):
Engine life = (displacement / power output)

An engine with a power output of more than 1 hp per Liter is overstressed, and will not last long.

First of all, I don't think you meant 1hp/L. That means my engine needs 2HP to be reliable...did you mean 100hp/L?

Secondly, that's an incredibly vague statement that has too many exceptions for it to be a rule. Forced induction can yield huge power numbers, I know of incredibly high-power cars lasting well into their lives. Conversely, normally-aspirated engines can have very low power/torque numbers but may grenade themselves early if they're running extremely high compression or are driven hard. Mazdaspeed cars are routinely hitting 150,000 miles. Corvettes/Porsches/Mustangs/Camaros also commonly last into those mileage numbers.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 83, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3602 times:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 82):

First of all, I don't think you meant 1hp/L. That means my engine needs 2HP to be reliable...did you mean 100hp/L?

Yes, sorry. 100hp/liter has been considered the holy grail of high performance for a long time, and was generally the realm of racing engines (which were only expected to last a few hours between rebuilds). Now we are seeing more and more street cars with that kind of output, and while metallurgy continues to advance, you are still putting a LOT of stress on the engine and components.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 82):
Secondly, that's an incredibly vague statement that has too many exceptions for it to be a rule. Forced induction can yield huge power numbers

Forced induction (i.e. turbos and superchargers), as PHLBOS mentioned, was one of the prime causes for early failure of an engine. In the case of a turbo, you are talking about a turbine spinning up to 50,000 rpm or some such ludicrous speed, which has to be cooled and lubricated by motor oils that were really designed for the rest of the engine which generally never goes beyond 7 or 8K rpm. Sure, they are better than what they were, but how many high performance turbo engines do you see still running in good shape after 200K miles or so?

Your typical American V-8 engine, ~5.0 liters and 200-300 hp, if you give it regular maintenance, should easily last 200-300K miles. In fact the engine itself should run a lot longer (assuming you don't drag race all the time) - the transmission and other non-engine components should run down faster than the engine.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 84, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3599 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 79):
An engine with a power output of more than 1 hp per Liter is overstressed, and will not last long.



Do you mean 100 hp/litre or 1hp/cu in?
I don't really like the downsizing trend myself. However, a lot depends on how is the car driven and maintained, so the downsized engines may actually last. That said, I'd never buy a Skoda Superb 1.4 TSi.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 80):
The Mercedes CLA has the most powerful production 2.0L petrol engine ever, it makes 355HP in the CLA45 AMG.



I wonder why is it still called a 45?

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 81):
One thing to keep in mind; horsepower is only part of the performance factor, torque is the often-overlooked other.
IIRC, torque is as equally important if not more important than just horsepower with regards to towing capabilities



Those small turbocharged DI engines can generate respectable torque from small displacement and 80% of this torque is often available at 1500 rpm.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 82):
Corvettes/Porsches/Mustangs/Camaros also commonly last into those mileage numbers.



Except perhaps for the Porsche, all above mentioned have rather large engines, so the engines aren't stressed too much.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 85, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 83):
Yes, sorry. 100hp/liter has been considered the holy grail of high performance for a long time, and was generally the realm of racing engines (which were only expected to last a few hours between rebuilds). Now we are seeing more and more street cars with that kind of output, and while metallurgy continues to advance, you are still putting a LOT of stress on the engine and components.

But now atmospheric racing engines give more than 300hp per liter without exotic metals (F1 V8 2.4 => 750hp) and they last more time than before (about 3000Km), so 100hp/L is nothing impressive.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 86, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3538 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 85):
But now atmospheric racing engines give more than 300hp per liter without exotic metals (F1 V8 2.4 => 750hp) and they last more time than before (about 3000Km), so 100hp/L is nothing impressive.

You are too hard to impress. 100hp/L is an impressive engineering achievement when building a car with a 100,000 mile waranty, expected to live twice that long or more.

If you only expect it to live a few thousand miles between rebuilds, that's much easier. You can also get there by revving the hell out of the engine, but that creates more wear and tear.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29799 posts, RR: 58
Reply 87, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3541 times:

I'll stick with my F-150.... I'll have had it ten years in November and will roll the odometer over 187k miles sometime this week.

