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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 11:25 PM
ssiguy ssiguy is online now
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Lamenting the decline of the car

I don't know about the rest of you guys but I am very sorry to see the decline of the good old fashioned car. I can't stand driving these SUVs which are just trucks with urban name because to me that's exactly what they feel like.

Now that Ford and Chrysler are no longer going to be producing almost any and GM basically getting rid of all their Buicks and half of their Chevy and Cadillac line-ups, it's very possible they too could eventually go the way of the dinosaur. There is talk that even Lincoln cars will be gone as will Dodge Chargers and even potentially the Fiat's which have seen plunging sales, leaving only Ford producing their cool little Mustang.

Now we are basically left with just small Japanese/Korean/German producing good cars that look exactly the same. Outside of a few different grills and the front ornaments for brand appeal and snobbery, we are stuck with the same monotonous designs forever.

Last edited by ssiguy; Feb 20, 2019 at 12:30 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 11:45 PM
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I miss the cars that were prolific when I was a teen in the '80s and '90's, cars like Toyota Supras, Mazda RX-7's, 240Z's, I almost exclusively prefer the old Japanese cars, with a few exceptions

I've held onto this old girl since 2006, it's a 1982 Volvo 242 GLT and the nice thing about it is that I can fix almost anything on it myself. The Volvo 240 series is probably one of my favorite cars of all time because they were built so well and designed to last a long time. My dad had an old mid 70's 240 wagon when I was a kid and there's something about it, the way the controls looked, the utilitarian styling, the smell of the leather interior that I found somehow fascinating.

I'm lucky to have this car because A) there are not many out there left and B) It's actually my favorite car. If you asked me what car I wanted with unlimited budget this would be it (with a few fun things done to it of course). This car is now in the appreciating stage which is interesting. I've seen cars similar to mine go for $12,000-$15,000 rust free with good paint.

We have a 2011 Tacoma and a 2016 4Runner and I hate even opening the hood on those things.

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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2019, 11:51 PM
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I'm with you. As someone who enjoys driving, I hate being stuck behind some soccer-mom behemoth that basically blocks my view of what is going on the road ahead. I wouldn't be suprised if that's a big factor in the increasing accidents.

I have no desire to drive one of these clumsy handling, fuel-sucking barges,
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 12:24 AM
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The larger vehicles annoy me as well. I think owning anything larger than a sedan in a CMA should require a permit - you apply and if your family isn't large enough or your occupation doesn't require it, you can't legally drive that truck.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 12:45 AM
ssiguy ssiguy is online now
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Not only is it sad to see their slow death but also damn well dangerous.

Notice how all the companies bowing out are the NA ones. They state it's due to the derclining market which is a falsehood. It's not the declining market but rather their inability to compete in it. You don't see VW, BMW, Audi, Mercedez, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Tesla, or Subaru leaving the sector.

Of course the mini-vans and especially SUVs are far more profitable per-vehicle than your standard car so this is why our 3 domestic producers have retrenched. That however is a dangerous move. The reason why people can afford these more expensive vehicles has nothing to do with rising wages and everything to do with ultra-low interest rates. People no longer view whether or not they can actually afford the vehicle but rather afford the payments.

In highly indebted Canada we have built an economy on debt but what happens when the interest rates rise and all of a sudden these far more expensive SUVs & trucks become too expensive for the pocket book? People will have to revert back to cheaper vehicles which means your standard car but there will be no NA options.

Gas is also realatively inexpensive {except Vancouver} but what happens when the price of oil potentially goes back up to over $100 barrel which can happen very quickly as it is the one commodity that is most succeptible to world geo-political tensions? These SUV are going to kill the soccer Moms. Trump also has an influence here. He has rolled back both emissions and fuel economy standard but what happens when a Democrat is re-elected and reintroduces them? The SUV will not meet either requirements.

