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Newfangled electronics in production cars


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#51 mariner

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 03:40

A few comments

 

My usual car , a Ford Mondeo/Fusion has several auto features like lane warning, parking sensors, speed limit detection, auto stop start etc but not auto park. They all work but are unreliable. Maybe that because it is a "cheap" Ford but none of them are good enough to use as AV sensors.

 

The lane departure will trigger if you change lanes smoothly, the auto S/S is OK but I switch it off when there are lots of roundabouts/traffic circles because it will shut the engine down just as you move forward leaving you stalled for a vital moment at times.

 

The auto wipers/lights are a bit slow to react . They dip fast but are slow to go back to full beam. The adaptive LED lights are fantastic though, espeically for older eyes.

 

The parking sensors are useful but have one terrifying fault. Once my wife was driving in very heavy spray at 65 mph amid trucks etc. Safe but needing full concentration. Suddenly the parking sensors triggered giving her quite a scare. I was able to re-assure her but I think for an inexperienced motorist such a noise in heavy spray is not very safe.

 

Also on auto S/S one potential issue is main bearing wear as the crank stops. sinks through the  hydrodynamic oil film then is suddenly rotated many times per day. Maybe not an issue with modern oils but worth thinking about with new engine at thousands of pounds these days.

 

None of this is a reason not to have them but I don't think they are yet anywhere near "fail safe" Also I have just been driving three different rental cars in a week. There is a real problem now in that no rental car has handbook and all have different auto feature approachs. Trying to work out how the car operates in the middle of navigating unknown cities roads is not as easy as it was in analogue days.



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#52 Greg Locock

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 07:03

Yeah, you wouldn't want to rely on the Mondeo lane departure warning for general driving, given that the cameras point backwards!



#53 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:10

Aren't they usually in the glove box?  I recall hiring a car in Switzerland and it was an early keyless ignition system.  I didn't know that you had to depress the clutch (or was it the brake?) and found myself stuck in the middle of nowhere - which is near Zurich - unable to start the car.  I found the manual in the glove box but it was in German which I don't read, but being Swiss, there was also one in French which I was able to figure out.

Three rentas in Europe plus passenger in one back here recently an not an owners manual to be seen.

Foot on clutch can be annoying, it still catches me out on occasion and I have been around them for 20 years on Korean cars.



#54 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:16

Don't start me on keyless cars!!  Such a daft idea, just the wet-dream of some auto electrics designers and marketing people, it is of no benefit to the car owner at all and of course the poor bloody owner still has to pay for it whether he wants it or not.  Mercifully, the early efforts at this which were seriously irritating have been somewhat watered down so that now you have a thingy which you push into a slot.  Isn't a key cheaper?  But just not technofrolic enough...

Push button starters, just like a racing car!. Or like a car from the 50s and before. Most moronic idea ever envisaged. And with the 50s cars you turned the key off to turn off the engine,, not hold said button down for 3 or 4 seconds. Blame Bill Gates, same stupidity , hold start button down for a period to turn off.



#55 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 17:38

Auto lights, auto wipers?

 

These are things that are simply unnecessary on road cars, and are pandering to the poor training and simple inability of most drivers out there to have a basic understanding of what hazards there are.

 

 

Well IIRC they were introduced on the S-class Mercedes (as a novelty gimmick to justify the S-class' status?), and they are now available for integration as cheap modules so they are now included across the range from ultralights as a kind of nicety/luxury feature.  

 

So what's the problem?  :confused:



#56 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 17:40

Don't start me on keyless cars!!  Such a daft idea, just the wet-dream of some auto electrics designers and marketing people, it is of no benefit to the car owner at all and of course the poor bloody owner still has to pay for it whether he wants it or not.  Mercifully, the early efforts at this which were seriously irritating have been somewhat watered down so that now you have a thingy which you push into a slot.  Isn't a key cheaper?  But just not technofrolic enough...

 

With your dislike of gadgets, shall I dare to think you perhaps do not drive a S-Class Mercedes and even have no interest in owning said S-class?  :confused:

 

:p


Edited by V8 Fireworks, 22 October 2017 - 17:40.


#57 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 17:42

Should we really be building things into cars to cater for dumbass, lazy drivers who can't work out when to turn on their wipers and lights? 

 

You forget these features are included as selling points to produce showroom wow factor to sell cars to said "dumbass, lazy drivers ".

 

Just as the 10-way massaging function is intended to wow the prospective Cadillac Escalade or Mercedes buyer, likewise are the driving convenience features (auto park, lane keep assist, cross traffic alert, autonomous braking, Tesla Autopilot) too...

