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(Forbes)   The ten worst-built cars of 2012. Or, what the taxpayers got in return for saving GM, Chrysler and the UAW   (forbes.com) divider line 460
    More: Fail, UAW  
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35499 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Mar 2012 at 11:30 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-20 05:37:32 PM  

allegedman: for fark sakes

GET RID OF THE UAW AND HIRE SOME MECHANICS AND ENGINEERS THAT ACTUALLY WANT TO WORK!!!!


Any "problems" would be at the engineering level and I doubt the design engineers are unionized.
 
2012-03-20 05:49:00 PM  
Subby is a dolt. The Toyota on that list (FJ Cruiser) most certainly did NOT get built by any tax bailout dollars. Also...that list is insane. As has been said, many cars on that list are made for specific purposes....and make no apologies that they do not get 45mpg or cruise in comfort like a Lexus. Jesus..if every car was the same they would all suck. Owned Jeeps...great vehicles for what they were designed for. Now own an FJ Cruiser.... thing goes anywhere...tows...lugs...and looks cool too. I musta missed the requirement that all vehicles have faux wood interior trim to be good cars.
 
2012-03-20 05:53:02 PM  

LarryDan43: Splinshints: LarryDan43: But what about Fiat?

The only thing I really know about Fiat is that they make incredly ugly microcars for gay men and attention whoring women.

/ I'd rather ride a fixie around than drive a 500

The fiat powered Dodge Dart looks interesting. We'll see if the illinoians making them can improve from their neon/caliber/compass days.


Yeah, I'm sorta interested to see how the dart compares to the ford fiesta, but I'm not expecting anything more than another neon. Chrysler hasn't had a compact in a long time. OTOH I have a 98 Plymouth neon with 150k on it. Only replaced the head gasket once (and they were notorious fr that) and it's on it's 2nd clutch (manual) even after 2 teenagers learned to drive on it. Biggest thing wrong with it is that the AC has a leak that's not worth fixing since they'd have to pull the engine to get at it.
 
2012-03-20 05:56:58 PM  

Mr.Tangent: Any "problems" would be at the engineering level and I doubt the design engineers are unionized.


I think it's a bit of both. Union introduces cost constraints because the cost of labor allocated per unit goes up, engineering budget goes down to counter that. Engineering subsequently puts out a shiatty product, union gets their annual raise, and the cycle starts again until you're putting out complete piles of shiat that no one would ever want until you hit bankruptcy and are able to void a lot of the debt you've accumulated, at which point you start the cycle anew. It's like the ouroboros from business hell.
 
2012-03-20 06:00:13 PM  

darcsun: The Nitro has the same amount of miles that my BMW 3 series has on it (22,000). The BMW has already had a bunch of expensive repairs, while the Dodge has had one minor recall. The BMW looks really nice when it's out of the shop though.


interesting. i have a 2011 3-series with 18,000 miles and it's only been in the shop once to put on snow tires. one of the reasons i bought new was for their maintenance deal, which means i pay $0 for brakes, oil, etc. for 6 years (paid extra for 2 more years).

also, CR rates the 3-series as a "best buy" and deems it highly reliable. (there was a known issue with the high-speed fuel pump on the 335s, though.)

perhaps you got a lemon.
 
2012-03-20 06:01:25 PM  

dj245: Its worth watching. The video is here (new window). I suppose you might be able to watch it on your fancy iplayer if you are in the UK too, but us continental folks are not allowed to use that.


Why thank you. I will watch.
 
2012-03-20 06:01:36 PM  
and, yes, i do actually have to be at the gym in 26 minutes.
 
2012-03-20 06:06:49 PM  

r1niceboy: I hate the Aurora and the Intrigue because of the electrics.

I've actually not minded them as much. The Driver Information Console is one of the large reasons I had went with the car, given that it does a good job of providing various stats on the car and pre-emptive warnings way before idiot lights come on. Not sure I've seen an equivalent outside of Cadillac, and it's a very nice thing to have.

Were you put off by the integration of some of those electronics, or the failure of them? For example, if you're really wanting to remove the center column to do a radio swap - just scavenge some bits from the original radio to keep the DIC happy and the steering wheel controls working.

