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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?



  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    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 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: 32,909
    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: 4,118
    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: 32,909
    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: 32,909
    That's it, don't want to look too small - the sheeple like huge wheels.

    And then they'll complain about tire costs.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,953
    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. :)

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

    Anything to look cool...
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    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: 4,118
    "...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?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,953
    Some of us are man enough to drive a minivan. And like it. :shades:
  • 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: 32,909
    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: 32,909
    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 ok in the rain and dry, a little iffy in the snow, but the car seems to be capable most of the time.
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,889
    edited February 2011 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: 32,909
    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.
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