Last post on Sep 11, 2008 at 4:58 AM
You are in the Automotive News & Views-Archives
What is this discussion about?
Car Buying, Automotive News, Coupe, Truck, Sedan
#6 of 55 It didn't really shatter my dream...
Aug 12, 2008 (7:30 am)
but the first time I sat in a 1973-77 era GM intermediate as an adult, it just didn't seem as roomy inside as I thought they'd be! About 7 years ago, a local park and sell lot had a '76 LeMans coupe for sale, and it looked good from a distance. Unfortunately, not so good up close. I just remembered sitting behind the wheel and thinking that it seemed no better inside than my '68 Dart...a car that was marketed as a compact!
I think the biggest killer though was when I started it up and immediately thought...that doesn't sound like no V-8! Turns out it just had a Chevy 250-6 under the hood. I guess 0-60 in a car of that bulk would've been around 20 seconds?
Anyway, it wasn't enough to turn me off to that type of car. A few years later, I found another '76 LeMans. It just happened to be in much better shape, had a 350-4bbl V-8 that fixed most of my acceleration worries, and has a power seat that can contort into almost obscene positions, so it gives me the legroom I need.
#7 of 55 Re: Chrysler Crossfire [lokki]
Aug 12, 2008 (8:29 am)
I had the same experience in a SLK55 AMG. Not long ago a local high end used car lot had one that looked like a good deal, I was bored and stopped to look at it. I was just too tall to fit properly, the top of the windshield was an issue and I had the seat all the way back too.
#8 of 55 Re: Chrysler Crossfire [lokki]
Aug 12, 2008 (8:50 am)
"...I couldn't fit in the car..."
I too was intrigued by the Crossfire. Liked the looks. Like you I was worried about fitting into it (6'2" 225 pounds). Just managed to fit inside.
The big turn-off was power. 215hp just didn't give it enough guts to make it worth the 30K plus they were orgionally going for. The SRT version was much better but so far out of my range I couldn't consider it.
I was also turned-off by the cramped feeling of the Altima Coupe and the handling and power of the 6-cyl. Mustang.
#9 of 55 A common thread
Aug 15, 2008 (1:00 pm)
Seems that many of us have been disappointed by a convertible or sports car. My story is the same.
I'm a big fan of Saturn - the family has had 5 of them, total - so I was particularly interested when the Saturn Sky was released. First time I saw one in the showroom, I had to sit in it.
Yep, you guessed it - too tall (even though I'm just a fraction shy of 6'). I was looking directly into the windshield header. Plus, the steering wheel didn't adjust high enough, so everything between about 9:30 and 2:30 on both the speedo and tach were obscured.
#10 of 55 Re: A common thread [michaell]
Aug 15, 2008 (1:05 pm)
I'm actually disappointed with most modern convertibles. Between the high beltlines, thick roof pillars, windshield header right in your face, etc, I swear I get a more out-in-the-open feeling driving my old pickup truck!
Even with the top down, it still feels like they're trying to cocoon you in, away from the outside world.
#11 of 55 Re: A common thread [michaell]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Aug 15, 2008 (1:06 pm)
Windshield height vs. one's torso length is *very* important. Once your head gets into the windstream and your vision is blocked by the top bar, the driving experience in a convertible goes from enjoyable to annoying in a red hot minute.
The old MGB was somewhat of an offender in this regard. It was impossibly to keep a baseball cap on! But the Alfa Romeos of 1981--1993 had no such issue. It was better thought out.
I realize that designers want a low windshield profile and a nice rake angle, but not at the expense of too many potential buyers.
#12 of 55 Re: A common thread [Mr_Shiftright]
Aug 15, 2008 (1:16 pm)
Back when I traveled for business, I was lucky to be able to rent a convertible a few times - usually a Mustang (previous generation) and Sebring.
Neither one would be considered real sporty, but I had no problems fitting into either one of them.
A few years ago at the auto show, I sat in most of the current German roadsters - SLK, Z4, Boxster, TT. The only one I felt truly comfortable in was the BMW. The seat went back far enough and I wasn't looking over the windshield.
Another car that was disappointing to me was the first-gen Pontiac Vibe. In some respects, it was a very nice car - good rear seat room. However, the driving experience was not that great. Granted, we drove an AWD version, which only comes with the automatic. Slow, slow, slow.
Now, the new generation with the 2.4L engine might be a bit better.
#13 of 55 Re: The Test Drive That Shattered Your Dream [Mr_Shiftright]
Aug 18, 2008 (2:19 pm)
I'll second the TT. My wife had an Integra at the time. The Integra was faster, roomier, and far more fun to drive. The TT felt and drove like a mid-sized family car with an incredibly small passenger compartment.
My classic car dream was ruined by an early '60s Vette with a base engine. It drove like a '60s Chevy truck that had been lowered to the ground.
#14 of 55 Re: The Test Drive That Shattered Your Dream [lemmer]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Aug 18, 2008 (3:52 pm)
That's because a 60s Vette WAS a Chevy truck that was lowered to the ground--LOL!
Can you imagine those big blocks with no power steering, and leaf springs to hop around on, and side pipes to roast your butt? Phew! Rough ride!
#15 of 55 Re: A common thread [michaell]
Aug 18, 2008 (6:29 pm)
I have to admit that my old Sebring was a perfectly comfortable convertible. A bit of a slug and a perfectly average car with a great stereo but well though out in terms of having the top down.
Of course I am short and it had the same problem as my Celica in that respect - if I lean my arm out my elbow has to come up almost to my shoulder!