There are also changing demographics. The suburban soccer Moms may like them but not older Canadians who want to drive in comfort and the kids are gone. Our growing senior population will go back to cars which now means complete foreign providers as the domestics are out of the game.
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 12:47 AM
ColdGarden ColdGarden is offline
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Larger vehicles are more practical and more comfortable. While car magazines pretend that all car buyers are looking for sporty red light grand prix racers with "tight handling" and able to do the slalom in XYZ - in reality people just want to be comfortable in their cars with hints of luxury and able to do an IKEA/COSTCO run without breaking a sweat.

I'm glad auto makers are listening to what people actually want instead of chasing the car magazine dragon.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 1:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatnext View Post
I'm with you. As someone who enjoys driving, I hate being stuck behind some soccer-mom behemoth that basically blocks my view of what is going on the road ahead. I wouldn't be suprised if that's a big factor in the increasing accidents.

I have no desire to drive one of these clumsy handling, fuel-sucking barges,
Agreed.

I definitely don't think larger vehicles are more practical overall. They're just more practical in a few select (overemphasized) ways. They're less energy efficient, take up more room complicating parking and maneuvering, have poorer handling, and cost more than a smaller vehicle of otherwise equivalent stats. Efficiency and functionality are both issues of practicality. People focus way to much on the "what if' aspects of life to the detriment of "what's frequent". For instance, wanting these crossover type things for the AWD for the 2 out of 365 days when it would actually come in handy and sacrifice efficiency on all the rest of the days as a result. And a lot of people seem to think it improves handling and helps prevent accidents when it does no such thing. I mean, the number of times the average person would be driving their FWD car in conditions in which it's likely to get stuck are so few it's ridiculous. Unless you're trying to get in/out of your driveway without shoveling or you're driving in a storm before the plow goes through (pretty risky regardless), you may never encounter it.

Generally I'd consider a larger vehicle less practical unless you have a specific reason for needing one (such as hauling a large family).
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 1:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ColdGarden View Post
Larger vehicles are more practical and more comfortable. While car magazines pretend that all car buyers are looking for sporty red light grand prix racers with "tight handling" and able to do the slalom in XYZ - in reality people just want to be comfortable in their cars with hints of luxury and able to do an IKEA/COSTCO run without breaking a sweat.

I'm glad auto makers are listening to what people actually want instead of chasing the car magazine dragon.
You could do all that with a VW Golf.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 1:31 AM
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I love our 4Runner for long trips though. We take frequent road trips to BC with our two dogs and whatever else we’re bringing, that extra room makes for a very comfortable drive.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 1:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatnext View Post
I'm with you. As someone who enjoys driving, I hate being stuck behind some soccer-mom behemoth that basically blocks my view of what is going on the road ahead. I wouldn't be suprised if that's a big factor in the increasing accidents.

I have no desire to drive one of these clumsy handling, fuel-sucking barges,
The most annoying thing is when you want to turn left at a green light waiting for a break in the flow of incoming traffic while a suv across the intersection is also waiting to turn left and you are facing each other in your respective left turn lanes. Due to the size of the suv blocking the view, I sometimes have to move away from the left turn lane and onto the lane with the cars coming my way because I can’t see a damn thing. I have no doubt accidents have happened in the past in situations like this.

Not to mention that pedestrians hit by a suv are something like 50% more subject to severe injuries than if they were hit by a car.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 1:44 AM
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There's almost no disadvantage to a larger vehicle and great advantage if you frequently (or even infrequently) make use of of the space. Therefore, large vehicles are better, especially if you don't care too much how they drive.

I never understood much why sedans (especially tiny ones) were so popular here given the inherently crappy design of the trunk vs a hatchback. Luckily, North Americans have learnt the error of their ways but have decided to mostly not bother with small hatchbacks and just go for SUVs, given their increased practicality.
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 2:30 AM
yaletown_fella yaletown_fella is offline
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Back in the 1970s a Canadian company called Bricklin produced a cool and affordable sports coupe similar the the Delorean with the gull wing doors. Didn't sell.

Unfortunately being novel and unique is often out of peoples comfort zones. That goes for so much of life sadly.
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  #13  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 2:35 AM
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Count me in as a sedan/hatchback fan too.

