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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Afterthoughts: What's the Right Size Vehicle?

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      A recent bit of window shopping has us wondering about vehicle size

    For the past month, I have been doing a bit of window shopping for a possible replacement for my current vehicle - a 2006 Ford Fusion with almost 270,000 miles on the odometer. Usually, whenever I go look at vehicles, I tend to have automotive ADD; tending to look at all kinds of vehicles with no set price or type. But this recent excursion caused me to notice that I had unknowingly set my sights on a certain group. All of the vehicles I was looking at were all compact cars and none were crossovers. Why is that?

    To get to the bottom of this, I began to look at my driving habits when I am not driving a new car for review. For the most part, I tend to drive in a small radius from where I live - about a 20 to 25 Miles. I don’t really carry passengers in my car and the back seat is primarily used for transporting groceries or other items. Plus, I only get about 22 to 24 mpg in mostly city driving. Looking at this information, it makes some sense as to why I happen to be looking at small cars. I don’t take advantage of all the space on offer for cargo and passengers, and it would be nice to get to some higher fuel economy numbers.

    You might be wondering why am I not considering a compact/subcompact crossover? There are two reasons for this. One is that I find crossovers to be a little too big for my needs and wants. Second is that I can get a better deal on a car than a crossover. For example, I have been looking at various Chevrolet Cruzes and have been surprised how much dealers are marking them down. I have seen price cuts ranging from about $2,000 to $5,000. That means I could get into a decently equipped Cruze for around $20,000 to $22,000. Can’t really do the same when talking about the Equinox.

    There have been a couple pieces flowing around within the past few months talking about how a number of us tend to buy the largest vehicle we can afford because we tend to think about the extremes that will happen rarely during the ownership of the vehicle. Having a big vehicle for when you decide to move or pick up some large items is a nice thing to have, but how often will that happen for most of us? Twice? Three times? We may think that we are using rational reasoning to try and justify buying something bigger, but the irrational parts of our brains ultimately color the final decision.

    All of us should buy a vehicle that fits our needs and wants. But that doesn’t always work out. Some of us enjoy driving a bigger vehicle such as a full-size sedan or pickup truck. If you get a sense of joy every time you get in, despite the faults and issues that will come up, then I don’t see any problem. For me, I would enjoy having a full-size sedan such as a Chevrolet Impala because of its comfortable ride and looks. But at the moment, it doesn’t make sense for me.

    I guess what I am trying to say is the next time you’re deciding on your next vehicle, try your best to keep the needs and wants in check. Don’t fall into those traps of thinking about the extremes. Who knows, you might be like me and find yourself surprised at what you are looking at.

    Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

    Edited by William Maley

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    Very cool write up. Sounds like you could benefit from going with a BOLT Lease. Those deals are killer at least here on the west coast. With your average driving range, the spacious interior of the BOLT and low cost to power would go really well for you.

    I get the message you are saying, most people could so easily get along fine in a much smaller efficient packaged auto. 

    Then again, freedom of choice and those of us like me that are Shrek size does make down sizing an impossible thing.

    Good think we live in a free country at least for now and can drive what we want, spend what we want and enjoy the option of Choice!

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    ^^^^ Which BMW is that one? Looks like a 5 series, but I may be wrong.

     

    As for the original post, it dawns on me that William has a point.  The 2008 Lucerne I currently have is all well and good, but it may be a little too long for me these days.  While an Impala/XTS sized car would be great (and a CT6 would be near ideal), I am looking at the midsized crossovers because there are times where improved maneuverability (such as in tight spaces) makes the Lucerne feel like a 1980s land yacht.  (And historically, I really like large cars.)  While it makes sense for you to downsize to a Cruze if you can fit in it, that is not the case for me, at least not at my current size.  It is certainly true that the big savings are in smaller cars because of the demand for crossovers that now exists.  It reminds me of the SUV craze of the 1990s, only more so.  Buying a car for need rather than for extreme is great advice.   Now all of us need to execute.

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    Funny this comes up....I've been thinking about that as well. Though I have taken it one step further...

    Small cars are getting cheap, but the prices are even better on slightly used cruzes-I have already seen some 16 Limited (old style) floating in the low teens....not too bad for nearly new! Been shopping these and could pull the trigger on one, as my fleeting is aging (11, 13, 14 years) and a nice cheap ride makes it easier to get a new one next year .

