How fast do you Americans need to go?

#1

in england we typically drive small cars with 90 hp,1.4 litre engines,which will do 110 mph,and 0-60 in 12 seconds,and they are perfectly adequate for commuting etc…so why do you guys need big,gas guzzling v8s?you will be surprised at what these small cars can actually do!

#2

A big gas guzzling V8 isn’t any faster than a sporty four cylinder car. The legitimate reasons for a big V8 car are:

-RV camping. A V8 makes a great tow vehicle for a large camper trailer.
-Boating. If you have a large boat, you can’t tow it with a little four-banger.
-Big Families. If you have five or six kids, you probably need a vehicle that can haul them all and pull a trailer with all their stuff in it.
-Hauling. If I had a need to regularly haul a lot of cargo on a regular basis, a big V8 would make life a lot easier.

Assuming what you have is best for everyone is just as big of a mistake as buying a big V8 when you don’t have a legitimate need for one. Of course, it would be a major faux pas to assume everyone here in the States drives a big V8.

#3

I agree to a point. I try to buy the SMALLEST vehicle I need. A small 90hp car won’t even come close. A family of 5 will NOT fit into a vehicle that small. I will agree that many people do buy vehicles that are far far bigger then they need. But so what…it’s their money.

Second…We drive a LOT more then you do. Our country is 50+ times the size of England. I commute 40 miles one way to work. I sure don’t want to be commuting in a small vehicle in heavy New England traffic every day. I’d be a cripple in a few months time.

#4

The majority of top selling cars are 4 cylinder and small - midsize.

#5

well thats where our countries dffer,if you need a vehicle for towing etc…we would buy a turbo diesel,even a modern 2.0 litre can have 170 hp,and 260 ib/ft of torque! thats enough to tow most things.but i was actually refering to people who just commute,or go shopping etc…where a small engined,small car would be perfectly adequate for their needs,instead of a 4.6 litre v8 ford crown vic!but i guess its because of your cheap petrol,that you can drive larger engined,larger cars than us brits!ive gotta fill up tomorrow,and petrol has come down to ONLY ?4.50 ($6.75)a gallon now!.

#6

Just curious, how much time have you spent over here? I don’t see too many vehicles with V-8s in my day to day driving except for pickups and SUVs. My 1969 and 71 Buick Skylarks had small V8s of only 5.7 liters, but things have changed in the last 40 years. I still have a 93 Caprice with a 5.0 V8, but it gets better mpg than my wife’s minivan with a V6. However, when I was in England a few years back for my Aunt’s funeral, I was surprised by how many Jeep Wranglers and Cherokees were on the road.

Another thing I’ve noticed, the price of an American car sold in England is nearly twice what it sells for in the US.

Ed B.

#7

Exactly what I was going to post.The idea that America is covered with "gas guzzeling V-8’s is a dated perception.

#8

if you need a vehicle for towing etc…we would buy a turbo diesel

EXCELLENT…Toyota and Nissan both offer SUVs with Turbo Diesels that get about 50% better gas mileage then their gasoline counterparts…just one slight problem…THEY’RE NOT SOLD HERE. We can only buy what is offered. If you have any influence with Toyota or Nissan…tell them to start selling those vehicles here.

but i was actually refering to people who just commute,or go shopping etc…where a small engined,small car would be perfectly adequate for their needs,instead of a 4.6 litre v8 ford crown vic!

I take it your a single guy living in a one room appartment by yourself. GREAT…a small car will suit you fine. When you get married and have 3 kids…please tell me what vehicle you’ll be driving.

#9

I drive 5000 miles a year with a V8 car that costs, now, new, less than 20,000. I get nearly 20 mpg. What is the cost of one of those turbo diesels? How long would it take the make up the difference in cost by fuel savings?

#10

Maybe you should do some research on “gas guzzling V-8s” and compare the MPG to the MPG of many 4 and 6 cylinder engines.
My Lincoln is a 2 ton+ V-8 and gets a consistent 27 and when the stars are aligned correctly, has been known to get near 30.
Heck, it gets 18-19 MPG in city driving.

My son has a 3rd generation V-8 Camaro that gets 26-28 MPG on the road.

Jay Leno has a Corvette with a 500 cubic inch V-8 that puts out over 600 Horsepower and it gets 28 MPG. Hardly worth criticizing I would think.

