Cash for Clunkers

Discussion in 'Motorized Vehicles' started by Mimino, Jul 30, 2009.

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  1. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    Yep, the Official Site says it's still up and running (it says the programs runs thru November 1, 2009 or until all funds are exhausted, whichever comes first). I've read various estimates, but most sources say it will last at least another 7-10 days (at least) before the additional $2 billion approved on Friday will be depleted....but I'd suggest the sooner, the better...and he'll have more vehicles in stock to choose from also!

    The Kia Forte is a sharp-looking car, actually much better looking than the Honda Civic, IMO. I actually test drove one last week, just out of curiousity! It was the mid-level EX model with the "Fuel Economy Package" which adds two very important features- it has a 5-speed automatic transmission vs. the standard 4-speed and it has a unique motor-driven power steering system (unlike all other Fortes) that felt very nice...plus the transmission upgrade boosts the mileage ratings from 25/34 to 27/36, a boost of 2mpg city and highway AND better acceleration at the same time!

    I was a die-hard Honda owner for almost 20 years, from age 16 and had 10 different Honda and Acura vehicles during that time! But in late 2005, I went to test drive the then-new 2006 Civic and it didn't appeal to me in the least....so I had to figure out what my first non-Honda vehicle would be....I bought a Mazda3 and, even after 3.5 years, I still love it! You should get your dad to at least take a look/drive in the new 2010 model!

    If the Honda Fit had been around back then, it's very possible that I would've bought one! They're definitely my favorite Honda and I'm a fan of the versatile hatchback bodystyle! I drove one a while back and the performance was adequate with the automatic transmission in most situations...but never more than adequate....and in some situations, it feels underpowered....the manual transmission Fit is an entirely different experience! It's fun to drive, fairly quick (and sounds great hitting 7000rpm, like a true Honda)!
     
  2. runtohell121

    runtohell121 Notebook Deity

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    heh.. my dad is basically just wanting a fuel efficient vehicle. We're mostly a Honda owner. I drive an 98 Acura Integra and my dad drives a 99 Honda Accord. But now, gas is still too expensive, so my parent want to get rid of that Ford Windstar (17-20 mpg only) and want a better fuel economy car. If my dad is getting the Kia Forte, for sure he would be wanting to ad the Fuel Package since it is a 5 speed automatic with better gas mileage than the Honda Civic. We already look at all the information. Honda Fit is what I want him to get.. since I want it xD lol Honda Civic falls between the Fit, due to the price. Mazda 3 is just not efficient enough for gas.
     
  3. Modly

    Modly Warranty Voider

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    Don't have much interesting to say then eh?

    Yes, but they were only available for a couple years in America before the auto makers here produced something similar. The only reason Japan had efficient cars was because they had smaller roads, and couldn't make something bigger. You must also realise that the average American is taller than the average Asian (Statistical data says the average American is 2-3" taller), which would also mean larger cars for us.

    That must be why you see tons of Japanese cars from the 60's, 70's, and early 80's still on the roads... When Japanese cars first came over, they weren't the "ultra reliable" car you are thinking of. They still broke down, and when it happened, the parts and labour was 2-3x the price. The initial cost was great, but you still had to face expensive repairs. (The fuel economy wasn't a huge landslide against American offerings either like you are suggesting). To be honest with you, I think you are too young to remember any early model Japanese car at all, because even if they were maintained, they still rusted out within 10 years. With the exception of very well kept (in a garage) specimens, the last mid-70's Japanese sedan I've seen was held together with plywood and duct tape.

    You must be joking. Have you ever had a tool from Harbor Freight last you more than a month? People like you who apply that ideal to every product they buy are why we are in this recession. Thanks. I really appreciate my hours getting cut at work. With that aside, you are looking at only the worst American cars, and only the best Foreign. Japanese cars still break down, they still have failures, and they still cost money to fix. On the other hand, Not every American car has the problems you are describing. Some are very reliable, and almost never see a shop.

