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Obesity in motor vehicles


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#1 Magoo

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 01:53

Americans are growing larger at a frightening pace -- and their vehicles, too. Below is a link to a Reuters story about GM's plans to cut pork out of its full-size pickups. A positive step, we can all agree. But meanwhile, this little factoid in the story caught the eye: the lightest Chevy Silverado pickup is 4387 lbs. That's empty. Without whatever cargo it might someday be expected to carry.

To me, this is obscene. Clearly, gasoline is not too expensive in the USA. Obviously, it's too cheap, if people still feel empowered to make such silly and extravagant choices in their motor vehicle purchases. You just know these are the very same people who complain every time the price approaches $4/gal. How do we fix this?



http://www.reuters.c...E96H13D20130718

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#2 275 GTB-4

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:37

Not much new there Bill...I hope GM realise they could lose market share by downsizing :)

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 19 July 2013 - 04:46.


#3 Greg Locock

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:44

Everybody wonders why the subsequent model of a car tends to be bigger, heavier, faster than the preceeding model. Classic case is the Cortina, Mk I looks tiny these days.

One driver to increased weight is the new regs you have to meet. Generally the powertrain guys are cleverer at making engines more efficient and more powerful than the body/chassis guys are at pulling weight out for no cost. So the extra road hugging weight doesn't result in reduced performance or emissions compared with the previous model, given that pulling weight out usually costs money. Also new cars tend to be quieter stiffer and more durable than the old one which tends to add weight.

The other driver is that program managers think bigger is better especially for leg room and shoulder room, so if you include the old model in the competitive set and you are tring to beat them then you end up bigger.

Another example is the Falcon HD ute, at 1240 kg payload. This is directly comparable to the new international Ranger (1182 kg payload), yet the difference in exterior size is incredible.

#4 Magoo

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:07

Sorry for the outburst. Nothing new or extraordinary about any of this. Perhaps I am irked by the knowledge that the trucks are used mainly as two-passenger coupes.

#5 desmo

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:22

For many if not most Americans who buy them, pickup trucks aren't utility vehicles but lifestyle accessories, inefficient, gas gulping, road hogging dangers to everyone forced to share the road with them. Almost no rational human aside from people whose work requires a truck wouldn't be vastly better off just renting a truck when they need to haul something too big to fit in their trunk. I can rent a full size truck here for under $30 a day, you can't tell me it would be smart for me to buy a truck for the couple or three times a year I require one. But until pills are invented that actually enlarge penises, I suppose we're stuck with driving in a sea of surrogate devices.

#6 gruntguru

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:25

Sorry for the outburst. Nothing new or extraordinary about any of this. Perhaps I am irked by the knowledge that the trucks are used mainly as two-passenger coupes.

. . . . . without a passenger.

#7 Tony Matthews

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:27

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#8 gruntguru

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:35

But until pills are invented that actually enlarge penises, I suppose we're stuck with driving in a sea of surrogate devices.

Or


#9 meb58

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:27

I'm not so concerned with pick up trucks per se; in theory they are being used to transport goods. I work in a company with many full size pick up trucks and they are all used to haul stuff...if they're not, we use cars.

I do agree that there are a lot of "Canyon Men" and Big footers driving pickups to reflect an image...and worse in my opinion are the huge SUVs built on the same platforms full of but one human. I've never understood an SUV; they're not space efficient when compared with a station wagon or Mini Van and they don't handle well - the few I've driven for a short distance.

We want safety and I guess this does add weight and complexity...but how safe must a vehicle be?

I honestly think that there must be a market for single seat vehicles? I would buy one in a heart beat. Enough luggage space for a suit case and that's it.

Edited by meb58, 19 July 2013 - 13:09.


#10 Canuck

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 15:37

You have that - it's called the Smart 4-2. Just put your luggage in the passenger seat (or remove the seat all together).

There's more to the pickup story than polarised utility or ego and nothing else. I was coming of driving age at a time when performance vehicles were anything but. V-8 engines were relegated to cars too far out of my reach with laughable performance, sedans and trucks. Trucks were cheaper, not sedans and obviously rear-wheel drive. All things that the hot-rod culture had engrained. They also provide an entirely different driving experience.

