Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

1245246248250251325

Comments

  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    The average American car buyer is stupid.

    And Your Score Based On Statement Above....

    Points
    10 = Accuracy (yes)
    10 = Succinct (yes)
    10 = Discouraging (very)
    10 = On Target (absolutely)
    10 = Indisputable (yes)
    10 = Surprising (no)
    10 = Subject to Change (no)
    10 = Frustrating (very)
    10 = Dangerous (definitely)
    10 = Funny (no)

    Congratulations, a perfect 100!
    Sad, but true...
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    But then we must ask ourselves what makes them so globally stupid.

    The answer being American car companies that persisted in wanting to sell land yachts for the past 60 years, and therefore had to convince Americans that they were the best thing in the world.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    the average american car buyer chooses a camry.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Stupid and would prefer an anonymous transportation pod.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    And yet the fact that remains that there are a large group of enthusiasts on either side of the "pond". It's just that the ratios are so much different. On a per capita basis the largest group is in the UK and other countries.

    To your point, Volkswagen did a series of consumer clinics around the United States (I think it was last year but could've been the year prior) and concluded that while in the European market, it is exclusively about the drive, while in the US market, it is about everything but the drive (witness the Focus, with SYNC is selling so well they have to increase production, while it is less powerful and only about as economical as the outgoing model it replaced.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Thanks for the interesting, yet discouraging report about VW and their market study.
    It brings to mind the disgusting, low grade, sleazy, TV shows one only sees in the US.
    Pretty scary when one thinks about who these shows are being written for.

    Just one more sobering reminder about who we are surrounded by out on the open road. A bunch of semi alert, hamburger eating, soda sucking, self absorbed bozo's with their foot dancing between the accelerator and the brake pedal, all the while forgetting which one does what..... :surprise:
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I'm not trying to start any kind of argument here, but, for the vast majority of the population, isn't the primary purpose of an automobile comfortable transportation, with maybe a little excitement added on for good measure?

    I understand that there is a group consisting of a minority of driving enthusiasts, and there are a few automobiles made for them (Corvette comes to mind).

    And, I also cringe when I see those "self-absorbed" folks participating in several functions at once, of which the most miinor one seems to be driving. These folks would be dangerous if they were riding a bicycle, much less driving a 1.5-3 ton bullit.

    However, to me, at least, I think the idea that every vehicle should be primarily performance designed isn't exactly realistic...
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    How stupid can we be? We are the only super power left and we are the only people to land a man on the moon. We just have different things to do than our European cousins. Driving in the US is no great pleasure because we like our roads wide and straight. At least in Southern California. Once you get passed the Grapevine heading north out of LA with a good aligned vehicle you can drive for 20 minites without touching the wheel if there is no traffic. They have brought European cars here before. The Renault and the Peugeot. We chased them out of the country with torches like movie monsters. Driving is secondary to the US consumer. Getting to where they are going is more important.

    Being different from our foreign brothers isn't a bad thing. After all the US consumer represents about 50 percent of the total car buying public in the world. we like power, we like bigger houses we like easy to use. We don't like high taxes we don't like Royalty and we will do what ever it takes to survive even if it means driving smaller cars because we "have to", but we will not ever like it. We want to have our cake and eat it to. After all far more of our foreign cousins are moving here than we are moving there. So if we are stupid think about the ones that want to leave such great places as Europe, Asia, and central America must be to come here and suffer our vehicle choices. To me a total moron would be someone in Japan making and selling a Super bike to the US and not being able to buy one at home. They did that in the 70s and early 80s you know? So in the end it is all a matter of perspective.

    Do I like small reactive cars? Sure but not as my only choice. Driving is only one facet of my life. It would make me sad if I had to give up hauling my toys to the desert to play in the rocks at the hammers or Rubicon. It is a far more depressing idea that I might not be able to buy a small commuter car the size of a large Quad to drive every day in bumper to bumper traffic.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    How stupid can we be?

    Oh man what a loaded question.

    We are the only super power left

    Hmm, except maybe that place where they are having the Olympics that owns the U.S., makes all of our consumer goods, and is a new user of fossil fuels (although their developing infrastructure uses newer technologies...).

    Once you get passed the Grapevine heading north out of LA with a good aligned vehicle you can drive for 20 minites without touching the wheel if there is no traffic.

    Where as in every other civilized nation, people don't live 2 hours from where they work so in 20 minutes they would be there.

