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Why America stopped driving



  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    habit of flicking on my turn signal just as I finish passing the car or truck

    My sister is worse, she'll start signaling to change lanes back to the right about as soon as she gets into the passing lane to pass someone. Drives me crazy.

    Definitely going to recommend she look at a CX-7 when she goes car shopping again. :D
  • berriberri Posts: 7,969
    The show "Emergency" did have a Mopar connection via the 1972 Dodge Rescue 51 truck

    There was a precursor to this in the late 50's called "Rescue 8" that also took place in LA and featured a much better looking (IMHO) period Chevy Suburban.
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    A Ford Focus for 25K in this economy? Hello rebates. :shades:
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,036
    It sounds like some kind of personalized feminine hygiene product.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,036
    If I lived in a large NYC or Chicago, I probably would rather have a iPad.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I'm sure that any $25K Focus is so loaded up that it would be any techno-geek's wet dream. FWIW, they start around $16,500, and I'm sure most of 'em will probably sticker for $20K or less.

    But, I can understand the sentiment. With inflation and price creep, and all the features on cars these days, some of these prices do seem extreme. Kinda reminds me of a time back in 1993 though, when I went into a Dodge dealer and they had this new Intrepid ES on the showroom floor, pretty much fully-loaded, and my first thought was good lord, $25K for a DODGE?!
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    But, I can understand the sentiment. With inflation and price creep, and all the features on cars these days, some of these prices do seem extreme. Kinda reminds me of a time back in 1993 though, when I went into a Dodge dealer and they had this new Intrepid ES on the showroom floor, pretty much fully-loaded, and my first thought was good lord, $25K for a DODGE?!

    I had the same thought back in 1983 when I was at a BMW dealer in Phoenix - at the time 3-series were going for something like $15K and I thought that was all the money in the world for a starving college student like myself.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,560
    edited June 2011
    the taxes a car owner operator WANTS to pay !!! Most folks will have a vague to DEFINITE feeling that almost all aspects automotive, costs way too much: but, .... really don't know why. So for example, (this is only ONE line item of taxation) the spot cost (06/02/2011) of ULSD #2 is $3.086 per gal. CA/Fed exacts 85.2 cents per gal or 27.6% !!!!!!!!!!!! Those same government/s VILIFIES/VILIFY the oil companys for making 8%.They even make the oil companies collect the government's portion. As you can see, the governments make 345% MORE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ?????????

    But the ultimate irony is the so called "environmental" element of electronics, I.E. IPOD's, etc. How "environmental can it be when EVERY piece of consumer electronics" is literally obsolute as soon as the transaction clears the credit card approval/debit!!??
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,716
    edited June 2011
    Our fuel taxes are a bargain compared to what they pay in Europe, and a pittance compared to the actual economic impact our current consumption will have if/when oil production decreases significantly.

    On the consumer electronic and car payment issue, I ordered a new iMac tonight to replace the one I've had for about 2 years. That one will go to my office and the one from my office will be sold to someone who will get several more years of use out of it. I've been a computer nut since I was a kid, and am still involved in the field, so I can justify keeping current equipment.

    One thing that I do differently from many people is that I don't hoard. What comes in also goes out. I have one cell phone, one GPS, one portable computer, one desktop at home, one at work, etc... If I replace my cell phone, I sell, donate, or recycle the old one.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited June 2011
    Hm, I like building my own computers. The current one must be four years old now and it really, really needs a big honking SSD and you can't put new tech in an old box, right? ;) I used to cycle through a new PC once a year, at least, and consulted on the side just to get the pro deals.

    Maybe if I offer to replace my mother-in-law's dog of an eMachine with this one, my wife will go for the idea. She used to sign up for university classes just so I could use her internet account back in the day (so far back, the browser was text only Lynx), so she's usually pretty tolerant when I start jonesing. My last fix was three months ago getting her an iPad.

    Funny I keep cars forever. But near the top of the must have list when I finally go shop for a new one is going to be a USB port on the dash. Two or more power ports up front would be nice; one for the Garmin and one for the mp3 player. And having all the digital readouts on the dash is fun too; the dash in a Buick rental a couple of years ago got a workout, going from miles to empty to miles traveled to average mph to average mpg, etc. Fun stuff.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,716
    I built machines from scratch for myself when I was using PCs... I still "build" machines for other people, usually by ordering the guts from Dell and buying/installing a memory upgrade or other peripherals for much less than Dell charges from the factory. The iMac may be tightly packed, but at some point I will probably do a RAM upgrade and add an SSD.