 

This goes across the board from basic light hatches to super luxury SUVs.


Edited by V8 Fireworks, 22 October 2017 - 17:44.


#58 BRG

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 18:23

With your dislike of gadgets, shall I dare to think you perhaps do not drive a S-Class Mercedes and even have no interest in owning said S-class?  :confused:

 

:p

Absolutely correct.  I do not own a Mercedes and have no desire to ever own one.  I am in the Porsche camp.

 

But as most of these gimmicky things are now available on almost all cars and not just S class Mercs, that is scarcely to the point.  The buyer is paying for all this stuff, whether he/she wants it or not.  Some developments are useful.  I like cruise control, hill hold, ABS, auto lights and ESP (although I find that almost undetectable so have some doubts about its real value on anything except high performance vehicles).  I think keyless cars, push button start/stop, auto wipers and lane assist are annoying, ineffective and unnecessary.  Then there is DAB radio.  All very well but it demands so much fiddling around by the driver that it is actually dangerous. 

 

And I despair that modern cars are sold on the basis of their 'connectivity' virtues and infotainment systems rather than their performance, handling, comfort and economy.


Edited by BRG, 22 October 2017 - 18:24.


#59 Greg Locock

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 22:07

ESP/C has a measurable effect on crash rates. In the USA the IIHS (not an unbiased organisation) has put the stats together. In theory you should get cheaper insurance if you have ESP. When I borrow a car from work I have to sign a piece of paper saying that i promise not to disable ABS TC or ESC. Hence my long and interesting series of experiments on how to drive 'around' ESC. Incidentally the loudmouth Baruch on TTAC recommends using ESC when racing at various points on the circuit.

 

Manufacturers don't put these toys in for fun. The people who buy new cars tend to pay more for cars with them in than not. 3998 (Late change Tesla hasn't gone bust) out of 4000 (approx) US car companies went bust or were sold because they knew better than the customer.

 

If you buy new cars and you don't want the toys then you are an outlier. If you don't buy new cars and you don't like the toys you are almost irrelevant (yes, your preferences slightly affect the price of secondhand cars, that is the only effect you have on the process).


Edited by Greg Locock, 22 October 2017 - 23:39.


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#60 gruntguru

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 22:20

Some great points Greg. Makes me wonder what percentage of the driving public purchase their cars new? As you say, it is only this segment that influence the features offered.



#61 Greg Locock

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 23:39

I suppose one way of looking at that is the number of owners a car has in its life, I suspect the median in Oz is 3. New car buyer, ex lease buyer @2-3yo and then someone who squeezes it til it hurts and scraps it at 10-20 years.

 

random factoids

 

There were 18.8 million registered motor vehicles in Australia as at 31 January

 

 

  • Average age of all vehicles registered in Australia was 10.1 years.


#62 BRG

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 16:27


Manufacturers don't put these toys in for fun. The people who buy new cars tend to pay more for cars with them in than not. 3998 (Late change Tesla hasn't gone bust) out of 4000 (approx) US car companies went bust or were sold because they knew better than the customer.

 

If you buy new cars and you don't want the toys then you are an outlier. If you don't buy new cars and you don't like the toys you are almost irrelevant (yes, your preferences slightly affect the price of secondhand cars, that is the only effect you have on the process).

What percentage of new car buyers really care about these systems?  How many say that they won't buy an the new Trump GTO because it doesn't have hill hold or auto wipers?  Most of them are more interested in what colour it is and whether they can connect their i-phones. 

 

Adding more and more toys is marketing department driven - they want to be able to say 'Ooo, we've got auto willy warmers, you don't get that on a Kia'  irrespective of the fact that female buyers really aren't interested and the male buyers are worried about getting their extremities burnt.  As you say, most car makers go bust because they thought they knew better than the customers, and maybe this is still the case.


Edited by BRG, 23 October 2017 - 16:28.


#63 gruntguru

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 21:46

I doubt that many of these gadgets can pull large numbers of buyers into the showroom. Their real purpose is to offer product differentiation at the margins - customer can't choose between two equally attractive propositions except one has a willy warmer - perhaps that will clinch the deal.



