What we want for a change

Okay Guys time to tell the manus what we would like,I’m thinking about something thats strong,economical,easy to service(drivetrain built or based on existing componets and technology.I’ve noticed a trend in recent years towards a bit of simpification in the engine arena(Honda used to have a bunch of engines availible in the Civic lineup,eg;) GM has finally seen the light on thier truck lineup it seems and the list goes on,its a pity when someone buys the standard engine with mediocre performance and finds out the upgrade engine has much better perormance,with scarcely any difference in economy-Kevin

If by “economy” you mean MPG that’s often true.
But of you include in “economy” the size of the loan payment, the bigger engine will usually cost more.

IMHO nothing is easier to service and maintain, or more robust, than a RWD I4 with a double A-frame front end (easy shock absorber changes) with a solid real axle and leaf springs. I haven’t looked lately, but that may not exist anymore.

Sometimes it depends on the year in question when it comes to performance and fuel economy. I like the Dodge Dakota 2WD versions and have had good luck with them over the years. My third Dakota was a 2002 model extended cab with the sickly 3.9 (175 hp). I put up with it for a year or so until I found a nice 2005 model Quad Cab with a robust 3.7 (210 hp). The 3.7 gets about 22mpg combined driving while the older 3.9 could only manage 19mpg combined on it’s best day. The 3.7 can run rings around the 3.9 version as well. I guess a good test drive on a day that you are really paying attention pays off. In the case of the 2002 Dakota…I must have been asleep at the wheel.

I want mid size pickup trucks back, sure the full size gets good gas mileage, but a little too big for many garages and hard to park. I’ve owned a 90 toyota small pickup, 03 ford ranger, and a friend who had a Dakota, and had to go to full size, ie garage problem.

I cannot believe the market is gone.

You guys might be happy to hear that GM is bringing back a new and improved Chevy Colorado.

Built-in monitoring for commonly occuring problems, issuing a warning before they occur, would be helpful. Post after post here asks about “failure to crank” problems for example. Is it the battery? The battery connections? The “start” signal at the starter terminal? The starter solenoid? The ECM could monitor the voltages at the two starter terminals during each cranking. If either gets too low, the car owner could be alerted to a potential upcoming cranking problem, before the owner gets in the car one day on the way to an important meeting, and the car won’t crank.

There already is On Board Diagnostics as well as warning lights (or gages) for the battery, oil pressure, and engine temperature. The only thing I’d add is to have the codes and definitions automatically list on a screen, rather than having to connect a code reader and read them.

Well one of the things I sorta wonder about is for instance-the Nissan Altima,drop the V-6 and just put a 2.7 I-4 in there(make a good base engine for the Frontier too) the performance could could be juggled with axle ratios,etc; and the model could actually drop in price as far as Toyota on the tundra just jack the 4.6 to about 5.3 and drop the 5.7,you really dont need a base engine that has no merit over the optional engine(this marketing has actually turned me off on a lot of manufacturers,one reason I bought a Honda Passport when they came out was because the next Guy that could afford a higher trim level then me,didnt have a better engine,because He could pump 10K more in the vehicle(when I buy usually I dont have a choice in the engine I desire,because I cant afford the upgrade to an engine that costs a few dollars more to produce,because I cannot justify a half years work to buy a higher trim level on features I dont use-Kevin


About the codes and definitions being listed on a screen . . . we’ve already been through this

Scenario . . .
Customer’s screen says P0300 random misfire

The customer gets freaking irate, when the mechanic wants to diagnose the problem

The smarty pants customer . . . who thinks they know everything . . . says to the mechanic “Like hell I’m going to pay for diagnosis. I know the spark plugs are the problem. You’re trying to rip me off by charging for diagnosis.”

At that point the customer tells the mechanic to replace the spark plugs.

Of course, it doesn’t fix the problem.

The mechanic tells the customer “You told me you weren’t paying for diagnosis. You told me to replace the spark plugs. I’m off the hook.”

The customer storms into the service manager/shop owner’s office . . .

I want a door sill that isn’t higher than the floor. It would make the 2014 Rav4 a lot easier to clean and easier to enter. Cup holders that weren’t so useless would also help. Any cup with a handle doesn’t fit.

Heated mirrors and rear wipers should be standard on any car sold in the northeast.

I finally saw the car of my dreams at the auto show last weekend.

Backstory…I have always wanted a brutally simple, easy to repair car as an economical long-life vehicle. I took it to the extreme and imagined my “dream car” as: solid live axle, non-rusting body panels, air-cooled engine, light weight, computerized nothing. Kind of like a Trabant…only with tolerable build quality and design.

At the car show they had “legend cars”: racing vehicles built around 5/8 scale 40’s roadsters. Fiberglass body, air-cooled 1200cc Kawasaki, Mazda truck live axle. Basically my dream car! (Plus with the power/weight ratio, might not be a rolling hairshirt.)

They sell for $14k new…my (newly acquired) dream is to buy a used one at half that and make it street-legal. (It’s been done before, BTW.)

I noticed in Motor Trend, page 16, this month in their article on Holden pulling out of Austrailia, they had a picture of the Holden small pick-up. Ranger size but looked like a Ranchero or El Camino. That would sell like hot cakes here if it could do any work at all.

Guys apparently,these huge(hugely profitable shoeboxes) are all the manus want to produce,people buy em.so it goes.I was impressed the otherday how huge a F-150 looked as it filled a parking spot at Wally Worlds(@ least it had 2 people in it) so Americans as a rule want to buy the huge Blimps for whatever reason (that sounds like a nice vehicle Mean)-Kevin

Okay Guys time to tell the manus what we would like

The average car buyer doesn’t know what they want, or wants something that can’t be made for the price they want. How many times have we heard “Where can i find a vehicle that, has room for 6 adults comfortably, can tow 5000+ lbs., will go 0-60 in less than 8 secs., gets 25+MPG, is pet friendly, easy or inexpensive to repair”, oh yeah and costs under $20k.

@PvtPublic, I used to own such a car. A 1988 Ford Crown Vic. It was the only model year with the boxy body style and a 5.0L fuel injected motor and AOD transmission. It easily sat 6 with bench seats front and rear, can out-tow the same year F-150, went 0-60 like a scalded dog, and got 26 mpg HWY! It only go 16 city, but when you consider it weighed 5500 lbs. fully dressed, that’s still good. And, was a cinch to work on. The engine bay was large enough for a big block, so that mouse motor had a lot of room around it.

Damn, miss that car!

The Late great “Crown Vic” a pity Ford cant produce this car yet,but if they did it would cut into F-150 sales apparently,yes the new Aluminum 150 will be coming soon-My challenge,buy one for less then 40K when they come out-Kevin