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Ford's 2009 F-150 is being delayed by two months due to "market conditions".

The current Chevrolet Suburban may soldier on for a few more years due to fuel prices.

The Ford Verve concept car foreshadows the upcoming 2010 Fiesta
Domestic auto giants take drastic steps to deal with rising fuel costs.

Large vehicles are taking a serious hit with the rise in fuel prices. DailyTech reported earlier this month that Ford's F-Series was knocked off its perch as the country's best selling vehicle in May. The F-Series was dethroned by not one, but four Japanese sedans (Honda Civic and Accord, Toyota Corolla and Camry) -- this was the first time that the F-Series wasn't at the top of the monthly sales chart since late 1991.

Auto manufacturers and dealerships are fighting back with schemes promising free gas for a year or discounted pricing on future fuel expenses. Ford, for example, is offering 0% financing on nearly all of its vehicles and employee pricing on the F-Series -- presumably to help boost the truck back into sales lead for the month of June.

GM is taking a more drastic step that will affect its future product plans. The current lineup of GM full-size pickups and SUVs was scheduled to be redesigned for 2012. Due to the changing market conditions, GM has suspended plans for this move and is instead shuttling its engineers to other projects. The "other projects" in this case will be the development of more fuel efficient cars.

"We're going to leave all of our options open, but this is a direct result of the market conditions we are facing," said GM spokesman Tom Pyden.

The move is not surprising at all considering that company sales of trucks, SUVs, and full-size vans tumbled 37 percent during the month of May. To make matter worse, GM is even having trouble selling its more efficient, hybrid full-size SUVs. GM projected to sell 12,000 of its Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid full-size SUVs during all of 2008 -- through the first five months of 2008, the company only managed to move a combined total of 1,100 vehicles.

GM is also on track to close four of its plants that produce full-size SUVs and pickups by the end of 2010. This will reduce annual production of said vehicles by 700,000 units per year. GM, however, will also boost car production by an additional 200,000 units per year to somewhat blunt the impact. "Somewhat" is the key word as GM makes three times the amount of profit for each full-size truck or SUV that is sells versus a compact or mid-size sedan.

GM isn't the only feeling the effects of the gas crunch, however. Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of Marketing and Communications sent out an email to dealers earlier this week with regards to a two-month delay in the introduction of the all-new, 2009 Ford F-150.

"In parallel, Ford is adjusting the public introduction timing of the new 2009 Ford F-150 by approximately two months due to the industry-wide slowdown in the U.S. truck market and the need to sell down dealer inventory of the current model," said Farley. "The new F-150 now will go on sale in late fall."

With dealers having so much trouble finding buyers for the old '08 F-150, it doesn't really make sense to drop an all-new model onto dealer lots for the buyers that are looking to buy a truck.

Ford also announced that its Dearborn truck plant will be idled for much of Q3, while the line speed will be reduced for two additional full-size truck/SUV plants. A fourth plant, the Cuautitlan Assembly Plant in Mexico, will cease building full-size trucks and will ramp up production of the all-new sub-compact Ford Fiesta in 2010.

Luckily for GM and Ford, help is on the way with new car models due in the next few years. GM hopes to gain some mindshare with the American car-buying populous with the Chevrolet Volt. The vehicle is due in 2010 and can travel 40 miles on battery power alone thanks to its lithium-ion battery pack. The company is also banking on its next generation Chevrolet Cobalt to boost small car sales.

Ford on the other hand is finally coming around to embracing the idea of shared global vehicle platforms and will provide a single Focus for all global markets (Ford’s home market has been saddled with the nearly decade-old Focus platform while other markets received a second generation platform a few years ago). Ford will also bring the aforementioned Fiesta in 2010 to the U.S. to do battle with the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. The Fiesta will take styling cues from the Ford Verve concept car.



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No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: No Surprise here
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/25/2008 11:47:42 AM , Rating: 3
I drive an "econobox" Mazda 3s Hatchback. How much vehicle do I need to go to run errands, may trips to the mountains/beach, or visit family?

I can seat four comfortably, five in a pinch, and the cargo area is decent. If I fold down the rear seats, I can swallow everything from La-Z-Boys to a 42" Plasma TV (both were handled with ease).

On top of that, I get around 31 - 32 MPG on the highway. If I need a big truck (on the rare occasion), I just borrow my dad's Nissan Titan Crew Cab Long Bed and pay him for the gas I use.


RE: No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: No Surprise here
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/25/2008 12:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
"I really hope you joking here. My "big V8 gas guzzler" just averaged 31.2mpg round trip on the way to Bowling Green, KY. And that only has a measly 800hp."

Huh, are you driving a Corvette or something? B/C that's one of the only extremely high HP vehicles I can think of that can manage 30 MPG on the highway.

I have my doubts about 800HP and and 31.2 MPG though...


RE: No Surprise here
By ShapeGSX on 6/25/2008 12:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
Highway MPG is relatively easy to get.

It is city MPG that is more difficult. His mpg probably drops to 10 or less in the city.


RE: No Surprise here
By FITCamaro on 6/25/2008 12:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. 800 hp out of a Corvette isn't hard. A good turbo set up can do that. And as long as you stay off the pedal in the city it'll still probably do 15.

It all comes down to gearing and how heavy your right foot is.


RE: No Surprise here
By ShapeGSX on 6/25/2008 12:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose it would depend on how the turbo is sized and when it will spool up.

My 11 second Eclipse GSX gets around 18mpg city, but 32mpg with pure highway. I get 24mpg with mixed driving. But I have a small turbo, and it spools up quickly, which can get it into the richer part of the map.

Unfortunately, running pure highway miles for a full tank of gas realistically doesn't happen all that often.


RE: No Surprise here
By vapore0n on 6/25/2008 12:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
haha, small turbo and 11 seconds dont match.

Hell, my stock STI hits 20mpg average, and I dont get 12s.

Back to topic. Cars should advertise average MPG. I hear lots of commercials putting out #mpg.....highway.


RE: No Surprise here
By ShapeGSX on 6/25/2008 12:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
It is just a 16G turbo. It is the stock turbo from an Evo III. People have gone MUCH faster with it than I have.

Here's a video of my car running an 11.98@116. But my best is an 11.82.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJKqII6R4F4


RE: No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/25/2008 12:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cars should advertise average MPG. I hear lots of commercials putting out #mpg.....highway.

I agree completely. The real value should mirror the EPA's value for "combined" fuel economy.


RE: No Surprise here
By nugundam93 on 6/25/2008 1:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
aha, small turbo and 11 seconds dont match.


exactly. unless that eclipse has a lightweight composite body and nawz (ooooh yeah).

seriously, i'd like to see what the eclipse is packing. that'd be interesting.


RE: No Surprise here
By ShapeGSX on 6/25/2008 1:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, it weighs 3150lbs. Stock weight. 3320 with me in it. Gotta start working out more. ;)


RE: No Surprise here
By FITCamaro on 6/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: No Surprise here
By 67STANG on 6/25/2008 2:02:18 PM , Rating: 1
My carbureted 67 mustang has 512hp, naturally aspirated. It does about 16 city and 28 highway. Of course, that's with the Overdrive 5spd. I just swapped in.