    They have brought European cars here before. The Renault and the Peugeot. We chased them out of the country with torches like movie monsters.

    Which is ashame since Peugeots had terrific ride quality and were magnificent highway cars. A 505 TD had enough power to move (though not extra) and was reasonably fuel efficient as well. It was a POS but eh, you cant have everything.

    After all the US consumer represents about 50 percent of the total car buying public in the world.

    Which means the whole world will get to share in our recession because Americans don't know how to handle credit and lack fiscal responsibility. Starting with the government right down to everyone who took a variable home equity loan to buy a car and go on vacation.

    we like power, we like bigger houses

    Yup we just cant afford them as our standard of living drops due to the lack of a middle class.

    Do I like small reactive cars? Sure but not as my only choice. Driving is only one facet of my life.

    Its good that you are well balanced in your hobbies...from your description though, do any of your hobbies not consume natural, non-renewable energy sources?

    I like to restore and repair cars of interest. This actually keeps them off the road more than on the road, so I would argue it conserves fuel. My other main hobby is cycling, and other than competing with bio-fuels for lilengineeringboy fuel, I would argue is environmentally benign. I like a vehicle that gets good fuel economy that allows me to spend any discretionary income on other things, like preparing for retirement, home improvements, and hobbies.

    My issue is that my Accord gets 34 mpg on my commute and can hold 5 people (including 4 people and an infant seat) comfortably. It has an honest to goodness manual transmission with a pedal that disengages and reengages the drivetrain at my command. It is certified as an LEV. The jump from the Accord to the Fit or the Yaris doesn't gain me enough to warrant the change.

    It is a far more depressing idea that I might not be able to buy a small commuter car the size of a large Quad to drive every day in bumper to bumper traffic.

    I think you will; it will be an enclosed box with windows that let light in but you cant see out, and computers will drive the vehicle and handle intersections, etc.
  • After all the US consumer represents about 50 percent of the total car buying public in the world.

    How does that work? Last year, there were more than 70 million vehicles produced worldwide (and, to be technical, more than 50 million of them were cars). In that same year, the US bought just over 16 million light vehicles (just under 7.9 million cars). Even with fleets calculated into these figures, I can't see how there were only 12-14 million consumers buying cars in the world last year.
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Haven't found 2007 figures yet but wouldn't expect them to be radically different from the 2006 ones below. Obviously the lesser makes aren't listed. In the same year, the population of Europe was some 493million. Don't undersetimate the size, and power, of the European market.......it's bigger than the USA. Just thought you might be interested. ;)

    Top 10 vehicles by sale 2006

    1) Volkswagen: 3,111,855
    2) Peugeot Citroen: 2,019,540
    3) Ford: 1,623,532
    4) General Motors: 1,585,022
    5) Renault: 1,324,119
    6) Fiat: 1,156,152
    7) DaimlerChrysler: 922,461
    8) Toyota: 896,831
    9) BMW: 793,077
    10) Nissan: 313,507

    Total European sales 15,364,997
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,689
    They have brought European cars here before. The Renault and the Peugeot. We chased them out of the country with torches like movie monsters.

    Did I miss something? You do know there are still European cars sold here, right?

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    However, to me, at least, I think the idea that every vehicle should be primarily performance designed isn't exactly realistic..

    I do not recall anyone suggesting that "every vehicle be primarily performance designed". As I agree with you, they should not.

    However that is not to say that "some of the small cars" couldn't be performance oriented. After all, even a high performance oriented car like the Mini Cooper S still returns great fuel economy numbers. They consume far less fuel that your average Jumbo SUV, think Hummer H2, Escalade, Expedition, as well as the Jumbo Pickups.

    It's simply a matter of those of us enthusiasts, asking for what we want, that's all. After all, this is America, where it's about freedom, choices, and free enterprise. The more offerings the more revenue and taxes generated.

    Cheers..... :)
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Still are you saying you are willing to take China's life style as an example? Are they stupid? That was what I was responding to. And China is not a Superpower by the traditional standards. The fact that we like what we like doesn't make the American driver stupid. My hobbies? Shooting burns fuel of a different kind but yes off road rock climbing uses fuel. Astronomy doesn't use much fuel unless you count what it takes for me to get to some place with a 360 view of a dark sky. I used to be into Cycling and was at the old Ontario Oval when they got a HPV to exceed the 55 MPH, at the time, speed limit. I watched the CHP give the riders a honorary ticket.

