10th Nov 2007, 12:56

"All cars with V-8's should be outlawed."

I guess that would apply to the 4.6 Liter V-8 Cadillac Northstar that gets 27 mpg on the highway? Or perhaps the 5.7 Liter Chrysler Hemi that gets 27 mpg on the highway? Even my '73 Dodge with a 318 gets 23 mpg. HMMM, are you sure that V-8's are really the problem?. How are you going to get outraged about V-8's when plenty of cars with 4-cylinders, like the Pontiac Solstice, or 6-cylinders like the Honda Pilot are struggling to get 25 mpg?

Sure, at some level vehicles are just about A to B, but those are the cars that nobody really cares about. They are disposable like the Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, etc. You have to have a car that somebody would actually want to pay money for and care about. Those are the cars for enthusiasts, those who are not so bland as to simply regard a car as a mode of transportation. Your idea sounds like Communism, where each "comrade" is allotted a cheap vehicle that suits their needs and looks like every other comrade's in their housing block. No thanks. I hope your vision never comes to pass.

10th Nov 2007, 22:30

I'm afraid I have to agree with comment 17:14. Our lust for big, powerful cars definitely has contributed not only to the increase in global warming, but a much more rapidly depleted world oil supply.

I DON'T agree that cars have to be boring transportation appliances. Small and economical cars can be very sporty and fun to drive even if they don't do 0 to 60 in 4 seconds. I attended a car show today where some of the cars had in excess of 800 horsepower (and probably got about 6 miles per gallon). It infuriates me to see automakers coming out with new cars with 300 to 600 horsepower. (and it ISN'T just domestics. I just read about Nissan's new 200mph "Corvette Fighter" sports car).

My 150 horsepower 4-cylinder compact is way more than adequate to merge onto busy freeways and tops out over 130mph. There is virtually NOWHERE in the United States where you can legally drive much over HALF that speed. We need to write to our elected representatives encouraging laws regarding the development of more fuel efficient vehicles. That does NOT mean necessarily making vehicles smaller and less safe. As an excellent article in the October edition of Scientific American points out, the technology exists now to build large SUV's that get good mileage. It's about making that happen rather than encouraging more 600 horsepower toys for rich people's kids to drive.

11th Nov 2007, 12:12

Cheap gas fuelled the dream of suburbs, and allowed people to commute to work. If gas prices continue to rise, it might lead to a revitalization of inner cities, when people find it more economical to live closer to where they work.

Personally, I live in a 3 BR ranch and think it's plenty roomy. I see no reason to have a 7,500 square foot house. If somebody can afford it, then good for them, I won't tell them not to. But I would question why anybody would aspire to that so much as to get an ARM with 110% financing. If heating and electricity costs go up, they need to pay the price for it. Likewise, if somebody can afford a 10 mpg vehicle, let them drive it, but don't come crying about high gas prices. The truth is that most people CAN'T afford it because their lifestyles have been financed on credit.

Guys, petroleum supply isn't the problem. Brazil just announced an 8 billion barrel find, and that's the tip of the iceberg. The oil companies are making skyrocketing profits. They will NOT increase production to drive down prices. Nor will the government interfere. If you want to save money on gas, it's up to you to make changes! Current high gas prices are just as invented as the "California energy crisis" of a few years ago. There was NEVER a shortage of electricity, it was all invented by PG&E and energy trading companies like ENRON. In fact, there was surplus electricity generation in California, and it was transferred out of state to create a shortage and drive up prices. Get it?

I made a decision to live as close as work to possible in order to save gas, and calculated how much that would be compared to other houses farther away. I also drive 13,000 miles per year, distributed with 3,000 miles on a car that gets 14 city/23 highway and 10,000 miles on a car that gets 20 city/25 highway. With the rising gas prices, I considered buying a 30 mpg car, but calculated it would only make sense if I could get one for $2,800, which would pay for itself in three years, and that is IF gas goes up to $4/gallon. It actually makes the most sense to cut down on driving to save money and reduce emissions.

11th Nov 2007, 16:09

06:50 Guess what? You use even LESS gas if you continue to live 10 minutes from work, and STILL drive an efficient car. How about that? Maybe if you move 5 minutes away from work, you can just dump gasoline out your driver's side window as you go to work, and it'll be OK.

12th Nov 2007, 10:53

First of all, I'm originally from the South - yes - the South. There are plenty of Japanese brand cars on the road there, which makes since because Honda, Toyota, and Nissan have plants there. Just because you happen to drive a Japanese car and live in an area that is 'supposed' to have American values doesn't make you un-American or unpatriotic.

Secondly, the comment about HAVING to move into a ranch home to squeeze your children is kind of ironic. Funny because the highest level of average American contentment was in 1957. Back then the average family home was 700 square feet, the average family had a single car, a single TV set, and lived within 10 miles of their workplaces. I would argue to say that the desire for people to have bigger, better, more, and fancier has actually made us into a society of very sad people.

Go talk to your grandparents who survived the depression and WW2... then invite them over to your massive 3,000 sq foot home with the two giant SUVs out front. I'm sure they will not be impressed.

People - we need to start living well within our means and also live less wasteful lives. As we can see from the financial fallout in this country, people have been living well beyond what they can afford. Gas prices and big honkin' trucks are only part of it.

12th Nov 2007, 13:14

Well, I suppose if you think that's best... Personally, I'd rather just ride my bike if I lived only 5 minutes from work.

12th Nov 2007, 13:36

It's just as easy for automobile companies to build sporty and fun, but economical cars as it is to build expensive and fuel-hungry cars that are totally irrelevant.

I'm a former stunt driver and can drive rings around 99% of the BMW drivers I know in my 4-cylinder compact because I know the car's performance capabilities and limitations, whereas the average performance car owner hardly even knows which end the engine is in. He (or she) buys it because it is the "in" thing to drive.

Most drivers use less than half of their cars true performance potential in normal driving (which is the only driving they ever do). I almost fell over laughing some time back when a man boasting about his new 5-series BMW made the statement that one of the reasons he bought it was because "front drive cars are so much safer". I guess he also thinks that BMW stands for "Bespeaks Much Wealth"!!