13th Oct 2010, 21:22

I would rather have a full frame car or pickup for strength, especially towing. I can add front and side air bags.

14th Oct 2010, 06:32

I too would prefer a full frame car in an accident with greater mass. Having less of a crumple zone in the footwells to avoid being crushed and trapped. More mass surrounding my family, air bags etc. I also would prefer more mass around me in a larger full frame vehicle such as a bus as well.

Making cars lighter and lighter to save fuel with thin stamped metal and plastics doesn't impress me where safety is a concern.

My oldest son bought another toy; a Mini Cooper with a factory supercharger in it, and in spite it having new technology, I felt very vulnerable in it. Very fast, corners great, but it feels unsafe and tiny.

14th Oct 2010, 08:18

First of all, a crumple zone is to AVOID being trapped and crushed. Old cars were notorious for skewering their drivers with the steering column that was a solid steel rod. There's also nothing better than a full frame head on collision, that results in your engine being pushed into your lap, huh?

Full frame cars are yesterdays technology, and are not really that safe. Cars that are designed to withstand impacts instead of being used as battering rams make more sense. It is time to move forward on auto design, and let go of the past. We can no longer afford to drive huge lumbering cars around that eat gas like there is no tomorrow. If you prefer to be slaves to the Middle East billionaire oil tycoons, then I guess your approach makes sense.

Even the car companies are finally getting smart with their SUV's. Now the Grand Cherokee and the Explorer are built like the average car. When all vehicles are the same, things will be much safer for all. The sooner we get the dinosaurs off the road and to the crusher, the better we'll all be. Start thinking about everyone's safety, and maybe you'll see things in a different light... maybe...

I really think they should make getting a license a much harder process in our country. To go around the block and park is pretty lame as a judgment for someone being on the road with a potentially deadly weapon. You should not be allowed to drive solo until you have mastered all driving scenarios with a professional driver in all weather types. Just think about how many lives would be spared from needless inexperienced accidents!

Americans are too privileged for this kind of action, and there would be a big uproar if they ever instituted it. We'd rather just put young drivers in huge SUV's so we have the illusion that they are safer. I guess living with the fact that you killed an innocent driver with your large SUV is easy for a young kid handle though, right? Mentality needs to evolve along with the size and design of the automobile. My kids will not drive without a complete training program, so they stay alive and well, and don't cause any accidents for others.

14th Oct 2010, 08:23

I agree if you are towing a 5th wheel trailer, but the average boat doesn't require a full frame vehicle to move it around. It all depends on what you are towing and how much it weighs.

And how can you add front and side airbags to your vehicle? Do you have any idea how expensive that would be?

14th Oct 2010, 09:03

I guess how it went was that GM neglected to mention that at high speeds in extended range, the car would basically be running on a gas engine and would be getting 33 mpg while doing so... on premium unleaded. You are right that they weren't hiding the fact that the gas engine was there, but they were unclear as to what its actual full function would be. This car is basically a glorified Prius, and guess what... it gets worse gas mileage when in long range use. The only people that will benefit from having this car are the short commuters, or people in the city that want to use it as a full electric.

You are right I am sure about the first people to jump in line for one, but it will be short lived, as every other crazy car idea by GM has been. Not sure why people continue to torture themselves by paying premium prices for "the newest thing", only to have the version of a product that has to have all the bugs worked out of it with many problems. Glad I have never had that desire myself!

Hey, I wish them luck on it really, but I have little faith that this will be some breakthrough technology. Wait until people actually own these cars, and see how the reviews go.

14th Oct 2010, 09:42

Has anyone on here actually read any of the comments? Do you even know what crumple zones are for? They are meant to ABSORB impacts and thus PRESERVE the life of the driver. It's been proven over and over again through crash tests that most any modern unibody vehicle is going to be safer than a full frame car. The reasons are simple. With a full frame car, the integrity of the vehicle is reliant on the frame - which of course resides BELOW where the occupants sit. The body is merely stacked and hung above, and is less of a structural component. In the event of an accident, the drivers of a full frame car are more likely to get hurt either from the results of ricocheting, since the frame doesn't absorb the impact, or because the body around them is heavily damaged.

With a unibody car, the entire body is a structural element. It's actually MORE rigid than that of a framed vehicle. In the event of an accident, an impact will crumple part of the impact zone, thus absorbing the bulk of the energy, and thus protecting the occupants from the impact. Surrounding the driver is a safety cage.

Lastly, if some of you think that a huge honkin' truck or SUV is safer, look up accidents caused by rollovers in these things. They are top-heavy and less stable at higher speeds. They are in no way safer, simply because they might be larger.

I happen to own a 1955 Ford. Sure - it's built like a tank and has a solid frame. But there is no way I would ever want to get in an accident in that thing compared to my Wife's newer Prius. I would without a doubt be seriously injured in the Ford versus the Prius, which would absorb the impact.

14th Oct 2010, 14:53

This 'full frame' discussion is really silly. Of course a newer car will be better in a collision, not the old full frame based car. These cars appears to be very solid, especially in low speed impacts where you more or less may drive away with only minor damage to the car, whereas the compact car without the frame may appear to be a wreck. But looks can be deceptive since modern uni-body cars are actually better for the passengers, and in high speed collisions they will save your life.

Also, in the full frame cars, most of the stiffness is within the frame, but the problem is that the frame will collapse in high speed collisions, killing everybody inside the car. I've seen it; front-on-front between a eighties Caprice versus a new Honda Accord at about 50-60 MPH, killing both passengers in the Caprice, whereas the driver in the Honda survived with injuries. The frame on the Caprice had completely collapsed and the body had then more or less disintegrated.