What would it take to make small cars desirable? - Page 2 - Fuelly Forums

Android Users - Coming Soon! - Migrating from aCar 4.8 to 5.0

Go Back   Fuelly Forums > Fuel Talk > General Fuel Topics
Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-01-2007, 03:27 PM   #11
Registered Member
 
bones33's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 180
Country: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by northboundtrain View Post
- Basic sedan or hatch/wagon.
- Four doors, seats 5
- 1.3/1.4 liter engine 85-95 hp
- 6 speed manual tranny with typical gearing for 1-5 and 6 being the highway gear that puts the overall final drive ratio at approx 2.25:1
- 2,200 - 2,400 lb. curb weight
- 4-5 star crash ratings
- 0.25 drag coefficient (same as Insight, not hard to do)
- offered in base, no frills model
- starts at $15k, same as a civic or corolla.

EPA MPG would easily be 40 city / 50 highway. This is such a no-brainer, it would sell like crazy, and there isn't a single manufacturer doing it.

With the slow attrition of the truck based SUV the next logical place for profits is hitting the green crowd. They are used to paying a premium for green-ness. If a broader market is desired for efficient cars then they've painted themselves in a corner. How do you explain to your customers that just paid $24k for a hybrid that the new basic little car can do about the same FE for less. The hybrid mfrs have gone down a road that will be hard to retrace. But with all due respect, they need a gimmic to start getting us fat Americans out of fat vehicles.

The saying goes that there are little profits in little cars, big profits in big cars. I'm guessing that hybrids are turning this upside down. Maybe there are good profits in good designed efficient cars, it saved VW and Chrysler.

Though I don't yet know how you'd get a 5 star crash rating with a 2200-2400 lb car, if that is doable the rest is pie. Cut out the uneeded foo foos and just give us a well designed car.

An example: My boss was looking for a new basic full size truck, rubber floor mats, vinyl seats, 6cyl, 5spd, etc. He wants the size for hunting/fishing. After shopping he came back pissed. "Who the hell pays $30,000 for a damn pick-up? All they have are damn womanized trucks nowdays!"

He ended up buying a good used one.
__________________

bones33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 04:32 PM   #12
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 313
Country: United States
In Canada, Mercedes sells the B200 and Acura sells a version of the Civic.

People want quality, even in small cars. One area where many small cars have turned people off is the whole winter HVAC situation. That's one area where the standard cabbed V8 pickup truck sets the bar. Small cars should be much better than they are, but they are built as low cost cars. As a result, it's rare to see a small car with all it's seats filled on a cold winter day without the insides of the windows all frosted.
__________________

__________________
2TonJellyBean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 04:35 PM   #13
Registered Member
 
VetteOwner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,546
Country: United States
well, way i see it is this: generally, 4cyl cars have been the economical point A to point B kinda cars, usually not to fast either. not too many bells and whistles nor super dramatic body/looks. its ment to be cheap and econimical.

NOW if i were to design a small car that could potentially draw in customers, i would change the style to make it look sportier, possibly state of the art bells and whistles (lets face it a AM/FM cassette isnt gonna cut it anymore) if you make it light enough and have enough gears you can have a low HP, small 4 banger with lotsa get up and go.

now the whole issue of american and most of its people worried about self image and what bob accross town thinks of them...

i read a few of the previous posts i thought soem were excelent points:
1) yes we are a fat country. fat people cant fit into geo's...
2) i liked the point made about how small people need huge trucks and cars like what nerds up there said"Image is everything. People don't want to be seen in a small car because it makes them appear weak." i think that is very very true.
3) dumb a$$ soccer moms, think the bigger the car the safer it is, hence why a 110lb woman and one kid need a hummer...that and havign to show off to the other moms.(again that whole self image thing "looky what i have im better than you" type of attitude.) while that attitude i notice more in women than men, theres plenty of guys who like to show off and act better than others.
VetteOwner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 04:37 PM   #14
Registered Member
 
VetteOwner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,546
Country: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2TonJellyBean View Post
In Canada, Mercedes sells the B200 and Acura sells a version of the Civic.

People want quality, even in small cars. One area where many small cars have turned people off is the whole winter HVAC situation. That's one area where the standard cabbed V8 pickup truck sets the bar. Small cars should be much better than they are, but they are built as low cost cars. As a result, it's rare to see a small car with all it's seats filled on a cold winter day without the insides of the windows all frosted.
i dunno my chevettes heater got so hot one winter it singed my leg hair. 4 cyl warm up faster since the engine is firing alot quicker and theres alot less coolant to heat up so if your 4 banger isnt gettign warm at all maybe you should do a coolant flush
VetteOwner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 04:53 PM   #15
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 290
Country: United States
I personally think that the Mini is a great helper to the sub-compact class. It is not a cheap car (which means you get status when you buy and drive one) and it has decent performance. The FE is a bit, well, dissapointing though. The Smart seems to be catching on in some circles, but not as much as it should. This is something where people will realize that they missed out when Smart pulls out of N.A.

Unfortunately, small cars are unnecessary in America. We have big roads and big parking spaces. These are some of the main reasons why people buy small cars in Europe and Asia.