    Now granted that thought could change, as FCA is having a tougher time inloading their CUVs right now, and leftover Compasses or Patriots might come as a nice deal as well.....

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    48 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    ^^^^ Which BMW is that one? Looks like a 5 series, but I may be wrong.

     

    As for the original post, it dawns on me that William has a point.  The 2008 Lucerne I currently have is all well and good, but it may be a little too long for me these days.  While an Impala/XTS sized car would be great (and a CT6 would be near ideal), I am looking at the midsized crossovers because there are times where improved maneuverability (such as in tight spaces) makes the Lucerne feel like a 1980s land yacht.  (And historically, I really like large cars.)  While it makes sense for you to downsize to a Cruze if you can fit in it, that is not the case for me, at least not at my current size.  It is certainly true that the big savings are in smaller cars because of the demand for crossovers that now exists.  It reminds me of the SUV craze of the 1990s, only more so.  Buying a car for need rather than for extreme is great advice.   Now all of us need to execute.

    E90 3 Series.

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    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    ^^^^ Which BMW is that one? Looks like a 5 series, but I may be wrong.

     

    As for the original post, it dawns on me that William has a point.  The 2008 Lucerne I currently have is all well and good, but it may be a little too long for me these days.  While an Impala/XTS sized car would be great (and a CT6 would be near ideal), I am looking at the midsized crossovers because there are times where improved maneuverability (such as in tight spaces) makes the Lucerne feel like a 1980s land yacht.  (And historically, I really like large cars.)  While it makes sense for you to downsize to a Cruze if you can fit in it, that is not the case for me, at least not at my current size.  It is certainly true that the big savings are in smaller cars because of the demand for crossovers that now exists.  It reminds me of the SUV craze of the 1990s, only more so.  Buying a car for need rather than for extreme is great advice.   Now all of us need to execute.

    Glad someone else finds smaller cars easier to drive and park..living in a large city...the difference is stark.

    1 hour ago, daves87rs said:

    Funny this comes up....I've been thinking about that as well. Though I have taken it one step further...

    Small cars are getting cheap, but the prices are even better on slightly used cruzes-I have already seen some 16 Limited (old style) floating in the low teens....not too bad for nearly new! Been shopping these and could pull the trigger on one, as my fleeting is aging (11, 13, 14 years) and a nice cheap ride makes it easier to get a new one next year .

    Now granted that thought could change, as FCA is having a tougher time inloading their CUVs right now, and leftover Compasses or Patriots might come as a nice deal as well.....

    With a family like you have a compass or patriot would make a lot of sense.  But yes, Cruze as a used car is the deal of the century IMHO.

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    I think the absolute best packaged cars on the market right now are compact hatchbacks. Whether your preference is the sporty Mazda 3, the well rounded Civic, or the expert commuter Cruze, you won't find a more practical car on the market. I'm sure some excellent deals can be found for the aging Focus as well, if value is a deciding factor. These cars have looks that won't embarrass you and flexible cargo space that shames a midsize sedan.

    I have been endlessly impressed by my wife's Cruze hatchback. She consistently gets 40+ mpg highway going 75 mph. None of these cars are slow anymore, either. Most of them zip to 60 mph in 8 seconds or less, with higher trims of the Mazda and Civic sneaking in under 7 seconds and they offer slick manual transmissions if that's your thing.

    As dealerships look to unload straggling '17 models, some great bargains could be found. Keep an eye on local listings and email dealers about final pricing.

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    I once sued a 71 Chevelle SS as a daily driver for my family with 5 children...I am not real oriented towards the practical.

    I find myself moving in the opposite direction...a BRZ is impractical but might well be my next car...but I find myself asking how much of a ticking time bomb a 30K 911 is...

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    I think it makes more sense to have a car that suits your needs but isn't larger than you need.  Large cars/SUVs are hard to park, if you drive in urban areas or parking garages they can be a pain.  If you don't need a 3rd row or a cargo area, there is no point in buying it.  

    I have a mid-size car and hardly ever use the back seat, maybe 5 days a year, the other 360 it is empty.   I could drive a 2 seater with no real impact.

    I think you have to look more at performance, fuel economy and features that you want at your price point.   And small cars especially the used ones are fairly cheap, people overpay for crossovers, and dealers usually price cut those small cars.

