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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    If you are willing to spend more money why get a sub compact? That's easy, because small sporty performance cars are a lot of fun if you are a Driver.

    I say horse feathers. I have had small sub compacts and they may feel sporty but they aren't all that sporty in reality. When Honda came out with the Accord was in a mid sized? No it was smaller than a Civic is today. Where did all the drivers go when it got bigger? They went with it. For a while the Accord may have been the number one selling Sedan in the US and then the Camry took its place. So by the numbers what do drivers really want? The average driver is not an enthusiast by the standards of this group. And the Yaris is not an enthusiasts car by the standards of most enthusiasts magazines. At least Car and Driver, Motortrend and Sports Compact car doesn't seem to spend much time on them while they will wax poetic over many other cars.

    I am not saying there is anything wrong with preferring econo boxes. I am saying they simply are not much of an improvement over what we have had for years. Sure they seem like they are sporty but when we go to the road tracks and watch the real sporty sedans race we don't see a lot of Yari? Yaris'? The Civic, Focus, Mazda3 have been a standard in sport compacts for a long time and I don't see the Yaris surplanting any of those either at the 1/8 or 1/4 mile races or any of the road courses. But I will admit sporty is more than a word to me or a feeling in your back pockets. Sporty is not taking a 15k Yaris and spending enough money to make it run with a stock RSX. Sporty is bringing your ride to the track on Saturday and placing it against the other guy. It doesn't matter if you run in the drags, road course or Autocross/Solo sporty is more than how it feels to you.

    The whole question comes down to the title of this forum. What is wrong with these "new" subcompacts? The answer is, they aren't all that new, except for the name. A Sub compact should get much better fuel mileage than a compact. It should cost a lot less and in many cases this is simply not the case. Just my opinion of course.

    Andre,

    Let us put it this way. When a car sells at Barret Jackson which model brings the most interest? The slant Six or the hemi Cuda? The standard Mustang or the GT? The Camaro or the Camaro SS or better yet the Z-28? I go to car shows and I know the answer.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    your point kind of meanders around there, but I think what you are missing in podred's post is this: small light cars have a natural handling advantage by dint of their size and weight that bigger heavier cars have to compensate for with extra hardware under the chassis and much larger tires, etc. Of course, best-sellers like the Camry DON'T put that stuff in, with the result that for $5K less the Yaris outhandles the Camry.

    On the flip side, subcompacts today are not like the ones you remember: they have most of the ride comfort and interior space of the larger cars you prefer. That is the main thing that sets apart today's subcompacts from the breed of the past. The natural handling advantage the small cars have over the large is just a bonus (that bonus continues to pay you back over the life of the car too, in the form of lower insurance rates, lower maintenance costs (compare the cost of 14 and 15 inch tires to the prices of the 16 and 17 inch H- and V-rated tires they needlessly put on family sedans these days), and yes, some gas savings too).

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

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    I understand all of that. But lets face it 108 HP Yaris is not by any stretch of the imagination a sporty little car. An economy car? Sure it is. But like I said not something promoted by most enthusiasts magazines as a performance vehicle. Will they save you money? More than likely but will they grab you like a RSX or a WRX? I don't think so. Plus they are in most cases something you use as a second car or a car you will be moving from to something better some day.

    The life of the car depends on the person as well. For someone like yourself the advantage is you aren't a family person. If you were the average family man with two adults and 2.5 kids a sub compact can't be your primary transportation. It could get you to and from work, that is point A to point B. 5 days a week. For me it would make a good week day car but it doesn't allow for a life style that includes dirt bikes, boats, quads or even camping. Nothing smaller than an Outback would fit the bill. Shoot a Yaris requires too many compromises for winter sports and maybe even surfing. Yes I have been in a Echo and a Camry, the Camry is more comfortable when taking five people to lunch or driving to Del Mar for opening day.