Since you’re in England then you should be aware of the TV show “Top Gear”. On a recent episode they tested the fuel mileage of a Toyota Prius against a 400 Horsepower BMW M3 on a road course track and guess what? The Prius got 17+ MPG and the BMW got 19 MPG+.
Think I would stick with the economical BMW.

I live in oil/gas and farm country and a large V-8 is a necessity around here. I can’t see an undersized pickup with a 4-banger hauling around a loaded stock trailer or struggling with a 1 ton hay bale on a spike.

#11

ive been to new york several times and got to ride in your 4.6 litre ford crown vic taxis!and in england only the wealthy can afford to drive big v8s because of our high petrol prices,and youre right about american cars in the uk costing twice as much as they do in the usa,but thats just another case of “rip off britain!” incidentaly,when i was in new york,i noticed that a mini cooper actually costs several thousand pounds less to buy than in the uk,and we make te bloody things here!!

#12

but i was actually refering to people who just commute,or go shopping etc…where a small engined,small car would be perfectly adequate for their needs,instead of a 4.6 litre v8 ford crown vic!

Why didn’t you say so? With that in mind, I agree that a V8 is too much vehicle for people like that, but I don’t think folks like you and I should impose our will on others just because we think we are right. Americans can spend their money how they see fit. Although some people might argue with me, in comparison, you live under much more government control than we do. Let’s not make moral judgments about which type of government is better, but I will add that a lot of Brits have moved across the pond to share in our freedom. I am not sure the opposite can be said to the same extent. Some people prefer your style of living and some people prefer our style of living. We will all get along as long as you don’t impose your will on us and we don’t impose our will on you.

but i guess its because of your cheap petrol,that you can drive larger engined,larger cars than us brits!

I am afraid that is an incorrect assumption. There will always be people who have money and choose to buy more vehicle than they need (like the host of Top Gear, one of your fellow countrymen). For them, their vehicle is a status symbol. Again, let’s not make ugly judgmental assumptions about these people, even if we think they might be superficial.

You really should try to open your mind to new possibilities. Take the time to learn rather than making assumptions.

#13

It’s funny, that back in the 60’s and 70’s a WV was fine for a family. In fact I took my family of four cross country and back in my 1970 bug. Today there is not enough room. I guess kids got bigger or expectations are greater.

#14

just for the record,i think youve gotta wonderful country!!and i would love the opportunity to live there,you have much more “freedom” than us brits have! and youre right when you say some people buy a vehicle as a status symbol,i wish i could afford a lexus,or bmw,etc… but working as a local government employee on less than the nationaal average wage,i will have to keep my 1.6 litre ford going for a few more years!

#15

Mike, this gentleman seems to be open to new ideas. Maybe we should take it easy on the name calling.

#16

“A big gas guzzling V8 isn’t any faster than a sporty four cylinder car”

Wanna race? I get the Z06 Corvette , you can have the Miata

#17

It’s not that we need such cars. It’s that we want such cars. Fortunately for those of us in the USA as a whole we don’t have alot of tolerance for high taxation, one of the benefits of this is that our fuel taxes are much lower than that of most European countries. The oil the U.S. and oil the U.K. gets costs about the same. You guys just get taxed out the wazoo for it. We don’t. So with cheaper fuel comes bigger and more powerful cars.

#18

If you tried to pull that off today, you would be arrested for child endangerment and there would be a expose about the sorrid affair on the 11:00 news. :slight_smile:

#19

Mini Coopers are made in Britan? don’t let this news get out,as of now they are very popular.

#20

I won’t disagree that many Americans drive cars that are larger than necessary, but the size of car you’re suggesting is impractical for uses other than city commuting here.

I think you may not realize the distances that many of us drive regularly, especially with train travel not an option. For instance, a visit to my parents is 700 miles, a visit to my brother is 1000 miles, a typical weekend getaway is 400 or 500 miles, and a weeklong vacation could easily be 1500 or 2000 miles. We deserve some measure of comfort on trips like that, not to mention that we need enough room for the associated luggage, sporting equipment, items to deliver to family members, and so on.

Also, until recently, small cars here were generally cheap cars. The build quality was poor, the ride was harsh and noisy, the handling wasn’t great, and many features available on larger cars (including safety features) weren’t available. That’s starting to change, but it will take a while for people to change their perceptions.

The typical family in my area has one mid-size SUV or minivan and one mid-size sedan. That’s about right to meet our needs without being terribly wasteful. (Before any of the anti-SUV people jump on me, realize that we’ll be driving in six to ten inches of snow tomorrow morning and that’s not uncommon in this area.)