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    After 17 years in them, I find the 2 row mid size 4x4/AWD SUV-- specifically Grand Cherokees--are the ideal size of me...not too big, not too small, comfortable for 2, room for hauling dogs and content.  They have all the creature comforts and gadgets I need, and the winter traction. 

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    1 hour ago, cp-the-nerd said:

    I think the absolute best packaged cars on the market right now are compact hatchbacks. Whether your preference is the sporty Mazda 3, the well rounded Civic, or the expert commuter Cruze, you won't find a more practical car on the market. I'm sure some excellent deals can be found for the aging Focus as well, if value is a deciding factor. These cars have looks that won't embarrass you and flexible cargo space that shames a midsize sedan.

    I have been endlessly impressed by my wife's Cruze hatchback. She consistently gets 40+ mpg highway going 75 mph. None of these cars are slow anymore, either. Most of them zip to 60 mph in 8 seconds or less, with higher trims of the Mazda and Civic sneaking in under 7 seconds and they offer slick manual transmissions if that's your thing.

    As dealerships look to unload straggling '17 models, some great bargains could be found. Keep an eye on local listings and email dealers about final pricing.

    My daughter is 21 and drives an aging Mazda 3....it has held up rather well. Very impressed with the Cruze and liking the Civic...

    Now where were the keys to that 911....?

    In all reality I have no idea what I am going to do when I finally get rid of the Cooper S.

    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    I think it makes more sense to have a car that suits your needs but isn't larger than you need.  Large cars/SUVs are hard to park, if you drive in urban areas or parking garages they can be a pain.  If you don't need a 3rd row or a cargo area, there is no point in buying it.  

    I have a mid-size car and hardly ever use the back seat, maybe 5 days a year, the other 360 it is empty.   I could drive a 2 seater with no real impact.

    I think you have to look more at performance, fuel economy and features that you want at your price point.   And small cars especially the used ones are fairly cheap, people overpay for crossovers, and dealers usually price cut those small cars.

    The fairly cheap thing cuts both ways...my daughter is an automobile insurance claims adjuster, and she tells me that depreciation is so bad on the Focus that they rarely repair them because the value drops so rapidly, even on the ST model.

    And yes, five grand more for a Crosstek over an Imprezza without much if any more real world function...is overpaying..

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    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

     Large cars/SUVs are hard to park, if you drive in urban areas or parking garages they can be a pain.

    I am going to DISAGREE with you. Most drivers have gotten very lazy lately about driving their auto's. They do not take the time to know where their corners are, they cannot even on a Jelly Bean shaped auto envision where their corners are. 

    Large cars or full size SUV's especially today drive just not much different than a small or compact auto.

    People who complain about driving, driving large auto's are usually ones that also have a banged up compact or small size auto. They are more interested in their facebook time line and what is going on in their smart phone than in actually driving.

    I cannot tell you how many people I have talked with that have seen me drive and be it parallel park or back into a parking spot all on the first time, square and straight in the parking spot and they are in awe how easy I park and it always comes down to they do not want to learn or bother being in a parking spot square, not hit anyone, etc.

    Lazy drivers = damaged auto's, complaints about large auto's, etc. This has nothing to do with them being a pain to drive or park even in a parking garage. Very easy all the time as long as you pay attention to your ONLY JOB! Driving.

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    47 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I am going to DISAGREE with you. Most drivers have gotten very lazy lately about driving their auto's. They do not take the time to know where their corners are, they cannot even on a Jelly Bean shaped auto envision where their corners are. 

    Large cars or full size SUV's especially today drive just not much different than a small or compact auto.

    People who complain about driving, driving large auto's are usually ones that also have a banged up compact or small size auto. They are more interested in their facebook time line and what is going on in their smart phone than in actually driving.

    I cannot tell you how many people I have talked with that have seen me drive and be it parallel park or back into a parking spot all on the first time, square and straight in the parking spot and they are in awe how easy I park and it always comes down to they do not want to learn or bother being in a parking spot square, not hit anyone, etc.

    Lazy drivers = damaged auto's, complaints about large auto's, etc. This has nothing to do with them being a pain to drive or park even in a parking garage. Very easy all the time as long as you pay attention to your ONLY JOB! Driving.

    You are also not trying to text and drive or put on makeup....