    If the question was should they make sub compacts I would simply say sure, why not. If the question is why aren't they something we dream of owning I have answered from what I consider the popular perspective. They offer very little more than smallness with the exception of the Mini. The manufacturers realize this and that is why the don't put as much effort into sub compacts or why they are willing to de-content them to save money. Will they do if we are forced into them because of fuel prices? More than likely but they will never replace the utility of a mid sized Sedan. Do I believe they are better than sub compacts than we were forced into in the 70s? Sure but they don't get the fuel savings one would expect after all of these years. We can say ya but all we want but I remember taking a trip in my old 96 SC-1 from LA to a bit south of you in San Jose. The little single overhead cam coupe averaged 39 MPG both ways. How are the new Sub Compacts going to impress anyone if 13 years later that can't all beat that?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,797
    but will they grab you like a RSX or a WRX?

    Lets me realistic here, for a majority of the time most people will only need what a 108hp Yaris will deliver. Also in most peoples commutes there is nothing you can do in an RSX or a WRX that you cannot do in a Yaris. Tell you what, I'll take the Yaris you take the WRX and we will drive my commute, I'll bet you next months mortgage that I will make it each way much faster than you.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I understand all of that. But lets face it 108 HP Yaris is not by any stretch of the imagination a sporty little car.

    2008 Yaris 2293 lbs Curb weight/106 hp = 21 lb/hp

    2003 RSX 2800 lbs Curb weight/160 hp= 17.5 lb/hp

    1995 Miata 2400 lbs curb weight/140 hp =17.1 lb/hp

    Not a huge difference there...don't get me wrong, I think the Yaris is ugly as sin, but eh, a lightweight car is fun to drive as witnessed by the Miata, which isn't what most call fast.

    The life of the car depends on the person as well. For someone like yourself the advantage is you aren't a family person. If you were the average family man with two adults and 2.5 kids a sub compact can't be your primary transportation. It could get you to and from work, that is point A to point B. 5 days a week. For me it would make a good week day car but it doesn't allow for a life style that includes dirt bikes, boats, quads or even camping. Nothing smaller than an Outback would fit the bill.

    It depends on how often that feature is required. I have to bring home lumbar from Home Depot, I guess I need a F250 at least...or I could put some of it in the back of the wagon or on the roof rack or rent the $9/day trailer from uHaul for the 2 times a year I do that. The rest of the time, I get 30 mpg. Bikes go on the hitch rack or on the roof rack. The roof rack takes a FE hit when I am using it, but not as bad as having to stuff the bikes in the back of a van.

    Shoot a Yaris requires too many compromises for winter sports and maybe even surfing.

    The Yaris requires a $200 roof rack, and no compromises in that respect.

    Yes I have been in a Echo and a Camry, the Camry is more comfortable when taking five people to lunch or driving to Del Mar for opening day.

    And how often does that happen? I don't think the Camry is what we are worried about here, because frankly the difference in FE isn't all that noticeable.
  • bristol2bristol2 Posts: 736
    They offer very little more than smallness with the exception of the Mini.

    But isn't that what makes them a sub-compact? You can't hold the small size against them because that is what defines them. If it was bigger it would be a compact and wouldn't get included in this conversation :confuse:

    Your points on fuel economy are well made though. I think a good question to ask in the US is not 'what is wrong with these sub-compacts?' but 'why do we have so little choice and options in these sub-compacts?'.
    Put a 1.2l diesel into one of those and you'll have mileage second only to a scooter (heck, it virtually IS a scooter!).

    The top sub-compacts in the rest of the world are not available here (Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio, Peugeot 205, VW Polo, Nissan Micra) because there was never perceived to be a market here. That doesn't mean that sub-compacts are 'bad', just that gas has been cheap here and income higher here for decades. Spiralling gas prices (oh, wait- yup- hit another new high today!) will make some changes in our buying habits.

    Like you say, if you are into car-camping or motor-cross, there may not be a sub-compact in your future. For everyone else, it is getting increasingly hard to accept that there will be a sub-25mpg car in your future. It's not like gas prices have any reason to go down again, this is not the 70's supply-reduction model, this is the China/ India demand-escalation model. :cry:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    "2008 Yaris 2293 lbs Curb weight/106 hp = 21 lb/hp

    2003 RSX 2800 lbs Curb weight/160 hp= 17.5 lb/hp

    1995 Miata 2400 lbs curb weight/140 hp =17.1 lb/hp "

    THANK YOU! To your examples I would add the most obvious and perhaps most pertinent:

    2008 Mini Cooper 2546 lbs curb weight/118 hp = 21.5 lb/hp.

    Go ahead, try to convince me the Mini Cooper isn't a sporty car.