Have your windows failed yet? How about the A/C?
Both of those you listed have broken on mine, but have been fixed. I'm surprised you didnt mention the wheels - since the chrome ones are a bona fide GM farkup for road salt.

A/C: It ended up being a faulty temperature sensor that was also causing a leak. Even when it was broken, I've used the sunroof and windows to cool things down.
Windows: Only one that I've left alone is the rear left. It's what happens when you have certain parts being plastic that shouldn't be plastic.



The engines in Olds were usually decent. You've either got the LX5 3.5l shortstar or the L47. Good engines, but needed to be for the weight they haul around. The V8 was nice, but I preferred the V6.

That's what mine is, since IIRC the V6 came with a larger (17 gallon) fuel tank along with the V6 having less serious transmission issues of the pair. I'm also aware of the weight, since ~3600lb + V6 shortstar = not good for quick passing on country roads. However, the fuel efficiency on the highway is quite good for long trips (i.e. >100mi).

Even with all those issues, I'm still not ashamed to have bought it. I just haven't seen much outside of Detroit that comes close to being what I'd want.
 
2012-03-20 06:18:27 PM  

bhcompy: I think it's a bit of both. Union introduces cost constraints because the cost of labor allocated per unit goes up, engineering budget goes down to counter that. Engineering subsequently puts out a shiatty product, union gets their annual raise, and the cycle starts again until you're putting out complete piles of shiat that no one would ever want until you hit bankruptcy and are able to void a lot of the debt you've accumulated, at which point you start the cycle anew. It's like the ouroboros from business hell.


The problem is that without them, you get businesses that run roughshod over the workers and still produce a shiatty product thanks to bad management.
 
2012-03-20 06:28:05 PM  

seadoo2006: Meh ... I like my Audi ... even though every consumer reports testing magazine bull shiate says it's a piece of crap ... Well, boo to them, hah.

[i1059.photobucket.com image 640x480]


Aftermarket tints are the ritual garb of the lesser North American sleazeball.
 
2012-03-20 06:36:51 PM  

Gleeman: Not so clear cut considering that the typical mid-range 4 today makes more HP than a V-6 from the early 90's. The V-6 does have a torque advantage that is needed in larger vehicles like mini-vans, light trucks, etc. Shoehorning one into an Accord or equivalent is just asking for a speeding ticket and does a number on your MPG.


But you would admit it would do plenty good for the power-to-weight ratio.
 
2012-03-20 06:40:08 PM  

The Face Of Oblivion: seadoo2006: Meh ... I like my Audi ... even though every consumer reports testing magazine bull shiate says it's a piece of crap ... Well, boo to them, hah.

[i1059.photobucket.com image 640x480]

Aftermarket tints are the ritual garb of the lesser North American sleazeball.


Or they are just someone who wants less sun blasting into their car and it wasn't available when they bought the car.
 
2012-03-20 06:44:25 PM  
The Face of Oblivion
Aftermarket tints are the ritual garb of the lesser North American sleazeball.

Know how I can tell you've never lived in the southwest?

Dealers here put tint on a lot of cars before they hit the lot & it's been shown that tint reduces interior temps,which means the AC works less,saving gas.
 
2012-03-20 06:51:10 PM  

Krumet: olddinosaur: Plus they also catch fire, don't forget that.

They fixed that. Now your charred crust of a volt won't catch on fire again.

Link (new window)


Thank you for that link, "Krumet," I laughed my balzoff.
 
2012-03-20 07:18:16 PM  

Nutsac_Jim: Dinki: jehovahs witness protection: Buy a Nissan...built buy non-union workers who actually take pride in their work.

Yes because we all know these 10 vehicles were all conceived, designed, engineered, and marketed by union workers. The decision to use cheap plastic instead of metal was a union decision. The decision to build gas guzzling behemoths with inefficient powerplants is a union decision. It's all the union fault.

When they aren't paying for two retirements for a union employee, they can afford to spend a few extra nickels on designing an Altima instead of a Cavalier.


The Altima is the poor mans Maxima.
 
2012-03-20 07:33:00 PM  
Notice the Dodge Ram diesel with great towing and hauling is being biatched at becaused of it not having cab details quite up to par. I would love to see a functional truck cab with 70's interior.

Also note three of the Jeeps critized are all pretty much grocery getters, the Jeep cabin was never known for luxury.