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    9 hours ago, dfelt said:

    I am going to DISAGREE with you. Most drivers have gotten very lazy lately about driving their auto's. They do not take the time to know where their corners are, they cannot even on a Jelly Bean shaped auto envision where their corners are. Large cars or full size SUV's especially today drive just not much different than a small or compact auto.

    I agree with this, DF, and I believe I pilot the largest daily driver on this board: wheelbase 153", overall length 240".

    Today I parallel parked in downtown Princeton NJ, and I've had this truck in an inner city parking deck more than once (antenna scraping the overhead concrete 'beams'). I also have frequently slipped in between obstacles I've waited & waited & waited for a smaller CUV to decide if it could fit thru. Some folk blame the size of the vehicle rather than their lack of dedication to improving their skills.

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    11 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Glad someone else finds smaller cars easier to drive and park..living in a large city...the difference is stark.

    With a family like you have a compass or patriot would make a lot of sense.  But yes, Cruze as a used car is the deal of the century IMHO.

     

    Very true....though the good news it whether this year or next, something bigger will show up the the family I am figuring. Losing my auto suppiler job limited my choices this year to more of a budget than I wanted. And between that and the economy, not sure I want anything near 30k right now. Kinda why a used Cruze makes a good choice. (and focus would have too, if not for the dual clutch) Though I do have a soft spot for the Patroit (love boxy jeeps)-the fact the FCA is struggling to sell them makes them a nice choice as I figure the rebates are going to go higher the the 4500 on them now...

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    9 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Patriots have to be selling a 50% off at this point.  

    Not so, they are a very popular model so they built a lot out before they quit building them. 

    I used to prefer big fullsize cars.  Whether when I was 18 driving a 91 then 93 T-Bird, or 22 driving my Roadmonster or 24 in my Caprice.  I have been downsizing since and find the bug basically perfect in size, mostly thanks to it's hatchback configuration and massive amount of front seat room.  I rarely have even a second passenger and there is enough cargo room for the weekly 52 bag of dog food and groceries.  At 168 inches long, it is also so maneuverable and great for zipping through traffic.  If the quality was there I would be keeping this car for a long time. 

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    I think the needs can be very individual, a single guy or a woman, young couple, a family with three of four kids have all very different needs and wants.

    Also, people here criticize size of the vehicle but then would choose biggest and the most power engine while half of the power would be more then sufficient :)

    I guess that's why we are car enthusiasts.

    However, I agree that it is better to try to go for the lower range of your particular wants and needs.

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    13 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Patriots have to be selling a 50% off at this point.  

    Not yet, but unless people come in looking for it, everyone id getting the new Compass anyways. Doubt they will go that high, but 35% off could be quite possible......

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    3 hours ago, ykX said:

    However, I agree that it is better to try to go for the lower range of your particular wants and needs.

    I have to disagree with you on this statement as dreams and desires is what should push us to perform better, work harder and achieve what is for most people unachievable. If we always settle for the low end, then why bother having nicer things as we can all settle for government housing, minimal quality of food, etc.

    I challenge you and everyone here to always push for the best for themselves and their family. Only through Drive of one's own dreams and desires do we make this place a better world.

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    I think for my family lifestyle and location the Golf Sportwagen/Alltrack is probably the perfect size for our needs.

     

     

     

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    14 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Patriots have to be selling a 50% off at this point.  

    You got my curiosity going and so I checked, 63 new Jeep Patriots in washington state that I could find and all are priced between 32K to 22K. Discounts are not that big but financing is. Maybe they are not hurting that much to move them yet.

    JeepPatriotDiscounts.jpg

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    27 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I have to disagree with you on this statement as dreams and desires is what should push us to perform better, work harder and achieve what is for most people unachievable. If we always settle for the low end, then why bother having nicer things as we can all settle for government housing, minimal quality of food, etc.

    I challenge you and everyone here to always push for the best for themselves and their family. Only through Drive of one's own dreams and desires do we make this place a better world.

    While, I absolutely agree with you, I think you misunderstood me or maybe I didn't present my idea very clearly.  I meant, for example, there is no reason to buy Expedition for a family of three or four unless they have some special needs that require such large vehicle. For example my family: just few times a year we need a lot of space for a trip, either camping or some beach vacation which we drive to.  Now, we could buy a large SUV to fit everything for these few trips but then we would have to drive huge vehicle all year around. I choose to have mid-size CUV, and to have a roof basket for the few times I do need extra space for cargo. 