    Go ahead....I'm right here......still listening.......

    There's a LOT more to sport than going really fast in a straight line. In fact, that's the most BORING aspect of sport IMO.

    I will say one more thing too: much has been made of the disappointing fuel economy of today's subcompacts, and I won't disagree it ought to be much better. But it is important to ADD that in identical use, cars like Yaris and Fit will save you 30% (somewhat more for all city use, somewhat less for all highway use) on your gas bills vs the most efficient 4-cylinder midsize cars out there. These days 30% could be a cool $20 bill in your pocket at EVERY FILL-UP.

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

  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    My 2004 MINI Cooper S would blow the doors of cars costing twice as much. There were very few cars that keep up with it on a twisty section of road. As long as there aren't too many long straights a MINI Cooper S will beat cars with two or three times the horsepower.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Are you telling me a Yaris as sporty as a RSX ot a Miata? I used to had a hard time keeping up with either of those two cars in my Focus cold air and cat back not withstanding. I didn't notice a Yaris as a class leader in the SCCA races I went to this year either. But I do know I have been passed by more than one Miata going from Mentone to Big Bear and not once by a Yaris.

    I am not saying the sub compacts can't save you fuel. But the topic is what is wrong with the sub compacts we could get but what is wrong with the ones we have. Some people like little cars, obviously I am not one of them. But I understand what they were created for. Entry level economy. Sports Compact Car, Motortrend and Car and Driver don't classify them as "sporty" cars they might say, they are sporty, Considering,. Calling them sporty is very subjective unless you can show some class leading racing results to back it up. Not what they feel like but what they do. Don't worry I don't expect people that are interested in a Yaris to be part of the SCCA sedan series because it isn't designed that way. ;)

    The new sub compacts we now see simply don't offer much more than the compacts we already had, unless you are counting more choices. Because the Civic, Corolla, and Sentra are not new sub compacts. And if I were to use your same logic wouldn't I get a Prius? I would save gas over every sub compact on the market every time I filled up city or highway. I wold be in one very ugly car and none of my shooting friends would talk to me but I would save gas and put 20 bucks in my pocket. And people are telling us a Prius is a mid sized car.

    I have already started saving on fuel by driving the little Pontiac 4 banger for in town errands. Before I moved down from the mountains to a small desert community I was filling up the Tahoe once or twice a week. The Pontiac got gas maybe every two weeks. Now I can go three weeks between fill up for the Tahoe and three weeks for the Pontiac. That will not be the case when I hit the road at the end of the month but it will be when I am in town. But until they come up with a sub compact that offers plug in hybrid mileage I think I will save my money. Or maybe I can find a old Metro or Diesel Rabbit and save even more fuel that a new Fit would. That is part of the whole problem. The new sub compacts simply haven't delivered on the fuel mileage promise.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    "Are you telling me a Yaris as sporty as a RSX ot a Miata?"

    Well if it were, they wouldn't sell too many Miatas or RSXs at twice the price, now would they?! ;-)

    boaz, you're a tough nut to crack. I continue to believe that 3/4 of the time you are either playing devil's advocate or missing the point on purpose. :-)

    But hey, remember when I posted all the slalom times of "sport" versions of larger cars, ALL of which were knocked to the curb in the slalom by the $15K Fit, MANY of which cost a pretty penny? Sport CAN be part of the equation, depending on model. The thing to keep in mind here is that we are discussing a whole class of cars, not just one model.

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

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Oh I know but I have been doing this for a very long time. I remember the promise of small cars in the 70s. Heck my 66 VW bug got about 30 MPG with the 1300. was it ugly? Yep but it was supposed to get good mileage and that was about all it did. Did it seem sporty? Not very I realize the subjective nature of this debate and for some basic transportation is all they want or need. But don't try and blow smoke up our skirt with the sporty Yaris statements when you, not you personally, have some pretty sporty little compacts out there that are doing what they are advertised to do.