A C6 vette weighs in at over 3,100 lbs, while my stang weighs in at 2,642 lbs. with driver and full tank of gas-- verified at the track.

I have a VERY hard time believing an 800hp corvette that weighs over 3,000 lbs. can get 30+ hwy mpg. Engines are vacuums for all practical purposes, and forced induction (ie-turbos) require more fuel to go along with the compressed air from the turbo as opposed to no turbo.

My guess is that either to Corvette doesn't get 30+MPG (a STOCK vette only gets 26 hwy mpg...) or that it doesn't have 800 hp.-- or both, which is most likely.


RE: No Surprise here
By Spuke on 6/25/2008 3:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
Your not in boost all the time so it's quite believable that a 800hp vette can still get 30 mpg.


RE: No Surprise here
By FITCamaro on 6/25/2008 3:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
Stock Vette's are rated at 29 mpg. My dad's 3800lb Trans Am gets 27 mpg highway. And many C5-C6 Vette owners with the 6-speed manual report 30+ mpg. It's because the T56 has a 6th gear of .5 which lets the engine run at around 1800 rpm at 80 mph. A typical 4 cylinder usually runs around 3000 rpm. Your mustang probably runs around 2300-2500 with a .75 5th gear (guessing). Not to mention the Vette is just a little more aerodynamic than your 67 Mustang.

So yes its possible and happening. I've seen a supercharged Vette getting 35 mpg on the highway. He doesn't run the same tune on the highway as the track but still. And you can't compare a carbureted engine with an FI one. Yes you can get good mileage with a carburetor. But you can get better with FI.

At 16 city and 28 highway, you have nothing to be complaining about though.


RE: No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/26/2008 8:06:07 AM , Rating: 2
First off.......you have a carburated NA 512hp engine and get 16/28. Who's BS'ing who?

EPA numbers are just a standard testing method to compare, it doesn't equate to real life. If I go on a long trip, and take the time to compute, I do indeed get that milage. I suggest you spend some times on the corvette boards if you doubt my word. You'll find that it's pretty typical.

As for boost, your not in it all the time, and certainly not in it while cruising along at 1500rpm's on the highway. Nor when stoplight to stoplight. However, with the occational WOT, it will suck gas like you wouldn't believe, but that's not what were talking about here, where talking about everyday driving.

Sounds like a little vette envy to me. Probably still pissed the 500hp shelby KOTR can't keep up with a stock '08. Now, go pick on some hapless 3rd gen carb'ed camaro.

And for the record, I loved the old 67-69 stangs, but no way your gettin that mpg on an older (probably 4bbl) carb'ed engine.


RE: No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/25/2008 12:56:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Huh, are you driving a Corvette or something? B/C that's one of the only extremely high HP vehicles I can think of that can manage 30 MPG on the highway.

I have my doubts about 800HP and and 31.2 MPG though...

Figured the Bowling Green, KY reference would tip you off. The Corvette Cruise In just happend in May. Bowling Green is home to the Corvette assembly plant. You get a tour and everything, pretty cool. My 5th year going.

As for the car I took, it's a 2007 Z06, with a ECS Paxton Novi Supercharger and a bunch of other stuff ;)
It puts out over 800rwhp, so that's closer to 900 at the motor.

As for doubting the milage, the supercharger takes less than 5hp when not in boost, effectively rendering stock mileage for cruising. City mileage isn't affected appreciably either. On the highway, running 75mph the car only runs 1500RPM's. Compare that to other cars that have to run at 4k or higher at that speed, and you can see why those "low tech push-rod" engines are pretty competitive.

BTW,
Should have got the MazdaSpeed 3.....now that's a fun car.


RE: No Surprise here
By ShapeGSX on 6/25/2008 1:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
It is more about getting the most torque and power per cc of fuel at a given RPM instead of being about the RPMs itself, especially when comparing completely different engines.

So what kind of city mileage do you get?


RE: No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/25/2008 1:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
City is real hard to determine, so many factors.

If your in a parking jam than evey car get's exactly the same, 0mpg.

When I reset the computer, on a typical "city" trip I've seen it as low as 13mpg, and as high as 21mpg.

I've also seen it as low as 4mpg at the track, but that doesn't count :P


RE: No Surprise here
By ShapeGSX on 6/25/2008 1:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
Are you relying on the car computer for mileage? They aren't all that accurate, particularly when you start messing with tire sizes, gearing, and injector sizes. Even if you have calibrated the speedometer.

It is better to fill up completely, reset the trip odometer, drive, fill up completely again and divide the miles by the fuel used.

But yeah, I'm not surprised to see your mileage suck in the city and be great on the highway. My Eclipse is the same, but not to the same extreme.


RE: No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/25/2008 1:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
I've done it both ways, and the computer is pretty close.

In all fairness, the topping off method isn't too accurate either, since there is quite a variation in "filling up completely".


RE: No Surprise here
By goku on 6/25/2008 2:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
So wait, you don't trust the computer to tell you the mileage of the car but you do the odometer and how much fuel you put in? Give me a break! In case you weren't aware of this, most if not all vehicles have inaccurate speed sensing. I mean the VSS may work perfectly fine, but the ECU or what ever controls and reads the input from the VSS is inaccurate/doesn't calibrate. At 55mph I've seen vehicles off by 3mph or less, that is enough to make mileage appear measurably less than it really is. Get a GPS unit and see what it says your travelling speed, you'll probably be surprised.


RE: No Surprise here
By masher2 (blog) on 6/25/2008 2:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
> "Get a GPS unit and see what it says your travelling speed, you'll probably be surprised. "

If you're not on perfectly flat ground, your GPS will be off as well...and even a 4% grade will through the values off, even though its almost indistinguishable to most people.


RE: No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/26/2008 8:18:32 AM , Rating: 2
Your absolutely correct. Changes in tire sizes, tread wear, and inflation pressure all affect how your odometer will read. You have to recalibrate your computer for changes in tire diameter for it to be accurate, but on top of that, I've seen where factory cars have been off by a few mph right off the showroom floor.

The best method to calibrate is to use a dyno, but that's not practical for everyone.

The GPS method is a real good one for the casual user, but as Masher correctly stated, you have to be on a flat road with little elevation change for it to be effective.


RE: No Surprise here
By ziggo on 6/25/2008 1:12:32 PM , Rating: 2
The MS3 is a very fun car, but don't ever expect to get good mileage in it. It just begs to play in the boost.


RE: No Surprise here
By andrinoaa on 6/26/2008 8:35:14 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with big engined cars is not what they are capable of, but what they actually do. Whats the point of driving something with 800hp at boat-anchor pace just to prove how economical it can be? I know from past experience, if you have power , you tend to use it. There goes the economy.........
Small engine ( 1.6 or less ) can be thrashed all day and still acheive good economy figures. Sorry to rain on your day guys.


RE: No Surprise here
By Spuke on 6/26/2008 1:08:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sorry to rain on your day guys.
LOL! Ok dude. Some of us like to have our cake and eat it too. If we can have good gas mileage AND quick straightline speed, why not? I have a pretty quick car but I'm not on the gas hard ALL the time. It's there when I want it. If I don't want it, I don't have to use it.


