...my kids are getting to be almost adult size, so econo boxes are out. with safety, all things being equal, larger cars are safer as well...
Just my perspective,
I had a discussion about environmental change with a lady, she said she had to drive an oversized SUV BECAUSE of her kids size. I thought it was outrageous to screw your kids future and blame them for it in one stroke.
Safety, yah, sure, I'm sure those americans overseas feel real safe because of our addiction. Were just making all KINDS of friends around the globe aren't we.
I'd rather drive kids around in a newer sub-compact than an SUV or larger sedan. Accident avoidance, ABS, Stability Control, Crumple Zones, Airbags, etc... it all makes cars safer.
I'd even put kids in the back of the Integra, and it just has ABS and some frontal airbags.
Significant Mass-to-Mass collisions of large to small vehicles are more than likely because of personal decisions by people to have large vehicles despite anything but vanity. And the cycle continues.
I choose to break the cycle.
I've worked as Medic and Firefighter in the past. Many of my calls were to MVA's (motor vehicle accidents) as I had medical and extrication certs. A bad accident is just that -- bad. After several accident scenes, it didn't matter what kind of vehicle someone was driving: unless it was Motorcycle vs. Semi -- stuff like that.
Long story short, the engineering of newer cars in the physics of minor-to-moderate collisions, despite the size or brand, will generally protect passengers if properly restrained. If you're worried about the Hummer vs. your vehicle in a side-impact, research the odds of that kind of collision, and then ensure you have side-impact airbags. A Corolla is safer with side-bags than a Crown Vic without.
Food for thought (from experience, and what the "Jaws of Life" have spoken out loud over the years).
it seems a lot of the members on this site frown on domestic vehicles. buying used domestic vehicles for this member has immediate(lower retail) and long term(cheaper parts) benefits.
not busting on imports(do realize overall, quality is better), but domestics have served me VERY well. doing the maintenance on domestics is easier for me also, since i'm not overly mechanically inclined. water pump, radiator, alternator, etc. replacement are ALL cheap and easy to do for example.
price and maintenance aside, size and safety is another concern. my kids are getting to be almost adult size, so econo boxes are out. with safety, all things being equal, larger cars are safer as well. a local mechanic/researcher spoke on the radio about manipulation of stats to promote sales of economy cars. it's basic physics really--more mass(again all things equal) equals more safety. i've read trucks/suvs are under entirely different crash "rules" tho.
just want to reiterate, i'm not downing imports. just doing the best i can with what i have and know, which is domestic vehicles. my cost/mile(tho i've not figured it) prolly rivals many of the imports here especially if cost/mile/weight of vehicle is considered, not to mention the % of FE over EPA.
isn't that why we're here?
Yes, but I think the MPG rock stars are mostly the foreign cars :
Geo Metro (aka Suzuki Swift)
Honda Civic Hybrid
Honda CRX HF
However, CO ZX2 has proven that the Ford ZX2 is a winner, and there are Saturnians like me here.
I definitely agree that the domestics have a parts advantage.
The SUVs win the "F=MA" argument, but their higher Center Of Gravity (COG) means they are not safer to drive. And of course, they never win the MPG argument. Unless you live in the boonies where the roads are terrible, I think it's hard to justify an SUV. A "normal" mid-size family sedan should be the biggest car that you need.
The "cost per mile" is definitely an important. Here are some examples :
i agree, "i NEED an suv" is a sad excuse unless it is REALLY needed. mountain dirt roads, towing etc.
but this would require mom and dad to share the same vehicle. God forbid if dad did the working(towing) and mom had an AWD mid to full size car to taxi the kids.
remember, ALL things being equal. that includes (besides safety features): driving style, speed of collision, area of collision etc. not to mention the age(and subsequent reaction time) of the driver.
it's prolly fair to assume most small car owners drive more conservatively. i drive a lot as you do, and i see mostly larger cars/suvs moving agressively. tho younger "fast and furious" types do their fair share.
thanks for the props.
would you believe i've spent less than $8k the last 12 years on purchasing vehicles(for my wife and i). it wouldn't have been that much except that we each had irresponsible drivers total a car each.
VERY low maintenance costs in those 12 years. ALL GM vehicles.
...mom had an AWD mid to full size car to taxi the kids...
No need to limit it to AWD mid/full sized. People are dying, we can ration ourselves better than that, even if the polititians want us to be good little consumers.
I've offroaded in just about everything imaginable, and fwd econoboxen are quite capable off the road. Not bigfoot style, but my econo boxes have seen more mud/whatnot than %99.999999 of the AWD vehicles out there.
And of course they can be built up into something more durable if necessary
just for the heck of it i looked up the specs for a honda accord(the closest thing in a honda to my olds). what i found is that in my opinion i bought the right car.
the v6 accord was similar to my olds as far as mpg. even the 4 cyl was not a great improvement especially considering the gap closes almost shut because i drive mostly hwy miles. this is where the GM 3.8 shines.
my price was 1/2 the accord and maintenance is WAY cheaper. so, i'm gaining back my FE difference and then some!
starting to change my perspective a bit. i now have owned a toyota and 2 hondas. it seems as tho as they(my imports) reach high mileage, fewer issues occur.
i see myself continuing to buy used over new indefinitely. at least used imports yield a 100% domestic sale. as for parts, they can be import for any model...'cause i don't see myself frequenting dealerships for parts either!
edit: btw, the AT accord has outdone the olds in mpg--likely because of the better yield in the city.