    Here is the deal however. What we are getting is not a big improvement over what we already have. These little puppies aren't the mileage champions in times of high fuel prices. Would they be good to tow behind a motor home? Sure and you could save money to boot. But as a only vehicle? Maybe for the more stoic among us. Remember I didn't bring up the flowery praise for a Yaris sports car. That was pure hyperbole. Would a sub compact make a good commuter or even a city car? I guess they would. But the origional question wasn't what are sub compacts good for but what are their faults.

    So the question has to be did the "new" subcompacts deliver on being the best fuel sippers in the last 40 years? Did they come in at prices below the Koreans and Aveo? Do they meet the needs of the average American family of two adults and two and a half kids as a primary car? I am not sure some of them would take two cars seats let alone two and a booster.

    For the more established families can they tow your toys? Do any of the new Sub Compacts come in AWD or 4wd, at least the old Justy did if you were planning on hitting the slopes in the winter.

    Sure they may be bringing a few small diesels over and maybe some plug in hybrids but they aren't here yet so we can hold the applause till they are. If there is any intention of moving people out of their mid sized cars into sub compacts there will have to be more incentive than we we are seeing now. Truck people will always be truck people and sub compacts more than likely will not be able to change that unless our sport market for weekend recreation folds.

    What I get from much of this whole question is sub compacts may not be what we wanted but it is the best we can do for now. And that sounds a bit like second best to me. Or do you see it differently? Is the sub compact as useful as a primary car for the one car family as a mid sized car? In general and for the majority of the consumers?

    Have a good weekend. I need to get my air conditioning serviced before our trip. I plan on doing a lot of traveling this summer and maybe even trying the old route 66 trip. I might get a laptop and keep in touch but I am not sure just yet.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    I agree, the problem with the subcompacts being offered in north america is their milage, because the manufacturers think/know that we will only buy cars with sub 9 sec 0-60 (and even then we will complain like mad that they are too slow) they install the largest motor that will fit in the cars, affecting the milage, if you look at the european equivalents, they have much smaller engines, normally with much better milage, in some cases the engines we get are not even offered in that market. To take your bug example, if we could get a version of say the Yaris, with performance equivalent to your old bug, it would definately get much higher milage that the bug did, while still being safer and more comfortable, unfortunately we don't get the option here, meaning we don't get the high fuel economy lower cost version here which is a shame.
    Scott
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Thank you. After all this time someone sees my whole point. If they are going to send us sub compacts why not go the whole way and send us super high fuel mileage sub compacts? If they are going to send us sub compacts that are only smaller than a Civic or Corolla but get about the same fuel mileage why bother? If they are going to sell us a city car then it should get better fuel mileage than what the sub compacts we are now calling "new" even if they are old in the markets they came from. It is just frustrating.

    I do understand some that are buying them in hopes of "greasing the wheels" for new sub compact offerings. I just don't agree that we as customers should have to do that.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    My specific response to the title of the thread is : Nothing Is Wrong!

    They are what they are, Today's Subcompacts. They are different than the cars of the past, and while one can certainly compare them, just what is the point? The title is not "What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts _as compared_ to subcompacts of the past. And yet that is the majority of the debate going on here.

    The cars of the past were not subject to the smog / emissions / safety rules of today. And on and on it can be argued. So I say todays cars are better than having no subcompacts today. Would I like better mileage? Of course. Would I like more sporty styling and performance? Most definitely. However when I make statements about todays cars it is in the context of the cars of today, not those of years ago.

    Arguments:
    There are so many variables simply amongst the wants, needs, values & perspectives of each buyer / owner that those considerations alone are enough to keep us debating for a very long time.

    Relativity:
    My past comment about the Yaris hatchback being sporty is a comment I stand by. Notice I did not say it was a high performance sports car. I did say that mine is relatively underpowered, as compared to Today's Mini Cooper S, which I also own. Now that's more like a sports car, yet it's over twice the price of my Yaris, so it should be. Not only that I bought each of them for drastically different reasons and usage. So why compare? My points:

    1) An an ex-racer, I bought the Cooper S to hop-up even further and turn into a car for Track Days on the various Race Courses I frequent on Track Days.

    2) I bought the Yaris, because the funky look reminded me of how much I enjoy funky looking cars, just for fun. A plain jane around town ride, that is inexpensive, I don't have to worry about (I'm very OCD when it comes to my "special cars") and that I could park anywhere, no worries. It's my fun city car, that I drive once in a while, not as a daily driver.