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      What about an attainable electric car? There are a few on the market that cover the bases. Vehicles like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and others have good to respectable range, decent features, and are not the most expensive vehicles. Average prices of $40,000-$45,000 is a bit steep, but electric cars usually command a premium over gasoline vehicles. They also have good driving aids such as blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control, something that my current car has and is top priority for me. They’re all very good cars but with flaws such as build quality and designs that keep me from considering one. My problem is simple: performance. Electric cars have instant torque at 0 RPM and can be extremely fast. These EVs just don’t cut the mustard for me since they are more about range than blistering speed. For around $45,000, I can get a gas-powered car such as a Genesis G70 3.3T that is faster, has better range, and the safety features I want. Let’s continue from good electric vehicles to “the best”.
      Right now, you are probably thinking: “Anthony, you are forgetting the king of electric vehicles. They are synonymous with electric cars and have a huge cult following.” Guess who that is? Yes, that is of course Tesla. You can’t write about electric cars without talking about Tesla. They are a very S 3 X Y R brand indeed. The Model S introduced expensive but seriously quick electric vehicles. The X brought us an odd but much-needed crossover. The 3 is the bread-and-butter maker with a starting price around $40,000, and acceleration that beats almost all vehicles in its class. The Y hasn’t come out yet but is a crossover version of the 3, and the Roadster is a $250,000 supercar. Even though there are three models currently available, I will focus on the Model 3 Performance since that is the one I am most interested in.
      There is a lot to like about the Model 3 Performance. It has “performance” in its name and with 450 HP, it is one of the quickest sedans I’ve ever driven. The instant torque from the motors is intoxicating and it handles well for a heavy vehicle. Does it tick all the boxes to convert to a Tesla-fanatic? No. Why? The interior. I am not a fan of controlling absolutely everything with a touchscreen and not having my speedometer in front of me.
      The Model 3 Performance can have semi-autonomous driving, but it is a $7,000 option. Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist system is standard and is regarded to be one of the best, if not the best driver-assist system. Tesla has sold over 250,000 Model 3 vehicles and it is a genuinely amazing feat for a young company. The range is good at over 310 miles. Pricing starts at $55,000 and is fully-loaded around $64,000. If you are okay with the minimal interior and styling, get yourself a Model 3. I personally am not a fan of either of those, so onward we go.
      This brings me to a car I am waiting for: The Polestar 2 fastback. Polestar used to be a sub-division of Volvo, like AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. You can still get Polestar-tune Volvos, but Polestar has branched out into their own brand. The Polestar 2 is their first all-electric car. It has over 250 miles of range, 400 HP, and most import to me, gauges that are straight in front of the driver. The design is bold yet looks like an even more modern version of a Volvo. Since Polestar is a sporty company, the performance upgrades include upgraded shocks, brakes, and bigger wheels with Swedish gold seat belts. You get this package mainly for the gold seat belts. Is it pricey at over $60,000? Yes, but it feels justified for the 408 hp and range of 275 miles. 0-60 is said to be around 4.7 seconds but I suspect it will be lower. Will they sell Tesla Model 3 numbers of them? I highly doubt it since they area new brand, but it should be a great competitor to the Tesla Model 3.
      I like the concept of electric vehicles. I know that one day, there will be one charging at my house. Am I ready for an electric car? Yes. Is there any on the market that jumps out at me and gives me the satisfaction I have for my current car at a reasonable price of around $40,000 new? No.
      Do not get me wrong; there are electric cars that make sense for a multitude of situations. Range and charging are getting better, more features are getting added, and manufacturers are creating electric-only ranges of vehicles that will bring down the costs of more performance-oriented vehicles. I can go in-depth about certain electric cars in a future article. For now, I think I will keep my car and wait until something really catches my eye. That, or wait a few years and hope the Porsche Taycan depreciates enough that I can buy one.
       