#64 Greg Locock

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 22:05

Yup, its marketing. If marketing didn't work (ie create more profit than it costs) we'd get rid of it. One simple example is it gives journalists something to write about (and hammer the competition in comparisons). For example one model gets criticised for not including emergency brake assist in its base trim, it is part of the $3000 technology pack. If enough journos or customers  pick up on it, or it becomes a regulatory requirement for 5* crash (and there are no other reasons why it wouldn't get 5*), that'll change. 5* crash is a huge selling tool, and that drives a lot of technology in. The way that features get included in a car is far more detailed and  complex than that, in practice (not my field), but if it isn't creating profit or reducing costs or necessary to meet some standard or meet customer expectations  on balance then it won't be in the car. It's not a perfect system, 

 

Private buyers of new cars are the acid test. They didn't buy the base model of trim (easily the best value) but the Ghia, typically, which had some nice toys in it and often the terrible leather seats (an abomination in Oz) and some nice badges and wheels, Or they bought the XR, which had some nicer tires on it and some red piping on the seats and some red stripes and a worse ride.



#65 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 01:48

What percentage of new car buyers really care about these systems?  How many say that they won't buy an the new Trump GTO because it doesn't have hill hold or auto wipers?

 

I assume you mean the superb Chinese manufacturer Trumpchi rather than Trump cars (never heard of them).  :)

 

You'll be surprised.  People will not buy a car because the adaptive cruise control doesn't work down to stop-start city follow speeds, or because the lane keeping is too intrusive about reminders to put your hands on the steering wheel.  

 

All kinds of tech reasons, not strictly related to the infotainment.



#66 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 01:50

 'Ooo, we've got auto willy warmers, you don't get that on a Kia'

 

Actually you get heaps of kit on KIAs and Hyundai.  Especially on the luxury offerings like the KIA K900 and Hyundai Genesis G90, that is their unique selling point.  All the kit for less than the Germans. :)

 

They certainly don't sell them on ride and handling because that is (unfortunately) worse than the established BMW 7 Series or S Class and so on.


Edited by V8 Fireworks, 24 October 2017 - 01:50.


#67 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 01:54

 'Ooo, we've got auto willy warmers, you don't get that on a Kia'  irrespective of the fact that female buyers really aren't interested and the male buyers are worried about getting their extremities burnt.  As you say, most car makers go bust because they thought they knew better than the customers, and maybe this is still the case.

 

Lol

 

Like I said, there are people who will refuse to buy a car if LED headlights are not available, or if it doesn't have self-parking facility, or if it doesn't have rear air vents, or a full panoramic moonroof option, or if it doesn't have a powered tail-gate... all kinds of reasons.

 

It sounds like you are very out-of-the-loop with the new car market.  I suggest to watch SavageGeese youtube videos for a mixture of an enthusiast's viewpoint, no BS and pragmatism about what new car buyers want (whether or not SUVs are dumb, which I think they are and you probably do too).

 

What a regular person looks for in a car...

 

What a car enthusiast looks for in a car... 

 

Totally different.  :eek:


Edited by V8 Fireworks, 24 October 2017 - 02:19.


#68 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 01:57

 Or they bought the XR, which had some nicer tires on it and some red piping on the seats and some red stripes and a worse ride.

 

 

eb-falcon-s-xr6-engine.jpg

 

I feel like the original sports ethos of the original XR6 was lost over the years (I want a red cam cover, darn it! everyone knows that add killerwasps  :p ), and it became more of a rental-spec trim level that was a bit nicer than base...

 

Could it be said that you had to go up to the XR6 Turbo and the XR8 to get the sports exhaust, sports suspension and so on to get the sporty character that you would expect an XR badge to mean? :)  By the way, great job on making the FPV R-Spec handling package standard on the final XR8s. :D


Edited by V8 Fireworks, 24 October 2017 - 02:00.


#69 Greg Locock

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 03:36

I haven't worked on Falcon since it got EPAS, approximately about the time Lee was born(in car years) ! 



#70 Charlieman

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 11:14

The way that features get included in a car is far more detailed and  complex than that, in practice (not my field), but if it isn't creating profit or reducing costs or necessary to meet some standard or meet customer expectations  on balance then it won't be in the car. 

A popular methodology for assessing potential product features is conjoint analysis. I've seen lots of software demos which use car purchasing criteria as the model because car buying is something about which everyone has opinions.

 

In a conjoint study, which has long been a computer aided interview, introductory questions ask for ratings on a set of features. Subsequent questions challenge the respondent on how they rank features -- ones valued as important to the purchase decision by the respondent and ones of interest to the surveyor. Features are played off -- in terms of purchase importance -- to assess ranking and dependency.

 

That's one way of conducting market research. The features present on a new model are not entirely dependent on market research popularity. They may persist, even when most owners of the previous model consider them as rubbish, if they are a selling point for a different model in the range; they may persist because a significant bunch of buyers want it that way. Nissan designed and built a large saloon with tacky upholstery, unsaleable to family buyers, because it sold to taxi operators in Japan and Asia.