Point being that the Dodge Ram diesel was not meant for the consumer market and the Jeeps are not used to making women getting groceries happy.

/I am aware of the big push to the center making the Toyota Camry the perfect car for all with consumer reports.
//Why are people so happy to mock innovative cars for being ugly when their are so many fugly trucks and SUV's out there?
 
2012-03-20 07:34:49 PM  

This text is now purple: Calmamity: I'm not a big Jeep fan, but I have to take umbrage with the article for criticizing the Wrangler for not being a better road vehicle. It's designed to be fun and capable off road, so of course it's going to not be a Ferrari Towncar in the city, dumbasses.

Consumer Reports has long had a hatred for Jeep. They have similar issues with most sports cars. It's just not their demographic.


I'll ask Jeremy Clarkson what he thinks of even a minivan with an I3 before I would trust Consumer Reports these days. Their ratings are so grab-bag, and seemingly randomized with weighting by country of origin.
 
2012-03-20 07:41:04 PM  
foxyshadis,I'll ask Jeremy Clarkson what he thinks of even a minivan with an I3 before I would trust Consumer Reports these days. Their ratings are so grab-bag, and seemingly randomized with weighting by country of origin.

I think Clarkson did review a minivan in a recent top gear, Had firefighters climb through it to put out a fire, drive through this mass of everything on fire while holding an ice cream cone.

I love it when the BBC forces top gear to inform their audience.
 
2012-03-20 07:57:58 PM  
The nickname for Consumer Reports is Condemner Reports. They really don't like anything. They rated my washing machine as junk seventeen years ago. Forbes is nicknamed Forged since they don't do any research of their own, just repackage real reporters. At least Fark helps you find the original story.
I'm taking this whole story with a grain of salt and a plastic bag to put it in the trash.
 
2012-03-20 07:58:24 PM  
All I had to see is that this is based on CR ratings, which means it is pretty much bullshiat to start with. Additionally, most of the "worst built" are older models that will be replaced in the next two years with all-new models, so those can be chalked up to meaningless as well. But I suppose we can all agree that the Jeep Compass is a giant piece of soft-roading shiat and a disgrace to everything and everyone Jeep.
 
2012-03-20 08:07:15 PM  

divZero: Visibility issues are not a big deal if you learn how to adjust your mirrors properly


I recently switched to this method after almost 30 years of "doing it wrong." Blind spots were never a problem for me because I always turned my head before changing lanes and picked cars that had good visibility in those "blind spots." But I thought, "hey, you're never too old to try something new." I'm still getting used to it and still glance over my shoulder when changing lanes, but I can appreciate its advantages. Now, when I turn my head to prior to a lane change, it's to check if someone from two lanes over is trying to merge into the same spot I want.
 
2012-03-20 08:10:32 PM  

Nutsac_Jim: When they aren't paying for two retirements for a union employee, they can afford to spend a few extra nickels on designing an Altima instead of a Cavalier.


While shortchanging the worker in the process, and spending some of those nickels for a legal hit-team to send any pro-worker person in the poorhouse.
 
2012-03-20 08:13:40 PM  

Persnickety: The customer may be stupid, but he is always right. Remember Pet Rocks? Stupid? Oh yes. Wrong? Not a chance. I don't think you understand the meaning of the old saying. It has absolutely nothing to do with entitlement. If the customer wants a certain product and is willing to pay enough for it that you could make a profit supplying it, who are you to say he is wrong? It is the height or arrogance for retailers to claim they know what is best for their customers. That's the problem The Big Three automakers had in the 80s. Customers wanted smaller, more fuel efficient, more reliable cars but Detroit poo pooed that and kept building clunky old gas guzzlers. They, not the customer, were wrong. Another way to say the old maxim is that only the customer knows what he wants (advertisers may disagree). If you are a smart businessman, you'll supply it.


I get what you're saying, but let's just say I think we have different interpretations of right and wrong in this context. The customer certainly always has the right to their opinion, that doesn't make them factually correct.

Persnickety: Let me counter with: If market research shows that more money could be made modifying the Yaris so that it could drive off-road through 2 1/2 inches of water, you would be smart to make that modification.


Sure, and then it wouldn't be a yaris anymore, or it would have a whole different set of drive expectations to go along with it. But it is hardly a relevant counterpoint.
 
