Not interested in the EVs which resemble smartphones on wheels, surveillance I can't control in my automobile? No thanks.
At this rate I'm very tempted to buy a wrecked Model S and retrofit the powertrain into a 60s something or other.
I bet those would fly off the lots and into driveways in nice neighborhoods as fast as Toyota can make them. A hybrid Tacoma would have all the "I'm handy, but not some hick that drives a full-size" implication of a new Tacoma with the implied environmentalism of a Prius.
I'm not saying this applies to you personally BTW, just that the "image" a hybrid Tacoma projects would subconsciously seal the deal for a lot of buyers.
CAFE is weirdly anti wagon.
BTW, fellow wagon connoisseur... Have you seen the 2018 Porsche Panamera wagon?
To a casual observer, the writing has been on the wall for sedans for some time. Why would I want to buy a sedan when I could buy a crossover SUV with the same fuel economy for the same price?
Ford has been on top of this trend - they announced they are discontinuing ALL sedan production earlier in 2018.
Car manufacturers come out with new "generations" of vehicles every 5-10 years, so change in production methods is part of the industry. Why can't American manufacturers adapt?
Mainly for better handling. It's easier to avoid a crash if one can maintain control of their vehicle during emergency maneuvers. A vehicle with a higher center of gravity is harder to control in those situations. For example see the following "Moose Test" videos:
But I think most Americans ignore handling. They certainly ignore drive feel. And we have huge roads here :D
Because you live in a city designed for horses and carriages? It's tough enough driving a small sedan in Sydney, the idea of trying to park an American-style monster SUV here scares me. Much of Europe and Japan is exponentially worse.
Fun fact: in California, most lanes are 12 feet (3.7m) wide. In Sydney, many major roads including the Harbour Bridge have 2.8m lanes, and there are buses 2.5m wide driving on them.
I guess 1.9 meters will be manageable enough for most drivers given a 2.8 meter lane.
Why do the American sedans have such poor fuel economy? They are only on par with SUVs. Most Asian sedans get significantly (10mpg+) better mileage. Why would I get a small car with the efficiency off a big car?
Why do the American sedans have such poor fuel economy?
Personally, I was looking for something closer to 2010 model year. My mom has a Chevy Impala about that age and it gets around 25mpg in my experience. Maybe close to 30 in ideal conditions.
The Japanese automakers have really worked hard to make their manufacturing lines (and vehicle designs) modular (a line that makes Camrys on Monday can make RAV4s on Tuesday), the foreign automakers' sedan sales didn't slip nearly as badly as the domestic automakers did so a lot of their plants/lines are still profitable to operate, and the US has always been uniquely interested in trucks and SUVs so many of the foreign-owned plants here were already optimized for SUVs (e.g the BMW plant in America has made SUVs since its inception).
In fact it is even more agile than this! I toured a Toyota factory in Japan last year and they were assembling many different models on the same line at the same time, with the same workers. From what I recall, it is supposed to improve morale as the work is less repetitive.
I highly recommend the tour. It is free, and there is an English-language option. The only downside was it was quite a long train ride away from Tokyo, for quite a short tour.
Yeah, it really depends on the SUV. The big Lexus/Land Cruiser is tall like a truck. The mid-size RX is, like you said, effectively a tall wagon. Same for the Tahoe vs whatever GMC calls their mid-size these days.
And, yeah, the wife's little BMW is low and if I've had a few hard workouts (and the resultant sore back/legs/etc), it's an effort to get in/out. Getting "old" sucks (turn 42 this weekend).
It takes about 1/2 hour to swap them out. I mark the tires with chalk so I can get them back on in the correct place, while rotating them front to back as well. First time, I made my teenage kids do the job, so they could experience changing a wheel.
They've gotten pretty handy with tools. We're all into cycling, and messing around with old bikes.
People want a vehicle that's easier to enter/exit than a go-cart, a full height storage area and a second row of seats that folds down. It just so happens that we call those vehicles "crossovers", "SUVs" or "cars" depending on whether you're asking the sale department, the compliance department or the engineering department.
I hope you're putting on the correct type of tires for snowy days. A lot of those models come with summer/performance tires which are incompatible with snow. For my S4, I have a set of Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires that I use during the winter months.
Bump gasoline up a dollar or two, then SUVs and trucks will slow down.
Cars are also better these days, lasting longer. I've got a 10 year old car (had it for a year), it's been rock-solid reliable. I think good used cars are a compelling alternative to a new vehicle.
That was true in 2003, but I don't think it is anymore. The MPG penalty for a crossover compared to a sedan is only about 15% now which is probably worth it for most Americans.
Given that the demand for vehicles is actually increased, the automobile manufacturers don't have too many plants overall, they just don't have the right mix of plants.
Propping up GM legitimately helped hundreds of thousands of workers. Whether it was a good use of the money is a different question than that, but the money didn't go to shareholders, it went to keeping the operations going.
Coercing private citizens to pay for mismanaged companies and subsidize the gold-plated pension benefits of Baby Boomer employees is utterly immoral.