#71 BRG

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 18:11

... (whether or not SUVs are dumb, which I think they are and you probably do too).

Correct!  I recently had a conversation in which the subject of 'What are SUVs FOR?' was aired.  Nobody - including the two guys who actually owned SUVs - had any real answer.  The bigger question though is what the hell are 'crossovers' for?  Ugly, more expensive than the regular car that they are based on, poorer dynamics and economy, higher price and not even with the benefit of 4WD.

 

So you are right, I really don't understand new car buyers!



#72 gruntguru

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 22:50

When I ask, SUV addicts often tell me they like sitting up higher so they can see further ahead.

 

If that's about seeing over the vehicles in front, the progression will be towards ever taller vehicles as the "ones in front" become as tall as yours.



#73 Greg Locock

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 22:59

Ease of ingress and exit is also a factor. My dad can get straight into his van, and out again, because the seat is at the correct height and the door is 'square'. It took him two minutes and a lot of huffing and puffing  to get out of a Focus.

 

However, yes, even though I currently drive an Escape, the only reason i selected it is because it has higher ground clearance and AWD, and in bush fire season the only escape routes from our house are two tracks that are rather tricky with 2wd, I'd rather have a wagoon.



#74 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 23:09

As  we get older my wife has become fed up with trying to get in and out of modern cars, so we had to find a car that had a higher floor.  We have finished up with a Kia Rondo (sister car to the Carenz in the UK which is still a car, only 2 wheel drive, but has a higher floor and easier entry.  As I read about newer cars, they all seem to want to build lower, more streamlined vehicles.  May be that is why they aren't selling and people are buying SUV's



#75 BRG

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 11:01

However, yes, even though I currently drive an Escape, the only reason i selected it is because it has higher ground clearance and AWD, and in bush fire season the only escape routes from our house are two tracks that are rather tricky with 2wd, I'd rather have a wagoon.

That's a pretty convincing reason and I would be next in the queue at the dealers if I lived somewhere fire-prone. But very few people do, so we still have to fathom why people living downtown in a big city like London, which is neither prone to bushfires or frequent (or even infrequent) snow and ice still insist on buying massive 4WD Chelsea tractors.  They can't all be struggling with entry issues.  Most of them seem to be young mothers with small children who have to be lowered to the ground with care from the great height of the SUV door!


Edited by BRG, 25 October 2017 - 11:01.


#76 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 13:31

 As I read about newer cars, they all seem to want to build lower, more streamlined vehicles.  May be that is why they aren't selling and people are buying SUV's

 

I disagree, I think Honda for example are simply trying to differentiate their passenger car and SUV products.  You might have heard the latest Civic and Accord have lowered seating positions and slightly lower rooflines than the previous models (though nothing like the slinky low Accord of 1990 that I remember from my youth  :) ).

 

Rather than being a bad thing, I think Honda are actually trying to make car products more appealing in their own right, and more distinct from SUV offerings IMO.  :)

 

The SUVs are still there in the Honda showroom if you want a taller, high riding car... But if you can be tempted into a conventional passenger car instead, Honda are particularly emphasizing the sportier seating position and (relatively) sportier handling characteristics of their passenger car offerings.

 

On the streamlined point, given the huge pressures they are under to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions, they have to have more streamlined designs with lower ground clearance to reduce drag... There is no choice.  That people rebel against this by buying upright boxy SUVs (e.g., Range Rover) that have particularly poor aerodynamic efficiency, is quite interesting...


Edited by V8 Fireworks, 25 October 2017 - 13:34.


#77 munks

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 18:35

Correct!  I recently had a conversation in which the subject of 'What are SUVs FOR?' was aired.  Nobody - including the two guys who actually owned SUVs - had any real answer.  The bigger question though is what the hell are 'crossovers' for?  Ugly, more expensive than the regular car that they are based on, poorer dynamics and economy, higher price and not even with the benefit of 4WD.

 

Most SUVs have significantly more room than a regular car. Crossovers are in between, and tend to be the safest of all the choices (they don't roll over like SUVs, but they've got more mass than the regular cars).

 

Just playin' devil's advocate here. I prefer small cars.



#78 scolbourne

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 02:30

Part of the reason that SUV's are becoming popular is that there are more speed bumps and high angle road entrances now than before. Many normal saloon cars bottom out just driving along normal city streets.

There should be rules stating how high the speed bumps can be and how steep the entrance can be for car parks etc.