It's amazing how long a vehicle can last if you change the oil and grease the bearing occasionally!

The car that I do wish had been imported to the US was the VW Country.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 88, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3449 times:

PHLBOS, your reply 81 on the Dodge Magnum: Fabulous looking and performing vehicle. Myself (and other GM retirees and current guys at the time) sez; "wow! that's the new Nomad!" ; except Dodge did it and Chevy didn't. If it had a bow-tie, it would have at least doubled or tripled in sales I think.

The lower roof line from the number three pillar rearward is what makes the car so cool (it's exactly the same inners and doors as the Chrysler 300 except for the rear quarter panel uppers and roof panel aft) and it will haul more than wifey's 300C even with her rear seats folded down because it is not a notch back. I would have opted for a Magnum instead of the 300 because of functionality, plus I think Magnums are bitchin' lookin', but the lady of the house prevailed (don't want a "wagon"). And I think THAT mindset is what put the car down (along with your correct, I think, opinion that it was never correctly marketed).

Cool deal is that one could get it with a reasonable V6 all the way to Hemi options. Sorry the car got dropped. No buy = no build, though.

BTW, nobody has mentioned the newer Ford wagon (I think it's gone after last year, too) that I can't remember the name of. It was squarish but semi-stylish and had the three stamped indentations along the body side. Wasn't a terrible looking "station wagon", but I guess nobody wants a wagon anymore over here in the US anyway. regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineaf773atmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2688 posts, RR: 1
Reply 89, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3446 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 88):

Are you referring to the Ford Flex? Its still available, and although it is a crossover I do like its wagon style looks.



It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 90, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3442 times:

Quoting garpd (Reply 70):
To me, it shows that this tax has changed a lot of peoples thinking towards vehicles. I see this as a positive step.

And that is a fundamentally backwards perspective on government, taxation, and freedom. Taxes are for providing funding for the government to carry out their necessary tasks. Taxes are not for shaping or changing people's thinking.

So, let's review: a gas tax for the purpose of building and maintaining roads (not railways, airports, dams, etc.) is okay. A gas tax for the purpose of punishing people who use what the government would deem too much fuel or the wrong fuel(s) is not okay.

Quoting garpd (Reply 70):
Society cannot continue to have to compensate for the selfish "I want big and powerful but want to pay the same as Mrs Smith with a small compact" drivers amongst them.

I don't care about paying the same as compact drivers. Buying more of something almost always costs more than buying less of it. Economics is already punishment enough. There were small and efficient cars before there was legislation on fuel economy. The government should not determine that economics isn't working and then try to adjust it because they think I waste too much fuel.

Quoting garpd (Reply 70):
Unless you live on a farm, miles and miles away from a paved road, there is no need for a giant pickup, 4x4 or SUV with a honking big engine that guzzles fuel. There simply is no need at all.

Who gives a shit what anyone needs? Freedom isn't about what you need, it's about what you want. Why does someone drive that car, which is bigger, faster, more powerful, more luxurious, etc. than what they need? Because they want to, end of story. No further rationale is needed than that. Not to the neighbors, not to the ecofreaks, not to the government.

If everyone only drove what they needed, 95% of us would drive Trabants. Go ask the East Germans how much fun that is.

Quoting garpd (Reply 70):
In short, I do not care for the woes of those who complain their gas guzzlers are costing them dear.

Nor do I. The complaints you should listen to are the ones about the government intentionally punishing those who choose to drive certain vehicles.

The government punishes those who it feels waste gas. But, if you buy a new Viper that gets 15 mpg on premium gas but you enjoy driving it, is the gas really wasted?



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineaf773atmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2688 posts, RR: 1
Reply 91, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3434 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 90):

If we only drove what we needed there would be a hell of a lot more efficient cars including hatchbacks, wagons, and MPVs instead of pickup trucks and SUVs. While a lot of Americans fantasize about giant and usually ugly SUVs, I fantasize about the day Volkswagen brings a MPV to America. Its funny seeing guys in my age bracket buy pickup trucks when they will never ever need its full capabilities.

