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Is a 'Micro-Car' in Your Future?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Nick, May 25, 2009.

  1. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    Remind me NEVER to move to Spokane :). We get snow around here, but (almost) never like that. Except when a Nor'easter comes through and the temps are just right - then 20 - 30" of snow isn't unheard of.

    Also, I hear you on the need to haul stuff - my son decided to test the law of gravity several weeks back. Fell off his scooter, and broke his arm and his leg. He needed a wheelchair to get around for a while. You know that you can actually fit a full wheelchair, without having to fold it, or put it on it's side (although we did have to lay the wheelchair on it's back), 4 kids (including one with two casts), 2 adults (one of whom is VERY pregnant) and a rambunctious beagle in my SUV... with enough room to spare for groceries?
  2. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Don't apologize for the choices you make -- particularly in your choice of a personal means of conveyance. It's your business and you don't need to justify yourself.

    I'm single, retired and drive a large SUV, a big honkin' 7-seater '06 Mercury Mountaineer. The most people I've ever had in my vehicle at one time is three, and usually it's just me. Having said that, because I am retired, live in a small town and don't have a daily commute, I would venture that over a year's time I consume less fuel than 95 percent of people who drive cars. I make no apologies whatsoever for what I drive.

    This is America, for God's sake. I do not and will not apologize for what I choose to drive. Nor should you.

  3. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    Gee, your situation sounds just like mine except I'm married. I have let 60ยข a gallon discounts at Safeway expire because I had a full tank for over a month. One time I put in 2.4 gallons just to get something from their gas rewards. Why would I not keep my Chevy Avalanche, as our "carbon footprint" from vehicle use is relatively negligible.

    But I've had to counter-attack when visiting in San Francisco by asking how many people in the room use less than 15 gallons a month. We had the largest vehicle and were the only ones who used less than 15 gallons in even a week.

    If you choose to live where you must commute in your car to work over 25 miles a day one way as many do, driving a Prius instead of moving closer to work isn't a better choice than me driving an 8 mile round trip once every two weeks in my Avalanche to get groceries. It's just a choice you made.

    And it's fortunate when you can make choices. Many in these times find themselves without choices about what they drive to work. But since they have no work to go to, it doesn't matter.
  4. ProfLonghair

    ProfLonghair Hall Of Fame

    Sep 26, 2006
  5. Supramom2000

    Supramom2000 In Loving Memory of Onyx-2/23/09

    Jun 20, 2007
    Colbert, WA

    We've only had 2 winters like this in about 30 years. But we seem to be getting more and more snow each winter now, with them lasting longer and longer. (Don't get me started on global warming - I have already been warned!!). But we have 4 seasons and sunny, hot, non-humid summers. And 4 snow ski areas within 60 miles and about 100 lakes in the region. The cost of living is similar to Texas (not Dallas) and we have rush minute instead of rush hours!! I don't think I would trade it for any of the places I have lived during all my military years.
  6. peano

    peano Icon

    Feb 1, 2004
    I have a Yaris and I can drive circles around the 18 wheelers and big SUVs. And I get 45 mpg.

    If you are completely aware of what is going on around you and focused on actually driving, you can avoid 99.9% of all "accidents".
  7. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    "Best way to avoid punch is 'no be there'" - Mr. Miyagi
  8. flexoffset

    flexoffset Godfather

    Jul 16, 2007
    ...if the complete stranger barreling at my family in the other lane would apply that logic.
  9. Matt9876

    Matt9876 Hall Of Fame

    Oct 11, 2007
    The Scion I drive gets 4 star crash ratings and following the car forums I've seen many crashed xD, xAs but everyone claims to walk away OK from the accident.

    This car gets 34 MPG and has a lot of zip in the gas pedel.:)

    Crash test:
  10. peano

    peano Icon

    Feb 1, 2004
    Thus my comment about awareness. If you can't avoid a car coming head on (and I have had it happen twice), then I would question your driving skills and reaction time.

    I'm not trying to be a dick, but head ons are one of the easiest to avoid.
  11. Steve Mehs

    Steve Mehs Hall Of Fame

    Mar 21, 2002
    No, a micro car is defiantly not in my future. When I buy things I generally like to replace items with something better, and take a step up, not take a few steps down. Problem is I'm only on my second vehicle in my life and it's a Lincoln, and while I haven't even had it a year yet, I'm thinking what I will replace it with. With my current job I'll never be able to afford new, but maybe in 2015, I can find a decent deal on a 2010 or 11 Navigator. Then where do I go from there? Being a Ford guy, the Navigator is Fords most luxurious and one of their most expensive vehicles. The MKX might be a consideration they offered it with a V8. While I've never driven one, and I generally don't like the idea of crossovers, I was in one at the Buffalo auto show this past year and I really liked the inside, and the MKX is what replaced my Aviator.
  12. smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

    Apr 5, 2006
    Excellent perspective!