 

I have actually got stuck, due to slippery surface in the rain in a car park, driving a Ford Falcon, in the centre of Canberra.

 

I wish more cars had low range as it something that so called 4WD cars often don't have nowadays. I will be buying a 4WD car next and it will have to have low range and a good ground clearance.



#79 saudoso

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:06

That's a pretty convincing reason and I would be next in the queue at the dealers if I lived somewhere fire-prone. But very few people do, so we still have to fathom why people living downtown in a big city like London, which is neither prone to bushfires or frequent (or even infrequent) snow and ice still insist on buying massive 4WD Chelsea tractors.  They can't all be struggling with entry issues.  Most of them seem to be young mothers with small children who have to be lowered to the ground with care from the great height of the SUV door!

Must be the same reason old men spend fortunes to buy low riding porches and ferraris they can't drive to the limit and gives them a whole lot of trouble winching in and out of the seat.

 

When was it that practicality and utility was the main factor while choosing a personal car again?



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#80 Charlieman

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:32

When was it that practicality and utility was the main factor while choosing a personal car again?

Always. It's just not obvious to you or me, or even the buyer.

 

I recall a (private) market research study of US car buyers which showed a high correlation between mini van and sports car indecision for young men. They weren't sure whether to buy a sports car to pull the girls or a mini van to explore a new friendship.



#81 saudoso

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 16:33

Always. It's just not obvious to you or me, or even the buyer.

 

I recall a (private) market research study of US car buyers which showed a high correlation between mini van and sports car indecision for young men. They weren't sure whether to buy a sports car to pull the girls or a mini van to explore a new friendship.

I don't agree. 

 

I drive a huge 4 door sedan.

 

Alone.

 

No passengers

 

No luggage

 

My wife a 4x4 with manual engagement & low range gears from mitsubishi. She's never seen mud roads in her life.



#82 Bob Riebe

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 17:57

Correct!  I recently had a conversation in which the subject of 'What are SUVs FOR?' was aired.  Nobody - including the two guys who actually owned SUVs - had any real answer.  The bigger question though is what the hell are 'crossovers' for?  Ugly, more expensive than the regular car that they are based on, poorer dynamics and economy, higher price and not even with the benefit of 4WD.

 

 

On this side of the Atlantic they replace station wagons, though many are simply station wagons with an asinine new category name.

Having watched what a side-wind can do to mini-crapwagons around here, people who bought them had to be lemmings following the crowd.


Edited by Bob Riebe, 27 October 2017 - 17:57.


#83 BRG

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 18:12

And another thing........ (what is he like? :rolleyes: )

 

Pickups.  Why?  Unless you're a farmer or construction worker.  In a suburban superkmarket car park today, I saw an elegant lady driving a pristine pickup, complete with loadbed cover.  Then a guy in a suit and tie in another.  It's a mystery.



#84 404KF2

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 06:02

New cars don't interest me for the most part, with all their electronic nannies, slushboxes and Nintendo steering feel.  The "connectivity" and other crap like that is irrelevant to me.  It seems most likely that the future for new car manufacturers is in fleets, as private buyers are becoming increasingly rare among the younger generations.  My 51 year old car is great, lovely to drive and look at.



#85 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 17:32

Pickups.  Why?  Unless you're a farmer or construction worker.  In a suburban superkmarket car park today, I saw an elegant lady driving a pristine pickup, complete with loadbed cover.  Then a guy in a suit and tie in another.  It's a mystery.

 

In Australia with the Falcon coupe (yes, not a Mustang) being discontinued in 1979 and the Commodore coupe being discontinued in 2006, the "sports ute" was the only two-door domestic "pony car" available.  :stoned:

 

41e05648-885d-41a7-85e6-ebbc0421889a-atl

 

2014-HSV-Gen-F-Maloo-R8-630x438.jpg


Edited by V8 Fireworks, 29 October 2017 - 17:33.


#86 BRG

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 18:20

The Sports UTE seems to be a peculiarly Australian solution to a problem that nobody else knew existed.



#87 Talisman

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 22:23

What percentage of new car buyers really care about these systems? How many say that they won't buy an the new Trump GTO because it doesn't have hill hold or auto wipers? Most of them are more interested in what colour it is and whether they can connect their i-phones.

Adding more and more toys is marketing department driven - they want to be able to say 'Ooo, we've got auto willy warmers, you don't get that on a Kia' irrespective of the fact that female buyers really aren't interested and the male buyers are worried about getting their extremities burnt. As you say, most car makers go bust because they thought they knew better than the customers, and maybe this is still the case.