    3) The kids are grown and out of the house, so I have no need to carry more than 2 people most of the time, therefore I get to buy 2 door coupes, which by nature are far more sporty looking that a 4 door car, or the wagon like Fit. Which I happen to really like, but avoided because of the body style.

    4) I purchased my F40 Ferrari New, because I am a car enthusiast, not an ego maniac, or a poser. I know how to DRIVE the F40. In addition, I do not drive that car around town regularly, as obviously it draws a crowd no matter where you stop. And I would never let it out of my sight. Therefore that is another car I reserve for one of two purposes. Long runs with other exotic car owners, and track days.

    5) The other cars in my collection are quite varied, small, medium, and large. As I do have a 2003 MBZ S-Class Sedan for evenings out in the city with friends. But again, not a daily driver as my ego doesn't require me to drive a high end car, to make me feel complete. Nor do I require it to impress others. I could care less. I buy cars because it is my passion, my hobby, my reward for years of hard work. Some people buy yachts, or airplanes, I buy cars. Therefore my wants and needs are quite different than someone who is looking for a single car to perform everything needed.

    6) Yes, I do own and use a daily driver. It's a 2006 Corvette Coupe. A car that is common enough to not draw a lot of attention. A car the has good performance, is fun to drive, and while not economical on fuel, I am not focused on fuel costs. It's convenient that I can it have easily serviced and repaired at any of the GM dealers about town. It works for me, and thats what matters.

    Cheers.... :)
  • thegreatozthegreatoz Posts: 39
    It's car nuts like podred that helped put all my kids through college and buy their first homes...when I was an Allstate Agent. We thank you! ;)
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,669
    In the NY Times...conclusion: "what's the point?"
    NYT Smart avg 32 mpg
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    At that MPG, there really isn't a lot of point...Corolla, Civic, Elantra, et. al. do better.

    Though I have to admit the packaging of the vehicle itself is interesting, and could really ease parking issues.
  • thegreatozthegreatoz Posts: 39
    If a parking space is too small for a Civic, find another one. ;)

    I drove a Smart for a day. When the novelty wore off, I was glad to give it back and get back in my Civic.

    I have an '05 Beetle Convertible Turbo which I -still- love to drive. Not every day. :shades:
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Exactly right what is the point? At least a SMART diesel would bump that number up in the high 40s or low 50s maybe even a little better. The novelty will wear off and I bet those waiting lists shrink very quickly.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    You need to spend some time updating your car space. Some of your fleet might interest many of the people here. On my site it is easy to see some of the things I enjoy and why I tend to gravitate to the vehicles I do.

    From your comments it is a wonder you even entered this forum. The simple answer for you would have been, nothing. Oh maybe it would have been, nothing considering their restrictions because of safety or environment.

    The title of the forum itself indicates a question on where do these little cars fall short and because of that you have to compare them to something. Either to cars we have had or ones we can get.

    Do you run your Mini on a road course or do you run SCCA SOLO?
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Ten Points for your terrific Humor...Thanks!

    It's a small world, the funny part of this is after we graduated from college a good friend of mine became an Allstate Agent! He has been my insurance man for years, Allstate has been great to me, and everyone wins! Now years later his book of business at Allstate is be admired.......

    So, thanks for the fond memories....... ;)
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Great Post! You understand my point very clearly. Despite all the different cars I have, I have always enjoyed small, light, short wheelbase, nimble, high performance (and sometimes not so high performance) cars..... its all about the FUN!..... ;)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    "its all about the FUN!....."

    Yes, and nobody has fun in a Camry LE. Yaris, Fit, etc are basic transportation that are ALSO fun. :-)

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

  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Yaris, Fit, etc are basic transportation that are ALSO fun

    Agreed, that is my point exactly. It's about lightening up and simply having fun.

    And believe me it doesn't take an 850hp Supercar to have fun. Are they fun, yes they certainly are, I know I own several. As someone who is certainly qualifiedly to be a "Supercar Snob" it's me. And yet I'm certainly not one.

    I'm just a car guy, a hard core car guy that has lived, breathed, raced, crashed, recovered, dusted myself off and dived right back into the field of interest that is highly populated by guys like me that just love cars. Of all types, sizes, horsepower ratings, and performance characteristics.

