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Old 09-25-2008, 12:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Car & Driver disses buying old economy cars to save fuel

Car and Driver magazine disses the practice of buying an old Metro (or anything else from the 90's) as a poor choice for the fuel conscious.

Just don't let them tell Johnny Mullet he wasted his money...

Save Gas or Die Trying

Five reasons why buying an old econocar is not the answer to anybody’s fuel woes.

Thus, one should approach a jalopy such as the 16-year-old Geo in question more as forbidden fruit than as a four-wheeled piggy bank. Once you take the bite, your life is prone to a slew of problems you might not foresee or don’t remember about the distinct displeasures of owning a subcompact car from the prior millennium. Those displeasures include compromised performance, subpar (even for the vintage) quality, a horrendous safety record, and, of course, unpredictable maintenance costs that will make brain freeze seem as appealing as a foot massage.
It's quite a change in attitude/philosophy from what the magazine was writing about 30+ years ago... (Car and Driver magazine ecomods a car: MPG up +25%)

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has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They would wouldn't they. They couldn't be seen to condone buying a 16 year old jalopy because that doesn't generate profits for the car manufacturers or taxes for the govt.
"They" spew a lot of hot air about reducing our emissions etc. but only if it involves blowing all your savings on some solar panel or some brand spanking new car that quite often is harder on fuel than the 16 year old jalopy. As soon as "we" start lowering our emissions by other, cheaper methods, "they" get in a huff and try to find ways to make us think thats a bad idea.
Aren't CO2 emissions connected to fuel consumption? Then if my 16 year old jalopy does 4.5L/100k to the tank then i'm as good as a new hybrid civic right? Ah but my car is unsafe. Riiiighhhtt........

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Old 09-25-2008, 01:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just like anyone else. Theyll print whats in the best interests of those who pay to advertise in their magazine. Besides, theyve always been biased towards high performance cars, mostly imports.

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Old 09-25-2008, 01:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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^ Which is why I no longer subscribe to C@D. I understand their motivation but reading the mag is like listening to politicians.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Link doesn't work.

Pretty poor taste to use scare tactics to disuade buyers from buying an older vehicle. I see lots of Metros around since gas hit $4.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Bummer. I think they started with a valid idea ("an old econobox is not the end-all-be-all for everyone") and went waaaaaaaay off the deep end with it ("an old econobox is the worst possible thing for everyone, and let's go out of our way to insult anyone who owns one").

If I couldn't or wouldn't do a lot of my own work on my cars, I wouldn't own a car from the early 90s. It would be "too old" and "too unreliable", because I would have to pay someone else to figure out what was going on with it and to fix and maintain it. Thankfully I can and do work on my cars, so I feel perfectly confident in having a 1990 car to drive daily.

While I feel there are some good points in the article, primarily about what people generally expect from cars these days versus what was acceptible 16 years ago, they really did their best to hide them under layers of obnoxious sarcasm...

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Old 09-25-2008, 01:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Magazine people are quite aware of their function as market boosters. I once wrote to Rodale Press, referring to their "Bicycling" magazine as "the ***** of Emmaus" and they were not offended - they sent a reporter and followed up on my news with a nice write-up. It is reproduced as the background to my mug shot on the left here.

Those asterisks that appeared above were typed, in reverse order, as erohw, making an analogy to a woman who sells her favours. I don't think such terms are offensive. I once remarked, within earshot of my boss "Bernie probably owns a bordello up on St. Clair" and he just murmured "Ahh, Bordello - I havn't heard that word for a long time."
There is no excuse for a land vehicle to weigh more than its average payload.

Last edited by Bicycle Bob; 09-26-2008 at 02:23 PM.. Reason: Restoring Detail
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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wagonman76 -

Originally Posted by wagonman76 View Post
Just like anyone else. Theyll print whats in the best interests of those who pay to advertise in their magazine. Besides, theyve always been biased towards high performance cars, mostly imports.
Double + true.


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Old 09-25-2008, 02:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I guess I'm from a different world: I think the Insight is the only car I've ever owned that was build in the same decade as I bought it in. Back in the days when I was into cars (and you could still buy them for less than a small fortune), I drove among other things a '54 Sunbeam, '55 Jaguar, and '60 Austin-Healey. Wonder what they'd think about those?

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