RE: No Surprise here
By jRaskell on 6/26/2008 1:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Small engine ( 1.6 or less ) can be thrashed all day and still acheive good economy figures. Sorry to rain on your day guys.


Thrashing your small engine still doesn't approach just driving my 5.7L V8 at moderate levels, and my fuel economy drops at most 2-3mpg when driving moderately aggressive. When I get really aggressive, the mileage takes a more substantial drop, but at that point I'm at a level of thrashing an econobox could only dream of.

I prefer to have the choice myself, and history has proven out, for me at least, that I spend the vast majority of my time just driving it normally and getting 24-27mpg 9 out of 10 fillups. And on those occasional moments that a fully loaded tractor trailer is apporaching as I come up the onramp to the highway I don't even have to take a moments pause to wonder if I can get ahead of it. I just put the pedal to the medal, and leave that traffic backup behind as opposed to having to slow down and merge in with the rest of the crowd behind him. 10 years ago I was driving a Civic. Fuel prices will be over $10 a gallon before I even contemplate going back to that kind of vehicle.


RE: No Surprise here
By ebakke on 6/25/2008 12:14:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
So if I need a truck, I'll just call your father, right. Sure he won't mind? Not all of us have a relative with a truck.


Things you need to use on rare occasions can easily be rented. Trucks are no exception.


RE: No Surprise here
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/25/2008 12:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

I'm not gonna let my experiences speak for everyone, but I've needed a truck just three times this year:

1) Helped my GF move from one apartment to another.
2) Bought a washer/dryer.
3) Transported a mattress, box spring, and four tires to the landfill

I can't see myself owning a hulking truck for such infrequent occurrences. But to each his own :)


RE: No Surprise here
By Penti on 6/25/2008 12:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
You know, in most countries one doesn't use a truck for stuff like that. We just use trailers with our normal sedans, hatchbacks, station wagons and so on. Or we rent a small truck (not pickup) or just pay some people (movers) that moves the stuff for you with a larger truck. A trailer isn't more bad then a pickup for the stuff you describe as i guess one can't fit ones entire belongings in the pickup.


RE: No Surprise here
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2008 6:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I never see a trailer in America.

*sarcasm*


RE: No Surprise here
By Penti on 6/26/2008 10:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like it sometimes. It's very unusual to use pick-ups for moving stuff here, they aren't often used as commercial vehicles either.

Here we can just rent a trailer at the Ikea, hardwarestore etc if one doesn't have one. So a big car for moving furnisher isn't something people think about or reason about, it's more that the baby carriage should fit in the vehicle and stuff like that. Like room for groceries.


RE: No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/25/2008 1:23:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I'm not gonna let my experiences speak for everyone,

Good

quote:
but I've needed a truck just three times this year:

DT readership is somewhat of the younger variety. My guess that it's primary demographic would be in the Males 18-28 catagory.

When you get older, your priorities and lifestyle change. Most us "older folks", have homes, children, and also have more disposable income, to buy a boat/jetski for example.

I've been pretty fortunate in my finances, yet still like to do home repair. I also like to do woodworking, have a boat, children, a wife who complains a lot ;P etc.

No car fits the bill on a consistant basis like the SUV. If I had to rent a truck every time I needed one, than after 2 years, I would have already paid off the SUV. What's the point of that?

Flash forward.....the minute you have children, and your signifigant other complains about how dificult it is to put them in a carseat, not enough room, etc. You'll get one. Trust me there young'n.

quote:
But to each his own :)

Exactly what I've been saying all along.


RE: No Surprise here
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2008 6:02:00 PM , Rating: 4
You never actually realize how much you need a truck until you own one. Especially when the friend factor kicks in and everyone is calling you for favors cause your the " guy with the truck " hehehe.

I bought a Tacoma some years back, my first truck. And all of a sudden there were TONS of uses for it I couldn't believe I had made it so long without one. Of course now I'm kicking myself for ever trading it in !

I think by now everyone knows you have a nice little Mazda and your happy with it. Every car thread you bring it up. You say your not trying to speak for everyone, but constantly get in arguments with anyone voicing their right to purchase whatever damn vehicle they want.

People with 'Vettes or trucks don't need to justify their purchase to you.


RE: No Surprise here
By masher2 (blog) on 6/25/2008 6:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
> "People with 'Vettes or trucks don't need to justify their purchase to you"

In another ten years, they very well might. I can see a federal application being required to show due cause before purchase.


RE: No Surprise here
By Spuke on 6/25/2008 6:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In another ten years, they very well might. I can see a federal application being required to show due cause before purchase.
I wouldn't be surprised if that happened. Oh well, I'll just get a general contractors license so I can continue to use one. There's more than one way to skin a cat.


RE: No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/26/2008 8:23:57 AM , Rating: 2
And I'll use my NHRA license :)


RE: No Surprise here
By Spuke on 6/26/2008 1:10:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And I'll use my NHRA license :)
Bastard! ;)


RE: No Surprise here
By theapparition on 6/26/2008 8:22:09 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly the point I've been trying to make.

However, I doubt it will ever come to that with the vette, since it already gets better combined fuel economy than most of GM's models.


RE: No Surprise here
By DragonMaster0 on 6/25/2008 8:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe not, the Mazda 3 has already been the gas guzzler in it's category, compared to other manufacturers' models. (It's not the case anymore though)


RE: No Surprise here
By jamdunc on 6/25/2008 12:02:53 PM , Rating: 2
Only 31-23 MPG? Is that US Gallons, as that could explain the discrepancy. Most cars in the Mazda 3 size range are usually 36MPG and above over here in Europe.

My knackered Megane (before it got fixed) was burning too much fuel due to my coil packs being out of sync and I still managed 35MPG.


RE: No Surprise here
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/25/2008 12:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
That was on a trip to Charleston last month with the A/C blasting. My mileage is usually "down" during the summer due to A/C usage.

If I'm not running the A/C, it closer to 34 or 35 MPG on the highway. And the 2.3 in the Mazda3 isn't exactly known for its fuel efficiency :)


RE: No Surprise here
By AlexWade on 6/25/2008 1:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
I lose 4 MPG if I run my AC in my 350z at 55 MPH. I'll get 28 with my convertible top up and 30 with it down. Of course, I had to make a few adjustments.

First, I get a permanent air filter. That bumps it up slightly but the advantage is as the miles add on, you don't lose mileage because of a dirty air filter.

Next, I over inflate the tires a little. Makes the ride rougher, but it gives less rolling resistance, which gives better gas mileage. I keep my pressure 1 PSI below the max rated.

Finally, I put in Mobil 0W-20 or Enos 0W-20 oil. That stuff is hard to find and it isn't cheap when you do find it, but it pays for itself with the better mileage. I ordered mine from Amazon.com I also use a premium oil filter. Not that Fram garbage.

On the interstate, I get behind a big truck and draft them. Even if I have to go slower, I think it is worth it. I'll see big SUV's pass me at 80 to 90 MPH, and then see the same one again pass me at 80 to 90 MPH. They lost time because they had to stop more. So speeding gained them nothing and cost them lots of money. If I draft a truck, I get between 30 to 31 MPG with the AC full blast. And I don't really lose time because I don't have to stop as much for gas. The key to drafting is don't get too close but don't get too far. Make sure you can always see the truck's mirrors. If you can't draft a 18 wheeler, draft someone else. Every little bit helps.

