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Thread: Small cars have come a long way!

  1. #11
    Driver's Ed guuyuk's Avatar
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    The turbo 2.0 from the Verano would be sweet. A bit of suspension tuning ala the Vauxhall/Opel GTC VXR and it would be something they could use to compete with the likes of the Focus ST or RS and the Civic Type R.
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    jblackburn is online now [OP]
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    Small cars have come a long way!

    Word has it that the next Verano will be a sporty little hatch, with the 2.0T.

    I don't think it's gonna happen for the Cruze. I would like to see a 200 HP 1.6T in a Cruze as an in between.

    The only reason Buick is still around is because of the Chinese market. They are trying hard to justify their existence at home, but most people just don't want to say they drive a Buick, nor is the styling (save for the Regal) that appealing.
    Last edited by jblackburn; 11-12-2016 at 12:52 AM.
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    Autocross Champion pandrad61's Avatar
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    The only reason Buick is still around is because of the Chinese market. They are trying hard to justify their existence at home, but most people just don't want to say they drive a Buick, nor is the styling (save for the Regal) that appealing.
    the quality of buick vs cost permium is not there. young ppl wont buy it,old people are buying caddy.. they killed the wrong brand. keep pontiac kill buick
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jblackburn View Post
    Word has it that the next Verano will be a sporty little hatch, with the 2.0T.

    nor is the styling (save for the Regal) that appealing.
    I personally have always liked the exterior looks of the Verano while the new 2017 Lacrosse doesn't look too bad in my opinion. Also, although I personally wouldn't drive one at my age, the Cascada is a pretty attractive car in person.

  5. #15
    Autocross Champion pandrad61's Avatar
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    I personally have always liked the exterior looks of the Verano while the new 2017 Lacrosse doesn't look too bad in my opinion. Also, although I personally wouldn't drive one at my age, the Cascada is a pretty attractive car in person.
    i do like the new cascada but 34k for a basically lipsticked chop top cruze... no thanks
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  6. #16
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    I bought my first new compact car in 1977, looking for something more reliable than the '69 Camaro I was driving. I was starting a new job and needed a reliable ride as I would be on the road each day. A 1977 Corolla SR5 Liftback ran for over a 100K miles with only a clutch slave cylinder requiring replacement. Yes, it was tinny and it rusted out around the rocker panels, but it always got us where we needed to go with no problems. As each new compact car took up residence in our garage, it was always a pleasure to see how much better it was than the older one. Each new compact was quieter, had more amenities, got better mileage, had fewer maintenance requirements, and generally was more enjoyable to own. Comparing our old '83 Civic hatchback to the '13 Civic we now own is staggering. They did get larger from year to year. I'm getting the feeling our next new car will be a sub-compact, not a compact, as the compact class has sort of morphed into what was a mid-size not too long ago. I parked our '03 Mazda Protege5 next to a new Fit and discovered they are nearly the same size. The Fit may even be larger in some dimensions.
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    jblackburn is online now [OP]
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Frye View Post
    I bought my first new compact car in 1977, looking for something more reliable than the '69 Camaro I was driving. I was starting a new job and needed a reliable ride as I would be on the road each day. A 1977 Corolla SR5 Liftback ran for over a 100K miles with only a clutch slave cylinder requiring replacement. Yes, it was tinny and it rusted out around the rocker panels, but it always got us where we needed to go with no problems. As each new compact car took up residence in our garage, it was always a pleasure to see how much better it was than the older one. Each new compact was quieter, had more amenities, got better mileage, had fewer maintenance requirements, and generally was more enjoyable to own. Comparing our old '83 Civic hatchback to the '13 Civic we now own is staggering. They did get larger from year to year. I'm getting the feeling our next new car will be a sub-compact, not a compact, as the compact class has sort of morphed into what was a mid-size not too long ago. I parked our '03 Mazda Protege5 next to a new Fit and discovered they are nearly the same size. The Fit may even be larger in some dimensions.
    Yeah, I think the '06 Civic was about the size of my 1988 Accord. The '16 Cruze looks like it might be bigger than my '98 S70, which was a midsized in its day. The '12 actually just looked kinda porky next to the S70, but had a total lack of rear seat room.

    Meanwhile, the '12 Camry feels/looks bigger compared to the '07 Accord my folks drive. Both just feel pretty huge to drive, and both feel huge on the inside even as an adult compared to the '85 900 and '87 Century that I grew up with.

    We've come a long way even since the early 2000s in HP numbers for NA engines, but weight has ballooned too, which makes for cars that aren't much more efficient than say, a 1999 Civic HX. Now they're downsizing and bolting turbochargers to everything like the late 1980s again in the quest for higher and higher EPA numbers, with the side effect of making ridiculously torquey little 4 cylinder engines. Too bad we can't get away with a "lean burn" mode here like some of the Japanese engines used to (and they still do overseas). It would make for an easy 5-7+ MPG on most cars.

    I will say that while I thought the Honda K24 is very refined (it is!, but idle is a bit loud), the engine in the new Cruze and its stroker counterpart in the Malibu is hands down the smoothest, quietest, and most refined 4 cylinder I have ever driven.
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  8. #18
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    Fun article. Thanks for sharing.

    Interesting that dealership service departments sucked then and still suck today. Amazing how little progress has been made in that area. Also interesting that Ford and Chevrolet both still release cars with issues and try to fix them later. People back then weren't accustomed to having reliable cars, and then Toyota and Honda showed that it was possible.

    Also, there are not huge gains in gas mileage since that time - the road testers got up to 30 MPG in the Vega with mixed driving - that's about what my Cruze gets with mixed driving. And Chevrolet is now trying an aluminum block again 50 years later.

    So glad we don't have to deal with distributors, points, timing, rocker adjustments, etc. anymore. Now mechanics don't know what to do if there isn't a code in the computer. Or you have to find a computer genius to fix a simple issue caused by a dirty sensor.
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    6th Gear jsusanka's Avatar
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    "Interesting that dealership service departments sucked then and still suck today. Amazing how little progress has been made in that area."

    That was my first thought. The shop manuals were what 2 dollars. That was my second.

  10. #20
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    True, there are more than a few service departments who need help in not just being customer friendly but also being highly competent! At the same time just as we do not automatically eat at the restaurant closest to where we live, we need to shop around, do research and then select a highly competant dealer service shop.

    There was a Chevy dealership 4 miles from my house. Went there twice until I realized that they were not acceptable (understatement). And no surprise, that dealership eventually closed. Then went to the next nearest one which is 20 miles away. They scratched my new car, got oil on the driver's seat, on the value covers, etc -- and this was just for an oil change. This was their second outright failure in two visits. Now I drive by them to go to a super competent, really welcoming, Chevy dealer that is 38 miles away. In fact, I am going to the 38 mile away one tomorrow to have them service my Cruze.

    Yes, we wish that it was not necessary for us to evaluate and then select our dealerships, but it is what it is (for many other brands too), and having 100% faith in that Chevy dealership is worth it for me, for both my Chevys!
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