    I disagree. Look at what comes in package levels on cars. Comparing the Civic to a Cobalt (Sedans with automatics on both), You get power locks and windows for $700 less with a Cobalt. But hey, you are generalising about everything else, so why not stop here?

    My last Ford had close to 300,000 on it when I sold it, and it's still moving the last I heard. My current Chevy has over 200,000, and it's still going well on it's original engine and transmission. My Suburban had over 300,000 before I replaced the engine in it too. Personally, if you are replacing alternators with every oil change, your mechanic sucks, or your mother fails at owning cars.

    That is just one truck. Compare it to the Chevy Colorado, which gets 17/23 with it's I5 engine, which puts out similar power to either V6 competitor. Adding a V8 puts it at 15/21.
     
  4. Colton

    Colton Also Proudly American

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    I don't feel the need to elaborate when others have already done it, and just to add to that, I share the same views, which would also not make sense to basically put the same view in almost the same words.

    This is a great example of Japanese car makers being proactive, rather than reactive, which is what American car companies have been doing. This is true that back in the day, foreign cars were very small compared to the American cars that had a Big block and were getting 9 to the gallon. Yes, it's true that American's are bigger "in general" as compared to Asians, but that doesn't mean that because we are larger, there aren't going to be small cars such as the Chevy Aveo, or the Ford Focus that are American built. (later in your post, you criticize me for being too "generalized," but yet a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black.)

    Actually, to be fair, the only cars that would still be around from the 60's and 70's would be antiques, and are kept up by car enthusiasts. I agree that most cars from way back when were fairly unreliable, but Toyota got smart and prepared for future production, and were PROACTIVE.

    There was a man named W. Edwards Demming, who being the genius that he was, helped develop the quality that foreign cars have. Foreign cars, helped by Demming, had set the standard that American cars tried to copy. Demming was a brilliant man. He had an idea that he would, with his plans, would make American products top tier, by using quality control to inspect the products, and to fix them before they left the factory. Americans had the concept that their vehicle was the best, and that they didn't need a quality control system. They really thought that their product was THE BEST. They denied Demming, even though he had offered to make their product better.
    Demming said that the Americans should fix the problem with their product before it left the assembly line, and the AL should stop so that the flaw could be fixed. The American's were so concerned about getting the cars out off the line, that the quality was not up to par, and per se that were in for the "quantity," rather than the quality.

    After the American's had given up on Demming, he left for Japan; somebody who would listen and not give a flamboyant, cocky attitude toward a suggestion that would improve their product. I call it being open minded. The Japanese car companies listened to Demming and his ideas, and went along with it. This also applies to Sony. Because of what they did to improve their product and not shoot for quantity as the US companies did, they developed such the reputation that they have today. One of Demming's quotes seems to fit why American car's haven't caught the reputation that foreign has. "The problem is at the top; management is the problem." The American management was resistant to change for the good. American's had the materials to build great cars, but didn't take it into their advantage.


    Fuel economy wasn't as much of a problem back then at all, but it's still a buying feature that made sense. My age doesn't have a thing to do on how knowledgeable I can be. Please, if you will, don't assume what I know or remember or what I don't, because I have many other sources that can rely information to me that have been there. For all you know, I could be a 45 year old guy with a beer gut.

    All cars in that era had rust issues, because of the lack of coating/sealant on the paint and frame. It was a widespread issue. As for the 70's with duct tape, I've found it's American cousin, eh?

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    I don't have tools from Harbor Freight. I was talking exclusively about vehicles, and nothing about tools. For that reason, I have plenty of American products, such as a Warn Winch on my truck, many upon many American aftermarket parts for my truck (accessories).

    I'm sorry for your work hours getting cut at work, I don't wish harm on anybody. One thing that us Americans can do is get Proactive, rather than reactive I have been preaching on. Kinda like how my dad has had a fuel efficient car years before this Clunker program, and how he knew how the gas situation was going to get. He got proactive, and it sure as heck paid off. Also, I'm not going to buy something of lower quality to help somebody or some company. I suggest that those companies get their act together and raise the bar to the foreign cars. I'm going to buy something that I know will hold up.

