Last post on Dec 08, 2013 at 9:36 PM
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#453 of 456 Re: Industry taps demand for tony interiors [nippononly]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Feb 01, 2013 (6:20 am)
And that's the minivan owner's secret.
#454 of 456 Re: It's Nice Now . . . [writer]
Feb 01, 2013 (7:39 am)
It is nice to see Chrysler's Dart. The size is interesting. I want to see how it compares to the previous Neons. I think the first Neons were shorter in height, but otherwise about the same.
I've sat in a few Darts, but have yet to drive one. To me, it feels like they took the front of a midsized car, the back of a compact, and joined them at the B-pillar. I found it plenty roomy and comfortable up front, but the back seat was what I'd call "typical compact"...too small for me to be comfortable, but about par for this size of vehicle.
I think the midsize/compact thing carries over to the styling, as well. If you take a picture of one from the side, and put your thumb over the back of it, it looks like it would be a fairly good-sized car. But, if you put your thumb over the front of the picture, it just looks like a generic, stubby compact.
I've seen a few on the road, as well, and when one comes up behind you, it seems to have a lot of presence about it.
As for the old Neon, I liked them. They were one of the few small cars where I could fit comfortably, both in the front and back. I've heard that reliability wasn't too bad on the later models, either. Unfortunately, resale value is so low that it doesn't take much to total one. I have a friend who had one, and it took a fairly minor side swipe while parked, and that was enough to total it. But then, he bought a Hyundai Sonata, an early 2000's model, and one morning rear-ended a truck with a trailer hitch on it, and even though the damage looked light, it got totaled, as well. He's driving an early '00's Mopar minivan now, but I can't remember which model. I think it's a Caravan, but it might just be a Voyager.
#455 of 456 10 months later
Dec 08, 2013 (8:33 pm)
So much has happened since January!
I have been seeing new Toyotas lately, but I have not really seen them closely, so I will wait a while before saying what I think about them.
The Chev Sonic is interesting. There are individual points I do not like, but if I see one on the street, it isn't bad. Overall it looks like a shrunken AMC Gremlin which I never liked, but I guess, because it is just plain smaller it does not look bad to me. Sort of like the Mazda 3 looking silly, but the Mazda 2, with similar styling cues looks ok. Just ok though. I would still buy the Ford versions. Ironically, I think the Sonic would have had potential for the old "customizers" back in the 1970's. Styling-wise things that I do not like can be isolated and replaced.
But these days, I would not want to touch a car. The designs are so critical that if you fix a crease you might end up causing body flexing which in turn messes up handling and structural strength. Ick. You can't sneeze at a car these days!
#456 of 456 Re: 10 months later [writer]
Dec 08, 2013 (9:36 pm)
You know what looks really weird to me? The Chevy Spark. Now that GM is flooding rental lots with them, I am seeing them on the roads fairly frequently (all with the little barcode in the window of course!).
That model looks like it was squeezed from both ends, then squeezed from both sides. MUCH too tall for its width and length. And that impression is accentuated by the really tall smeary headlights.
The new Corolla looks much better than the old one, especially in certain colors and with the black rims of the 'S' trim. Of course under the hood is the same old engine they have been using for about 15 years, the numbest electric steering in the world, and egads! a CVT, so looks will have to carry the day if Toyota hopes to outsell Honda and Ford.
As for the new Mazda3, the front sort of gapes, but it is quite a bit better than the old smiley model I think.