I like the height and the visual field that avails. SUVs and minivans offer a similar field but a young man or woman sans kids is unlikely to entertain the minivan. To be honest, the minivan is about the best deal on the road - period. They're exceptionally spacious, able to haul cargo and tow small trailers, have more than enough power and get respectable mileage. This leads though to the question of ego in purchasing.

The small-dick / big truck argument is so weak and narrow as to be dismissed (almost) without comment. The underlying communication there is "my vehicle buying choice is entirely rational and logical while only those with self-esteem issues buy a truck / SUV / sports car / exotic / muscle car / luxury brand / (insert object of derision/jealousy of the moment)". Any sales rep or marketer worth their salt knows that the bulk of purchasing of everything is emotional, not logical. I bet there's few here willing to trade the car in their driveway for one that is perfectly practical for 90% of their personal use.

For the record I own an old minivan and an older BM sedan.

Edited by Canuck, 19 July 2013 - 15:41.


#11 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 22:58

I still like the advice from a pretty switched on dude, that amounted to: buy a basic car that fits your day to day needs. For that one week a year you tow jet skis to the lake, rent a truck. Or a convertible for that road trip. Or whatever.

I can often be found driving a car with a manual choke.

#12 275 GTB-4

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 23:20

Sorry for the outburst. Nothing new or extraordinary about any of this. Perhaps I am irked by the knowledge that the trucks are used mainly as two-passenger coupes.


No need to feel sorry Bill...its like you just had a little rant in your local watering hole....among friends :love:

Rightly or wrongly, it is the way of the "developed world" to be rapidly transported just about anywhere on a whim in armchair comfort...

we are only on the planet a short time, why not enjoy it guilt free :cool:

#13 Magoo

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 23:55

There's more to the pickup story than polarised utility or ego and nothing else. I was coming of driving age at a time when performance vehicles were anything but. V-8 engines were relegated to cars too far out of my reach with laughable performance, sedans and trucks. Trucks were cheaper, not sedans and obviously rear-wheel drive. All things that the hot-rod culture had engrained. They also provide an entirely different driving experience.


Different perspectives and backgrounds. In the era and area where I grew up and went to high school, driving a truck generally meant you couldn't afford or weren't allowed to have anything else. You were probably driving a truck because you had borrowed or scavenged it from the family farm or business (or from a neighbor's). You certainly wouldn't go out and BUY a truck on purpose, that would be nuts.

Although it was done, you wouldn't really want to take a date out in a truck. That would be kinda sketchy, especially for the girl's parents. If your own parents didn't trust you with the good family car, why should the girl's parents trust you with their daughter, you know? Also, driving a truck to school pretty much branded you as a gomer, a hick. Bib overalls and a duck jacket, hay seed in your teeth. In my world, generally the first thing you would want to do is get out of the truck and into a car. The car didn't have to be nice but it did have to be cool, which is a totally different thing.

So yeah, one could opine that much of my negative feeling toward trucks is developmental in nature. As the twig is bent.


#14 Catalina Park

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:35

Another example is the Falcon HD ute, at 1240 kg payload. This is directly comparable to the new international Ranger (1182 kg payload), yet the difference in exterior size is incredible.

At work we have a few Falcon and Ranger with tray tops. The Falcon looks like a car and the Ranger looks like a truck. But the Ranger is the one that has sagged its rear springs from carrying a full load everyday. (toolboxes)


#15 bigleagueslider

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 05:18

For many if not most Americans who buy them, pickup trucks aren't utility vehicles but lifestyle accessories, inefficient, gas gulping, road hogging dangers to everyone forced to share the road with them. Almost no rational human aside from people whose work requires a truck wouldn't be vastly better off just renting a truck when they need to haul something too big to fit in their trunk. I can rent a full size truck here for under $30 a day, you can't tell me it would be smart for me to buy a truck for the couple or three times a year I require one. But until pills are invented that actually enlarge penises, I suppose we're stuck with driving in a sea of surrogate devices.