    Link please, I don't seem to see the same thing you're seeing.

    That's great, and I hope it keeps running. The ratings over the years have shown that foreign has beat American in initial quality and foreign has the quality and reputation to beat American any day.

    Actually, my Mom has a Toyota well over 270K and it has only had routine maintenance. My dad has had a Toyota Tacoma that has 345K on it and it runs like a charm. He had a GMC Sierra and it died at 120K. That's no fail at owning cars. That's quality showing it's true colors there.

    The Tacoma has more low end torque and has a higher high end horsepower. And also, with the I5 being in the Chevy, the Tacoma has more towing capacity and payload with the V6.
     
  5. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    Mazda actually did an impressive job of improving the fuel economy of the new 2010 Mazda3 with 2.0L/5AT compared to the 2009 model with 2.0L/4AT. The 2009 model was rated at 22 city and 30 highway, 25mpg average.
    2010 model is rated at 24 city and 33 highway, 27mpg average...which is class-competitive.
     
  6. Red_Dragon

    Red_Dragon Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Yeah hopefully they can make the new RX more fuel efficient. I love the styling of the 09 RX8's ESPECIALLY the R3 that thing is bad.

    Wheres my Miata Coupe mazda?
     
  7. Colton

    Colton Also Proudly American

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    That's pretty good MPG's.
     
  8. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    The fatal flaw of rotary engines is poor fuel economy. The next RX is likely to have about the same fuel economy ratings as the current RX-8.

    This question piqued my curiousity, so I looked back at the mileage ratings for each generation of the RX-7 and the RX-8:

    All the way from the '78 RX-7 to the '09 RX-8: City- 15-16mpg, Hwy- 22-23mpg. For comparison, a new Porsche Boxster gets 19/27 and a Corvette gets 16/26...so the RX-8 is as low as it gets among cars, excluding exotics.

    I have to admire Mazda's dedication to the rotary engine, despite its inefficiency. They're lighter and very compact while producing a smooth flow of power with immediate throttle response- characteristics that matter more than fuel economy to a sports car! They're also much simpler mechanically with far fewer moving parts compared to a conventional piston engine.

    Another very interesting difference is that rotary engines are (almost) immune from catastrophic failure. Even with loss of compression, overheating/coolant failure or loss of oil pressure, a rotary will continue to run and produce a limited amount of power for at least short period of time. I doubt this was a factor in Mazda's decision to use them. But they have been used in various aircraft in the past for this reason! =)
     
  9. Red_Dragon

    Red_Dragon Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Yes the Rotary is truly a marvel in engineering.

    I also appreciate the fact that the engine is quite a bit lighter then other engines..

    I think Mazda needs another Flagship car like the Millenia. I also still want to see that miata coupe. They would have a perfect lineup then
     
  10. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    You might already know this, but....

    In 1992, Mazda announced their plans to create a luxury brand called "Amati" to compete with Acura, Infiniti and Lexus. The Millenia was originally developed to be one of the first Amati-branded cars. In late 1993, they cancelled the brand for financial reasons.

    So the Millenia was actually over-engineered in many ways and had many features not found on any other Mazdas. It was also the highest quality car Mazda had ever built.

    It was also screwed from day one...the standard model had the same 170hp 2.5L V6 as the 626 but it was more than 400lbs heavier. With a starting price of $28k, it was a weakling compared to the competition. The "S" model used a unique Miller Cycle supercharged 2.3L V6 that made 217hp but raised the base price to $36k...a hard-sell with a Mazda badge, much like the VW Passat W8.

    The Mazda6 is now at the larger-end of the mid-size segment, so I doubt they'd be able to create a larger model that would fit the Mazda "Zoom Zoom" image. Then again, they surprised me the CX-9 SUV...and the 2010 Ford Taurus platform could be an awfully good starting point..... :D
     
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