I assume a lot less resources are required to build a station wagon or a MPV versus a SUV. Plus the station wagon and MPV usually win in gas mileage.



It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2654 posts, RR: 4
Reply 92, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3419 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 90):
A gas tax for the purpose of punishing people who use what the government would deem too much fuel or the wrong fuel(s) is not okay.

In your opinion. World opinion is different. We need to stop wasting fuel. Simple and plain fact.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 90):
The government should not determine that economics isn't working and then try to adjust it because they think I waste too much fuel.

Why not? You're wasting fuel, producing more waste gasses and toxins. If hitting you in the wallet is the only way to get you to change your ways and become a little more eco-friendly, then I think it's the best way.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 90):

If everyone only drove what they needed, 95% of us would drive Trabants. Go ask the East Germans how much fun that is.

Utter BS and you know it.
You opinion has been proven wrong here and you're resorting to silly arguments now.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 90):
The complaints you should listen to are the ones about the government intentionally punishing those who choose to drive certain vehicles.

I happen to agree with what your government is doing on that regard. Gas guzzlers getting hit in their pocket is a good thing for the world. It it starting to change peoples minds and realise that their huge uneconomic engines are not necessary.



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 93, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3426 times:

Quoting garpd (Reply 92):
In your opinion. World opinion is different. We need to stop wasting fuel. Simple and plain fact.

Then go buy yourself a Prius and leave the rest of us alone.

Quoting garpd (Reply 92):
You're wasting fuel, producing more waste gasses and toxins.

What if I'm producing enjoyment for myself?

Quoting garpd (Reply 92):
Utter BS and you know it.
You opinion has been proven wrong here and you're resorting to silly arguments now.

Not at all. If the argument is that there is no need and people shouldn't drive more than what they need, why not just let the government tell us what we can drive? If you have a baby, just fill out some paperwork so the government will allow you the luxury of a minivan. I could get by perfectly well with a Smart, but I have no intention whatsoever of ever driving one.

Quoting garpd (Reply 92):
I happen to agree with what your government is doing on that regard. Gas guzzlers getting hit in their pocket is a good thing for the world. It it starting to change peoples minds and realise that their huge uneconomic engines are not necessary.

So you believe in tyranny of the majority then.

Nobody ever said huge engines are necessary. They aren't, but if I want one I should be able to get one without the government passing judgement on it.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2654 posts, RR: 4
Reply 94, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3409 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 93):
Then go buy yourself a Prius and leave the rest of us alone.

"The rest of us". Who is that? The world does not revolve around the US you know. The WORLD is striving toward fuel efficiency.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 93):

What if I'm producing enjoyment for myself?

Knock yourself out. But don't harp on about its expense.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 93):
Nobody ever said huge engines are necessary. They aren't, but if I want one I should be able to get one without the government passing judgement on it.

No, if you want want, you must pay the going rate for it. If you contribute more than your fair share of pollutants and waste, you should pay more to compensate that. It's as simple as that. Don't like it, leave it. Again, quite simple.



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 95, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3408 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 76):
How large are those caravans?

My neighbour tows a 30ft tandem axel Hobby. A very popular sized van in Norway. His VB70 is a D5 model which has a tow capacity of 2000kg.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 96, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3352 times:

Here caravans had some success in the past but now everybody interested in a similar experience is buying RVs (quite an expensive proposition since you still need a car) for some reason. An uncle of mine crashed because he drove too fast with his caravan, he jackknifed downhill and the thing disintegrated on a highway, he made it out fine, though. With my parents we had a wagon, a small trailer with camping equipment in it and a big tent, that was enough for us and I'm planning to do the same with my kids one day (the wagon could be a minivan/MPV, though).

As for the 300C it was sold as a Chrysler, someone in my town has a station wagon one, it's pretty rare (the sedan even more), now they rebadged it as a Lancia, totally wrong brand in my opinion, I love Lancia but it's Italian, shouldn't sell an obviously American car.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15740 posts, RR: 27
Reply 97, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3345 times:

Quoting garpd (Reply 94):
"The rest of us". Who is that?

