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Old 07-04-2006, 01:31 PM   #81
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They're already in production, are they not? I believe I have seen one and I thought, "how sad, flashy advertisting at it's worst"

On the note of bringing old stuff back to life, the VW Rabbit is "back." In fact, it was never gone, they just called it the Golf in the US market...which pisses me off, since I still have lots of love for that rabbit (even if it is a POS), they're just scamming a bunch of fools who don't know anything about the rabbit, then they're making a cute comercial and putting a 2.5l engine in it and forgetting about when it used to be an economical car built buy the company who made "cars for people." Now they make blingin', cromed out, painted caliper POS tanks...
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:32 PM   #82
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Gee, and I thought it looked pretty cool...

Then again, I'm probably one of the few who actually likes the new Charger. It's too bad it's such a gas-hog.
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:58 PM   #83
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German Diesels

I agree with the "new" Rabbit evaluation. In every re-design of the Rabbit/GTI/Golf over the last 30 years, it has gotten bigger and less fuel-efficient. The first Golf GTI introduced in Europe (late 70's, if I remember correctly) is currently a hot classic because of its pure driving style and efficiency. The Rabbit diesel and VW pickup was way ahead of its time in the US during the early-to-mid 1980's with respect to simplicity and economy. Since then, the Diesel has appeared as an eccentric option for those who wanted to save fuel, and accounted for a small fraction of the line. Meanwhile, Europe and Japan had a market for small, fuel efficient cars, so the Diesel flourishes there.

Basically, the only passenger cars with the Diesel option have consistently been Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. For 2007, these companies have a challenge to reduce particulate emissions on new vehicles and be able to operate on a ultra-low sulphur fuel. The E320 CDI luxury sedan for 2006 attained an EPA economy of 27/37/30 in all of it's size and automatic-ness. Try to make that "Fit", Honda! The Golf TDi Manual gets 37/44/40. I drove one last year, and loved it. Plenty of torque, no clatter or smoke, and hatchback practicality. Now, you probably won't see that for a year or more as a new model.

Granted, particulate emissions are a huge problem for those who suffer from any respiratory problem (from mild-to-severe), and if they cause damaging effects on the health of the public, then forced emission standards will essentially breed better technology as it has over the life of the CAFE program.
  • Charger...
It has been in production, but I didn't know if they were going ahead with their police package. (shakes head) . If your department has used Fords that are specifically designed for fleet use, and that are predictably maintained, why on Earth would you buy a less-efficient vehicle? In addition, they'll have train the officers to drive safely and skillfully in a completely different design, and have a whole new maintenance procedure. Unless they offered it dirt-cheap, I haven't seen a good argument yet. My guess is that it will catch-on like the Impala front-drive cop car (which if you look around is fairly insignificant), and slowly fade away under the shadow of the royal Crown Vic.

RH77
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:16 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rh77
I agree with the "new" Rabbit evaluation. In every re-design of the Rabbit/GTI/Golf over the last 30 years, it has gotten bigger and less fuel-efficient.
This follows along with what MetroMPG was pointing out in his Corolla thread:

http://www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?t=1270

I guess bigger is better in the North American market. Too much wealth and want? It seems that the European and Japanese markets are wide open to tiny, fuel efficient vehics.
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:15 PM   #85
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Thumbs down Poisoned by Cobalt; IONic febreeze

This will show up later in the vehicle reviews, but I have to say it now.

Of the tons of cars I've rented, I just encountered one that failed on me. (Well, 2 if you count the '02 Grand Am that the alternator was failing, but I limped it back to the lot).

The vehicle: (you know I give GM a chance, even Chevy -- I haven't driven the new Cobalt Sedan, so I selected it). Long story short, I kept smelling raw fuel. I thought it was in the carpeting, or that old Caddy in front of me. But I kept smelling it. I started to become dizzy and nauseous - wasn't thinking clearly, parked the car in the garage since it looked like storms (paranoid of hail damage). After the hour drive from the lot to home, I grabbed a sandwich and started watching the game. Trent Green gets hammered, hard! I hope he's OK...

Then I smelled the gasoline from inside the house. I went out to the car -- long story short, it had been spewing raw fuel from someplace under the hood when running. With a 4-hour drive in front of me, I called for backup, and got it quickly out of my house!

They rolled in with an new(er) '07 Saturn ION (Same engine - 2.2L Ecotec) and towed the Cobalt back to the shop. The Saturn had about 3000 miles on it, but it had One Nasty Funk. I'm talking locker room FUNK. So, now I had to Febreeze the car -- remember that Seinfeld episode? BBO. 400 more miles to go with it -- we'll see.

BTW, WTF is up with the speedometer in the middle of the dash??? I mean seriously! I just stuck the ScanGuage in front of me on the dash to get a speed reading SAFELY. One more thing about the cluster: the tach is on the right-side of the instrument panel, instead of the temp/gas guages. Tilting one's head so far to the right under acceleration neither makes sense, nor safety, than a simple glance downward. FE may not even matter with the poor performance thus far -- BUT -- More on these cars in the new review section!