I think that until small cars get a more safe image, and fuel prices skyrocket, that Americans will continue to buy oversized cars.
Erdrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 05:28 PM   #16
Registered Member
 
trebuchet03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 812
Country: United States
Send a message via AIM to trebuchet03
Quote:
A lot of people get angry at Hummer drivers for their bad gas mileage, not taking into consideration that here in Texas, Dodge 'doullie ' pickups are more common than weeds and get even less gas mileage than Hummers do !
The Hummer is a symbol of fuel consumption as the Prius became the symbol of fuel efficiency... It's not so much that it is the largest consumer - it's just something to rally around

Quote:
dumb a$$ soccer moms, think the bigger the car the safer it is,
Unfortunately... They have physics on their side :/ The more mass you have in a collision - the less percentage of the energy you'll have to absorb. Mass becomes an instant selling point regardless of actual safety standards :/

-------
What needs to happen in the US... The government needs to stop giving money to the oil companies in the form of tax incentives/breaks.... I've read estimates that this is basically equivalent to a $3-$6 per gallon subsidy :/ But, right now, they keep prices just below the breaking point for bleeding edge technology.

What I'm thinking is that the auto manufactures know that oil companies can't keep prices so low for very much longer. So concepts like the probe V, diesel cycle gas engines and alike are at bay - but not "ready." A year of $6/gallon gasoline will make fuel sippers nuclear hot potatoes with unforgiving haste
__________________
Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.


Bike Miles (Begin Aug. 20 - '07): ~433.2 miles

11/12
trebuchet03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 05:46 PM   #17
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 200
Country: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
The Hummer is a symbol of fuel consumption as the Prius became the symbol of fuel efficiency... It's not so much that it is the largest consumer - it's just something to rally around



So what would my Photoshopped version be a symbol of ?
Nerds laugh at me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 05:48 PM   #18
Registered Member
 
rvanengen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 230
Country: United States
My $0.02

Seems there are a couple problems here:

1) Get the manufacturers to sell cars that are affordable and get good FE
2) Get the consumers to buy the cars that are offered by #1

Well...

1) The manufacturers already make safe, reliable, and FE cars...look in Europe and Asia. The problem that I have heard is that the crash standards are applied differently, but are almost the same when it comes to impact on the occupants. In the USA, occupants are assumed to be UNBELTED and in most of the rest of the world, they are assumed to be BELTED. It tends to force the manufacturers to over-engineer the cars based on that assumption.

2) After reading everyone's replies, it seems like one of many simple solutions is to market the small cars as being for small, slim, stylish, cool, good looking people...leaving the large cars to be driven by ugly, overweight and dowdy people.
__________________
-- Randall


McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."

O'Brien's First Corollary to McIntyre's First Law: "I don't know what the right circumstances are, either."



rvanengen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 07:37 PM   #19
Supporting Member
 
cfg83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,779
Country: United States
rvanengen -

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvanengen View Post
Seems there are a couple problems here:

1) Get the manufacturers to sell cars that are affordable and get good FE
2) Get the consumers to buy the cars that are offered by #1

Well...

1) The manufacturers already make safe, reliable, and FE cars...look in Europe and Asia. The problem that I have heard is that the crash standards are applied differently, but are almost the same when it comes to impact on the occupants. In the USA, occupants are assumed to be UNBELTED and in most of the rest of the world, they are assumed to be BELTED. It tends to force the manufacturers to over-engineer the cars based on that assumption.

2) After reading everyone's replies, it seems like one of many simple solutions is to market the small cars as being for small, slim, stylish, cool, good looking people...leaving the large cars to be driven by ugly, overweight and dowdy people.
When I heard that posted by someone else here (was it you?) I was incensed. This is one law that's gotta change. We have click-it or ticket laws but the crash test assumes the passenger is breaking the law?!?!?!?!? Somebody has to put a stop to those crash test dummies!

Is it just an oversight? I mean, back in the 1970's I can understand this assumption. But for today, what is the reasoning behind it?

CarloSW2
__________________
Old School SW2 EPA ... New School Civic EPA :

What's your EPA MPG? http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorSelectYear.jsp
cfg83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 07:41 PM   #20
Registered Member
 
Peakster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 467
Country: United States
I talked to a balloon pilot from England this summer and he commented that North American cars don't handle well (compared to european cars). He said that North Americans want comfort, power features, and size. European inspired cars are meant to drive through windy roads, yet you'd be hard pressed to find one with an option such as air conditioning (according to him).

In order for North Americans to like a smaller car, it needs to:
- be sporty as hell
- have luxury-like interior
- have a deep engine sound

Think of some small cars that were huge successes in American markets. I remember when the first generation Neon came out. Everyone loved its 90s styling and powerful engine. Cavalier was also sporty and also had considerable power.
__________________

Peakster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fuelly Android App - eehokie Fuelly Web Support and Community News 2 07-14-2010 09:59 PM
Combined totals of all my vehicles? nizationpcs Fuelly Web Support and Community News 0 03-30-2009 07:41 AM
exhaust wrap - interesting results lindermant Experiments, Modifications and DIY 22 09-25-2006 09:51 AM
"active" aero grille slats on 06 civic concept MetroMPG General Fuel Topics 21 01-03-2006 01:02 PM
Pumping air to gasoline Capcom General Fuel Topics 5 12-09-2005 05:23 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.