    • By William Maley
      The reaction Peugeot’s return to the U.S. Market a couple weeks back falls into three categories.
      OMG! We're getting exciting French cars again Why is another automaker coming to the U.S.? Split between 1 and 2 I should say that I fall into camp three at the moment. Previously, I was in number one when the rumors began to swirl around about PSA Group - parent company of Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall - making a possible return in late 2014. The dreams about possibly seeing a small number of Citroen and DS vehicles running around the U.S. sparked some joy. Peugeot was nowhere to be seen in my fantasy as they were seen to be somewhat bland in terms of their design.
      But once I had my dream play through my head, I began to wonder if this could work out for PSA Group. Despite being seen as the holy grail to many outside automakers, the U.S. is very notorious to break in and keep going forward. Consider these quotes from a 2016 report in Automotive News (Subscription Required).
      So when PSA made their official announcement in 2016, some of my worries began to drift away.
      PSA would also conduct extensive research into the U.S. marketplace to determine which brand would take the charge. The end goal was to possibly have a brand in the country by 2026. Possibly is the keyword as they made clear that could pass on this idea if various conditions weren't met.
      Since that announcement, PSA has been making some inroads into this plan,
      Establishing a North American office and bringing in Larry Dominique (formerly of Nissan and TrueCar) as the head Launching a ride-sharing and car sharing app in various U.S. cities Starting to develop vehicles for the U.S. The most recent announcement of Peugeot as the lead brand surely disappointed some folks as the likes of the C4 Cactus and DS5 would not arriving. But the decision does show the amount of thought and work that has been happening behind the scenes. 
      Still, PSA Group and Peugeot still have a tough hill to climb. Reading through the comments on the article written by Drew, there are two common issues pointed out. One is how Peugeot doesn't have anything unique in their lineup. Two is how Peugeot could be entering a marketplace that is possibly on the verge of a recession.
      Let's begin with design. Out of all of the brands under the PSA umbrella, Peugeot plays it very much safe in terms of design. While the brand has been taking some risks in the past few years (especially with their interiors) they are no-where near the likes of Citroen. This difference is very apparent in the history of the two brands, 
      Peugeot producing vehicles that were efficient and simple. But some of those design could jump in terms of elegance. Citroen pushing the envelope with their designs that are either praised or hated. DS falls under this umbrella as well. My hunch is that PSA figured that sending either Citroen or DS would be problematic because they might not appeal to consumers, and just sit on lots.
      The second reason does hold slightly more water. Signs are beginning to appear that the U.S. economy could be heading towards a recession - a key item being pointed at is the drop in new car sales. If Peugeot was to enter at the present time, the consequences could be severe and put them in a difficult spot.
      But as noted, Peugeot will not be arriving until 2026. That's over six years away and in that time, the economy could be recovering from the recession in question. 
      Time is also the biggest enemy to Peugeot. In six years time, the U.S. marketplace could be in a completely different state than where it stands now. Crossovers and SUVs dominate the sales charts at the moment, but it might be electric vehicles that become the dominant choice. There are also various regulations that may come into fruition, along with the possibility of new tariffs on vehicles built in Europe.
      There’s also the issue of trying to stand out in the U.S. marketplace. Consider this for a moment; there are over forty automakers selling just under 300 or so nameplates. With the prospect of more automakers from China expected to arrive in the next few years, Peugeot might be entering a crowded field. Some of their current models have the looks, but can it combat strong competition that has a long history and reputation in the country?
      One item is very clear, PSA Group isn't stupid. They're taking their time and doing a lot of behind the scenes work before introducing their first models in the U.S. Whether or not this proves to the big success or the white flag being raised remains to be seen.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The reaction Peugeot’s return to the U.S. Market a couple weeks back falls into three categories.
      OMG! We're getting exciting French cars again Why is another automaker coming to the U.S.? Split between 1 and 2 I should say that I fall into camp three at the moment. Previously, I was in number one when the rumors began to swirl around about PSA Group - parent company of Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall - making a possible return in late 2014. The dreams about possibly seeing a small number of Citroen and DS vehicles running around the U.S. sparked some joy. Peugeot was nowhere to be seen in my fantasy as they were seen to be somewhat bland in terms of their design.
      But once I had my dream play through my head, I began to wonder if this could work out for PSA Group. Despite being seen as the holy grail to many outside automakers, the U.S. is very notorious to break in and keep going forward. Consider these quotes from a 2016 report in Automotive News (Subscription Required).
      So when PSA made their official announcement in 2016, some of my worries began to drift away.
      PSA would also conduct extensive research into the U.S. marketplace to determine which brand would take the charge. The end goal was to possibly have a brand in the country by 2026. Possibly is the keyword as they made clear that could pass on this idea if various conditions weren't met.
      Since that announcement, PSA has been making some inroads into this plan,
      Establishing a North American office and bringing in Larry Dominique (formerly of Nissan and TrueCar) as the head Launching a ride-sharing and car sharing app in various U.S. cities Starting to develop vehicles for the U.S. The most recent announcement of Peugeot as the lead brand surely disappointed some folks as the likes of the C4 Cactus and DS5 would not arriving. But the decision does show the amount of thought and work that has been happening behind the scenes. 
      Still, PSA Group and Peugeot still have a tough hill to climb. Reading through the comments on the article written by Drew, there are two common issues pointed out. One is how Peugeot doesn't have anything unique in their lineup. Two is how Peugeot could be entering a marketplace that is possibly on the verge of a recession.
      Let's begin with design. Out of all of the brands under the PSA umbrella, Peugeot plays it very much safe in terms of design. While the brand has been taking some risks in the past few years (especially with their interiors) they are no-where near the likes of Citroen. This difference is very apparent in the history of the two brands, 
      Peugeot producing vehicles that were efficient and simple. But some of those design could jump in terms of elegance. Citroen pushing the envelope with their designs that are either praised or hated. DS falls under this umbrella as well. My hunch is that PSA figured that sending either Citroen or DS would be problematic because they might not appeal to consumers, and just sit on lots.
      The second reason does hold slightly more water. Signs are beginning to appear that the U.S. economy could be heading towards a recession - a key item being pointed at is the drop in new car sales. If Peugeot was to enter at the present time, the consequences could be severe and put them in a difficult spot.
      But as noted, Peugeot will not be arriving until 2026. That's over six years away and in that time, the economy could be recovering from the recession in question. 
      Time is also the biggest enemy to Peugeot. In six years time, the U.S. marketplace could be in a completely different state than where it stands now. Crossovers and SUVs dominate the sales charts at the moment, but it might be electric vehicles that become the dominant choice. There are also various regulations that may come into fruition, along with the possibility of new tariffs on vehicles built in Europe.
      There’s also the issue of trying to stand out in the U.S. marketplace. Consider this for a moment; there are over forty automakers selling just under 300 or so nameplates. With the prospect of more automakers from China expected to arrive in the next few years, Peugeot might be entering a crowded field. Some of their current models have the looks, but can it combat strong competition that has a long history and reputation in the country?
      One item is very clear, PSA Group isn't stupid. They're taking their time and doing a lot of behind the scenes work before introducing their first models in the U.S. Whether or not this proves to the big success or the white flag being raised remains to be seen.
  • Posts

