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The auto whine again.

I feel the need to reiterate my lament that you can't get tiny, cute, inexpensive, practical cars in America. It is also extremely expensive to import them, so unless you're a rich person, don't consider that an option! (Yes, I know about the Echo, but why can't they bring us the hatchback? WHY?!?!?) The mini cooper? Is very expensive. Sorry.

The Fiat Panda. "Sturdy and ready for anything." Except for driving on US soil, naturally.

The Ford Ka. Like a Rock? Oh wait. Maybe like a pebble. "Love life? Love driving? Then you'll love the Ford Ka." Apparently Americans don't love life. Although I guess we do love driving... but according to Ford, only driving giant gas guzzling behemoths.

The Toyota Echo Hatchback. You'vs heard me whine about this one before. "What goes in the hatch is up to you." No, what goes in the trunk is up to me, except that's not nearly as spacious. I sent Toyota emails but needless to say they don't think there's a market here for this car.

I'll just stick with my no-payment purchased-with-cash 35-to-40-mpg Ford Aspire #3. If I had more money, I'd buy two more and interchange them, putting 1/3 the mileage on each.



( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:20 am (UTC)
Give it time. I think that's coming. Did you see they are working on a hybrid for their Highlander SUV and Honda has a hybrid accord coming out this year? I'm really disappointed that the American manufacturers aren't even trying yet.
(no subject) - cheetahmaster - Apr. 22nd, 2004 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:21 am (UTC)
Its a legitimate grief. Our choices are very limited when it comes to smaller cars. Drives me nuts.
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:37 am (UTC)
What about an Insight? They're pretty small - 2 seaters with a hatchback. Certainly not in Kia's price range, but under $20k. And over 50mpg.
Apr. 22nd, 2004 10:09 am (UTC)
Starting at $19K... to me that's still too expensive. The hatchback kind of looks like one of those sporty ones - like an Acura - which is just there to make the car look more like a coupe and not really so that you can store more junk in it. That said, a good suggestion for the small car buyer in the US! I like hybrids. I'd buy one if I wasn't so averse to the idea of having a car payment.
... - professorbooty - Apr. 23rd, 2004 07:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - snidegrrl - Apr. 23rd, 2004 07:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:40 am (UTC)
Dont' forget...
The SmartCar, codeveloped by Diamler-Benz and Swatch (!)...


OK, they're scheduling the US "market entry" tentatively for 2006. I'll give them some credit. But it's going to be an "SUV model". Taking that credit right the hell back.
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:44 am (UTC)
Re: Dont' forget...
They are my favorite! I saw them all over Paris and wanted to put one in my bag and bring it home with me (and I don't even like to drive).
Re: Dont' forget... - snidegrrl - Apr. 22nd, 2004 10:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:49 am (UTC)
Had I not had a sense of needing to protect the girls in this SUV behemoth overrun area, I would still be happily driving my tin can on wheels, my Ford Festiva.
Apr. 22nd, 2004 10:11 am (UTC)
I lurve the Festiva. What do you drive now, if I may ask?
(no subject) - spleenless - Apr. 22nd, 2004 02:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Apr. 22nd, 2004 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:50 am (UTC)
I was lusting after the Echo hatchback myself. Maybe importing it from Canada wouldn't be too expensive. After all, it's only about $1.50 in American dollars, anyway.
Apr. 22nd, 2004 09:42 am (UTC)
Re: vroomette!
Apparently you have to spend like thousands of dollars making sure it meets US standards before you can import it. And Toyota has to sign off on the whole thing somehow. Dave Reeves was giving me all the lowdown on what a pain in the ass it all is. :( It's not the cost of the car, it's the bureacracy. Rar!
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:56 am (UTC)
I still mourn the demise of the Honda Civic HB. I love mine, and am trying to treat it well so it lasts forever.
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:58 am (UTC)
I assume someone decided Americans wouldn't buy small, efficient cars, but you have to wonder how they arrive at that conclusion.

What about the Scion Xa (the littler one)? Admittedly, it's 5-door (not as small as these cars), but it isn't as pokey a drive as its sister the Matrix or the Focus hatchback (which looks a lot like that Ka thing, by the way).
Apr. 22nd, 2004 09:11 am (UTC)
When gas costs here what it costs in the UK, we might get more cute, dependable small cars.

I could not drive a Ford Ka. "Ka like a wind!" I'd keep going all Dark Tower.
Apr. 22nd, 2004 09:38 am (UTC)
Heh. Ka-tet.

It's a cute little thing, though, which is hardly the criterion I should use for a car, but it *is*.
... - professorbooty - Apr. 23rd, 2004 07:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 22nd, 2004 10:15 am (UTC)
Ah, but you can get into one of those huge cars, and still have crap visibility! Jack's Accord has these HUGE columns that make it really hard to see out the sides or back. I totally see your point is what I'm saying.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Apr. 22nd, 2004 06:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 22nd, 2004 09:30 am (UTC)
You paid cash for your car??? You are my hero for today! :-)
Apr. 22nd, 2004 10:23 am (UTC)
It's a long story, but I paid cash for my last 3 cars. Erm, all of which have been Aspires. Partly has to do with totaling 2 of them and getting paid out by insurance though. :-/
Aspires - swartzdk - Apr. 22nd, 2004 11:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Aspires - professorbooty - Apr. 23rd, 2004 07:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 22nd, 2004 02:06 pm (UTC)
In principle I agree with you! These cars are great! But in practice in the US you would be putting yourself in a lot of danger driving something like that in our flocks of minivans, SUVs, etc. Remember momentum! (momento momentum?)
Apr. 22nd, 2004 02:07 pm (UTC)
Also, I have a friend with a Hybrid Honda Civic and it is cute and efficient. And since you are not sized like me, you might actually fit in it!
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Apr. 22nd, 2004 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - professorbooty - Apr. 23rd, 2004 07:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 22nd, 2004 03:35 pm (UTC)
The Nissan Stanza wagon I had was a fine little car as well. Paid cash for it and it STILL continues to run for my friends who bought it from me that live in Floyd.
Apr. 22nd, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC)
That's awesome. I don't see too many driving around, but when I do see one I still think of you.

Of course, when I see a blue K car wagon, I still think of you, so, I guess that's not saying much. :)
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )


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