If you try these tricks, I'll bet you can get 37 to 38 MPG highway. Maybe 40+ if you draft a big rig.

The next thing I want to try is to put in a cold air intake.


RE: No Surprise here
By ShapeGSX on 6/25/2008 1:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
If you keep your tires 1psi below the max rated, chances are that you will be replacing your tires far sooner than you should have to. You are going to wear out the center of the tread sooner and faster than the edges.

Is the 1 to 2 mpg you get from doing this really worth having to replace your tires miles sooner, and losing traction in the corners? I wouldn't be surprised to see you have a net dollar loss due to the more frequent tire changes.

My stock 06 Maxima with the same engine gets 31 to 32 mpg with pure highway driving. I was thinking of getting a K&N panel filter for it, but I'm not sure it will help or not. Plus some cars have issues with the MAF and the oil from the filter. Have you had any such issues with yours?


RE: No Surprise here
By goku on 6/26/2008 3:46:42 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree. I've found most vehicles when inflated to the PSI rating on the door tend to wear out the sides of the tires before the center, meaning that they're under inflated. Generally speaking I've found it to be an extremely rare occurrence for people to wear out the middle over the sides since it's far easier to under inflate than over inflate mostly due to negligence.

For cars, most tires fail due to overheating and stress, stress caused by under inflation, not over inflation. The over inflation where the middle wears out before the outside that you have described would be ABOVE the tire's PSI rating, not at or near it.

Here is a fun factoid: The load rating on your tire is invalid if it is NOT inflated to the max COLD PSI rating designated on the tire wall. That means if your tire is rated at 1000kg max load, and you have it filled to 30psi yet the max cold PSI rating is 44PSI, that 1000kg max rating is invalid for your current PSI and is in fact a much lower number. Another factoid which is semi-irrelvant is that the speed rating is entirely invalid if the tire has experienced a puncture that goes through to the inside of the tire and is then later repaired. I also wouldn't be surprised if the speed rating of the tire was only valid at the max cold tire pressure as well.

If you have a performance car or luxury car, one thing the owners manual will state is that if you drive your car above 100 miles per hour that you should increase the PSI of the tires by about 4 psi for all tires above that listed on the door. If you have a truck with a hitch, the owners manual will state that when towing, you should increase the tire pressure over that designated on the door jam, too bad it doesn't say to the sidewall pressure.

In case you're not aware, when you inflate your tire to the max PSI rating on the side wall, you're not only reducing the likelihood of hydroplaning by a significant margin but you're also going to improve handling characteristics and are far less likely to experience a blowout due to overheating. The reason you actually improve the handling characteristics and not hurt them is because higher PSI means a more rigid sidewall which leads to less deflection of the tire and therefore better cornering. This is why performance cars have short side walls while family cars or trucks have larger side walls, larger side walls are beneficial for a "softer ride" and for going off road.

The PSI tire rating on the door jam is there because it's a compromise between comfort, performance, economy and safety, with it moving in varying directions depending on the type of car, tires, etc. etc. Also while there are many benefits to be seen with running the tire at the sidewall's max cold PSI, one problem you could experience (though I know of no anecdotal evidence to suggest this) is faster wear and tear on the suspension components, engine/tranny mounts and basically anything that would be affected by a harsher ride.


RE: No Surprise here
By ShapeGSX on 6/26/2008 8:12:39 AM , Rating: 2
In my experience, inflating over the recommended pressure will result in wearing out the center. So I guess our experiences contradict eachother.

Increasing tire pressure a ton will definitely reduce traction in corners. When I was autocrossing on street tires, we would over-inflate the tires (say 40psi) to keep from rolling over onto the sidewall. But over-inflating a ton in the rear would generally make the car much more prone to oversteer due to the decreased traction. If this happened, the recommendation was always to drop the rear tire pressure down a couple psi while keeping the fronts at their current level. You were less likely to roll over the tires in the rear than in the front.

However, if you were understeering more than you wanted to, and not rolling over, decreasing the front tire pressure a couple psi would decrease the understeer.

While under-inflation can lead to poor traction, so can over-inflation. There is a middle ground where things are optimal all around. But the max tire pressure is not it.

Some info on tire pressure:
http://www.sportcompactcarweb.com/tech/0208scc_tir...

"An overinflated tire will feel harsh on impact and over smaller bumps, and while responding crisply, will lack grip when pushed hard. "


RE: No Surprise here
By masher2 (blog) on 6/25/2008 1:49:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "And I don't really lose time because I don't have to stop as much for gas"

More power to you for saving gas, but the "saving time" theory really doesn't wash. On a recent ~1000 mile trip I just drove, the difference between the 70mph limit and the 85mph I averaged was 2.5 hours off the trip....and it certainly cost me no more than one extra five-minute stop to fill up.


RE: No Surprise here
By Spuke on 6/25/2008 3:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Solstice GXP and get 30 mpg on my trips to Phoenix. About 430 miles. Bumping your average mph makes a helluva difference in time reduction. The first 50 miles or so is usually driven at 45-50 mph because of the two lane road that I have to drive on. Once I get to the freeway I drive from 80-90 mph. I make the trip in 6.5 hours.

On my last trip out there, I was able to bump my speed up to 70 mph on the first 50 miles. I drove the same on the rest of the trip. I shaved an entire HOUR off the drive!! I must've averaged 80 mph on that trip. Going faster with no long slowdowns makes a big difference.


RE: No Surprise here
By FITCamaro on 6/25/2008 4:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
Let me know the next time you're in Charleston Brandon. I'll buy you a drink. :)


RE: No Surprise here
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/25/2008 4:29:48 PM , Rating: 2
Only if we can go eat at "The Wreck" as well. Damn that place had some good food :-)


RE: No Surprise here
By FITCamaro on 6/25/2008 6:01:29 PM , Rating: 2
Heh. Well I haven't been there. But sounds good. If you haven't, try California Dreaming as well. Great food and prices are pretty reasonable.


RE: No Surprise here
By ShapeGSX on 6/25/2008 12:03:52 PM , Rating: 2
"Under performing"? Compared to what, exactly?


Smart move by Ford US
By Amiga500 on 6/25/2008 11:35:31 AM , Rating: 4
Ford Europe's cars have been market leaders for some time now...

The Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo either lead, or are amongst the leaders in their respective markets.

No better way to fix a poor bank balance than by using existing in-house designs.

Why reinvent the wheel when you have the blueprints sitting in one of your own offices somewhere? :-)

GM should be looking at the Opel Corsa, Astra and Insignia to shore up their options.




RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/25/2008 11:39:50 AM , Rating: 4
The Astra is already here (Saturn Astra) -- and it is doing poorly. Maybe they should advertise the thing more.