Some of the added features were a factor for me.

I bought a Subaru Outback last year, in the UK that is a seriously left field purchase. The eyesight system was attractive with two little ones in the back taking our attention away from the road enough to be a problem.

The British mags have no idea what to make of the Outback with the default seeming to suggest an Audi or Volvo alternative 50-100% more expensive. This was particularly the case when the Audi’s etc were specced up to match the eyesight in terms of safety features. Nothing at a similar price had anything comparable.

Back to the opening post, I like the visual smart cruise control which does a good job of ignoring parked cars and the like and is rarely confused although when cars turn off it’s slow to resume the default speed. My wife hates it though as she does not appreciate losing control over the throttle. Auto brake is useful, an alarm rings first then the car brakes automatically if no action is taken. It’s not too intrusive, when some idiot jumped out in front of the car the brakes came on then went off as soon as he hopped out of the way.

I do have stop start and the car records how long the car has avoided idling for and how much fuel has been saved. It’s minuscule. Not very intrusive.

Auto wipers and lights are great and I don’t notice them although the wipers won’t clear the screen if it has water on it but it isn’t raining.

Electric handbrake I can get used to but it’s slightly slow to engage, I do appreciate having extra space between the seats though.

Edited by Talisman, 29 October 2017 - 22:25.


#88 Talisman

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 22:26

And another thing........ (what is he like? :rolleyes: )

Pickups. Why? Unless you're a farmer or construction worker. In a suburban superkmarket car park today, I saw an elegant lady driving a pristine pickup, complete with loadbed cover. Then a guy in a suit and tie in another. It's a mystery.


Tax?

#89 Talisman

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 22:34

Most SUVs have significantly more room than a regular car. Crossovers are in between, and tend to be the safest of all the choices (they don't roll over like SUVs, but they've got more mass than the regular cars).

Just playin' devil's advocate here. I prefer small cars.


I agree, more space though most don’t have as large a boot as a spacious estate.

Also having higher seats means it’s easier to lean over belting the kids into their child seats.

I speak as someone who a few years ago would rather have had my finger nails ripped out than buy an SUV, the arrival of kids changed all that. Mmmm was that a qashqai driving past?

#90 Greg Locock

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 00:11

The Holden Ute stopped being a serious ute when they fitted the IRS. With the right leafsprings a Ute will drive with almost a ton (900 kg) in the load tray legally and meets durability. I don't know if Holden ever matched that load capacity, 



#91 Magoo

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 01:38

Owner manuals etc. are usually available online. Nice to have a smartphone in hand. 



#92 chunder27

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 10:03

I understand why SUV's are popular.

 

The utter obsession with child safety, that's why.  Most people I have spoken to who have them, that is largely the reason why they buy one. No other reason, they never went off road, but liked big cars and big wheels lol!  So sad.

 

Some buy for status, they like big cars, the feeling of importance and bigger than you thing. Anyone who has been closely followed by a Dick Rover or X5 will be well aware of their bullying status, much like some van drivers. These people sadly are always likely.

 

But for families they cost more in every way, fuel, servicing, tyres, insurance, have no more space than an estate.  They do offer brat safety advances I suppose.

 

Which leads me on to crossovers, SUV's priced out the market with pointless 4wd that is never used, Chelsea tractor tax, so make big looking cars based on existing platform that Mummy and Daddy want to put their kids into as they all want and like SUV's don't they?

 

Then market and advterise them as fun, city cars and off road adventure cars, (though no-one lives in cities anymore, especially the people that can afford these), and go anywhere with reactive this and amazing that, show them crashing through a watersplash or down a gravel road and make people think they are just like a 4x4.

 

When really, they never needed a 4x4 in the first place.

 

Reactionary marketing, that's al it is.



#93 mariner

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 00:08

On SUV's they were "invented" nearly in parallel in the UK and USA in the 1970's and early 80's for ,I think , very different reasons.

 

When every US mfr had a big V-8 wagon ( at most price levels) which could carry an 8'*4" piece of ply in the back , or extra kids  on blankets in the load space SUV's didn't really sell. I worked in place of good earners but only one guy had Suburban because he wanted three rows of seats for his huge family.

 

Then the CAFE regs. downsized the big wagons and , I suspect, the mfrs weren't keen on selling too many as it crippled their CAFE number. So the Suburbans with no real CAFE limit became popular to do the job of a V-8 wagon.

 

In the UK the Range Rover was a niche product for farmers with rubber interior mats until it became status symbol. Exactly why I don't know but like the Mini it did. 

