Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Again, american cars suck

And so it begins. All good things things must come to an end; how much more so really lame things. My wagon has began its slide to death. A bent tensioner resulting in a thrown belt, which resulted in a torn wire, which resulted in small fire, which resulted in a half melted belt wrapping around various engine components, which resulted in a broken power steering pump. When the power steering pump broke it hit the AC lines, pulling them the condenser into the radiator.
In seconds my car was damaged beyond all value of replacement. I need new …

radiator
power steering pump
tensioner

Total price: 284.17

Now, its moments like these that cause me to consider the amount of gas that my dinosaur uses. Visions of a car that doesn’t suck dance in my head. Blithely I check all the companies offerings.
The cheapest car that every company makes is between 12K and 15K. I checked them all. Here for you viewing pleasure is my synopsis of all the available offerings

Chevy: Aveo. This isn’t really a Chevy at all. Daewoo, all ready famous for building such varied products as fork lifts and machine guns tried to sell a car to the American market. They weren’t that great and Korea had some economic problems, so daewoo went broke. Chevy had been making the Aveo’s engines so they bought up the dies for the Lanos and now sell them as Aveos. Daewoos idea was to make a small car that rode like a luxury car. This is why the Aveo has the smallest engine and the worst gas mileage.

Dodge: Caliber. If robots have turds this is what they look like. Do you know what you get when you cross a full size ’01 Dodge Ram with a ’78 Gremlin? Something not even as ugly as a Caliber. And for a subcompact it gets atrocious gas mileage (notice a pattern here?)

Ford: Focus. Pretty little car. To bad it is built by people who hate their customers. The Focus beat out such illustrious competition as the Pinto (The barbecue that seats 4), The Aspen and Vega (chassis failure due to perforatory corrosion), the Fiero (the barbecue that seats 2) and the Citation (simultaneous recalls for brake failure and sticking accelerator) as the most frequently recalled car in history. And its built by a company that has had a CEO every 9 months for the last 3 yearsand who’s bonds have been listed as junk status. (Very unlikely to be repaid)

Mitsubishi: Lancer. Entry level sport compact rather than subcompact. Not entry level enough.

Subaru: No subcompact. Fantastically built street legal rally racers. Priced accordingly.

Toyota: Yaris. Nice car. Stupid name. Slightly better gas mileage than most. Small actually available in nice manual features like power windows. (In a car 4 feet wide, power windows are retarded and merely add weight, hence the slightly better gas mileage.) And due to the intelligently restricted part content, a little cheaper than even the Chevy. It happens to be made by one of the most respected companies on earth.

Honda: Fit. Honda worked its corporate butt off from the bottom of the food chain as a company who made piston rings, to a company that made comic little motorcycles to a international player in the auto market. Decades of hard work have left them with a name that people will pay extra for. The Fit is practically interchangeable with the Yaris, except that it cost $4,000 more.

Scion: Xa (thats “ex-ay” not “shah”) This is why Toyota can afford to sell the Yaris for 11K. because this a gilded Yaris aimed so squarely at the genX youth market that website is a interactive comic. Its basically a Yaris/Fit/Aveo with a bunch of boy racer options. Why anyone would want a factory standard fart cannon muffler and Boeing spec spoiler is beyond me, but if you do, buy a Xa. And they’re pricey.

Suzuki: Aerio pleasantly unremarkable compact. If you parked it next to an Aveo, I’m not sure you could tell the difference till you could read the name badge. It gets a whopping 28 MPG same as the Caliber. In case no one remembers, THAT’S FRAGIN’ AWFUL!!! Studebaker had larger cars that got that with FLATHEAD MILLS between the wars. The original VW Beatles did better as well. Anywho, it costs a lot too.

Kia: Rio. In case anyone ever wondered what quality of car people in concentration camps build, here’s your big chance. This is a family blog so I cannot give my real opinion of Kia. Let me allow the professionals to say it with more precision, if less passion. “Despite a hefty 21% improvement in overall quality last year, Kia remained the worst-quality brand in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study, which ranks vehicles and brands by how many problems owners report the first 90 days of ownership. ” And its ugly as home made sin. And gets better mileage with the Auto then the stick, but you still have to pay extra for the auto.

Hyundai: Accent. BTW, Hyundai uses a purposeful mispronunciation of their name in their Anglo ads. Its not “Hon Day” its more like “Hewn-die”. Oh well. The Accent is OK. Decent mileage, and the cheapest base model of the lot. Its also the only company that sells a base model without AC. When you step up to AC the price is a little bit more than a Yaris or Aveo.

Volkswagon: Rabbit. This is not a new model. This is last years Golf with new name. VW feels that the new name will invoke warm fuzzies with 30 somethings whose parents drove them around in them when they were kids. (I’m totally serious, the advertising director actually said that.) And they have lame gas mileage with the highest price in the lot.

Nissan: Versa. Totally adequate. Absolutely no reason to get one of these instead of another unless you happen to really like Nissans. Within 5% of every baseline the other cars have.

Mazda: Mazda3. At this point I am so sick of this little comparison its not even funny. Guess what. It weighs around 3000 lbs (Like everything else) It has around 150 HP (like everything else.) It has a 5 speed manual (Like everything else). It gets between 28-32 MPG (like everything else.) And it costs between 12K and 15K LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE! 14 companies making 14 IDENTICAL PRODUCTS!!! HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE, and WHY? Couldn’t they anyone of these companies sell more if they made their product appeal to a different group? 14 nearly identical products trying to sell to the same demographic group. Maybe thats why profit margins are so low?

So they pretty much all suck. I am eying Yaris not because its greater but because it sucks less.
It costs less, gets better gas mileage, and is built by a company with a world wide reputation for being one of the best on earth.

It makes me want to cry. I wish I could get a car like you could once upon in Europe. The Fiat 850 Coupe had a top speed of 110, got 40 mpg and seated 4. And they were cheap! Of course they also had Fiats famous self combusting electrics, and rain soluble paint, but dang it they had SOUL. Cars don’t have soul anymore. Every company tries to sell me crap I don’t need and price it high. *sigh*

Still Toyota’s net profit ($14 B) is only 1% of each sale, I guess they have to make every dollar they can.

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July 6, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. I am sorry………So when do you start your car company? It’s not going to be hard to make something different if everything out there is within 5% of each other. I’m looking forward to it.

    Comment by Becky | July 7, 2007 | Reply

  2. You should be thrilled! They are officially stating that 35mpg will be the new standard by which all cars will be made! Never again will we need to suffer with cars that only can obtain the mere 30mpg, no my friend, 35mpg or bust! Not only does this show the intensity at which all car makers wish to save the environment and protect the natural resources that we Americans so enjoy, but a complete drive to make these cars longer lasting, more fuel efficient and help me complete this run-on sentence. And to New Jersey about standards. Making all cars the same look feel and quality makes America the great country it is and don’t you forget it. In fact, I know many friends who are driving their new eco-friendly jets and SUV’s to Al Gore’s Earth awareness Woodstock and the earth is in tears from all the love and attention these people are showing it in one place. Lets all stand together and embrace the new 35mpg standards!
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    EV Car what? Never heard of them.

    Comment by Christopher H | July 8, 2007 | Reply


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