People who get worked up over fuel efficiency. If it matters to you, fine. Live that way, but don't dictate how others live their life.

Quoting garpd (Reply 94):
No, if you want want, you must pay the going rate for it.

What you're talking about is not the going rate. The "going rate" would be based on the cost of dragging oil out of the ground, refining it, shipping it to retailers, selling it, and having some profit on top of that. Government punishment because they deem some hobbies to be sinful is not part of the going rate. It's just tossing some freedom under the (probably highly subsidized) bus.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 98, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3339 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 96):
As for the 300C it was sold as a Chrysler, someone in my town has a station wagon one,

The 300 sedan was sold as a Chrysler on both sides of the Atlantic and here still does. Pretty good car, btw. I mean the one with sport/paddle shift option.
The station wagon was an Europe Only model. It was basically a Dodge Magnum with 300 front end and 300 interior.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 96):
now they rebadged it as a Lancia, totally wrong brand in my opinion

Agreed. I think Fiat is doing a huge disservice to the Lancia brand by selling rebadged Chryslers as Lancias. But since Chrysler as a brand doesn't exactly have a good reputation in Europe, it may be their only chance to sell.


User currently offlineaf773atmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2688 posts, RR: 1
Reply 99, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3323 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 97):

We're not forcing you to buy a fuel efficient car. But if you want a gas guzzler, you need to pay a little bit more. Simple as that.



It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 100, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3309 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 97):
What you're talking about is not the going rate. The "going rate" would be based on the cost of dragging oil out of the ground, refining it, shipping it to retailers, selling it, and having some profit on top of that. Government punishment because they deem some hobbies to be sinful is not part of the going rate. It's just tossing some freedom under the (probably highly subsidized) bus.

I notice you never consider the cost of your huge military defending oil supplies.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 101, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3309 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 100):
I notice you never consider the cost of your huge military defending oil supplies.

Actually, the US gets very little of its oil from the middle east. Around 10% of our needs come from there.

So it would be closer to the truth to say, "I notice you never consider the cost of your huge military defending EUROPE'S oil supplies."

You're welcome.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3643 posts, RR: 5
Reply 102, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3264 times:

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 62):
That's interesting. I went to that region about 8 times in my military career and not once was it for oil. You must be confused about our real purpose for being there. I suppose if you haven't been there you wouldn't know because all you'd have to go on was a blabbering anti-war idiot in a classroom or some lame news outlet with an agenda.

Ultimately, you were there for oil whether you knew it or not. That is the ONLY reason we are in the mid-east. Without oil, they would get all the attention we give Namibia, for instance.

Quoting garpd (Reply 94):
"The rest of us". Who is that? The world does not revolve around the US you know. The WORLD is striving toward fuel efficiency.

Before your get on your Euro high-horse, the US has dropped it's CO2 levels faster than any other country in the last few years. Not that CO2 is the end-all-be-all.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 101):
So it would be closer to the truth to say, "I notice you never consider the cost of your huge military defending EUROPE'S oil supplies."

This. On the other hand, if there were a disruption, we are bound by treaty to share the oil we do procure and the severe cost increases would cripple our economy as well as theirs. The only way to truly free ourselves of being held hostage is to make their product irrelevant. Natural gas and electric.


User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2654 posts, RR: 4
Reply 103, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3251 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 100):
I notice you never consider the cost of your huge military defending oil supplies.

Common myth and one that is very laughable.

Where is the oil in Afghanistan?
Where was the oil from Iraq?

Name one conflict the US gained oil from and please link us to an established and respected source.



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20636 posts, RR: 62
Reply 104, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3252 times:

Quoting mham001 (Reply 102):
Ultimately, you were there for oil whether you knew it or not. That is the ONLY reason we are in the mid-east. Without oil, they would get all the attention we give Namibia, for instance.