2012-03-20 08:20:53 PM  

Fairlane500: All I had to see is that this is based on CR ratings, which means it is pretty much bullshiat to start with. Additionally, most of the "worst built" are older models that will be replaced in the next two years with all-new models, so those can be chalked up to meaningless as well. But I suppose we can all agree that the Jeep Compass is a giant piece of soft-roading shiat and a disgrace to everything and everyone Jeep.


My sister has one and loves it, but she is sort of part of the target demographic I suppose (although not married and no kids). I've driven it on long highway trips and like it better than say, my girlfriend's Toyota but that isn't saying much as I'm not abig fan of small to mid-size sedans.

I'm planning on buying a Wrangler, hopefully in the next month.
 
2012-03-20 08:24:13 PM  
I'm the satisfied owner of a 1999 Toyota 4Runner with over 172,000 miles. It's my 4th 4Runner. I think Toyotas built in the 80s and 90s are a lot better than the latest models. I'll drive it into the ground, and hope to buy a Toyota Land Cruiser or a Nissan Patrol as my next vehicle. I'm also a big fan of the Nissan GTR (Godzilla) but that will be further down the road.

And I agree with everyone saying Consumer Reports has no clue about cars. I'd rather ask my neighbor's 5 year old daughter on car advice.
 
2012-03-20 08:27:12 PM  
Here's a photo of the only Nissan GTR I've seen here in Austin, Texas:

img259.imageshack.us
 
2012-03-20 08:43:44 PM  

Forgot_my_password_again: we can save wall street bankers but not working class people.

/this is what republicans actually believe.


How about, "Nobody gets saved?"

Run your business into the ground? Tough shiat. I don't give a fark if you're on Detroit or Wall Street. "Too big to fail" my ass.
 
2012-03-20 08:59:02 PM  

Ontos: Forgot_my_password_again: we can save wall street bankers but not working class people.

/this is what republicans actually believe.

How about, "Nobody gets saved?"

Run your business into the ground? Tough shiat. I don't give a fark if you're on Detroit or Wall Street. "Too big to fail" my ass.


THIS!

These bailouts will come back to bite us in the ass.
 
2012-03-20 09:14:17 PM  

NewportBarGuy: Why are 80% of the 10 worst "cars" trucks or SUVs? Would that not require another list?


Indeed. I looked through half of the slides and stopped. The only times I've EVER wanted a truck or SUV were on the rare occasions I was going car-camping or moving a piece of furniture... and most things I can fit in my Matrix pretty well anyway. Just would want a larger vehicle in case of a long camping trip with multiple people, but that would be like once a year at best.
 
2012-03-20 09:31:40 PM  

bhcompy: I think it's a bit of both. Union introduces cost constraints because the cost of labor allocated per unit goes up, engineering budget goes down to counter that. Engineering subsequently puts out a shiatty product, union gets their annual raise, and the cycle starts again until you're putting out complete piles of shiat that no one would ever want until you hit bankruptcy and are able to void a lot of the debt you've accumulated, at which point you start the cycle anew. It's like the ouroboros from business hell.


If Engineering is doing their job, they're reducing the # of labor hours (with associated reduction in labor costs) necessary to manufacture and assemble a vehicle. They can also do more subtle things in lowering line-worker labor costs. Making the production processes more ergonomically friendly cuts down on workplace injuries and that cuts costs, too. There's a fancy name for this: Value Engineering.

I like to think (I am an optimist) that the UAW agreed to do away with their more inane work rules from an earlier era. A line worker making widgets couldn't flip the switch to turn on his machine at the beginning of their shift. He/she would summon and wait for the UAW electrician to show up and flip the same stupid switch for him/her.
 
2012-03-20 09:35:56 PM  
05 Ram 2500 Diesel--186k miles and counting. Besides filter and oil changes(ok, THAT can get expensive with a bathtub of oil to change), only issue I've had is the rear u-joint. Speakers may be going bad...ehhhh...will probably be buried in this truck.

/can get 20 mpg if I go easy on the on-ramps.
//truck has surprised many people with power and pickup.
///yes, I tow toys and things, like being able to go pretty much anywhere in reason, and am a large man-need the space.