Or maybe it's because the thing is overpriced, has poor options packages, and gets mediocre fuel economy numbers.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By theapparition on 6/25/2008 11:43:52 AM , Rating: 1
With the weak dollar, no import is going to be priced competitively.
Guess investing in building foreign cars in the US was a wise decision.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By JonnyDough on 6/25/2008 12:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
I thought Saturn had a plant here in the U.S. I could have sworn...


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By theapparition on 6/25/2008 12:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
Pontiac has plants in the US too. The Pontiac GTO was a Holden Monaro (made in Austrailia). So was the Cadillac Catera.

Just the same, the Saturn Astra is not made in the US. It's an import from Opel. If you build it somewhere else and then import it, it's going to cost more.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By ebakke on 6/25/2008 12:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming your input costs are the same.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By teldar on 6/25/2008 7:02:03 PM , Rating: 2
You're sure the Caterra wasn't an Opel like the Saturns?
And I do believe there are some Opel based Saturns being built here in the U.S.
I could be wrong, however.

T


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By theapparition on 6/26/2008 7:53:03 AM , Rating: 2
It was also sold under the Opel brand in europe. Much like the Holden Monaro was sold as the Vauxhal Monaro in europe.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By onwisconsin on 6/25/2008 1:36:34 PM , Rating: 3
They already have the Chevy Malibu, which is selling well and getting rated well and good milage (for the performance (owning an 05 Malibu Maxx, I consider 20/30MPG very good with the pickup the motor has)), GM didn't need the Astra (or the Saturn division in general)


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By onwisconsin on 6/25/2008 11:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
Disregard my comparison to the Malibu, it just hit me 9 hours after posting that the Astra is a compact not a midsize like the Malibu. That I don't see the point of Saturn (I'm not the only one, Iacocca's new book mentioned that too) still holds true.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By jpcesar on 6/25/2008 12:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
Im from Portugal (europe)

my mixed MPG is 33.6
my highway MPG is 42.8

I have a gasoline 1.2cc Honda Jazz (Accura Fit in US).

We are paying atm 2.4 USD for a liter of gasoline.

That is 9.12 USD for 1 gallon of gasoline.

How this compares to your current costs in US?


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By kmmatney on 6/25/2008 1:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
We are about $4.00 for 1 gallon in the U.S. (Actually today it was $3.87 in Denver, Colorado) so gasoline costs a lot less here than in Europe.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By 67STANG on 6/25/2008 1:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
Must be nice, here in California it's $4.69/gallon (87 octane). At the rate of increase here, it'll break $5.00/gallon for regular unleaded by the end of July.

On top of that, our strict air guidlines here (we are a blue state after all), require 10-15% ethanol in our gas which means we get less mileage on a fillup as well...


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By FITCamaro on 6/25/08, Rating: -1
RE: Smart move by Ford US
By xphile on 6/26/2008 12:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
Don't think that's a particularly fair comment, although it's fair to say there were a lot of people at movie theaters on the West Coast in the 80's and 90's that never got the full implication of the words "I'll be back" in quite the way they should have...


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By 67STANG on 6/26/2008 1:41:43 AM , Rating: 3
Well, I live in the SJ Valley.. all non-Democrats here. Unfortunately, our vote never counts because of LA and SF...

Fuel and politics aside, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. We have everything here. Mountains, Ocean, Culture, etc. Most of the other states I've been to are lacking in enjoyment.

Also, Arny isn't that bad of a governor... just goes to show... ANYONE can do it...


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2008 11:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most of the other states I've been to are lacking in enjoyment.


What does this even mean ?


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Spuke on 6/26/2008 12:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What does this even mean ?
Californians think their state is the ONLY place to live in the US. Everywhere else is backwards and undesirable. Some people are afraid to move out of the state. I live there too but I'm not a native. I've had more than a few people tell me this.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2008 1:19:08 PM , Rating: 2
heheh I know Spuke. I just wanted to hear him say it :)


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Chaser on 6/27/2008 2:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'll keep my very affordable, state of the art condo, 10 minute commute to downtown, vastly lower city crime rates, and reasonable tax rates over anything CA has to offer anyday.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Parhel on 6/26/2008 5:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
They say that all the fruits and nuts in this country roll west.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By acejj26 on 6/25/2008 3:19:04 PM , Rating: 4
You are aware, however, that the difference in price between U.S. and Portugese prices are the taxes that you pay to fund your social programs, right? You cannot directly compare the two.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By mahax on 6/26/2008 12:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
In Finland (scandinavia) we pay just as much 2.4$ for a litre. Out of that roughly 50% are taxes, so our gasoline costs 1.2$ tax free or 4.57$ per gallon.

Also notice that we use 95 and 98 octane gasoline only.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By jRaskell on 6/26/2008 1:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also notice that we use 95 and 98 octane gasoline only.


Europe rates it's fuel octane different than the US. Here in the US we average the two standard methods of determining octane rating, in Europe, you only use the method that provides the higher of the two. Your 95 is pretty much the same as our 87, with the exception of maybe the Ethanol that gets dumped into our gasoline.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Penti on 6/26/2008 8:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
There is just ethanol in our 95 octane petrol in Europe. The 98, 99, 96, etc are not containing ethanol. In Sweden over 90% of the gas has ethanol in it. Much of the diesel has FAME in it too.

95 RON is not 87 AKI though but 90-91 AKI.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By MrBungle123 on 6/25/2008 1:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
The torque report says that ford is considering extending the life of the Ranger to 2011... perhaps the high gas prices will put some dollars back into the nearly dead compact truck market.

The only one left is the Ranger since all the other manufacturers have moved their small trucks into the mid-size category. I for one would like to see compact trucks make a resurgance since they are not so hard to park, get better mileage, and still offer the ground clearance and 4 wheel drive I need to climb the hill to get to my house when there is snow on the ground during the winter.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By FITCamaro on 6/25/08, Rating: -1
RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Hoser McMoose on 6/25/2008 5:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
The Colorado/Canyon is slightly bigger than the Ranger (and it's close relative, the Mazda B2300), though I would say they're close enough to be considered in the same size.

Perhaps more importantly though is that the Ford Ranger gets MUCH better fuel economy with it's smallest engine, 10.2L/100km vs. 11.8L/100km (combined EPA numbers for 2008 manual transmission, 2WD models). It's also cheaper. You do give up about 40hp on the Ford vs. the GM. For some that will not be an acceptable trade off, for others it is.

As for looks, that's a personal preference thing. I personally wouldn't touch either with a 10 foot pole. But then again, I wouldn't touch any truck with a 10 foot pole myself, I have use for one and I hate the way that they handle.

Obviously others will have different opinions.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By FITCamaro on 6/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Spuke on 6/25/2008 6:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
The Colorado can tow up to 4000 lbs. That will do some jet ski's or bikes easy.


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Spyvie on 6/25/2008 6:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still torqued off at Toyota for taking the Tacoma upsize/upmarket.

I really wish I could still buy a little 2.3 Toy PU


RE: Smart move by Ford US
By Spuke on 6/25/2008 7:23:33 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get the Pre-runner package and get the 2.4L engine. The truck ends up being pretty small without the Pre-runner. There's a guy at work with this and I thought it was the old Tacoma.