 

In today's world of 4 wheel drive and "crossovers" its interesting that American Motors had line up which had relatively more "SUV" stuff than anybody else Jeep, Eagle etc .

 

In retrospect way ahead of their time but without the size and financial muscle to turn the products into survival let alone growth.


Edited by mariner, 31 October 2017 - 00:08.


#94 Canuck

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 02:49

I have one of each of the hated SUV and crossover category. We sold the RWD 5-speed stick Previa after it became too expensive to maintain and had too much cancer to try and salvage (if you are not in North America, you may have no idea how absolutely rare a RWD manual-trans mini-van is for us). It was replaced by a hybrid AWD Lexus RX that captured my wife's favour despite setting out to find another RWD stick that was not an SUV and not a car. At any rate, it worked in tandem with my 25-year old 5-series until it was relegated to official project status and replaced by an 8-passenger Ford Expedition. 

 

Such a drastic change in motorvation was not made without a lot of soul-searching. As was made evident in the Lexus, our 3 kids were not getting smaller as time went on, and as the product of two taller-than-average adults, leg room was quickly becoming an issue with our eldest. He can't sit behind me if I'm driving without his knees being buried in my seat back, which makes both of us super happy.  Add in two large dogs (any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless - Ron Swanson) and semi-regular 1000 km road trips with all of the above and their attendant bags, tents and coolers, there is not enough space. Yes, it's entirely ridiculous to commute in but I do anyway and I don't apologise for enjoying it.



#95 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:06

Part of the reason that SUV's are becoming popular is that there are more speed bumps and high angle road entrances now than before. Many normal saloon cars bottom out just driving along normal city streets.

There should be rules stating how high the speed bumps can be and how steep the entrance can be for car parks etc.

 

I have actually got stuck, due to slippery surface in the rain in a car park, driving a Ford Falcon, in the centre of Canberra.

 

I wish more cars had low range as it something that so called 4WD cars often don't have nowadays. I will be buying a 4WD car next and it will have to have low range and a good ground clearance.

I got 'bogged' on my back lawn with a Falcon tray top. And my lawn is level! LT tyres and wet grass do not agree.

At a friends place the drive is very steep and 'pattern paved'. I had to be very carefull backing out when wet with a Falcon. A front driver is better in that circumstance,, about the only one.

 

As for stability control,,  a caravan towing friend with a Ford Territory had a real scare as when a caravan tailwags the driver inputs are opposite to a car only. he had it disconnected and the two since as well.

And that nanny is less than ideal even driving on dirt which millions do daily!

Like many I prefer to drive the vehicle instead of the vehicle drives me!

 

And as a regular user of cruise control I still consider it dangerous as when you have your feet away from the pedals you take longer to drive around a obstacle. I have scared myself with Skippys a couple of times. Though with a heap of sciatica I can drive a reasonable distance with cruise. but unlike so many I am still very alert and looking ahead at all times. There is quite a few cruise control accidents where people nod off and fall off a straight road or simply do not go around a corner. I know of a few fatalities. It does use a bit more fuel as well as a good driver can keep a constant speed driving the vehicle whereas cruise is mindless and usews more throttle to simply maintain a speed.

 

And as for modern low slung 'passenger' cars v 4WD? Or even most SUV. You sit up higher and straighter with better posture and do not kill your back.  Some so called passenger cars are so damned low that it is easier to get in my racecar over the intrusion bars and high side seat. And that has better posture as well as the seat is straighter.

Driving with my legs out in front of me and semi reclining kills my back and neck. Which is the reason so many buy them.

And really the ride height on a 'passenger' car these days. They scrape the front bumper driving in and out of normal driveways. Even my Falcon 1 tonne is not much better. The above steep  friends driveway then went level under the car port. And yes cars often scraped inc some of mine. But not the Landcruiser,, I got the roof rack  on the carport roof with that!


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 20 November 2017 - 01:13.


#96 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:16

And another thing........ (what is he like? :rolleyes: )

 

Pickups.  Why?  Unless you're a farmer or construction worker.  In a suburban superkmarket car park today, I saw an elegant lady driving a pristine pickup, complete with loadbed cover.  Then a guy in a suit and tie in another.  It's a mystery.

Because often those same people use the ute bed on weekends. And ofcourse though it is fashionablke. And you never have to carry many passengers. Though the 'I will not help you move ' sticker is very apt.



#97 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:56

The bling Aussie utes above are simply the very practical work ute with bling. 