While I am disappointed to see the North American automakers retreat from sedans and hatches, I can't say that they ever really appealed to me. The closest one I can think of in recent memory is the Ford Focus (or maybe Ford Fiesta hatch). Aside from a couple of exceptions, the Detroit automakers viewed small sedans and hatches as afterthoughts.

There's still plenty of selection available and I'm sure the workers at the Toyota plant in Cambridge and Honda plant in Alliston are quite happy to hear that Detroit is giving up.

In the short-term, the move away from small cars makes sense for Detroit. Unlike other automakers, they've struggled to profit from the segment. This will help in the short run to improve profitability. The danger lies in the long-term, as sales of expensive vehicles are more prone to decline more precipitously during a recession (see: 2008/09). IMO, Ford is in the best possible position as they still have their designs in Europe that they can import or assemble here if conditions change. Fiat-Chrysler is second, as they have the Fiat connection. GM is the worst of the lot, as they've sold their European operations - the lead time on developing a new vehicle is 3-4 years minimum.

That being said, let the people buy what they want. I still have a soft spot in my heart for an early 2000s Mazda Protege - the only car I still miss. It's a shame that the light, airy sedans and hatches of the late-1990s and early 2000s have bulked up, but hey, cars are far safer than in the past.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 2:38 AM
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Generally speaking, new cars are mono-everything, appeal to everybody, digital POS. Enjoy your Ford Edge.


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Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 2:40 AM
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Generally speaking, new cars are mono-everything, appeal to everybody, digital POS. Enjoy your Ford Edge.


http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...Background.jpg
Does yours have the 2.0L or 2.2L? At any rate, a screamer of an engine.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 2:43 AM
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F20c, 2.0l

#naftw
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 3:11 AM
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
There's almost no disadvantage to a larger vehicle and great advantage if you frequently (or even infrequently) make use of of the space. Therefore, large vehicles are better, especially if you don't care too much how they drive.

I never understood much why sedans (especially tiny ones) were so popular here given the inherently crappy design of the trunk vs a hatchback. Luckily, North Americans have learnt the error of their ways but have decided to mostly not bother with small hatchbacks and just go for SUVs, given their increased practicality.
Using more fuel to lug around unneeded space is a disadvantage. Though obviously not a concern to those who peddle oil.

Look at most of the cars on the road: the majority carry one person, event the Ram Quad Cabs lumbering around the city.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 3:16 AM
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The difference in fuel economy isn't that great, and I'm not sure what logic you could use that someone who peddles oil wouldn't be concerned with the amount of fuel their car uses. It's not like we receive the fuel for free, we still pay for it. But the minor increase in fuel cost is far outweighed by the increase in practicality of a larger vehicle.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 3:23 AM
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I don't know if I agree with the premise of this thread. Most SUVs in Canada aren't the pickup truck-based gas guzzlers that they were when I was a kid in the late 90s. Most of them are now crossover vehicles that are built on compact car platforms and have modest 4 cylinder engines in them. Their fuel economy has improved considerably too.

I don't remember cars being more novel back then, either. The late 90s/early 2000s was a period of mergers and acquisitions in the car industry, and the cars all seemed to be rebadged versions of something else with designers making less of an effort to hide this.

I don't have much nostalgia for the cars of my youth. Maybe that is the turning point for millennials compared to earlier generations, and explains why we don't care much for cars as a status symbol*

*the elephant in the room being that cars are expensive and we don't have much disposable income.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 3:31 AM
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
The difference in fuel economy isn't that great, and I'm not sure what logic you could use that someone who peddles oil wouldn't be concerned with the amount of fuel their car uses. It's not like we receive the fuel for free, we still pay for it. But the minor increase in fuel cost is far outweighed by the increase in practicality of a larger vehicle.
I have a 2009 Mazda 5 and 2012 Honda Fit and use both as family cars. Both average around high 5/low 6 litres per 100 km. Even a small SUV like a CRV will consume almost double the fuel. Neither has ever required anything beyond routine maintenance so they are cheaper than cheap to run.
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