They'd sell another car if
By FITCamaro on 6/25/2008 12:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
With the 0% financing I was looking last night at maybe trading in the Cobalt and stepping up to a G6 GT with the V6. I don't drive very far so the slightly decreased fuel economy wouldn't hurt me. And I drove one before and got 30 mpg out of it so thats only 1-2 mpg less than my Cobalt.

But the problem is they don't offer a manual on the G6 or pretty much any other car than the Cobalt (not counting the Vette). They need to get a manual into the G6, Malibu, and all their other mid and full size sedans. They're cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain, lighter, and typically get better mileage due to the lower final drive gear.

And to get the 6 speed auto you typically have to get the most expensive model. At least offer it as an option on the other models. Not all people are too lazy to shift on their own. And a manumatic doesn't count.

So I don't know. It'd be nice to get a little sportier of a car with a V6. But I want a manual.




RE: They'd sell another car if
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/25/2008 12:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
You can get a V6 and a manual -- if you start looking at some Japanese "imports" ;)

Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Nissan Altima Coupe, Honda Accord Coupe.

They're all better built and have higher resale value than the G6 (the G6's interior is trash).


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Penti on 6/25/2008 12:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get it really why americans seems afraid of imported cars. We're kinda the same about it here in Sweden when it comes to brands, but people makes no distinction of a Volvo from Gothenburg (Sweden) and Gent (Belgium). The V50s and C30s are quite popular. The Volvos does make our car fleet the biggest one in Europe when it comes to fuel consumption though. Of course US imports to much and exports to less, but i doubt the people who buy "us only" does think of your trade deficit :)


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Oregonian2 on 6/25/2008 1:33:13 PM , Rating: 4
Tricky part is that a lot if not most of our "import cars" are domestically made. Honda I think makes the vast majority of their cars in the US (even the engines I think are US made as well now). Toyota has plants too. I recall Mercedes building a plant in South Carolina was it? And has already been mentioned, many US maker models are in fact non-US made. And then when talking about component parts it can get worse.

Americans certainly aren't "afraid" of imported cars, it's hard to tell exactly which ones were indeed actually imported -- having a non-US brand name on it doesn't mean it was imported, and a U.S. brand doesn't mean it wasn't imported.

People here buy what they think best for themselves and things about country of origin only are important in terms of conversations like this one. People here will talk pro-USA products until their blue in the face while sitting there in Pakistan made shirts, Dominican Republic made trousers, and with a Chinese built iPod in their pocket.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By chucky2 on 6/25/2008 2:22:04 PM , Rating: 1
So Ford's/GM's profits stay here in the US...where do Honda's go?


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Spuke on 6/25/2008 3:12:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
So Ford's/GM's profits stay here in the US...where do Honda's go?
Ford and GM, like Honda are publicly traded companies. Anyone from anywhere can own stock in ALL of these companies. I challenge you to prove the countries of origin of all their investors and stockholders.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Oregonian2 on 6/26/2008 2:01:21 PM , Rating: 3
Ford/GM has profits?


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Penti on 6/26/2008 10:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, that's funny.

Ford/Volvo are firing a lot of people here now (thousands) because they fail to sell the XC90s in the US anymore. Which they don't manufacture/assemble in Gent as they want to profile the Sweden built cars by there size or something. XC90 don't sell well in Sweden it's the V70(II) that sells well here, followed by the Volvo V50, the XC70 and the C30, S80N and S40N. With the S60, XC90, C70 (they are built by Pininfarina btw) further down the list. The XC90 sold 20 times less then the V70 during may. That may indicate that it aren't a car that you can really sell in Europe (86 sold in may in Sweden).

SAABs do sell well in Sweden but it's a smaller manufacturer (like 2000 working in the factory). And they only have there 9-3 and 9-5.

I guess it's about the same as about brands as we are here rather then where it was actually assembled. Toyota is popular here, but like in the US it aren't manufactured in Japan but of course in Europe. Mitsubishi actually build cars in Netherlands in the old plant that Volvo used to own (the former DAF-plant).

But still when (Swedish) TV does pieces about car-sales or gas prices in the US there are always some of those people interviewed that says they couldn't even think the thought of buying Japanese brands. Which really can't be about the size of the cars, they do SUVs too, and most are of course built in US. Just as our fords are built in Europe, even designed buy europeans mostly. The ford focus is the seventh most sold car in Sweden.

But still there seems to be more of an resistance against "foreign" brands in US then here.
I would think it's stupid to buy a car just because of how "domestic" the brand are. I don't really think the Volvos are competitive and there a lot of other better choices in the market. Even the C30 is huge, an gas gusseling car, with not much of an engine or mpg. And they are not cheap :) I mean a huge two door hatchback for 33.5k (incl sales tax) USD?

Gas (95 Octane/RON) is at $8.81 USD per gallon now however with out taxes it costs about the same as in US, like 3.7 USD :) It's like $5.32 USD for E85 though.

There hasn't been any gas price protests here in Sweden like in many other european countries though. I guess we're more used to high gas prices at the pump :).


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Spuke on 6/25/2008 3:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't get it really why americans seems afraid of imported cars.
We aren't, look at our sales numbers. Top four cars are imported. Camry, Accord, Corolla, and Civic are the top sellers in the US by far.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Oregonian2 on 6/26/2008 2:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
Well... made by non-US companies anyway, even if actually "imported" from Ohio.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By DCstewieG on 6/25/2008 6:02:15 PM , Rating: 3
I feel the need to defend my car! :-P

I'm curious why you think the G6's interior is trash. I've had mine for 2 and a half years now and have been very happy. I think it looks great inside and out. I'd appreciate better MPG but it's not bad.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By AlexWade on 6/25/2008 12:45:33 PM , Rating: 3
I'm with you on that. I love my manual gearbox. The best manual transmission I ever had was a Honda Accord. That thing was a dream to shift. Now I have a Nissan 350z and the shifter is forgiving but not great. (Oh yeah, I get 30 MPG with my roadster top down at 55 MPH.) On a sports car, manual should be the only option. An automatic on a sports car, any sports car, is like riding a bicycle with no seat. Yeah, it can be done, but it shouldn't be done.

Learning to driving stick should be standard for drivers ed. You never know where you might need it.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Ringold on 6/25/2008 1:42:26 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Learning to driving stick should be standard for drivers ed.


Blasphemy. If everyone knew how to drive a stick, then so would car thieves. As it is, since they don't know how to get away with it, they'll skip the 1-in-10 manual and steal the automatic parked right next to it. :P


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2008 11:23:43 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
On a sports car, manual should be the only option. An automatic on a sports car, any sports car, is like riding a bicycle with no seat. Yeah, it can be done, but it shouldn't be done.


My left knee has undergone two major rebuilding surgeries. I CAN drive a stick, but in city driving it became too painful and I had to start using automatics.

Glad to know in your universe I would never be able to enjoy a sports car :)


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Chaser on 6/27/2008 2:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
I used to take that stance on manuals. Until I bought a sports car that can shift quicker than humanly possible compared against a conventional clutch pedal. Many of the super exotics are going with very advanced paddle shifting "autos".

