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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    My biggest criticism is that they don't seem to be able to find a car they don't like. They aren't scathing enough, afraid to offend advertisers. When I was younger, I'd avidly read "Car" just to read the hilarious write-ups on bad cars.

    I can agree on the exotics to an extent...review after review of Ferraris and Lambos doesn't do much for me.

    The ads for floor mats and window vent shades are a significant part of the bulk of some domestic issues. Has to be a tough business in this day and age.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    My E55 has 18" wheels...hard ride, and tires cost more than I paid for my first car. I can't imagine they get cheaper as they get bigger. But, the look is good.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They aren't scathing enough, afraid to offend advertisers

    So true...looks at old reviews from when the [insert your least favorite compact car] came out, they're always pro-advertiser due to the $$$.

    Problem is, how can you budget a mag without ads? It's hard enough even with ads.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can get 20"s on a Murano, so I imagine the tall sidewall tires on the 18"s must exist simply to allow for that Plus Two upgrade.
  • Pretty much agree on the magazines front; same here in UK. Top Gear mag is about a 15 minute read and a humungous volume of ads - waste of money in my book...................unless you are desperate to know more about the latest superlightweight/overpowered/kit-stripped/price-hiked/tarted-up/must-have-or-you- 'll die Ferrari, Lambo, Porsche, Gumpert, Noble, Aston or whatever. Having said that, TG mag has reviewed a couple of sensible cars recently so maybe all isn't lost.

    I've taken to reading "Octane" for the pure enjoyment of "proper" motoring articles well written and sometimes quirky.

    Maybe I'm just getting old(er).
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    Ride is a factor in the manufacturer's choice, in that the lower the aspect of the tire, the harsher the ride. Therefore, a larger wheel coupled with a lower aspect may improve the looks and handling, but at the expense of, (1) ride, and (2) traction in snow, because the taller, thinner tires dig in more than the wide, flatter ones. These are the tradeoffs. And, you're right, in including cost and profit margins.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    edited February 2011
    I always found "Car" to be more willing to tell it like it is - TG has really became more glam and less substance, and unfortunately I think has stolen some of Car's market share. "Octane" can be found in NA here and there, it's not a bad read, but I might see a copy a year at most. I remember back in the day, "Car" said about some horrible penalty box "you'd have to be an idiot to buy one"...I about fell over laughing.

    I also like a few German rags (impossible to get stateside), they will blatantly say a car drives terribly or is ugly.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    That's it, don't want to look too small - the sheeple like huge wheels.

    And then they'll complain about tire costs.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,940
    edited February 2011
    a humungous volume of ads - waste of money in my book

    Check out a snowboarding magazine sometime. I've read a dozen and have yet to find any editorial content in any of them. Even the ads don't make sense and they never put any specs on the stuff they are trying to sell.

    It's pretty amusing to flip to the back of the car mags where all the performance chips and headers and air filter ads are and see the male performance ads. Must be a connection there. :shades: Amsoil sells performance stuff and multivitamins too, so maybe there is a connection.

    In subcompact news (talk about little tires), Tata Nano Seeks Footing as World's Cheapest Car (AutoObserver)

    And yeah, there's a fire sale joke in there somewhere. :)

    image

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They'll also complain about the stiff ride!

    Anything to look cool...
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    I'm thinking my big wheeled low profile tire ride might be the last such thing I own - dodging ruts and manholes on our decaying roads is a chore, as every pebble on the road is transmitted into my seat.

    But I'll still take it over that wheelbarrow-wheeled Nano.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    "...Must be a connection there."

    You may be right about the inverse correlation between performance and, uhh, performance. Would that mean that Tata Nano's aren't only about price?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,940
    Some of us are man enough to drive a minivan. And like it. :shades:

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I can relate. The Miata has summer tires, low profile. I'd honestly swap even for a Minus One wheel/tire setup.

    I'm even going to ask the tire store if they can fit taller tires, since there's so much extra room in the wheel well (the gap is ridiculous actually).
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    I'll probably eventually get to the point where I want a softer ride. Both times I have driven BMWs with adjustable suspension (large cars), I left it in "comfort" all the time. No choice with the car I actually own - it's harsh or nothing. I don't know if taller tires even exist for it, and if it would look right if it had them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've driven a few Bimmers that I'd call too stiff for DC's pot-holed strips of asphalt they call "roads".

    I know some Miata owners that went with taller sidewalls and they fit.

    Mine has 205/45 R17s. 205/50 may be too tall, but I could maybe go with 215/45, small difference I know. 6mm more sidewall.

    Also, these summer gumballs are hard as a rock when it's cold. I may choose some performance all seasons next time.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    My biggest complaints are the ride and the price. My old car has 13" wheels - last full set of tires I bought for it cost around $200, installed (this was over 10 years ago). Probably not more than double, today. One 18" modern car tire is well over $200.

    They are all seasons...so ok in the rain and dry, a little iffy in the snow, but the car seems to be capable most of the time.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,120
    edited February 2011
    ..is my biggest sticking point... I have 18"... Other than looks, really no advantage over 17" that come on other trim levels... If you have summer tires, you really can't tell the difference... but, 18" are a good 30-40% more money than 17".....

    I can't imagine the cost of the 19"-21" that you see on a lot of cars, nowaday... factory fitments, too....