//slide show was crap
 
2012-03-20 09:46:55 PM  
What a load of crap. Is CR basing their road tests on what a Lexus should be like? There's a reason that a Lexus can't handle off roading, and thus, there's a reason why an off roader won't handle like a Lexus.
 
2012-03-20 10:54:08 PM  
My Dad was in the UAW and worked at Peterbuilt for almost 40 years. I had to have major reconstructive jaw surgery once, and they paid for every penny of it. About $43K total. So say what you want about the UAW, but not only do they take care of their own, but they also take care of their family. Yeah, something like that is worth saving.
 
2012-03-20 11:11:23 PM  
I don't think most people drive Escalades expecting low maintanence fees. Also, aren't Jeeps SUPPOSED to kind of SUCK on the road other than perhaps the Grand Cherokee...I mean aren't they farking supposed to be off road vehicles? Tahoo owners, at least in Texas would not sell their trucks for your takiing their left testicles from what I can see.

Camaro? MEH...what a rip off.

I'll put my 2008 Infinit G35X against your lame ass V6 camaros any day...I'll beat you off the line. I'll beat you in handling. I'll beat you in braking. I'll beat you in terms of ease of parking. I'll beat you in terms of interior fit and finish. I'll beat you in every regard and believe it or not my sort of luxury japanese sedan is less expensive.

That coming from a guy who drove and still has parked in his driveway a 12 year old Chevy Truck and for what it does, like haul a lot and tow a lot and do so relatively nicely...but jumpin frogaboo people, IT's a TrUcK.
 
2012-03-20 11:15:54 PM  

robbrie: bhcompy: I think it's a bit of both. Union introduces cost constraints because the cost of labor allocated per unit goes up, engineering budget goes down to counter that. Engineering subsequently puts out a shiatty product, union gets their annual raise, and the cycle starts again until you're putting out complete piles of shiat that no one would ever want until you hit bankruptcy and are able to void a lot of the debt you've accumulated, at which point you start the cycle anew. It's like the ouroboros from business hell.

If Engineering is doing their job, they're reducing the # of labor hours (with associated reduction in labor costs) necessary to manufacture and assemble a vehicle. They can also do more subtle things in lowering line-worker labor costs. Making the production processes more ergonomically friendly cuts down on workplace injuries and that cuts costs, too. There's a fancy name for this: Value Engineering.

I like to think (I am an optimist) that the UAW agreed to do away with their more inane work rules from an earlier era. A line worker making widgets couldn't flip the switch to turn on his machine at the beginning of their shift. He/she would summon and wait for the UAW electrician to show up and flip the same stupid switch for him/her.


The problem is that the more dangerous the job the higher the pay, and the more automation the less jobs available. This is why the ILWU resists change at the ports and does things like leave brand new terminals unused because they're too safe and automated.
 
2012-03-20 11:38:35 PM  

Loaf's Tray: gweilo8888: Cost to drive 100 miles at 36mpg combined with premium gas in a Smart forTwo: US$11.30
Fuel economy required to match this in a regular car using regular gas: 34.23mpg
Fuel economy required to match this in a regular car using diesel: 36.67mpg

Fuel economy of a 2012 Smart forTwo according to the US Environmental Protection Agency: 34 city / 38 highway / 36 combined
Fuel economy of a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDi according to the US Environmental Protection Agency: 30 city / 42 highway / 34 combined
Fuel economy of a 2007 Honda Accord according to the US Environmental Protection Agency being kind and assuming the weaker, less thirsty 2.4L engine: 21 city / 31 highway / 25 combined

To reiterate:
Cost to drive 100 miles at 36mpg combined with premium gas in a Smart forTwo: US$11.30
Cost to drive 100 miles at 34mpg combined with diesel in a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDi: US$12.18
Cost to drive 100 miles at 25mpg combined with regular gas in a 2007 Honda Accord 2.4L 4 cylinder: US$15.47


Comparing a vehicle the size of a riding mower with mid-size sedans proves what, exactly?


...if your reading comprehension skills were beyond second grade, that would be self-evident. Lugging around a four-seat tonne of steel and plastic everywhere you go when you probably mostly drive alone or with only one other person in the car makes zero sense, and just burns up the world's resources at a ridiculous rate.

