There's a carpenter/handyman around here who drives an Aveo. His previous car was a Metro.
My father is in the furniture touch up business... He drives a 5 speed Element now (big deciding factor came from the seats -- they're great if you have back problems and need extra support) - he used to drive an old Mercedes 240D (NA Diesel)
He's in yacht yards all the time... and the foreign crews are always amazed to see an American with a stick shift (it's actually quite funny to watch).
Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.
My father worked much of his life as a frame carpenter / subcontractor. During that period he usually drove a small wagon or hatchback, for his tools. Materials for any serious work don't fit in a pickup anyway; lumberyards deliver.
Going to the hardware store or lumber yard is no problem with the Integra. So far, it has hauled mulch, lumber, ~400 pounds of paver bricks, and has been an essential part of moving, more than once. With all seats folded (inlcuding the front passenger) the utility is great. I really don't see the need for a pickup or SUV for the average household -- you can rent one for a day cheaper than owning one for 5 years, or just have smaller vehicle with some cargo capacity.
If there's a need for truck, I can see having one around for the farm, towing heavy loads for work/business or the extra ground clearance for traversing rough terrain regularly -- which is the key word.
I've noticed that folks have the opinion that "if the situation should arise" or "I go fishing once or twice a year" they need a large 4X4. The answer is simply to rent one for those occasions. It's much cheaper, more efficient, and safer. If it's necessary to own one, the best possible option is to use it as only when needed.
having growen up with 2 older brothers, and haveing the family car be a VW rabbit untill I was about 12, and we made the mistake of owning a mini van for a few years, I never saw it as a problem, and at 6' tall, and 240lb, I still fit in the back of both the metro, and civic hatchbacks, and comfertably enough to ride there for a number of hours on end.
for hauling kids, and camping, I would sugest something like a subaru station wagon, sure they don't get great mileage, but it's still better then most pickup trucks, have 4 doors, a fold down rear seat, 5 seat belts for all the kids, why station wagons seem to be out of styel, I don't understand, same with hatch backs, sedans are just a silly idea all around.
To all: Yeah, being in construction almost demands that you have a pickup. Not at all out of necessity, but more because you will get teased if you don't. Thing is, the guys doing the teasing just drive their trucks because of their small self-esteem or small dicks. Probably a little bit of both.
kickflipjr: I hope I am wrong, but to me that reads like "hello, I am the failed project who will never see the light of day." Or something to that effect... like I said though, I hope I am wrong. In the mean time, I will put my faith in Nissan to deliver.
Americans are brainwashed consumers who are in a continual rat race until the day they die. I am glad that I realized this before buying some of the stupid things that I wanted when I was younger.
On a side note, has anyone calculated the costs of ownership of a car? I have been thinking about getting a new Yaris (still hate the name, Vitz is WAY better), but even this works out to about $8/day if I were to keep it for 10 years. That is of course assuming no residual value. So it should probably be closer to $6.50-$7.00/day...