I would posit that the U.S. is in the Med for the security of Israel as well. It wasn't just by coincidence that the U.S. could have the USS Saratoga launch aircraft, along with a SEAL team and Delta Force, against the hijacking of the Achille Lauro on nearly a moment's notice back in '85.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2654 posts, RR: 4
Reply 105, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3256 times:

Quoting mham001 (Reply 102):

Before your get on your Euro high-horse, the US has dropped it's CO2 levels faster than any other country in the last few years. Not that CO2 is the end-all-be-all.

Indeed, but they're still higher than most of Europe.

My comment was not anti-US, but directed at someone who inferred that those striving for fuel efficiency and a cleaner world were in the minority.

[Edited 2013-05-30 13:30:25]


arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3643 posts, RR: 5
Reply 106, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3239 times:

Quoting garpd (Reply 103):
Common myth and one that is very laughable.

Where is the oil in Afghanistan?
Where was the oil from Iraq?

Name one conflict the US gained oil from and please link us to an established and respected source.

Hardly laughable. Even if no oil ever comes from Iraq and Afghanistan, they are both rooted in our thirst for oil. Oil money bankrolled Osama bin Laden and oil money tempted Saddam to invade Kuwait. Just like European oil contracts are the root of the recent Libyan makeover.


User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3643 posts, RR: 5
Reply 107, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3233 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 104):
I would posit that the U.S. is in the Med for the security of Israel as well.

Israel doesn't need us militarily. And without oil revenues, most of their enemies could not afford to fight them.


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 108, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3215 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 98):
Agreed. I think Fiat is doing a huge disservice to the Lancia brand by selling rebadged Chryslers as Lancias. But since Chrysler as a brand doesn't exactly have a good reputation in Europe, it may be their only chance to sell.

Fiat has been doing a huge disservice to Lancia for years without using Chrysler, and Lancia also has a terrible reputation in Europe, but some reputation is better than none at all.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 109, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3208 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 108):
Lancia also has a terrible reputation in Europe, but some reputation is better than none at all.

They made some fantastic cars in the past. It's sad to see them relegated to a secondary brand of Fiat - Kinda like what Plymouth was to Chrysler.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8017 posts, RR: 5
Reply 110, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3140 times:

Interestingly, hatchbacks being popular is a very distinctly western European thing. In much of the world, four-door sedans (or saloons as they're known in much of Europe) are much more popular--that's why the BMW 3, 5 and 7 Series four-door sedans sell quite well in North America and eastern Asia.

One MPV that might bear watching in the US market is the Mazda5, which may get the SkyActiv-D turbodiesel engine with six-speed automatic within a few years. And Kia is contemplating bringing back to the US market the Rondo MPV, this time with a modern 2.4-liter 173 bhp I-4 engine and six-speed automatic.

In many ways the US market already has a smaller MPV already on sale: the Honda Fit (which has been a success for Honda in the USA) and the upcoming Nissan Versa Note, which should be arriving at US dealers about a month from now. I wouldn't be surprised that Toyota may be contemplating selling the Verso S hatchback in the US market, probably labeled as a Yaris model.


User currently offlineaf773atmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2688 posts, RR: 1
Reply 111, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3092 times:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 110):

The Honda Fit and Nissan Versa are more hatchback than MPV. But I would consider the Toyota Prius V a MPV. I see that in Europe they offer a 7 seat option for the Prius V, but I don't think they offer that option in the states.



It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 112, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2975 times:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 110):
Interestingly, hatchbacks being popular is a very distinctly western European thing. In much of the world, four-door sedans (or saloons as they're known in much of Europe) are much more popular--that's why the BMW 3, 5 and 7 Series four-door sedans sell quite well in North America and eastern Asia.

I disagree somewhat, people like those BMWs here too, they mostly can't afford them, though. Now where the love of sedans is really visible (giving really ugly cars) is in all the small hatchback cars which get a boot as an afterthought to conquer those markets (Asia and Africa and Eastern Europe, not the US).



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 113, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2945 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 112):
is in all the small hatchback cars which get a boot as an afterthought to conquer those markets (Asia and Africa and Eastern Europe, not the US).