As far as I'm concerned its reducing the potential of human error: a bad launch, clutch/shifter coordination etc. Just lets me focus on other things when I'm driving hard or trying to push to the limit. And when I'm not then all the better.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By ShapeGSX on 6/25/2008 12:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
After being burnt by 2 American cars in the past 4 years, I'm done with them. My 98 Ford Windstar caught fire and burnt to a crisp thanks to a crap design of the cruise control off switch that uses brake line pressure. And then its replacement, a 2003 Dodge Durango had its front ball joint fall apart and the wheel fell off, causing the durango to plow into a parked car.

I gave them a chance. I'm not putting my family at any more risk.

I just bought a 2006 Maxima a couple months ago. I got lucky and found a completely loaded one (navigation, etc...) with only 8500mi on it! :-D Pretty much brand new. And I didn't have any hoops to jump through to get the warranty transferred, unlike Dodge. Yeah, it's an auto. I think they actually offered a manual for 06, but this deal was too good to pass up. It has replaced my Eclipse as my daily driver, and I don't miss rowing the gears at all. I really thought I would, but the car is so damn comfortable that it rarely crosses my mind.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By rudolphna on 6/25/2008 11:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
and how do you know it was the cruise control? And i guess its bad luck, because we also had a 98 windstar that ran perfectly for years. (until dad ran into a curb at 30mph, that thing was never the same) . We also own a 2003 Expedition, that has run great, only problems weve been having lately have been the Ignition coils dying (they are like $8 at the dealership, and are easy to replace, no need to spend $300 a pop in labor) It handles very well on the road, has good performance, and is very comfortable for a family of 5, with a big dog. I grew up in Lorain ohio, home to 2, thats TWO Ford plants. you own anything else there you might as well be a terrorist.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By ShapeGSX on 6/26/2008 12:24:43 AM , Rating: 4
This is why I know it was the cruise control switch.

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/05/ford...

My wife was driving the car when it started on fire, and the first thing the van did was lose brake pressure.

It is a horrible design. The cruise control switch for some reason has +12V on one side of a thin rubber membrane. On the other side is flamable brake fluid. They actually use the brake fluid pressure to deactivate the cruise control. They could have easily used the brake light switch, which doesn't involve brake fluid at all.

They also could have used a ground connection in the cruise control switch instead of unswitched +12V directly from the battery (which is why they have also been known to catch fire without people even driving them).

It is a horrible, horrible design which nearly killed my 2 year old child, my wife, and my father in law. Thank goodness they were only driving 5mph at the time. If it had happened on the highway, where they were just 5 minutes prior, there would have been a collision as well as a fire.

That one horribly designed switch showed me the idiocy of Ford engineering. That thing should have never made it past a single design review.

Did I mention that my father's Ford Econoline van also caught fire? No? It was parked in front of their house at the time! It nearly took the house with it.

So there you go. I'm never buying another Ford, period. And I think I've earned the right to say that. And after the Dodge incident, I'm never buying a Chrysler again, either. And frankly, both of those incidents, and the way that the companies treated me after contacting them, have left me with a sour taste in my mouth with regard to American car manufacturers. Screw em.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By onwisconsin on 6/25/2008 1:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
NO MANUAL FOR YOU! (sorry :D)

Working in an engineering dept., one argument is that it will cost less to make kind of one tranny vs two or three kinds per say 1,000.

While I agree with what you said, the GM brass probably will not go ahead because of what I said above. Less models = less cost and more people want an automatic for the convience.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By FITCamaro on 6/25/2008 3:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
Hopefully with gas prices going up, people will start moving more to manuals due to their better fuel efficiency.


By Hoser McMoose on 6/25/2008 6:06:50 PM , Rating: 2
In these days of lock-up transmissions the difference in fuel economy between manuals and automatics has basically disappeared. Several models now actually list BETTER fuel economy for their automatic version than their manual version (likely due to differences in gearing).

I still MUCH prefer the manual though. I much prefer the road feel that you get with a manual and applying power is much more predictable.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Hiawa23 on 6/26/2008 9:25:45 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 1997 Honda CIVIC DX, & a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart with the 2.4L engine, both are manual, & that's all I will ever buy. I absolutely hate automatic transmissions, & the short throw shifter in my Lancer is awesome.

As far as American cars go, I really don't like the way any of the body styles are compared to the more sportier Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi models, so these are the cars I will only buy. I don't buy based on what someone says I should buy, I.E. American. I buy what I like & what I like are small foreign cars, & that's what I will continue to buy.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By MrBungle123 on 6/25/2008 2:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
driving an automatic is against my religion.


RE: They'd sell another car if
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2008 5:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So I don't know. It'd be nice to get a little sportier of a car with a V6. But I want a manual.


The Maxima or two door Altima V6 await you :)


compact cars
By adam92682 on 6/25/2008 12:23:41 PM , Rating: 1
I'm 6' 5" and I simply do not fit behind the wheel of a compact car.




RE: compact cars
By Dasickninja on 6/25/2008 12:36:19 PM , Rating: 5
Move your seat back.


RE: compact cars
By BladeVenom on 6/25/2008 2:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
and raise the ceiling.


RE: compact cars
By aBott on 6/25/2008 12:39:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I'm 6'4" and my 82 Honda Accord was quite comfortable. It all depends on the car. My friend has a newer Corolla that I hate because there's no leg room.


RE: compact cars
By czarchazm on 6/25/2008 12:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, hopefully the car companies will start designing for a larger crowd. Please relay your concern to the nearest GM or Ford dealership.


RE: compact cars
By kmmatney on 6/25/2008 1:27:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm 6' 4" and generally an comfortable in a compact car, such as a Ford Focus. I drive a Camry at the moment, and that is very roomy.


RE: compact cars
By masher2 (blog) on 6/25/2008 1:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm only 6'1 and while a Camry gives me plenty of legroom, I have to either tilt my head sideways or angle the seat back to semi-reclining.

Different bodies are made differently, regardless of height. And different people have different standards of comfort as well. A car I thought was quite comfortable at 20 I might now consider a contortionist's nightmare.


RE: compact cars
By IGoodwin on 6/25/2008 3:45:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm only 6' tall and have a huge problem with headroom, with the seat in the lowest position. I've found most Nissan/Infinity my head touches the roof, along with Audi, and quite a few other manufacturers. Not having a sunroof in those cars helps. So headroom is a concern for me and only 2 cars, the New VW Beatle and the new Subaru Impreza have around 6" of clearence.


RE: compact cars
By donjuancarlos on 6/25/2008 1:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm 6'4" and I absolutely do not fit in compacts. Maybe it's my fat butt. The only car I could find that I fit in comfortably was a 2008 Accord LX-P. It has an adjustable seat for thigh support and no sunroof for headroom. I didn't even consider a domestic, bless those companies' hearts.


RE: compact cars
By Verran on 6/25/2008 2:06:58 PM , Rating: 4
I think the people that use this "I don't fit" argument should post their heights and weights!

I'm 6'5" 220lbs and I drive a Focus hatch. I have no issues with space at all both in my Focus and in pretty much any other small cars.

From one very tall person to another: This "I'm too tall" argument is tired and stale. If you're too fat, you get no pity from me.