It's sad to read the tired, sophomoric comments such as yours comparing an American's free choice of purchasing and driving a pickup truck to some form of psychological compensation over the relative size of their manhood, or how you seem to achieve a sense of intellectual superiority simply by describing an American's choice to drive a pickup truck as being stupid. The reality is that it takes someone with a massive ego, a complete lack of appreciation of the notion of hypocrisy, and an overdeveloped sense of self-importance to post such comments.

Just what makes you feel qualified to dictate what kind of vehicle the rest of the world's individuals choose to purchase and drive? Do you see yourself as being more intelligent and enlightened regarding decisions over such issues? Frankly, what separates the US from much of the rest of the world is we allow individuals to make such decisions on their own, rather than having government bureaucrats make these decisions for them.

While you decry truck-driving Americans as being selfish and wasteful, you also fail to consider that these same truck-driving Americans are responsible for producing around 20% of the world's annual GDP. Which makes them serious economic over-achievers.

#16 NeilR

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:38

Bigs, as much as I understand your desire to defend your country, as much as anyone would in the same circumstance, in a post GFC world your 20% of worlds GDP is not a good argument.

#17 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:47

Whether pickup truck have anything to do with penis sizes or not, I think we can all agree that penis enlargement pills that work would be a wonderful thing.

#18 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:48

I guess the choice is drive some anorexic asthmatic front drive snot box. Or drive a bigger, lazier rear drive 'truck'.
Personally I do not wish to drive either. Though these days my 'weekend' car is usually the Landcruiser. Which is also the towcar, long distance traveller. And driving in traffic you can see over most of it!
Weekdays is usually a 6 cyl Falcon ute because it can carry lots of things and often does. Though it is very sporty, it has alloy wheels!

Michael, I too have heard the story of the Rangers getting prematurely saggy. Get used to it, the quality ute will be relaced by the Thia prams. Because everybody says that Ford do no build what the public wants! That is imported 3 year throw away boxes!

Though many vehicles these days are WAY too heavy. How do they get so fat? Made from very thin steel, the rest is plastic and yet they are 200 kilos heavier than the model they are still based on.

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 20 July 2013 - 07:52.


#19 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 11:27

It's sad to read the tired, sophomoric comments such as yours comparing an American's free choice of purchasing and driving a pickup truck to some form of psychological compensation over the relative size of their manhood, or how you seem to achieve a sense of intellectual superiority simply by describing an American's choice to drive a pickup truck as being stupid. The reality is that it takes someone with a massive ego, a complete lack of appreciation of the notion of hypocrisy, and an overdeveloped sense of self-importance to post such comments.

Just what makes you feel qualified to dictate what kind of vehicle the rest of the world's individuals choose to purchase and drive? Do you see yourself as being more intelligent and enlightened regarding decisions over such issues? Frankly, what separates the US from much of the rest of the world is we allow individuals to make such decisions on their own, rather than having government bureaucrats make these decisions for them.

While you decry truck-driving Americans as being selfish and wasteful, you also fail to consider that these same truck-driving Americans are responsible for producing around 20% of the world's annual GDP. Which makes them serious economic over-achievers.


I'm American, and I lived a good portion of the 00s overseas. Our obsession with trucks/SUVs/insanely large vehicles is odd.

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#20 desmo

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 14:23

It's sad to read the tired, sophomoric comments such as yours comparing an American's free choice of purchasing and driving a pickup truck to some form of psychological compensation over the relative size of their manhood, or how you seem to achieve a sense of intellectual superiority simply by describing an American's choice to drive a pickup truck as being stupid. The reality is that it takes someone with a massive ego, a complete lack of appreciation of the notion of hypocrisy, and an overdeveloped sense of self-importance to post such comments.

Just what makes you feel qualified to dictate what kind of vehicle the rest of the world's individuals choose to purchase and drive? Do you see yourself as being more intelligent and enlightened regarding decisions over such issues? Frankly, what separates the US from much of the rest of the world is we allow individuals to make such decisions on their own, rather than having government bureaucrats make these decisions for them.