RH77
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:25 PM   #86
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Great thread! I can/will post a 2006 Jeep Commander (non-hemi) tomorrow, which I just rented last week.
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Old 09-24-2006, 06:44 PM   #87
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Update: Ford Taurus, 500, Jeep Grand Cherokee

On the Homepage, look for the reviews in the title. In the queue is the Chevy Impala and Kia Spectra.

RH77
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:17 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rh77
On the Homepage, look for the reviews in the title. In the queue is the Chevy Impala and Kia Spectra.

RH77
Rick didn't see the write ups for the Impala or Spectra in the queue. Can you provide a link?
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:11 AM   #89
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Ask and ye shall receive: Impala and Spectra

I'm a little behind in getting these together, but they should be in the "Reviews Tab" sometime soon...

Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Impala 1LT, 3.5L



The pushrod engines in these Chevys continue to catch me by surprise. The advantage to these larger displacement, overhead-valve-style engines is their torque; moreover, the cars themselves have become more aerodynamic for high-speed use. As with most Chevys, expect low quality and questionable reliability. This particular car is a huge improvement over the last model. I didn't like renting the previous generation Impala at ALL -- it was exciting as an insurance seminar. The new one still blends-in, but offers a much nicer interior and handling response. The radio shows your preset stations, and stores up to 24. Steering wheel controls are a nice touch.



CAUTION: The Impala is available with 3 engines: the base 3.5L V-6, the 3.9L V-6, and the V-8 in the SS. Both the 3.5 and 3.9's data will be posted to show the differences. Despite the throaty growl and dual-exhaust, the 3.9 offered no appreciable advantage in power-response.

Pluses and Minuses:

+ Roomy, Comfortable Interior

+ Great FE for Vehicle Size (Large Car Class)

+ Much Improved Exterior Sheetmetal

- Good ol' 4-Speed Auto (will this ever go away?)

- Fleet Sales decrease Re-Sale

- More reliable vehicles are out there

Raw Data:

Model: 2006 Chevrolet Impala

Trim: 1LT

Transmission: 4-speed Auto/LUTC

Engine: the magical 3.5L, OHV, V-6 that powers the Malibu as well, rated at 211 HP, and 214 lb-ft torque

Drivetrain: FWD

EPA: 21/31/24

GasSavers Tested Mileage: 28.7 MPG

Speed Avg: 52 MPH

Time: 6.2 hours

Miles: 330

Ambient Outside Temp: 60-90F

FE Conclusion: Right on the Money

Now, to contrast, take the same car and use the following:

Trim: LTZ (2LT offers 3.9L as well)

Transmission: 4-speed Auto/LUTC

Engine: 3.9L, OHV, V-6 - rated at 242 HP and 242 lb-ft of torque

Drivetrain: FWD

EPA: 19/27/22

GS FE: 25 MPG

Avg Spd: 55 MPH

Time: 3.1 Hours

Miles: 172

Temp: 80-95.

FE Conclusion: EPA Accurate, but no advantage over the 3.5L
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:17 AM   #90
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2006 Kia Spectra EX, Automatic

Best Value Award

2006 Kia Spectra EX "Best Value Award Winner"



Most people think Kia as that awkward Korean brand that desperate people purchase new. After having driven a few of their models this year, I was truly impressed and stood very much corrected. Not only was the Spectra functional, but the interior was roomy, it handled well, shifted properly, had a multitude of airbags and ABS standard ? and best of all, awesome FE. The secret to this engine is its cam design. In town, the low-end grunt gets you moving quickly, and allows effortless cruise on the Interstate. Push the 4-cylinder to the redline, and you'll find a little power loss in the mid-range, but closer to redline the power comes back. Brilliant! I love to drive this car. Go ahead, buy one. What do you have to lose? There's a 10-year warranty on the powertrain, and a decent one for the bumper-to-bumper. I've recommended this car to many people on a budget who won't compromise safety or FE. My wife took the same model on a road trip, loaded it to the gills with 2 other friends and their entire luggage, hit the Interstate, and it still managed 31.x MPG over 1200 miles! The best part was that everyone liked it, including those in the back seat. That says a lot for my wife to approve of a car, lemme tell ya.



+ Bigger, more comfortable for passengers than it looks

+ 2.0L Engine is efficient and spry

+ Many standard safety features and long-term warranties

- It's a Kia -- so questionable reliability?

- Driver's seat is a bit awkward to get used to

- Basic Radio

Raw Data:

Model: 2006 Kia Spectra

Trim: EX

Transmission: 4-speed Auto/LUTC

Engine: 2.0L, DOHC, 16-valve I-4, rated at 138 HP, and 136 lb-ft torque

Drivetrain: FWD

EPA: 25/34/28

GasSavers Tested Mileage: 32.1 MPG (met or exceeded on 3 different rentals)

Speed Avg: 62 MPH

Time: 4.3 hours

Miles: 272

Ambient Outside Temp: 60-90F

FE Conclusion: Consistently over the mark. If Kia keeps this up, they may keep chipping away at that hard-to-crack midsized car segment.
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