    Where as in every other civilized nation, people don't live 2 hours from where they work so in 20 minutes they would be there.

    I have been to some of those very places you may be thinking of. And living on top of each other is hardly what I consider civilized. Ever been shoved into a underground train in Japan? At least in London you get to sit down on the underground most of the time.

    Whatever our short comings more people want to move here than want to move to China or any where else as far as I know. So if we are stupid then there are a lot of people that wish to be just as stupid as we are.

    Oh man what a loaded question.
    And if we are as stupid as some suggest where would you rather live and why? ;)
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Did I miss something? You do know there are still European cars sold here, right?

    Yes I do and maybe in the heat of the moment I wasn't clear. The US consumer buys as may cars as they do in Europe. And the post I was responding to was about all of the "interesting cars" they have in Europe and they have proven to be very interesting but not well received. The Renaults for one and the Peugeot for another. The Fiat I may have liked but it was a flop here as well. The Alfa looked good on paper but couldn't make it here. Some of these cars sell well where they were designed to sell but there is no reason for the American consumer to change their preferences simply because they are different from other people in other nations. I may like some of those same vehicles on a personal level but if it isn't as dependable as a toaster and as simple to operate the consumers they are trying to sell them to don't seem to be interested. Any company worth its salt has to design and develop their product for their customers based on their wants. To say the customer is stupid for not liking a product that doesn't meet their needs or wants is arrogant and elitist. IMHO. ;)
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Still are you saying you are willing to take China's life style as an example?

    No, just saying that they own huge amounts of our debt, are an economic superpower, and their standard of living is improving, which isn't the same direction ours is going.

    The fact that we like what we like doesn't make the American driver stupid.

    No, not stupid, I think ignorant is a better word that stupid. I think Americans were told what they liked, what success meant, and how to make it look like they achieved more than they had. I have no desire to own a Cadillac, a Lincoln or a Lexus, nor do I need a 4000 sq ft house to heat,cool, and clean.

    I have been to some of those very places you may be thinking of. And living on top of each other is hardly what I consider civilized. Ever been shoved into a underground train in Japan? At least in London you get to sit down on the underground most of the time.

    I was thinking about Santa Barbara/Goleta, San Luis Obispo, Ventura/'nard and Mountain View.

    Whatever our short comings more people want to move here than want to move to China or any where else as far as I know. So if we are stupid then there are a lot of people that wish to be just as stupid as we are.

    This may be true. I don't think the US is as popular as you think. India has incredible amounts of opportunity and a culture that thrives on that, Mexico's standard of living is increasing to the point where its not that big a benefit to manufacture there vs the US, etc.

    I think my generation and the ones that follow don't have their hopes and dreams tied to huge cars and huge houses as a sign of success. I have nothing directly against the subcompact other than it doesn't buy me much in fuel savings over the Accord, but if I was back on the central coast, I would do what was in my power to pick up a Mini convertible, or maybe a 3 series convertible (the E36 and earlier are listed as sub-compacts).
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    I think my generation and the ones that follow don't have their hopes and dreams tied to huge cars and huge houses as a sign of success. I have nothing directly against the subcompact other than it doesn't buy me much in fuel savings over the Accord, but if I was back on the central coast, I would do what was in my power to pick up a Mini convertible, or maybe a 3 series convertible (the E36 and earlier are listed as sub-compacts).

    None the less none of that makes the decisions of Asians or Europeans any more valid than the ones we as US consumers make. It does not make the owner of a Diesel Ford in Europe smarter because they drive a small car and pay a higher percentage of their taxes to do so than it does for our consumers. That was the original implication made.

    Post 7519
    The average American car buyer is stupid.

    And Your Score Based On Statement Above....

    Points
    10 = Accuracy (yes)
    10 = Succinct (yes)
    10 = Discouraging (very)
    10 = On Target (absolutely)
    10 = Indisputable (yes)
    10 = Surprising (no)
    10 = Subject to Change (no)
    10 = Frustrating (very)
    10 = Dangerous (definitely)
    10 = Funny (no)

    Congratulations, a perfect 100!
    Sad, but true...


    I find that offensive. I know American bashing seems to be the thing to do but if we did the same thing to everyone else with a lower standard of living than ours it would be called prejudiced. What is wrong with wanting a machine that is dependable and gets us from point A to point B every time without a bunch of quirks to take into account? If that is what the American consumer wants who has the right to call them stupid? Different strokes for different folks it used to be.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    What is wrong with wanting a machine that is dependable and gets us from point A to point B every time without a bunch of quirks to take into account?

