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Old 10-04-2008, 10:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Mostly you guys are comparing apples to oranges and arbitrarily assigning relative prices based on weight. The material cost for a 2500lb car are not in any way related to the material cost from a 5000lb car. Just because there is less of "something" doesn't mean that the "something" it does have costs the same as the "something" that something else has twice as much of. Think of the Lotus philosophy of "Adding Lightness." The weight that their vehicles lack adds a cost. The cost of their vehicles is therefore no longer in proportion to the vehicles' weight because the avoided weight itself has value.

A 2500 lb car is more likely to have an aluminum block engine, whereas a 5000 lb car (more likely an SUV or truck) would likely have an iron block engine. Pound-for-pound, aluminum costs more. Getting into Lotuses (Loti?), the carbon fiber that they may use costs much more than even aluminum.

Laptops and MP3 players are a good analogy but not because people pay more for smaller, because they DO NOT always pay more for smaller. The most expensive MP3 players cost 2-3 times as much as the smaller ones. Larger ones have moving parts and an operating hard drive compared to the smaller-capacity flash memory. People pay more for a larger package that does more. Same with cars, the device is worthwhile because of what it does. Value is assigned when determining the price that the function will support. With MP3 players storage, screen size, and other features have more value (and a higher price) than shrinking them. With cars seating capacity, comfort, gizmos, and safety ratings are more important than shrinking the cars. Automakers, especially Japanese ones, are pretty good at analyzing the value content of their products and spending money in the right places. This is why cars weigh more - it would cost too much and matter too little to reduce the weight. People will pay a small amount for phenomenal fuel savings, but to reduce weight to achieve noteworthy savings would be extremely expensive.

The reality is that small cars are too expensive because I can not financially justify buying a different vehicle solely to save gas. With me, and the VAST majority of people in the world, it *IS* about paying less for gas. I don't care how much gas I burn. I care how much cash I burn. Buying a car with better fuel economy isn't worth the money it would take to save money.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MechEngVT View Post
...

The reality is that small cars are too expensive because I can not financially justify buying a different vehicle solely to save gas. With me, and the VAST majority of people in the world, it *IS* about paying less for gas. I don't care how much gas I burn. I care how much cash I burn. Buying a car with better fuel economy isn't worth the money it would take to save money.
I understand that POV. Let's say for the point of argument that the car had 4-5 star crash standards, but it came with :

- roll-up windows
- AC extra
- manual steering
- front disk/rear drum/ABS extra
- crash bags extra

If all of that brought the price down, would it be more justifiable to you?

I am trying to define a "no frills" car combined with today's crash engineering.

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Old 10-08-2008, 03:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Price has more to do with the number and precision of the manufacturing operations than the size of the parts. Small and simple will be cheapest. Someday soon, North Americans may discover what Central Americans have known for decades. It is better to share a bouncing, crowded School Bus with livestock than to stay home or walk.
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Old 10-11-2008, 01:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
ALL new vehicles are too expensive. God bless everyone who works their tails off to get 'em though... ensures a steady supply of cheap/free good used cars for me!
I agree. All new vehicles are too expensive. I would gladly purchase one of the sippers vs. a guzzler any day but just aren't able.

I would also sacrifice power steering, air condition and any electronics not needed to start and drive the vehicle.
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by feddup View Post
It depends on how you want to look at it. My 08 Honda Fit cost $16,105 but the last time I checked Kelly Blue Book it was worth about 17.6K with 8K miles on it. I get just under 40 MPG with conservative driving, it handles superbly, power everything and I can put an appliance like a clothes dryer in the back. Yeah 16K is steep for an econobox but people are amazed that it feels like a Mercedes inside. Time has moved on and you get what you pay for. If you're careful and view your car purchase like an investment then your long term costs can be minimized.
Here's a little something on the Honda Fit I found interesting. It probably applies to the prius thread stating that sales were minute here in the U.S..

Quote:
For 2006, 27,934 Fits were sold in the United States. 45,953 units were sold between January 2007 and October 2007. A total of 73,887 Fits have been sold in the U.S. since its introduction in April 2006 through October 2007. Due to high demand, Fits are in short supply and it has been reported that many dealers have been selling above MSRP.[8][9]

The 2008 Fit is largely unchanged from the 2007 with the exception of the TPMS and new windshield wipers that abandon the large rubber blade design to a more traditional rigid plastic with thin rubber blade design. MSRP has also increased roughly US$100.
Honda Fit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So, while some were working overtime to make out the U.S. as a bunch of overweight gas guzzlers, auto suppliers weren't actually supplying cars that were in demand, causing their costs rise... Interesting, very interesting. Somehow I doubt that the total price jackup was limited to the $100 dollar range.

I also failed to find another country that was having a "shortage" on Honda Fits. Looks like a set-up to me.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My wife and I prefer to haul our son around in her Kia Spectra Vs my Mirage...15 years of engineering makes a huge difference in safety. However the kia once you throw a baby seat in back just does not feel that big. I have to move the seat forward to an uncomfortable position to keep the baby seat from geting pushed back to the wrong angle.

We would like to get something bigger once we pay off the spectra. However theres always that trade off in economy once you go up to a bigger vehicle. Yet my wifes car only averages out to 25 mpg...so we in all honesty could probably go up to a new tarus and not see that much of a difference in our over all fuel expenses.

While I'm on that those of you who may need a new car soon start looking now. We had to make a rush decision on buying a car and we really wish we had not bought this kia. Its been a great car but the fuel economy is not what we had hopped for.

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