    I'm not married to any brand, size, shape, or performance type. Yes, of course, I do have my favorites, however that's the crux of "my problem" I'm a car addict...... :P

    In fact that's the reason I just happened to get involved in this forum, one of the more "unlikely" spots for me to land. As I must say that while I enjoy the supercar forums, the ego's and arrogance get a bit old. Too many young doctors, ceo's, etc that have no life experience, do not understand that there is more to the world than just "what they see". Too many that own their cars as trophy's, having no clue , no passion for fine mechanical design, even more distressing.........they have no clue how to drive their car which is why to them it's just a toy....what a waste of a fabulous car. So in turn many of us "enthusiasts", with driving skills, mechanical skills and a love of all things automotive, usually hang around those forums for a relatively short period of time.

    In this forum I find great people with commons sense, intelligence, good conversation and wonderfully devoid of the "fronts" that the young rich arrogant men seem to cling to.

    Cheers!....... ;)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    Yes, and nobody has fun in a Camry LE

    Depends on how big the back seat is...
    Although with a Fit you could fold down the back seat and have even more room for fun. :shades:
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    I don't think single guys with Camrys have the ladies lining up.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    I don't think single guys with Camrys have the ladies lining up.

    LOL, there's a guy here at work that has a '95 or so Camry, and he regularly complains about female problems. I never made the connection before, but maybe the Camry has something to do with it? :P
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    In the NY Times...conclusion: "what's the point?"
    NYT Smart avg 32 mpg


    The thing is that very post is the point. At least in the case of the Smart. It might be why the Smart has been bleeding red even in Europe.

    To be honest we have to admit that a car is just a machine. They should be judged as a machine not as some anthropomorphic creature. They aren't loyal and they don't do more for you than they would for someone who bought them or even stole one from you. Subjective terms such as fun to drive are nothing more than that, subjective. It is the driver not the vehicle that determines what fun is to them. Some people may like to feel more connected to the driving experience and to them that is fun. Some may want a more relaxed and smooth experience and may enjoy their sound system more than the feel of the rain groves and that they call fun. But in judging a machine we can only go by how well does it do what it was designed to do. Sub Compacts are designed to cost less and deliver better fuel mileage. If they fail in those requirements there is something wrong with them.

    The question falls to are the new sub compacts giving us the best fuel mileage possible? If the answer is no there is a problem. Are the new sub compacts the least expensive cars we can buy new? If the answer is no there is a problem.

    However if someone were to say, "I just prefer little cars." that would be just as acceptable as any answer. It is much more acceptable than trying to convince the consumer that sub compacts are the salvation of our society. Smaller homes, planned communities, maybe even riding a bicycle will have a far greater impact on our carbon footprint.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    "Sub Compacts are designed to cost less and deliver better fuel mileage"

    Oh boaz, they serve so many other, different purposes, which is why each design is unique! Some are designed to cost less (Yaris, Aveo) while others are not (Fit, Cooper). Some deliver better fuel mileage (Yaris, Cooper) while others do not (Fit, Aveo). All of them provide nimbler handling than their midsize brethren that generally weigh an additional ton or more. Most are easier to park, easier to maneuver, easier to whatever. Most are designed to deliver comfort to the driver, some are designed to deliver a more sporting experience to the driver.

    What a wonderful myriad of choices we will have along this huge spectrum if a few of the really great models come to our shores that aren't here already!

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

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    What a wonderful myriad of choices we will have along this huge spectrum if a few of the really great models come to our shores that aren't here already!

    You did read the Smart review? Is that an example you consider nimble? Or is comfort a relative thing? While I realize you are smitten with the small car bug I have to wonder how you explain the success of the lumbering mid sized market? Why did people leave the sub compact fold of the 70s only to return to it only when fuel became so expensive? Something keeps people looking for more than a sub compact in their daily driver or more people would have stuck with them when Accords and Camrys got bigger.

    From a practical point do you believe if fuel was still 2 bucks a gallon sub compacts would still be a success in the US? If not why not? The answer to that question will focus on what the origional question of this forum addresses. Why do you feel some of the manufacturers are reluctant to bring over the very same sub compacts you so covet? What makes their market people so timid?
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