The king of eastern Europe is the liftback, not sedan. You can find some cheapo sedans there that sell well due to low price (Thalia, Logan), but the real king (or rather queen) is the Octavia. Not to mention that Skoda, which is very popular in the region, doesn't even offer a sedan. Even the Passat sized Superb is a liftback (yes, I know, it has dual trunk doors)


User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 114, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2904 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 109):

They made some fantastic cars in the past. It's sad to see them relegated to a secondary brand of Fiat - Kinda like what Plymouth was to Chrysler.

IMO Fiat is running into the same problem the US brands had in the past, far too many brands and not enough buyers.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 115, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2899 times:

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 114):
IMO Fiat is running into the same problem the US brands had in the past, far too many brands and not enough buyers.

I disagree. I hate to see car brands considered to be failures unless they sell more than a million cars. Lancia was always a relatively small company, known for interesting styling, interesting engineering (not always successful, but that was part of the charm).

I'd rather see a market with 50 manufacturers selling 100,000 cars each than one with 5 companies selling 1 million each.

And preferably not with the 50 selling each others' designs rebadged.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 116, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2844 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 115):
I disagree. I hate to see car brands considered to be failures unless they sell more than a million cars. Lancia was always a relatively small company, known for interesting styling, interesting engineering (not always successful, but that was part of the charm).

I don't think anyone wants to see the brands disappear, but having 50 brands selling 100,000 cars each just isn't sustainable, which is why there are issues with brands like Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Seat, etc that are losing sales and don't have a clear direction on what they want to be and how they fit in with the other brands in their group.

Just like what you saw with Plymouth, Pontiac, Saturn and Oldsmobile.

[Edited 2013-05-31 13:58:09]

User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 117, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2835 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 116):
Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Seat,
Quoting Polot (Reply 116):
Plymouth, Pontiac, Saturn and Oldsmobile

Interesting that you mention these as in trouble - the trouble is that they are trying to sell rebadged versions of other companies' cars.

I'd LOVE to own a Lancia or an Alfa. But I will not by a Chrysler that they slapped a Lancia nameplate on. If I wanted a Chrysler, I'd buy a Chrysler.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 118, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2835 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 117):
Interesting that you mention these as in trouble - the trouble is that they are trying to sell rebadged versions of other companies' cars.

But the reason they sold rebadged versions of other companies cars in the first place is because it is too expensive to design a completely new car for them, and because they don't have a clear focus it is difficult for the parent company to justify spending the money on developing a car soley for them. This is especially problematic with Fiat because Alfa Romeo and Lancia were their only "mainstream" luxury brands, and both brands really only have a significant presence in one market: Europe. So it is hard to create a dedicated luxury vehicle as it only has one major market to sell in. Chrysler, as much as you don't want it to be so, is the perfect foil to Lancia. Lancia is a "luxury" brand that only has a major presence (if you want to even call what they have that) in Europe. Chrysler is a "luxury" brand that only has a major presence in the US. The best thing to do? Develop a car that can be used by Chrysler in the US and used by Lancia in Europe.

Lancia already does that without Chrysler. Their non-Chrysler cars are just rebadged versions of Fiat products. Fiat can justify changing just the badge (and name) of the Chrysler car and nothing else because they are not selling the Chrysler version in the same market. With their other products a little more is changed but make no mistake, the Ypsilon is just a reworked Panda/500, the Delta is just a reworked Bravo, and the Musa is just a reworked Fiat Idea (and all their other products are the Chrysler 200, 300, and Town & Country).

[Edited 2013-05-31 14:26:57]

User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7521 posts, RR: 23
Reply 119, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2640 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 88):
PHLBOS, your reply 81 on the Dodge Magnum: Fabulous looking and performing vehicle. Myself (and other GM retirees and current guys at the time) sez; "wow! that's the new Nomad!" ; except Dodge did it and Chevy didn't. If it had a bow-tie, it would have at least doubled or tripled in sales I think.