TheShavingofOccam123: Probably the same thing as other's have proved by comparing their 10 year old used cars or new out-of-class cars to the Smart for Two.

/I'm pretty sure I could build a bar stool that would get 100 mpg plus.


Best. Username. Ever.

And a damned good movie. :-)
 
2012-03-20 11:40:37 PM  
What a shiatty list. We all know you hate GM/Chrystler.

The Smart car only gets 34 mpg? What a POS
 
2012-03-21 12:04:24 AM  

NeoBad: Camaro? MEH...what a rip off.

I'll put my 2008 Infiniti G35X against your lame ass V6 camaros any day...I'll beat you off the line. I'll beat you in handling. I'll beat you in braking. I'll beat you in terms of ease of parking. I'll beat you in terms of interior fit and finish. I'll beat you in every regard and believe it or not my sort of luxury japanese sedan is less expensive.


Except that the Camaro of the nearest equivalent year (2010) beats your G35X in price. Unlike Japan(or nearly the rest of the world) the Camaro doesn't reserve its V6 & V8 engines for the privileged few by price. It's not meant to be end-all-be-all - that's the Corvette's job (and used to be the job of GM's RWD V6/V8 cars) - but to be an introduction to the modern-day muscle car for GM.
 
2012-03-21 12:05:34 AM  

An-Unnecessarily-Long-Name: What a shiatty list. We all know you hate GM/Chrystler.

The Smart car only gets 34 mpg? What a POS


[bearsrepeating.jpg]
 
2012-03-21 12:16:23 AM  
What do you expect, of course they are gonna be almost all American cars. American cars are horrible, I never buy American.
 
2012-03-21 02:47:02 AM  
I own a 2004 Wrangler Unlimited.(Long Wheel Base) Bouncy, lots of noise, and this is with an upgraded suspension.

I also own a 2012 Wrangler Sahara.(Short Wheel Base) Smooth, quiet, and refined. It rides better and is quieter than most sedans. The problem is that Consumer Reports reviews the base model with the wind noise prone soft top and the most basic suspension. 19mpg driving an average of 45mph through back country roads. 22mpg average on the highway.
 
2012-03-21 07:03:52 AM  
Someone REALLY does not like chrysler...

/Jeep is still a thing?
 
2012-03-21 09:32:55 AM  

gweilo8888: Loaf's Tray: gweilo8888: Cost to drive 100 miles at 36mpg combined with premium gas in a Smart forTwo: US$11.30
Fuel economy required to match this in a regular car using regular gas: 34.23mpg
Fuel economy required to match this in a regular car using diesel: 36.67mpg

Fuel economy of a 2012 Smart forTwo according to the US Environmental Protection Agency: 34 city / 38 highway / 36 combined
Fuel economy of a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDi according to the US Environmental Protection Agency: 30 city / 42 highway / 34 combined
Fuel economy of a 2007 Honda Accord according to the US Environmental Protection Agency being kind and assuming the weaker, less thirsty 2.4L engine: 21 city / 31 highway / 25 combined

To reiterate:
Cost to drive 100 miles at 36mpg combined with premium gas in a Smart forTwo: US$11.30
Cost to drive 100 miles at 34mpg combined with diesel in a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDi: US$12.18
Cost to drive 100 miles at 25mpg combined with regular gas in a 2007 Honda Accord 2.4L 4 cylinder: US$15.47


Comparing a vehicle the size of a riding mower with mid-size sedans proves what, exactly?

...if your reading comprehension skills were beyond second grade, that would be self-evident. Lugging around a four-seat tonne of steel and plastic everywhere you go when you probably mostly drive alone or with only one other person in the car makes zero sense, and just burns up the world's resources at a ridiculous rate.


So your bold-face rant about how we're all morons stems from your delusion that we somehow don't realize small cars use less gas than big cars? I would EXPECT an Accord to be less fuel efficient than a Smart because it's a much larger car. I would also expect a Tahoe or a school bus to be even less so, I don't need a smarmy pseudo-intellectual to "run the numbers" for me.