While you decry truck-driving Americans as being selfish and wasteful, you also fail to consider that these same truck-driving Americans are responsible for producing around 20% of the world's annual GDP. Which makes them serious economic over-achievers.


You're reading a considerable amount into my post that wasn't actually contained within it. My last sentence was perhaps in questionable taste but a very common perception, the rest was stating the obvious, that with rental trucks so cheap, for most of the people who buy new trucks it's essentially a vanity purchase, like a sports car often is. Everyone I know with a full size pickup truck uses theirs as a work rig daily or a second or third car that usually sits, and even they laugh at the little man driving the shiny F-350 without a scratch on it. It's comical.

#21 saudoso

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 14:42

It's sad to read the tired, sophomoric comments such as yours comparing an American's free choice of purchasing and driving a pickup truck to some form of psychological compensation over the relative size of their manhood, or how you seem to achieve a sense of intellectual superiority simply by describing an American's choice to drive a pickup truck as being stupid. The reality is that it takes someone with a massive ego, a complete lack of appreciation of the notion of hypocrisy, and an overdeveloped sense of self-importance to post such comments.

Just what makes you feel qualified to dictate what kind of vehicle the rest of the world's individuals choose to purchase and drive? Do you see yourself as being more intelligent and enlightened regarding decisions over such issues? Frankly, what separates the US from much of the rest of the world is we allow individuals to make such decisions on their own, rather than having government bureaucrats make these decisions for them.

While you decry truck-driving Americans as being selfish and wasteful, you also fail to consider that these same truck-driving Americans are responsible for producing around 20% of the world's annual GDP. Which makes them serious economic over-achievers.


Ohhh boy, the land of the free.

It's amazing how obtuse you guys can get.

Producing what? Buying from china, labelling and reselling. I guess cars are the only things left that when marketed in the U.S. by american companies are actually built in the U.S.

The over achievers are the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps my friend.

I have no problem with you chosing the cars you drive, my problem is with you using military force to procure the oil needed to run them.

#22 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 14:57

We tend to intervene militarily to ensure oil stays flowing (for everyone) not to seize it for ourselves.

#23 mariner

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 17:18

Probably ALL new vehicles are obese, that's not to criticize the poor guys like Greg who try to make them but I agree with his power train vs. chassis point. That is true for small cars as much as pick up trucks.

The new VW eco car claims 200mpg which is brilliant but analytically its chassis is no lighter, nor has lower overall drag, I suspect, than a 1958 Lotus Elite. Both are two seaters. Of course the Elite wouldn't pass current safety rules but as an eco vehicle its weight and drag performance aren't that far off the VW.

Of course its nuts that so many pick ups have just one passenger but that was often the case when they were just commercial trucks 60 years ago. I can remember the days of the big detroit wagon which took a 8' by 4' sheet of ply in the back. Then the Chevy Suburban was an expensive minority choice for people with specific needs like 5 kid families.

CAFE destroyed the big V - 8 wagon but, guess what, consumers still wanted size and space so they went SUV and pick up.

It sort of annoys me when Europeans say the US has big gas guzzling cars because fuel is "too cheap". CAFE makes fuel price for cars pretty irrelevant. Trucks are different matter because as long as they have a sizable payload capacity they can’t be set low fuel economy/CO2 targets. The EU has been trying for years but can't so far.

BTW anybody who has sen the hordes of BMW X5’s, MB ML350’s and Audi Q7’s in the UK would conclude that not even $8 gas or tiny parking spaces stops SUV mania once it gets hold

So unless somebody can 1) waive the safety regs, 2) transfer all fuel taxes to weight/ plan area based taxes or 3) legistlate freedom to charge hirefees for loaning your vehicle to others without any insurance penalty I don’t see it changing.





#24 saudoso

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 17:30

We tend to intervene militarily to ensure oil stays flowing (for everyone) not to seize it for ourselves.

And that's supposed to make it right?

#25 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 17:57

Protecting the global supply chain from interference? I don't have any objections to that.

http://en.wikipedia....on_Earnest_Will

#26 saudoso

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 19:55

Protecting the global supply chain from interference? I don't have any objections to that.

http://en.wikipedia....on_Earnest_Will

LOL, that's not what I'm talking about - and you know.