RE: compact cars
By Spuke on 6/25/2008 3:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just a matter of being fat either. It depends on how your body is proportioned. You might be 6'5" with a long upper body which will decrease headroom or the same height with longer legs and a shorter upper body which might only require moving the seat back. Not all tall people are created the same way. Just like not all black people look the same.


RE: compact cars
By FITCamaro on 6/25/2008 3:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Me and a friend are both 6'1"-6'2". But while I have longer legs, he has a longer torso. In our respective cars we both fit but in his he complains about the headroom while I have no issue.


RE: compact cars
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/08, Rating: 0
Higher prices smaller cars
By AmazighQ on 6/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: Higher prices smaller cars
By boogle on 6/25/2008 1:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
While US vehicles do tend to use more fuel (esp the ones with American engines), it's not that cut & dry. For example a US gallon is different to a UK gallon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallon

Additionally US fuel consumption figures are lower than European due to the way they test the cars.

So it's not a straight 1:1 comparison unfortunately.

But just to rub the whole 'hybrid crowd' the wrong way (what a joke of a system, add weight, and power conversion - save fuel? What?). A BMW M3 round a race track is more fuel efficient than a Toyota Prius as long as the M3 just runs at the same speed as the Prius round the track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP6fe6i1vaY


RE: Higher prices smaller cars
By skyward on 6/25/2008 2:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
let face fact. A track race at high speed is not a good measure of real world driving.


RE: Higher prices smaller cars
By Spuke on 6/25/2008 3:18:02 PM , Rating: 3
They weren't "racing" at high speeds. Remember, the other car was a Prius and the M3 was following it the whole time.


RE: Higher prices smaller cars
By Aloonatic on 6/26/2008 8:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
The prius was being driven as fast as it could go all the time, probably never using the electric motor and revving much higher than it would normally, as the gear ratios weren't set up for that sort of use.

This is not how cars are driven in the real world (at least by most people) and negated the fuel efficiency advantage that the prius would have gained had they been riving at "normal" speeds.

I don't believe that it wasn't ever meant to be a proper fuel efficiency test, but just a joke whilst pointing out that hybrids aren't the final solution, and a poor stop gap at best, especially for people who like to drive their cars fast.


RE: Higher prices smaller cars
By Spuke on 6/26/2008 12:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
just a joke whilst pointing out that hybrids aren't the final solution, and a poor stop gap at best, especially for people who like to drive their cars fast.
"I can dig where you're coming from."


RE: Higher prices smaller cars
By AmazighQ on 6/25/2008 3:57:37 PM , Rating: 1
yes yes i know already check wiki
i used 1 liter = 3.7 gallon so my figure are correct

how can you make a 20mpg care have lower consumption then 70mpg car with the way a car is tested really explain!
how can a 2.5-3.5 ton(1metric ton is 1.1 us ton)car be more efficient then a 1 ton car(or 1980 pounds).

and yes hybrid are big fail but for stop light traffic is does have advantages


By Hoser McMoose on 6/25/2008 6:22:26 PM , Rating: 3
Several points:

1. One gallon in the UK is the same as 1.2 gallons in the U.S. Why anyone in the right mind would use a system of measure with two different units with the same name is beyond me, but that is a fact we must deal with.

2. Fuel economy ratings vary significantly from one country to the next, easily by 20%. Just combining the above two you end up with a very big difference. As an example, the Toyota Prius is rated for 46mpg in the U.S. while the EXACT SAME car is rated for 65mpg in the UK. So really when you read "30mpg" you should be reading that as about "43mpg" if you want to compare to European measurements.

3. Most European diesels can not be sold in North America due to the stricter air pollution rules here. This will change though when the Euro V rules come into effect a year and a half from now. Euro V pollution rules are pretty much an exact copy of the current North American Tier 2 rules that came into effect two years ago on this side of the pond.


Leave the Fiesta Dead
By Operandi on 6/25/2008 12:30:16 PM , Rating: 3
The Fiesta was horrible disposable car. This new one looks to be worlds better so why associate it with it with such a tarnished name?




RE: Leave the Fiesta Dead
By 67STANG on 6/25/2008 1:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure, but it looks sexy. Did I just say that about a Fiesta?? Anyhow, make an optional model with the MazadaSpeed3 2.3 Turbo engine, and sign me up!


RE: Leave the Fiesta Dead
By npoe1 on 6/25/2008 4:38:55 PM , Rating: 2
I had a Nissan Sentra, a Dodge Stratus, a Ford Fiesta, a Ford Explorer and right now I have a Ford Fusion (US) and the car that I liked the most is the Fiesta and I liked so much that I’m planning to buy another to commute by no way is a disposable car.


RE: Leave the Fiesta Dead
By Spuke on 6/25/2008 6:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
Both of you stated opinions. If you're both happy with your cars then that's perfectly fine.


RE: Leave the Fiesta Dead
By Aloonatic on 6/26/2008 8:32:27 AM , Rating: 2
It seems that the fiesta has grown slowly but surely.

My memory may be paying tricks on me, but it seems to be much more similar in size to the original Ford focus, which in turn seems to have grown, as has the mondao.

The KA is Fords "small" car offering.

For my sins, I used to drive one and never felt particularly safe in it. Light weight is all well and good when looking at the mileage figures, not so good when you think about what would happen in an accident.

As for sticking with the name, it's been around a long time over here (UK) and has a good reputation, especially with the mum crowd who wanted a car to nip into town and such, a job that the fiesta has been doing for a looooong time quite successfully.

It's never going to be as "funky" as other cars like the clio and such, but they probably wont last anywhere near as long as the fiesta has.

No idea how it is seen in other countries though.


Car companies respond to consumers?
By dever on 6/25/2008 12:52:57 PM , Rating: 5
According to this article, the car companies are responding to consumer demand? But, I've been told many times that it was the car companies' fault for their being so many low-mileage vehicles... and now it's really not true? Your crushing my fragile eco-conscience.




full size hybrid mileage
By Screwballl on 6/25/2008 1:42:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
GM is even having trouble selling its more efficient, hybrid full-size SUVs.


The reason for this was explained in the other Daily Tech article, is due to 2 main problems:

1) $50,000 per vehicle
2) 20mpg rating

The price is way too expensive for this market when the mileage gained is minimal. With a gas only model, if you lay off the gas and only do light driving, you can get 20mpg without the hybrid options. Since it is a heavier vehicle, they need a more powerful hybrid system that gets better mileage for about the same cost as the gas-only version or else they will not sell. The key target should be 25-30mpg.




RE: full size hybrid mileage
By Hiawa23 on 6/26/2008 1:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
Are you serious? The Hybrids cost way too much for the mass market, & for some reason I thought the SUV vehicles got atleast 30. I was watching a commercial for a SUV Hybrid, maybe it was a Honda but they were saying it gets 30-34MPG. Looks like there is no shorterm answer for high gas prices, as most just can't go out & buy a Hybrid, anyways, so who are these vehicles being marketed to, the rich?


New F150 every year...
By larson0699 on 6/25/2008 3:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
I wish they'd do with the F150 what they did with the Mustang.

Don't like it? Buy an '08!




What the hell is...
By JonnyDough on 6/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: What the hell is...
By JonnyDough on 6/25/08, Rating: 0
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser














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