Is a Smart a better choice than a giant SUV for a single-occupant commuter vehicle? Of course! But as I and several others have pointed out, you could achieve the same combined efficiency with a far less spartan car. I will concede that I hadn't considered the car's extremely small size to be an asset in some circumstances (someone upthread mentioned on-street parking in San Francisco), but outside of those situations that would not be a desired trait for most of us - contrary to your assumption that we all "probably" only use our vehicles to move our own fat asses to work and back every day, we do occasionally have to move objects and/or other people around with us, frequently enough that provisions for it should be factored into our choice of vehicle. Yes, a lot of Americans DO drive larger vehicles than they really need in the name of status or comfort; that doesn't mean that nobody needs a back seat or a trunk EVER.

If the Smart were significantly more efficient than currently available compacts and subcompacts, then yes, some people would decide that it's worth the inconvenience to get that kind of fuel economy; as it stands, the Smart posts only slightly better city MPG than most of these cars (along with LOWER highway numbers). Why put up with all the drawbacks of that particular vehicle when you don't have to?
 
2012-03-21 12:35:39 PM  

sethstorm: Gleeman: Not so clear cut considering that the typical mid-range 4 today makes more HP than a V-6 from the early 90's. The V-6 does have a torque advantage that is needed in larger vehicles like mini-vans, light trucks, etc. Shoehorning one into an Accord or equivalent is just asking for a speeding ticket and does a number on your MPG.

But you would admit it would do plenty good for the power-to-weight ratio.


True, but from my POV it's like dropping a supercharged V8 into a Ford Pinto. Sure you can do it, but unless you're taking it to the drag strip what's the point?
 
2012-03-21 12:44:51 PM  
Maybe not all the union's fault, but a decision to use cheap plastic instead of something else probably is. When the union drives up your production costs, then you have to cut corners somewhere.

//

I worked for Generous Motors in the 90's, they had what was called the 200 club. This was a group of executives who made in excess of $1Mil per year. I know the unions are out of control but until the execs are brought under control as well it's a moot point to sit and complain about the unions as being the only problems that corp America has. Massive ego's are more expensive than the any union Bubba.
 
2012-03-21 12:53:49 PM  

Gleeman: sethstorm: Gleeman: Not so clear cut considering that the typical mid-range 4 today makes more HP than a V-6 from the early 90's. The V-6 does have a torque advantage that is needed in larger vehicles like mini-vans, light trucks, etc. Shoehorning one into an Accord or equivalent is just asking for a speeding ticket and does a number on your MPG.

But you would admit it would do plenty good for the power-to-weight ratio.

True, but from my POV it's like dropping a supercharged V8 into a Ford Pinto. Sure you can do it, but unless you're taking it to the drag strip what's the point?


Considering that Japanese designs generally underpower most of their non-sport cars, you'd be making the car less sluggish.
 
2012-03-21 01:28:53 PM  

FlashHarry: darcsun: The Nitro has the same amount of miles that my BMW 3 series has on it (22,000). The BMW has already had a bunch of expensive repairs, while the Dodge has had one minor recall. The BMW looks really nice when it's out of the shop though.

interesting. i have a 2011 3-series with 18,000 miles and it's only been in the shop once to put on snow tires. one of the reasons i bought new was for their maintenance deal, which means i pay $0 for brakes, oil, etc. for 6 years (paid extra for 2 more years).

also, CR rates the 3-series as a "best buy" and deems it highly reliable. (there was a known issue with the high-speed fuel pump on the 335s, though.)

perhaps you got a lemon.


I thought they fixed the fuel pump issue in 08/09? I'm helping my girlfriend's cousin buy an 09 335. It's a nice looking car, which version do you have?

stevejovi: JimmyFartpants: R.A.Danny: Didn't those also require premium fuel? It isn't noted in TFA, but I remember something that I'm too lazy to actually look up.

Nothing on the road requires premium fuel.

That's just car marketing speak to make you think you own a high performance vehicle.

The only exception is if you have an engine knock or your driving a $150+ sports car.

That's a fail. Anything with a supercharger in it, for example, would require >91 octane rating, or the pre-ignition would knock the valves into oblivion before 50,000 miles. And the Saturn Ion Redline, which had a supercharger, cost nowhere near $150K.


I've got a little sticker on two of my cars that says 91+ Octane and only one of them is supercharged.

seadoo2006: Meh ... I like my Audi ... even though every consumer reports testing magazine bull shiate says it's a piece of crap ... Well, boo to them, hah.