    My Altima has a power port in the bin under the radio that is switched with the ignition, and a power port in the center console that is always on. I nearly killed the battery on a road trip because I had a portable cooler plugged in and didn't realize that the one in the console wasn't switched! :sick: I wish it had a USB port or at least would play MP3 CDs (as the 2010 model will).
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited June 2011
    I was just laughing at your "computer payment" post over in Chronic Car Buyers. Wonder if those guys will understand. :D

    Probably is cheaper to buy 'em built these days, but I just like futzing around with them.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I just bought an ipad and now I'm going after a new car. Edmunds has my back I hope...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Grab the free Inside Line line app. It looks even better on an iPad.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    And if you're car shopping, try EdmundsLive.

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    iPhone users can also have the power of’s expertise in the palm of their hands by downloading the free Edmunds iPhone app at

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited June 2011
    Who Says Kids Aren't Into Cars These Days? (Straightline)

    I never had a birthday party like that. :sick:

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Driving a car limits the valuable time teenagers could use to text-message with their friends or update their social networks, she said. Although public transportation or waiting for a ride from the parents is slower, it gives a teenager more time to engage with friends on a mobile phone."

    Disruptions: For Teenagers, a Car or a Smartphone? (NY Times)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Forty-six percent of drivers aged 18 to 24 said they would choose Internet access over owning a car, according to the research firm Gartner."

    As Young Lose Interest in Cars, G.M. Turns to MTV for Help (NY Times)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,950
    Yeah, some dorky highly paid Brooklyn hipster is going to be able to change that trend :shades:

    Seriously, it's about the cost of running a vehicle, which for many young people in this dumbed down new world economic reality, just isn't feasible when jobs are hard to find, rides are easy enough to get, and lots of gadgets compete for any pocket money. And even those who can afford it don't particularly care, hence the sales of Corollas.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited March 2012
    Sounds like GM needs to build a self-driving car.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    Shoot, how many young kids can afford $4-$5 a gallon gas? When I was young, if I had $5 for gas, I could cruise around all night and not even use up all of it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,950
    That would probably go over - the Civrolla and Prius crowd would flock to it. And for commuting, it would make sense anyway.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,950
    I remember paying $1.50 or so back around 1993 when I started driving, and it broke me almost as soon as I got money. I think that's one reason my dad wanted me to have that Galaxie with a 390/4bbl - I wouldn't be able to afford to wreak too much havoc :shades:
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    I think gas was around 85 cents a gallon when I first started driving in the early 1980s. The (ahem) "gas shortages" were over by that time and prices dropped from the then-insane price of $1.29 for RUG. in 1979. I had a 1968 Buick Special Deluxe that ran on RLG and seemed to get a respectable 20 MPG despite its 350-cube V-8. Of course, friends always pitched in for gas money regardless of whose car we were using that night, so that helped a lot.
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Posts: 315
    My son is turning 16 next week and has no plans to get his license. He watched his older brother (18) work a job every weekend just to pay for gas and insurance. Me and my wife thought we were teaching them to be responsible but I think it has backfired. I am glad I grew up in the 80s.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I think that's been somewhat true of every age. I didn't start adding money to my savings account until I got rid of car payments. My 50ish brother in law is an urban cat and outside of high school driver's ed, has never driven.

    The 29.9 gas that was common when I started driving spoiled me for road trips though. Just did a 4,000 mile jaunt that cost ~$800, and that price would have been ~$400 a couple of years ago.

    Still, it's more fun than watching a travelogue video on an iPad.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "The latest models from Mercedes-Benz incorporate a range of features that can update with your tech, including an iPad mount for rear-seat entertainment and cloud-based apps for web searches, directions and even stock market quotes."

    Smart Money
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Apple said it is working with vehicle manufacturers to integrate its Siri voice-control technology from the iPhone into future cars.

    Apple's new Eyes Free feature will minimize distracted driving by enabling drivers to make hands-free calls, play music, compose and listen to text messages, get map directions and more."

    Apple Eyes Free: Siri for Cars (Inside Line)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A reporter is looking for Midwestern/Southern US residents born between the ages of 17 and 30 who do not plan to purchase a vehicle and who frequently use public transportation. If you fit this description, and you are willing to share your story, please send your daytime contact information to no later than 10 a.m. Pacific on Friday, July 20, 2012
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,662
    born between the ages of 17 and 30

    Wow. Tough delivery on their mothers! :surprise:

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

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