    When getting from A to be is typically a 5-10 mile trip, and the person wants a Suburban for it as the drive it alone 90% of the time, not towing anything, and leaving the interior otherwise empty, I call that a quirk. Especially since Chevys aren't all that dependable. :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    has a big Earth Day section in the most recent issue, and the very first car in it is the new Verve/Fiesta.

    It says that American carmakers are still operating under the presumption that we will not buy hatchbacks, but really, isn't there a ton of evidence to the contrary? The Matrix has sold well for five years, the Fit is selling well, Toyota had to boost production of the Yaris hatchback due to insufficient supply, just to name a few.

    So they are developing a sedan off the Fiesta hatchback design, which is always a formula for an ugly sedan IMO. I just hope they sell the Fiesta hatchback too.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,149
    I never was much of a hatchback fan, for the simple reason that in the size of car I normally prefer, they simply don't make sense. Generally, the bigger the car, the less advantage you get from a hatchback, and the more ungainly it looks; unless it's one of those styles where they try to make it look like a regular coupe or sedan.

    But with smaller cars, often it seems just the opposite. Once you get small enough, sedans and coupes start looking awkward, and the hatchback style just makes more sense.

    Now comparing the Yaris hatchback to the sedan, I think the hatch is kind of a goofy looking little thing. But it's also a lot smaller than the sedan, and I'm sure that if they tried to make a sedan that small, it would look horrible. And be pretty useless.

    I kinda like the Versa. If I was going to get one of those, I'd take the hatch over the sedan. Those aren't exactly subcompact, though.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    Well, in 2000 Toyota took a rather nice-looking hatchback (the Canadian Echo) and hacked the back end to bits, pasted a trunk on, and sold it in the U.S. as the Echo sedan. This is why the Echo looks so darn odd from most angles except the front. That was a bad way to design a sedan.

    In 2005 Toyota had an American team design the Yaris sedan and a French team design the hatchback. Even though they share a name and a powertrain, there's a lot that the two cars don't have in common.

    The European design influence is clearly apparent (to me) in that the interior of the hatchback is more stylish and better outfitted than the sedan.

    The original Fiesta we got here, as well as all the European Fiestas since then, have been hatchbacks. The car is designed to be a hatchback. So is the Verve/2011 Fiesta. They will Echo-ize it, I'm sure, in order to produce a 4-door sedan for the U.S. and then in a couple of years they will wring their hands and say "why oh why did we bother to bring a B-class car to the U.S.?? Everybody knows Americans only buy gigantic cars!!". Which isn't true at all, Americans just know an ugly car when they see one. Which is why I hope they bring the 3- and 5-door Fiestas over as well, even if they DO insist on selling a sedan.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    You would think they would have finally figured this out with all the good looking hatchback like cars, even if they don't call them that, selling well in the US today.

    Ford still isn't very bright though.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127

    Now comparing the Yaris hatchback to the sedan, I think the hatch is kind of a goofy looking little thing. But it's also a _lot smaller_ than the sedan, and I'm sure that if they tried to make a sedan that small, it would look horrible. And be pretty useless.


    Comparing specs reveal the Yaris 2 door vs 4 door are the same size.
    It's the styling that makes them look different. Size is equal on the inside, outside, width, interior shoulder and hip room etc. The only difference is the sedan wheelbase is an extra 2 inches long to support the added 18" of body length for the trunk. So if you need the extra luggage space the sedan is the one.

    Conversely if you want a fun car with a distinctive European look, the 2 Door Hatchback is the car. In fact it's becoming very popular in the US, as it's the only Euro Style 2 door hatchback at such an affordable price. This is why Toyota just announced their second increase in production numbers to keep up with demand. After all now that gas is $4.00 per gallon, its' a great car for all around use.

    It's a shame that Honda passed up the chance to get in on this sector, as a 2 door Fit would sell very well here, especially since Honda has a great performance image. Besides 2 doors have always been sportier than four doors. The 4 door has always been a family sedan type of image. Not exactly sporty.