[i1059.photobucket.com image 640x480]


I've wanted to get an RS4 or an RS6 for a while but I just keep on hearing how the second that I start it up the first time all four wheel are going to fall off and the trunk is going to explode. How has your's been?
 
2012-03-21 01:52:48 PM  

change1211: stevejovi: JimmyFartpants: R.A.Danny: Didn't those also require premium fuel? It isn't noted in TFA, but I remember something that I'm too lazy to actually look up.

Nothing on the road requires premium fuel.

That's just car marketing speak to make you think you own a high performance vehicle.

The only exception is if you have an engine knock or your driving a $150+ sports car.

That's a fail. Anything with a supercharger in it, for example, would require >91 octane rating, or the pre-ignition would knock the valves into oblivion before 50,000 miles. And the Saturn Ion Redline, which had a supercharger, cost nowhere near $150K.

I've got a little sticker on two of my cars that says 91+ Octane and only one of them is supercharged.


All turbocharged Subarus require 91+ octane(suggest 93 for racing).
 
2012-03-21 02:53:13 PM  

Loaf's Tray: gweilo8888: Loaf's Tray: gweilo8888: Cost to drive 100 miles at 36mpg combined with premium gas in a Smart forTwo: US$11.30
Fuel economy required to match this in a regular car using regular gas: 34.23mpg
Fuel economy required to match this in a regular car using diesel: 36.67mpg

Fuel economy of a 2012 Smart forTwo according to the US Environmental Protection Agency: 34 city / 38 highway / 36 combined
Fuel economy of a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDi according to the US Environmental Protection Agency: 30 city / 42 highway / 34 combined
Fuel economy of a 2007 Honda Accord according to the US Environmental Protection Agency being kind and assuming the weaker, less thirsty 2.4L engine: 21 city / 31 highway / 25 combined

To reiterate:
Cost to drive 100 miles at 36mpg combined with premium gas in a Smart forTwo: US$11.30
Cost to drive 100 miles at 34mpg combined with diesel in a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDi: US$12.18
Cost to drive 100 miles at 25mpg combined with regular gas in a 2007 Honda Accord 2.4L 4 cylinder: US$15.47


Comparing a vehicle the size of a riding mower with mid-size sedans proves what, exactly?

...if your reading comprehension skills were beyond second grade, that would be self-evident. Lugging around a four-seat tonne of steel and plastic everywhere you go when you probably mostly drive alone or with only one other person in the car makes zero sense, and just burns up the world's resources at a ridiculous rate.

So your bold-face rant about how we're all morons stems from your delusion that we somehow don't realize small cars use less gas than big cars? I would EXPECT an Accord to be less fuel efficient than a Smart because it's a much larger car. I would also expect a Tahoe or a school bus to be even less so, I don't need a smarmy pseudo-intellectual to "run the numbers" for me.

Is a Smart a better choice than a giant SUV for a single-occupant commuter vehicle? Of course! But as I and several others have pointed out, you could achieve the same combin ...


That's weird, for some reason Fark won't quote your whole post.

Anyway, point me to where I quoted you? Note: I didn't.

I did, however, directly quote people who said or implied that their cars got better mileage than the Smart, or cost less after premium gas was taken into account, which was clearly not true. (The only one that even came close was the Jetta, which is actually a car I have a good opinion of, albeit not quite as cost-efficient as the Smart. For a two-car family, one of each would make a good pairing, though.)

The fact that I directly cited people who are speaking like ill-informed morons blows your post out of the water.
 
2012-03-21 02:57:06 PM  

Loaf's Tray: If the Smart were significantly more efficient than currently available compacts and subcompacts, then yes, some people would decide that it's worth the inconvenience to get that kind of fuel economy; as it stands, the Smart posts only slightly better city MPG than most of these cars (along with LOWER highway numbers). Why put up with all the drawbacks of that particular vehicle when you don't have to?


Oh, and do provide examples of these cars which have lower fuel costs (not MPG, which means nothing without taking the fuel type into account) than the Smart for highway, please. No EVs or hybrids; these simply game the system by moving the power generation outside the car. They also contain batteries that so far are hideously bad for the environment. Just gas or diesel-powered vehicles, please.

If you can't provide such a list citing a reliable source, I'll presume you to be talking out of your ass.
 
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