The lower roof line from the number three pillar rearward is what makes the car so cool (it's exactly the same inners and doors as the Chrysler 300 except for the rear quarter panel uppers and roof panel aft) and it will haul more than wifey's 300C even with her rear seats folded down because it is not a notch back. I would have opted for a Magnum instead of the 300 because of functionality, plus I think Magnums are bitchin' lookin', but the lady of the house prevailed (don't want a "wagon"). And I think THAT mindset is what put the car down (along with your correct, I think, opinion that it was never correctly marketed).

Cool deal is that one could get it with a reasonable V6 all the way to Hemi options. Sorry the car got dropped. No buy = no build, though.

While there was certainly a cool factor to the Magnum wagon; as I mentioned earlier, Dodge barely advertised it ... even when it was first launched in 2005. That's a rather odd way of introducing a totally-new model wouldn't one think?

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 88):
BTW, nobody has mentioned the newer Ford wagon (I think it's gone after last year, too) that I can't remember the name of. It was squarish but semi-stylish and had the three stamped indentations along the body side. Wasn't a terrible looking "station wagon", but I guess nobody wants a wagon anymore over here in the US anyway.

The Flex is still around and got a mild facelift about a year ago (as an early 2013 launch).

2009 model:

2013 model:


IMHO, Ford's overall marketing of the Flex (one of my favorites among newer vehicles) is a textbook example of what not to do.

Launch an all-new vehicle and give very little if no advertising of the product. Yes, the timing of its launch was unfortunate with respect to gas prices soaring and the overall economy tanking (fall 2008) at the time; but Chevy seemed to have no problem with advertising the Flex's most-direct domestic rival, the Traverse, which also rolled out that same year. While the Traverse's sales likely fell short of its projected sales estimate (again, mostly influenced by the crappy economy), Chevy still advertised the vehicle and it sold; whereas Ford's been treating its Flex like a red-haired stepchild ever since it's been launched. And before someone chimes in on the current Explorer cutting into Flex's territory; the Flex was out 2 years prior to the current Explorer (which Ford still markets as an SUV as opposed to a CUV).

IMHO, to make the Flex more competitive to its nearest rivals and further distance itself from the slightly smaller but wider (yes, wider) Explorer; Ford needs to make the vehicle both longer and wider. Longer to increase cargo capacity (the current Flex is at 83 cubic feet vs. the Traverse's 116 cubic feet) and wider to allow for 8 passenger seating (the Flex can only hold up to 7).



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 120, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2624 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 119):
IMHO, Ford's overall marketing of the Flex (one of my favorites among newer vehicles) is a textbook example of what not to do.

Marketing is the least of its problems. Just LOOK at it!   

I grant that it is probably extremely functional. But it has all the aesthetics of Susan Boyle.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7521 posts, RR: 23
Reply 121, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2610 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 120):
Just LOOK at it!

I grant that it is probably extremely functional. But it has all the aesthetics of Susan Boyle.

IMHO, the '96-'99 Taurus (both sedans & wagons) looked a lot worse.

I will admit that not everyone likes the looks of the Flex but its limo-like 44-inch 2nd-row legroom (roomier than even the largest of SUVs in the States) is certainly an asset.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 122, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2578 times:

I personally love the looks of the Flex (and how Ford seemed to accept/embrace it's quirkiness for the facelift), but it is definitely controversial and would never win a sales race against the more traditionally designed Traverse for that reason alone.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 121):
I will admit that not everyone likes the looks of the Flex but its limo-like 44-inch 2nd-row legroom (roomier than even the largest of SUVs in the States) is certainly an asset.

Great big windows too, not slits like in some other vehicles.


User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 123, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2550 times:

Well, you folks have reminded me of the Ford Flex nameplate. Whilst I'm not really opposed to the origiinal styling or the new facelift, PHLBOS kinda hit the ol' nail on the head (Rep 119) about no advertising. Hell, I thought they'd discontinued the model, let alone facelifted it (photo, again, Rep 119).

Back when I was working in the autos, we'd internally call this a "tall wagon". GM had plenty of these more boxy guys in the sketch-to-packaging stage (one was coded "Joaquin", IIRC), but I guess they all went on the back burner succombing to more "stylish" appearance. regards...jack



all best; jack
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