    I know our local Honda dealer well, and he simply cannot get enough Civic coupes. He also agrees that if he had 2 door Fit's to offer, he predicts that they would outsell the Civic coupe 2 to 1. With price being one of many reasons, he says that the Honda dealers in the region have been asking for a 2 door, since news of the Fit first surfaced over two years ago. However much like Toyota, Honda is a very conservative company (look how long it took them to get their Mini Van to market) and decided they would only build one version of the F
    it. Ignoring what has been, at least here in CA, a huge demand for 2 door Civics for years.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,918
    A reporter would like to talk with recent buyers of the Honda Fit, Ford Focus, the Smart car and other subcompacts. Please respond to jfallon@edmunds.com with your daytime contact information and a few words about your experience no later than Tuesday, April 29, 2008.
    Thanks,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds Inc.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    things never change that much. I can remember reading about the demise of the Coupe in car magazines not all that long ago and now to some extent they are back. Child safety seats almost killed them for the family. The Accord and Camry as well as their domestic compitition made the mid sized sedan the only compitition the SUV had in the 89s and 90s. Now the sub compact is popping up again and with it the hatchback. For the most part Americans have always felt a trunk was a safer place to store things. It doesn't matter if that feeling is true or not it was the perception. Maybe it was an out of sight out of mind kind of thing. You could put your tools, jumper cables and maybe even a gas can in the trunk and only see it when you needed them. But with a hatchback most of those things would look like clutter. And looking through the back of the average hatch some of those things are just a temptation. The hard plastic deck on many hatches is an improvement but in many cases that just gives the average hatch a flat trunk unless you place the deck on the floor. They have their place and work well on many cars but they just don't "look" as much like a car as we seem to expect. To me they make a car look like a small delivery truck. Just my opinion.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    You could put your tools, jumper cables and maybe even a gas can in the trunk and only see it when you needed them. But with a hatchback most of those things would look like clutter. And looking through the back of the average hatch some of those things are just a temptation. To me they make a car look like a small delivery truck.

    Your points are well taken, and I don't disagree with you. However as someone who has always been fond of sporty little hatches, I can overlook not having a trunk.

    Also as a minimalist, I rarely put anything in the "back" of my Yaris hatchback. Mostly because I love cornering at a high rate of speed. Thus in doing so, anything that's back there would be "launched" into another part of the car, thus I simply do not use that area.

    After the suspension mods I've made to my 08 Yaris S hatch, along with 18" tires and wheels, it's like the two stroke Yamaha Racing Kart I used to pilot at the ripe old age of 12 years old!

    Is that a corner ahead? Keep that throttle down and just turn.....whooo hoooo!

    Nothing like a short wheelbase, lightweight vehicle like my Yaris. Fun, fun, fun! It makes the little kid in me Smile... ;)

    Cheers
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,695
    Reminds me of a Toyota model preview a few years ago, the writer was in a Supra at the track, saw a car growing larger in the mirror, and was passed by a Tercel - driven by Phil Hill, that is :surprise:
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    I go almost no where without a fire extinguisher, jumper cables, a small socket set and maybe a quart of oil. When I used to live up in the mountains I also had some coolant with me. Not always for myself but sometimes for people that forgot to turn off their air on the 5000 foot increase. With the Tahoe I have added a tow strap and tie downs. Yes my AAA card will do about as much but it is the old "wrencher in me". And when I drive the Sedan, I add the gas can.
  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    They are not building cars most Americans want and won't bring their European cars over here.SUV's V8's and some V6's are out. Yet they are still building muscle cars.
    Where the Ford Focus hatch w/heated seats and a sunroof ?
    I bet if Honda puts some options on thier Fit as I mentioned they'd sell mucho.Same with ths Yaris,Scion XA, and Yaris .
    Man, gas is $3.89 Premium for my car, but I'm not spending 26 K for a Mini.I need a Hatchback for going to Home Depot ,or taking my window screens tro Ace Hardware to be fixed.
    I have a Tpye S hatch and it looks like I'll have it untill it dies.
    Hundi has a hatch,but not with toys I want.I think a small hatch with lots of options would be a sucess with gas $4.00 a gallon.
    How many women I see with Murano"sBlazers Escalades,.andI bet not one of them has been off road. . :confuse: :
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Honda's putting some new toys into the Fit for 2009, including a navigation system. Hyundai is releasing the Elantra Touring hatch for 2009, including heated seats (should have leather available too) and XM...so far no nav though. :(

    American car companies put as little money as possible into designing compact and smaller vehicles....they don't make money off of them. They're only there to bring the fleet average down for CAFE, so i suppose it makes some sense to sink as little money as possible into them. But why is it other companies can make money off of the things?
Sign In or Register to comment.