Though even this base model one has alloys, cruise,ABS, carpet, bluetooth. This is the one tonne version with an alloy tray and canopy. The one above is a ute body. And in XR6 form only has about 350kg loading because of the low profile tyres. These are cab chassis and the tray of either type plus custom styles simply bolt on. 

 

Gregs comment about the Commondore is very true. Beam axle rear and coils,, not so good but ok. But IRS and coils it really will never be a work ute. A station wagon with the roof cut off like all Dunnydore utes really are. The IRS ones eat tyres even when hardly being loaded at all. 

 

The yanks had bling utes in the 50s-80s though. Rancheros, ElCaminos.  Similar to ours and often far better appointed, at least in the 60s. Aussie utes caught up by 71 with V8s, autos, aircond, power steer, disc brakes Sports/ Rally packs etc. All based on the base model which came as a very basic 6, 3 on the tree and drums .

 

And yes, we have now lost them. Stuck with a Thai built 'truck' . Most are ok and these days have plenty of bling as well. But will never be the same.IMG_20171120_114750822_HDR.jpg


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 20 November 2017 - 01:59.


#98 Greg Locock

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 04:34

The 1 tonne HD leafspring design has 13 leaves. Mazda couldn't believe when they saw it - and they have some good leafspring designers still.

 

 $_35.JPG

 

 

 

Here's a normal  spring probably 550 or 750 kg. When laden the second stage comes in, which causes fatigue problems if you use it all the time. If you ever run one of these with the ends of the secondaries contacting then you are asking for trouble

 

$_35.JPG



#99 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 15:00

The Ford Mustang below seems pretty typical of a modern car, now with 10-speed auto, digital dash, optional triple-mode exhaust (or with standard "loud all the time" exhaust :lol: ), optional magnetic ride shock absorbers, plus niceties like colour selectable ambient lighting et cetera. :) (Hooligans also love the factory line lock feature!) Though (AFAIK) it doesn't have the brake-by-wire or steer-by-wire of slightly higher end cars like the Alfa Giulia or Infiniti Q50 respectively.

 

I am uncertain about the "remote start" feature of the Mustang and other modern cars, I guess it is useful to start the engine, run the AC and lower the windows before getting into the car on a hot day I suppose...

 

Now with etched-on cylinder lining rather than iron liners for an extra 60cc of displacement, plus a bump in compression to 12:1 from 11:1, and 500rpm bump in rev limit to 7500rpm with Mr. Nicolle's non-preferred double overhead cams.   ;)  Seems pretty sophisticated for a mass produced Ford V8 street engine to me.  :)

 

 

19:00 Fiddles with some toggle switches -- there's a drag mode!?  Some kind of seamless shift mode !? (unless I misunderstand)  :eek:  That 10-speed auto sures seems to make it perform like a car with more power than it actually has... Very clever.  :eek:

 

The Hyundai Genesis G70 is another excellent example of a modern car with all the bells and whistles.  :)   Hyundai slacking off with an outdated 8-speed auto mind you, a "luxury car" yet two whole ratios down on a Ford -- unbelievable!  :rolleyes:   :lol:

 

 

The Lincoln Continental is also pretty impressive in terms of having all the new-fangled electronics onboard -- something like 30 or 40 way adjustable seats IIRC, including individually adjustable left and right thigh supports --- how did people ever make do without that!?  :eek:  :lol:   [Is there a good reason it doesn't come on the RWD platform of the Mustang?  On the other hand, of course it's unfair that it receives criticism just for having a transverse engine and being based on a Taurus(?).]

 

 

The big Caddy CT6 also seems like a home-run in complication and features galore.  :)  The firm sporty ride, despite beating the handling of Bavarian "ultimate driving machines", may put-off traditional Cadillac buyers however.  The available of a eco-turbo inline four cylinder in a big Caddy also seems an oxymoron.

 

Digital rear view mirror is a nice touch. Albeit it gets criticized for being rubbish, which is a shame.

 

The "glitchy pedestrian detection system which twice locked up the brakes when no one was around" sounds like fun too -- who wouldn't want a car that suddenly slams on the brakes by itself for no apparent reason?   :p

 

The CT6 is apparently 8 dB(A)  :eek:  quieter on the highway at 70mph, than the older front-wheel-drive Cadillac XTS.  Good work there!

 

 

Driving with my legs out in front of me and semi reclining kills my back and neck.

 

But they say Italian GTs with such driving positions are "purpose built for long journeys"...  Lies?  :confused:


Edited by V8 Fireworks, 20 November 2017 - 16:17.


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#100 BRG

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 17:33

What's a 'digital rear-view mirror'?