Here what I'm talking about:

You find a humanitarian excuse to topple the stooges that you placed running those some country with a war, kill scores in the process, then place new stooges there that will be friiendly for only God knows how long.

Then when the local government is a mush american companis jump in, oil drillers and security contractors, secure the oil pit heads, install new equipment and start pumping.

The new stooge in place happly accepts whatever royalties said companis say is good as the best possible deal their country could ever get.







#27 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 20:06

Right. How do we gain from all of that? We're a few trillion down, and BP and Shell make the profits.

#28 saudoso

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 20:40

You should ask that to G.W. Bush, not me.

#29 MatsNorway

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 20:40

Looking back the cars back in the day have been bigger. Yes cars grow bigger model after model but it also think of it as a sign of a wealthy society.

Look at it! so cool! Its not a lead sled, it is a locomotive!

Posted Image

Edited by MatsNorway, 20 July 2013 - 20:53.


#30 saudoso

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 20:47

They have been quite as big, not bigger.

#31 BRG

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 20:52

BTW anybody who has sen the hordes of BMW X5’s, MB ML350’s and Audi Q7’s in the UK would conclude that not even $8 gas or tiny parking spaces stops SUV mania once it gets hold

This is true. And they are generally driven by a petite woman, who needs such an obscenely huge Chelsea tractor to accommodate her 5 year child on its half mile trip to and from school. Why anyone on the world needs a Q7, which is larger than the average London bus, is beyond me. Certainly not for reasons of economy or driving pleasure.

#32 Magoo

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 21:38

Looking back the cars back in the day have been bigger. Yes cars grow bigger model after model but it also think of it as a sign of a wealthy society.

Look at it! so cool! Its not a lead sled, it is a locomotive!


Actually, the 1951-ish Buick Riviera is not all that large by American standards. Or especially heavy--800 lbs lighter than the current Chevy pickup recently cited.

A few years later in 1959, Buick would introduce the Electra 225, so named because it was a full 225 inches long -- nearly 19 feet. I believe the 1971-76 Buick C body was even a bit longer than that.

#33 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 21:44

You should ask that to G.W. Bush, not me.


This door swings both ways. If people wanted proof about WMDs, you also need proof that it was about oil. And that 9/11 was an inside job, if you've got it.

#34 Canuck

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 21:56

Status. Seems pretty straight forward if we are willing to admit that as humans we're deceptively emotional about everything.

This notion of free Americans free to choose and free to drive what they will in no way makes their irrational and illogical choices free from derision, cat calls and general amusement by the rest of us. Yes - you are free to drive your 1-Ton, turbo-diesel, crew-cab, lifted four-wheel drive with blacked out windows, gaudy chrome rims, after-market obnoxious exhaust, dent-and-scratch free bed and armour-all'd tires - and we're all free to laugh and make fun of those who do. Freedom is great.

Freedom requires responsibility which seems to be a word dropped from modern linguistics unless it's part of the phrase that includes "not my / our". I have the freedom to eat and drink whatever I like, as often and as much as I like. That's. My. Right! That I can does not mean I should or that it's wise. My children do stupid things just because they can. I (used to) expect more from grown individuals. Can != should.

#35 Canuck

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 22:07

This door swings both ways. If people wanted proof about WMDs, you also need proof that it was about oil. And that 9/11 was an inside job, if you've got it.

The Project for The New American Century - a group comprised of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Jeb Bush, Powell and a host of other power brokers tied to that group wrote in their position paper that as part of maintaining economic and military superiority over enemies and allies (their words) greater energy resource security is required. It was part of a large document that had all sorts of normal and reasonable positions along with all sorts of terrifying (particularly for the rest of the world) goals. In the context of that paper, Iraq is easily viewed as a means towards those ends. The paper is a very interesting look into a very imperialist / expansionist mindset. No tinfoil hat, no conspiracy theory - they wrote it down and published it.