    I drive a 2500 HD Silverado, extended cab. I usually don't give it a second thought and am usually the only one in my truck. My commute is 20 to 30 minutes to work daily. It gets about 12 MPG most weeks. I drive well over the speed limit daily (risky). So, I must admit that the rhetoric about being greener is getting to me, especially since my children are becoming an age where they are becoming more cognizant of such things. I have been considering purchasing a smaller "car" with better gas mileage, but I can't see myself in a micor-mini-car. I never consdiered the dangers, but based on my driving habbits, I will not consider one unless I can get better assurances of their safety, thanks to you. :D
  13. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Smiddy, let's don't let the auto industry's marketing pukes try to convince us that a multiplicity of airbags in one of those tiny rolling coffins will keep us and our loved ones safer. As far as I'm concerned, such claims are like a suddenly deployed airbag -- full of empty promises that fall flat when put to the test.

    My Mercury Mountaineer, Steve Mehs' Lincoln Navigator and your Chevy 2500 Silverado are good examples of substantial vehicles that greatly improve one's chances of survival in the event of a petentially deadly crash. I will gladly let others save the planet by squeezing themselves into their cutesy little micro-mini death-traps. As for me, I may opt to drive less in the future, but I fully intend to continue to keep driving drive a larger, safer vehicle.

  14. coldsteel

    coldsteel Hall Of Fame

    Mar 29, 2007
    Yeah, I rear-ended a 80s Ford F150, doing about 30 (bad Monday last week) in my 93 Ford Escort. Only damage to the pickup was the spare tire mount popped off, but my Escort was totalled. My engine and radiator were relocated a foot rearward, but the bumper was only scratched. That'll teach me to drive with a head ache after dropping the munchkins off...

    I shudder to think what would have happened in one of those itty-bitty cars...
  15. jclewter79

    jclewter79 Hall Of Fame

    Jan 8, 2008
    Don't feel bad smiddy I have a 1500 crew cab and usually I am the only one in it. I have to have the 4 door for when I have to load the whole family up. I won't be downsizing any time soon.
  16. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    I bet we'll see a strong push for more environmentally friendly SUVs & trucks, thus, giving everyone what they want...size, safety, & better MPG.

    I think a few things can be agreed upon here:
    ~ It's all about choice. (I honestly believe we'll never be forced to drive mini/micro cars.)
    ~ These micro cars serve a viable purpose for many people.
    ~ Protect yourself & loved ones.
  17. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    For everything there is a tradeoff.

    I guarantee you that my Camry is better at avoiding accidents, all other things being equal, than those large SUVs. Why? My car is more nimble, can stop quicker and is less likely to roll over because of my lower center of gravity.

    That being said, if I *do* get hit, all other things being equal, I'm less likely to be able to "drive away" in my Camry than in an Expedition.

    Again, it's tradeoffs. I can park in tighter spaces and U-turn in fewer 'points' on a small road. The SUV crowd can out-haul me any day of the week.

    From driving my camper, I can say from experience there IS something to be said for a higher driving position - especially when you're driving something as cumbersome as a 23.5' camper. [Steve, I think that's the only place for you to go from your Lincoln if you're "going up" :) ]
  18. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Safer in head on and offset collisions sure. Too bad your pretty much screwed when it rolls over though. Everything has a trade off.

    Sure the laws of physics are in you favor in the higher weight classes, especially in head on collisions. But how many high or medium speed head on collisions are on divided highways?

    I say just use whatever vehicle fits your needs.

    If I live in a city where traffic is an around the clock affair. A micro or mini car makes sense. Your weight advantage becomes pointless sitting in bumper to bumper traffic thats moving at 10 mph. Granted your fuel savings take a hit both ways as well.

    If your more out in the burbs or country where your barely in traffic but travel a lot of two lane undivided roads, then sure, bigger is better. However, odds are, your also using that big vehicle for other things than your daily commute.
  19. dodge boy

    dodge boy R.I.P. Chris Henry

    Mar 31, 2006
    Using the hand brake on my stratus I can make a U-turn without even stopping. Try that in an Expedition.....
  20. Steve Mehs

    Steve Mehs Hall Of Fame

    Mar 21, 2002
    There I corrected it. As much as I'd love to have a Navigator in my garage, specifically a black extended length, I have the former redheaded baby brother, that sold like Edsel, and prbably without a doubt the worst selling Ford SUV ever, hell I've seen more Bronco IIs on the road then Aviators.

    Those were real trucks. My mother had a '80 Bronco she bought new in 1979, had it until 1999 when she got her Explorer. Been rear ended twice, went in a ditch once and nailed a deer on the way to work, and other then paint smears you couldn't tell. The thing was loud as hell, had vinyl seats, less then 9 MPG on gas, and only form of audio entertainment besides the roar of that powerful V8 was an 8 track player, but that thing passed the test of time. 20 Buffalo winters, 4 minor accidents. Sold steel bumpers bay-be! The 80s big ugly SUVs, Blazer, Bronco and Ram Charger and the pick up trucks they were built from were incredibly tough vehicles that no common production vehicle today could even come close to matching.

    While not a realistic solution, I've been look at RVs a lot lately, and with as much as I like to drive and take road trip, having one would be great, and surprisingly prices weren't as high as I thought. Problem is I have yet to see on that comes with a built in nav center.

    That's why you don't go 80 MPH around a curve, be it winter or any other time of the year. If you drive an SUV like anything but a sports coupe, there is virtually zero risk of flipping over. We have some curvy road around here, I go through two sets of s curves a day on my way to work and have seen just as many cars flipped over as other type of vehicles over the years. Chevy Tahoe's can't hug turns like the Corvette can, too bad more people don't realize that.

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