Last post on Jun 17, 2013 at 9:27 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#16240 of 16249 Re: More maintenance on diesel [m6user]
Jun 16, 2013 (10:06 am)
I dont think anyone claims it's a character fault of Americans or a matter of European enlightenment. The presence of highly regarded tuner companies overseas speaks to the same desire for more speed/performance.
However, if you go back a few decades before the displacement limits/taxes were imposed overseas, you'll still find that American cars were generally larger and higher in displacement/horsepower than European cars.
I think it has more to do with the nature and history of Europe and their lifestyle. City congestion (homes are small compared to ours too), tiny narrow streets, limited parking, etc. Their cities are much older than ours and not originally designed to accommodate cars (cobblestone, roundabouts, etc.). They dont have as many (or as large) freeways as we do nor do they travel on highways as far or frequently as we do either. And they have crazy high gas prices...
#16241 of 16249 Re: More maintenance on diesel [fedlawman]
Jun 16, 2013 (10:34 am)
That's why I said given the same scenario as we have in the U.S. most Euros would probably want the same things we do. Long distance travel, wide roads, long commutes, cheap gas all add up to big incentives for the big engined, big road machines we grew up with. You're making the same argument I am but in reverse.
So many post "Americans just have to have big HP or big cars" and the underlying insinuation that it IS some kind of character flaw. We are all human beings and pretty much reacting to the situation we are in and given the same circumstances most people from anywhere in the world would behave similarly IMO.
But I guess there are the "enlightened" few that would drive a Prius if gas was less than $1 gal. and I don't think any single country would have a monopoly on them. LOL. Of course, if gas had never rose above a $1 a gal would there even be a Prius???
#16242 of 16249 Re: More maintenance on diesel [m6user]
Jun 16, 2013 (11:08 am)
Semantics, really, and I do see your point, but Im not sure I completely agree with you. There are, after all, many Americans who choose to drive smaller cars because they are more fun, handle better, or whatever other reasons.
Maybe I'm contradicting myself, but all things being equal, I think many people would still choose to own a small car. Many Europeans and Americans alike do this as a matter of personal preference not because they are forced or encouraged by government restrictions or taxes.
I guess I am a good example of this. I just went down the list of cars I've owned over my entire driving lifetime (15 cars over 30 years), and only two of them had/has an engine larger than 2.5L. Looking at my list even closer, half of them were 2.0L or smaller. I'm sure many many European drivers share my love for small nimble cars.
#16243 of 16249 Re: More maintenance on diesel [fedlawman]
Jun 16, 2013 (11:14 am)
No, i think we agree in general and that's pretty much what I'm talking about.....in general and we are talking somewhat historically here. The scenario regarding gas prices in this country has changed greatly during the past 5 years so going forward a lot of smaller choices are going to made. There are always exceptions to any rule and different degrees of difference. But, again and in general, I think Americas love affair with big HP and big cars stemmed from the vast size and open spaces that were available when the auto came into being in this country. The scenario you describe(narrow roads, congestion, short travel distances and eventually high fuel prices) for Europe was like that for years and years before the auto made it debut.
I think I've only owned one car with over 300 hp but I have owned several V8s and still have a V8 pickup that gets used sparingly while my I4 gets the bulk of the miles. I think my 68 Mustang V8 was rated at less than 200hp.
#16244 of 16249 Re: More maintenance on diesel [m6user]
Jun 16, 2013 (2:30 pm)
So this begs the question, before the automobile did Europeans ride smaller horses?
Out of all my cars, only 2 had over 200 hp. None reached 300 hp.
#16245 of 16249 Re: More maintenance on diesel [m6user]
Jun 16, 2013 (5:06 pm)
I agree with your previous statement. Many people often insinuate the Europeans drive those small cars with small engines because they are such caring creatures and Americans love their obscenely huge cars with insanely large engines because they are such fill the blank. I do believe there is large amount of excess and waste in so-called American way of life. However, I also believe everybody else in the world would have done the same if given a chance.
On fuel price subject, I think it is fair to expect significant changes in domestic market. While crude price went up the same for everybody, gas prices went up more here than anywhere else, in relative terms. This is because in other countries taxes are much higher percentage of the price (up to 80%) and most of which is flat portion. In other words, insane taxation of fuel in Europe causing high prices at the first place, cushioned the gas price runup when crude over quadrupled from in 2000s. American consumer on the other hand saw every move in crude translated to almost equally proportional move in gas price. Suddenly, those who owned Explorers and Blazers, as their family and commuting cars could not bear the increased cost. So I think we will see significant convergence of the markets. Europeans are liking those taller crossovers almost as much as Americans (many just can't afford them) and Americans will have to learn to like fewer cubic inches, cylinders and even less space in certain conditions.
#16247 of 16249 Re: More maintenance on diesel [graphicguy]
by kirstie_h HOST
Jun 17, 2013 (8:36 am)
There's not just a financial incentive for owning a small car in Europe. If you've ever driven in a fairly large European city, you know that parking can be an absolute nightmare. Finding a parking place for even a midsize sedan can be a challenge, but you can often find on-street parallel parking that you can squeeze a tiny car into. I had a Nissan Micra when I was in the London area a few years ago, which was awful on motorways (drive to Newcastle = not fun), not great on "a"' roads, but great for tight parking spots and tiny "b" roads.
Same sometimes when living out in the sticks. My ex in-laws lived way out, and it was a 10-mile jaunt on a mostly dirt road with giant hedgerows on either side, and the road itself was wide enough for about 1.5 vehicles. If you met an oncoming vehicle, you had to pull off til the passenger side of the vehicle was pretty firmly against the hedgerow. So, my ex in-laws, flush with money, owned a tiny vehicle for those purposes.
#16248 of 16249 Re: More maintenance on diesel [ivan_99]
Jun 17, 2013 (8:45 am)
I'm not certain how well diesels will play in the ELLPS category, specifically the "Performance" portion, but the lowly VW definitely had the NVH within range of near-luxury specs.
Can understand their use in Europe, but wonder why some might want a diesel in an ELLPS in the U.S. Unless travel and commutes pass truck stops, then not easy to find diesel.
I have a JD tractor with a diesel engine and there are only 2 gas stations in an 8 mile radius that sell diesel. Of course, I pick up the fuel in 5 gallon containers. One thing that future diesel car owners should know is that the area around the pumps, concrete pavement, pump handle, everything is oily, messy and dirty. Make sure you have extra paper towels to clean your hands, and maybe shoe bottoms, in case the gas station does not have same in nearby dispenser.
#16249 of 16249 Re: More maintenance on diesel [kirstie_h]
Jun 17, 2013 (9:27 am)
True, parking spaces are smaller. Even turn radii in places like parking garages can be just insane. I remember one in Cologne - there was a post in the middle of exit curve with a rainbow of colors from paint transfers.