#36 MatsNorway

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 22:32

Actually, the 1951-ish Buick Riviera is not all that large by American standards. Or especially heavy--800 lbs lighter than the current Chevy pickup recently cited.

A few years later in 1959, Buick would introduce the Electra 225, so named because it was a full 225 inches long -- nearly 19 feet. I believe the 1971-76 Buick C body was even a bit longer than that.


Can`t compare past weight with now. Its like comparing the prices then with now without adding inflation to the ecuation. No cruble sones, no airbags, no ABS, TCS this and that, no massive stereo systems, seatbelts (perhaps) and other dodads. Comparisons could be done with bare frames. but not perhaps not as they have to hold more weight.

Anyone wanna guess on the weight of all the new stuff and must haves like crumple zones? Only then you can start comparing.

Im happy to hear that they will trim the cars weight down. Its a step in the right direction. How do they compare to the other brands with similar loading capasity.

Edited by MatsNorway, 20 July 2013 - 22:33.


#37 Grumbles

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 22:53

It's sad to read the tired, sophomoric comments such as yours comparing an American's free choice of purchasing and driving a pickup truck to some form of psychological compensation over the relative size of their manhood, or how you seem to achieve a sense of intellectual superiority simply by describing an American's choice to drive a pickup truck as being stupid. The reality is that it takes someone with a massive ego, a complete lack of appreciation of the notion of hypocrisy, and an overdeveloped sense of self-importance to post such comments.

Just what makes you feel qualified to dictate what kind of vehicle the rest of the world's individuals choose to purchase and drive? Do you see yourself as being more intelligent and enlightened regarding decisions over such issues? Frankly, what separates the US from much of the rest of the world is we allow individuals to make such decisions on their own, rather than having government bureaucrats make these decisions for them.

While you decry truck-driving Americans as being selfish and wasteful, you also fail to consider that these same truck-driving Americans are responsible for producing around 20% of the world's annual GDP. Which makes them serious economic over-achievers.


There, there bigs. Just remember that size doesn't really matter, it's how you use it that counts.


#38 Grumbles

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 22:58

You can't get rid of the man-trucks. Putting these on a minivan would be just plain silly.

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#39 saudoso

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 23:10

This door swings both ways. If people wanted proof about WMDs, you also need proof that it was about oil. And that 9/11 was an inside job, if you've got it.


There where no WMDs and GWB's cronies are indeed running Iraq now. Proof enough for me.

No opinion on the 9/11 conspiratory theories. Don't have reasons to believe it happened like that but don't believe it's beiond some of the american leadership either.

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#40 desmo

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 23:11

Probably enough politics for in here. Unless everyone agrees we should argue politics. I'd prefer those sorts of discussions took place in the Paddock Club.

#41 Tony Matthews

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 23:18

:up:

#42 saudoso

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 23:28

Probably enough politics for in here. Unless everyone agrees we should argue politics. I'd prefer those sorts of discussions took place in the Paddock Club.

Ok, shutting up here.

#43 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 23:30

Look, usually when there's a conspiracy theory it's pretty important that the conspiracy is successful. The US spent an insane amount of money on the Iraq vacation and all we accomplished was goosing the defense industry's balance sheet. So if it was about oil, it was a comprehensive failure.

If you think we gained anything from invading Iraq, then understanding market forces of the US auto industry will also be well above your abilities.

#44 Greg Locock

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 00:15

Has anyone evernasked the silly old customer why they spend their dollars on an SUV instead of a wagon or minivan? Certainly in the USA some badly drawn regs pushed people away from wagons into SUVs, but there has to be more to it than that.

I think what happened was that wagons have tended to be a bit of a downmarket utilitarian derivative of the sedan on which they are based. When CAFE made SUVs financially attractive to manufacturers suddenly there was a whole new segment where there was lots of money to spend on gewgaws, and lots of marketing. When we developed the Territory the expectation was that model mix would be primarily RWD with medium trim. Ha. What actually happened was that people bought fully loaded AWDs. This rather made a mockery of the carefully establsihed justification for the vehicle, which identified a blank area on a scatter plot of price vs size vs SUVness. Still it is nice to fail upwards once in a while.



