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#90215 - 04/13/05 09:58 AM Re: OT: Car Buying
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18029
Loc: NoVA
Heh... SUV "utility." My wagon has more storage space than most SUVs. Gimme a shooting brake any day. Unless, of course, you're actually doing off roading. In which case, lemme tell you, you AREN'T using an Escalade. Your $20000 worth of plastic body cladding might get damaged!
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

#90216 - 04/13/05 01:01 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
oldskoolboarder Offline

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Yes, MPG. Man, you can't get away w/ anything here...

4 wheeling in an Escalade? What and scratch my spinners?

How about this. I used think Hummers were tough...


I've actually ridden in a military hummer during Marine reserve activites in North Carolina. That's not comfortable, my kidneys almost fell out.

#90217 - 04/13/05 01:34 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
BBIBH Offline

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1139
Loc: Canada
The H2 is built on the Silerado platform, with many beefed up components. The original H1, and of course the military versions were much tougher than this domesticated version.

Something that struck me reading this thread: The American and Imported comments. Keep in mind that many of the auto mfg'ers have business units within them that are other mfg'ers. For example, Ford owns Jaguar. The ideas and concepts that emerge from these units is now being shared through out the company. Having worked in a tier supplier for many years, I have seen this "transition" take place. Many of the vehicles "manufactured/assembled" in North America take their roots (and many parts, designs and such) from other companies - most times foreign to North America.

My personal opinions? I do not like the look of the 300, like the 500, and think the Magnum is simply a beefy station wagon!!!
I think the mfg'ers are getting the message that people want something that catches their attention...a la the Crossfire. I spent a lot of time in Chrysler's Arizona proving grounds with the company (designing data acq. systems...) and was amazed at the number of "concept" cars roaming around!

The farthest most SUV's go off road is the driveway.


#90218 - 04/13/05 01:59 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
BrenR Offline

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
In reply to:

Heh... SUV "utility."

Ah, yes... the new breed of Sport Futility Vehicle.

-Jeep killed the Cherokee for the Liberty?!?
-the Ford E's (Escape, Excursion, Expedition, Explorer) are all glorified grocery getters.
-GM's a bit ahead of the game, they do have a Suburban in a 2500 still, but it's plastic, same with the smaller Yukon and Tahoe.
-Even the Cute-Utes are losing their functionality, a buddy bought the first Chevy Tracker off the car show floor here the first year they were introduced ('88?). I worked with him for a summer insulating, and that sucker with the back seat out would actually haul everything the two of us needed (okay, the scaffold planks hung out the back window, but still). Another friend's got a newer one (200x?) and there was barely enough room in the back for a 30"x24" patio block... two of those in the cargo area set the rear suspension to 80% of it's travel.

There are still people who need SUVs, real ones. I say bring back the Willys!

Bren R.

#90219 - 04/13/05 02:30 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8462
Loc: Tacoma
Fascinating thread. Thanks to everyone for sharing.

I keep waiting for the Daimler/Chrysler partnership to manifest itself in significant ways in the Mopar line. Like others have mentioned, the design of some of the Chrysler sheetmetal is striking; I like the Crossfire, and even though I don't care for them particularly, I can't help but notice the Magnum and the 300. But I still just don't trust the Chrysler running gear. It is certainly possible that I have misplaced perceptions, but I have too many anecdotes from too many people to ignore my reliability concerns.

MPG is frustratingly elusive. We have an aging Windstar van, which I have previously cited as an annoyingly complete transporter of people and things. With gas prices rapidly climbing, I yearn to get better than 17-18 mpg. However, in order for a change to be meaningful financially, I need to drive something that gets at least 25-30 mpg. In that range or above, there really is not that much from which to choose outside subcompacts.

I also want a manual transmission. Why is that so difficult?

Anyway, I've enjoyed reading my Axiom friends' comments on this topic. Thanks again.

bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#90220 - 04/13/05 03:02 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
bigwill2 Offline

Registered: 03/25/05
Posts: 586
Not an endorsement of the eXCURSION, or SUVs in general, but my friend has a jacked-up V10 Excursion which he uses to tow his boat and carry the folks who are going with him. Great for that purpose (as well as launching the boat from the sand and fording shallow areas between the bank and the sand bar). I would have preferred the diesel, but WTF.

#90221 - 04/13/05 03:17 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
spiffnme Offline

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5222
Loc: Los Angeles
In reply to:

the 500 I am currently driving would have been considered a sports sedan 10 years ago. It runs 0-60 in 8 seconds flat ... seats five 6 foot tall men easily (I am 6 feet, 3 inches, and am comfortable in the back seat with the front seat in my normal driving position. I cannot do that in Accord, BMW 3 or 5 series, Camry or Avalan ... Etc...), and only lacks a nav system versus a loaded Audi A-60. It also has almost 20% more interior room than the Audi ...

The 500 is ALSO AVERAGING 24.3 MPG over the first 10,000 miles. I know of no other car which can claim all this for under $30K ...

One would THINK this level of perfomance, Gas mileage and SUV replacing utility would be raved about

Styling. That's why. It's like specs of a speaker. May have fantastic specs. Ruler flat graphs, etc...but if you don't like what they sound like...

After reading about the 500, I googled for some pics. Nobody under 60 should be driving that thing.

Style sells cars. If it didn't everyone would be driving VERY inexpensive cars with great gas mileage. 0-60 specs are sexy...not necessary. Sleek styling is sexy...not necessary. Seems that the 500 got itself halfway there.


After seeing some more pics, it seems that the 500 can be ordered "dressed up". It cleans up nicely, but the standard version is still a real yawn fest.

Edited by spiffnme (04/13/05 03:20 PM)
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

#90222 - 04/13/05 03:28 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
PaulM Offline

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 280
Loc: St. Albert, Alberta
If you are looking for good mileage, a few cars ago I owned a deisel Jetta. Got me 50+ mpg and I put 360k km (~225k mi.?) on it. It was a pretty utilitarian vehicle back then, but like everything else it looks more upscale these days.

Now I cohabitate with a wife, 3 kids and a dog so have gone the minivan route. Might try to for a big car or wagon next time. Only show stopper may be my wife. She has a bad back so doesn't like stepping down into a vehicle and climbing up out of one.

#90223 - 04/13/05 03:32 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
pmbuko Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16418
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I have to admit, the Ford 500 viewed from the side does look a bit like an Audi A6 from the same angle (minus the A6's very sexy wheel well sculpting and sleeker hood lines.)
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#90224 - 04/13/05 03:41 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
pmbuko Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16418
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I am not looking forward to our next car purchase. Our "haul-all" is currently a '97 Subaru Legacy Wagon with a flat-4 engine. It does the job powerwise, and we had to get a roof box to fit all the stuff we need to bring with us on road trips (dog, stroller, carseat, luggage, etc.) Now, with another baby on the way, we're definitely planning for larger car in the forseeable future.

Gas mileage is very important to us, but space and utility (not the sport kind) trump that by necessity. Ideally, we would have a hybrid all-wheel drive vehicle with ample cargo space, enough power to accelerate up 7% grades with a full car, and seating for 7 (some of which should be removable to provide ample cargo space). Such a beast does not yet exist (does it?), so compromise is in our future.
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

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