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Sorry, had forgotten about "Car". Always was pretty direct and AFAIK they invented the GBU, (Good, Bad, Ugly), categorisations. Usually good fun. Yes the Germans are very straightforward in their approach to car reviews. Used to watch some of their car shows whilst travelling Europe on business. One that struck me as amazing was where they were comparing a Jaguar XJ8 with some Mercedes. At the end, the presenters pushed the Merc into a lake and drove off in the Jag......all smiling. :surprise: I was in shock for a week - convinced a German show would favour the home product. Rare honesty in auto-journalism; we need more.

    Shame you don't see "Octane" more regularly. How about "Motor Sport" ? Does that travel west across the waves ? Have you tried "Autocar" online ? They're generally pretty straight.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    I have many old copies of "Car" going back about 20 years. I keep all those and all German magazines I acquire. The GBU section was always my favorite.

    Germans like Jaguars for some reason. They don't seem to be as nationalistic as one might blindly assume - they will give credit where it is due.

    Motor Sport is available at the same places who stock Car and Top Gear. I have seen Autocar , it generally isn't available as widely as others, but when I know someone is traveling, I try to have them bring me back reading material. I also have a 10-20 or so early 60s vintage issues.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    edited February 2011
    A third negative tradeoff of large diameter wheels/shorter sidewall tires is that they typically don't last as long as the smaller diameter/taller sidewall sets.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    edited February 2011
    the 2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta that I was taking a look at is now scratched and we may get a MiTo subcompact instead. A MiTo, you might ask?

    Until mid-2009, Alfa contemplated bringing the Giulietta to North America after the face-lift in spring 2014, but this plan is currently being revised. The latest word is that Alfa will now prioritize the all-new Giulia that replaces the 159 (in 2012), the five-door MiTo subcompact (in 2013), a BMW-X1-sized crossover based on the C-platform (also 2013), a bigger SUV derived from the C/D components set (in 2014), and a new rear-wheel-drive roadster and coupe designed along the lines of the iconic Duetto and the first-generation GTV. Also on its way is a modular plug-in hybrid system that will be introduced top-down, starting with the next-generation Maseratis. The only new Alfas that may not cross the Atlantic are the Giulia Sportwagon and the Giulietta replacement. All U.S.-bound platforms are being developed in Europe.

    http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1103_alfa_romeo_giulietta/index.html- - - - -

    Alfa Romeo is interested in building a flagship RWD sportscar in 2013, after thinking it over longer and harder how they will build the car to make the biggest impact and bring the most value and racecar ability to the table.

    image
    2010 Alfa Romeo MiTo

    And so the saga continues. Since I'm right here in Kellogg, ID, home of Dave Smith Motors, the dealership that sells more Mopar product than any other dealer in the world, I might as well take a long look at Chrysler's version of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Chrysler is working on the car now and will run it down the production line at their Belvidere, IL, plant just as soon as the L.A. Lakers figure out how to win again....I...I mean Chrysler is working on this car now as I type this out! This news may mean that Chrysler's new Fiat/Alfa-derived subcompact is being revised as well. So I'll wait and see. I'm not in the market until sometime in 2013 at the earliest.

    Can't wait ta see this pup...Chrysler...in their fine tradition of selling more affordable small cars, will probably sell their version of MiTo/Giulietta/lopscause for something much more in the range of $14,999 to about $21,000 fully loaded. And I can walk down the hill to pick my Dodge up!

    Such a deal! When you drive down Cameron Ave. in Kellogg, ID, the salespeople expect you ta stop on a dime for them, they walk out in to the street with their backs to you and you betta not hit them...they're special Dave Smith agents. ;)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My NA Miata had 14" wheels. Replacement tires were dirt cheap, loved it. I didn't even have to care much about tread life. I think I replaced them twice, but again, it cost next to nothing.

    Not looking forward to seeing the bill for 17"s this time. And I bet they don't last as many miles, as mentioned above.
  • my Pirelli's for the '08 Lancer GTS came to $814 bucks at Sears in Tucson. Yikes! But the Pirelli P-Zero Nero M+S Pinna's are great tires. I would buy them again, after saving up for about 6 months, that is!

    The trade-off comes in handling and traction and good looks. I noticed the '12 Ford Focus I clipped a picture of online earlier this morning had 18" Michelin Pilots. Those would run just as much or more as my Pirelli's would.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    Oh yeah...20K miles out of the 18s on my car is about as good as you'll get.

    I ran the last set down til the rears were pretty much bald.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    Might be a cool upgrade from a 500 too.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    One has to wonder who is really behind the increase wheel size movement...
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    edited February 2011
    I prefer their looks. That's why if I do get a '12 Ford Focus I would no doubt go for a Titanium, because that one has the 18" wheel upgrade.

    image
    2012 Ford Focus Titanium

    Only thing is is you can only get an automatic tranny with the Titanium series. DSG "double-clutch" automatic transmission. I absolutely love this gold color, though, and if I bought an SE with a 5-speed stick and saved with the manual tranny I would still need to deliver about $430 bucks for the "Goldfinger" color. Which I would wait for Lake City Ford of Coeur D' Alene to get in stock for me before buying. Next color choice down would be their red.

    That gold has me hook, line and sinker!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,308
    Those are more $1000+/set 20K mile tires, beware of that.

    But anyway, cool car yes, so much better than the current model. The 5 door was always the best model too.
  • which brings ta mind. I want the hatchback like the gold one above. No sedan with this pup. It will handle better and it just looks better than the sedan. I thought I wanted a Fiesta sedan but again with the Fiesta the hatchback just looks a lot better.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

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