#45 Canuck

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 02:00

Sorry Desmo - one more sentence. Ross - you're correct on that account, the money went to the corporations, as it was designed to do. [/politic]

As a 40 year-old father, I'm not sure where I fall in the target market segment, but the SUVs tend to have more visual appeal than most wagons. I would happily own a foolish, flash, gas-guzzling RS6 Avante, C63 Estate or M5 Touring but they're all out of my reasonable budget, and the more pedestrian offerings are...well, pedestrian.

#46 Magoo

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 10:17

Has anyone evernasked the silly old customer why they spend their dollars on an SUV instead of a wagon or minivan? Certainly in the USA some badly drawn regs pushed people away from wagons into SUVs, but there has to be more to it than that.


Oh, absolutely. I think now we have an entire nation of drivers acclimated to high H point. (Distance from ground to driver's hip on seat, speaking to the room.) People grow to prefer the visibility and the feeling of command from the elevated driving position. Personally, I much prefer the lower CG of the sedan, but I am definitely in the minority now. Consumers also seem to believe they are getting more vehicle per dollar with the SUV.

Not sure I would lump in full-size SUVs with full-size pickups in every way. Though they are large and hulking, they do have interior volume and a different user demographic. BTW, full-size pickups accounted for around 28-29 percent of GM North American sales volume in 2012. And the net per vehicle is huge, maybe $12K.

#47 NeilR

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 10:50

Yep, high H point consumer here. But as a father too I require certain things of a family car: Safety, convenience, running costs, ease of use, interior room, longevity, the green economics and firmly in last place would be things relating to presence on the road.
Safety: I will not add to the risks for my family. Recently I had to buy a small truck that also had to transport the family. Nothing in the very modest budget had safety worth a damn apart from a VW transporter - so that is what we got (shame abt the economy).
Running costs: do you know how much 11 and 10 year old boys eat! How much sport they play and places we end up going...the less we spend on a car to run it the better.
Convenience - use it day in day out it has to be easy to use. A F-truck or full size SUV would be difficult in local suburban conditions and fail on many of the following.
Room - Given I am 6' 8" and 260lbs and my 11 year old son is 5' 5" and 120lbs (for this month) and the 10 year old not far behind...interior room is increasingly important.
Longevity - won't be replacing this in a hurry and so it has to last to 250,000km
Green economics - low pollution if possible. At some stage we will get taxed on such things so plan ahead.

All of this narrowed it down a lot and we drive a Toyota Estima/Tarago - it ticks the boxes.


#48 Terry Walker

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 11:46

Looking over one of the overpriced, overheight 5-door SUVs the other day I saw that it was smaller inside than my admittedly ancient Aussie Falcon 2 wd station wagon, lots heavier, and with a lot worse rear vision. I see herds of these SUV behemoths every day, with Mum punting her kid/s to a nearby school. Strictly black-top cars, and totally pointless. Lifestyle choice, but perhaps because conventional large station wagons are scarce. But mostly, at least here, a lifestyle choice, and in the UK definitely lifestyle. I mean, if you really seriously need to offroad on your farm, you get a REAL four-wheel-drive, not a glossy toy with street tyres and satnav.




#49 Greg Locock

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 23:44

One of the big pushes towards SUVs comes from.... baby seats. It is much easier to load and secure a recalcitrant toddler into its seat if the seat is high and the door is large and a well aimed blow from the mite can't smack your head against the roof.



#50 indigoid

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 01:19

Whatever advantage was supposedly gained from the "high driving position" is increasingly lost as more and more of your fellow drivers are at the same height

That said, I drove a friend's Defender a bit and it was pretty comfortable for the long hauls. It had the 3.9L Isuzu diesel and if not kept on a short rein it would sneak up to 150km/h. The Defender driving position is a little weird, you're sitting right next to a very thin door and the A-pillar is in the "wrong" place vs. other cars. Took a bit of mental adjustment.

I'm definitely not a high-H kind of guy. I suspect my next car will be one of these popular little Toyota 86 things. Small, relatively light and correct-wheel-drive