    • Pissed right now... The gage cluster in my Cavalier went on the blink last week, and is completely dead now. Hope I do not need to see how fast I am going, or know how much gas I need...Worse part that burns my behind is that the cluster had a 100% fail rate for all late 2003, 2004, and most 2005 models. Why there is no recall is beyond me. Funny part is that there are no new ones to buy either...GM had most of them trashed..... Surprised me a bit just based on the fact that the car had less than 25k (stored project car 🙂 ). I really want to do it myself, but the plastic is so damn cheap I’m afraid I will break the dash.... I’m sure someone will tell me that it is a 90s piece of trash and to burn it soon....but hey-I always had a soft spot for Cavaliers, for good reason.... 🙂 Thanks for listening to my rant.......
    • Someone was questioning the value on it from a CL ad. AACA consensus was it was worthless in that condition; more people want the I8 and there are a decent supply of better I6s out there. This engine was stuck, and (an earlier version of the) ad stated no specific price, but that 'it's worth thousands so no low-ballers'.   I would be game to get an old inline flathead, disassemble it & clean it all up, then offer it as just that to the antique market (not rebuilt/running, just a complete engine cleaned up, derusted, threads chased, etc). About 20 years ago I looked at a private collection of parts cars, and one was a late 40s Packard. When I looked under the hood, I was besmitten by the I8 flathead under there. Couldn't tell you why.
    • Are they gonna rebuild it and bring it back to life or just looking to see what the head was like?
    • FORD, Screwed too by the UAW. Unions of the future are so gonna look very different than they are now.
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