Auto show

posted by Jeff | Sunday, March 8, 2009, 2:56 AM | comments: 5

We went to the Cleveland Auto Show last night. Yeah, that's pretty odd because I could generally give a shit about cars. But it's one of those things that goes on in Cleveland every year, and it just seemed like it was something we should do instead of bitching about how Cleveland sucks.

I have to say, when you walk around that floor, it's not hard to see why the big three are sucking ass and looking for a bail out. They can't even get colors right. Walking through the Chevy area was like looking at the part of your crayon box with all of the sharp points, because you'd never use those colors. That, and everything they seem to develop is just ugly. I used to think that Chrysler was at least having a go of it, but there isn't much interesting to see there either. Saturn is the one wing of GM that seems to at least get how to build cars, but apparently they're one of the divisions that they want to sell or kill.

In the luxury car realm, yes, I'm generally not that interested in any of them. I've been in the income bracket for some time where I suppose I could have one if I wanted to, but why? I don't take care of my cars, and it just seems like a waste if your car payment is anything over $300 (or your down payment is more than $10k). I have to say that I have a certain weak spot for some of the BMW's though. I'm fond of one of the convertibles in particular, and the fuel economy isn't totally offensive.

We were pretty disturbed to hear parents talking about buying their kids Scions as we looked at those. Toyota has really managed to nail down a niche with the teenage fast/furious crowd, but they seem so plastic and cheap on the inside.

Smart was there, and wow are those things odd. They're also crazy expensive, and you're only getting 41 mpg despite the size (real life can be closer high 40's, they say). But $18k? I can get a Corolla fully loaded for that much, with room for other people and stuff, and probably get around 40 mpg.

I still have a soft spot for the Mini. Almost bought one in 2005/6, just because.

My hope, of course, was that Toyota would have an actual 2010 Prius, and they did. And it was locked up and you couldn't touch it. Bummer. But I will say that the changes, while subtle, make it more attractive, and as much as I don't care about cars, I really want one. It's pretty much a gadget in my eyes, just like a sweet computer or camera or something, only you drive it. They're supposed to start appearing in dealerships late May or so. With a tax credit and forecast soft auto sales, I may very well consider getting one later in the year. Depends on how much I enjoy not having a car payment.

It was a fun distraction, and now we can say that we've been to an auto show.


CPLady, March 8, 2009, 2:55 PM #

Unfortunately, Saturn doesn't seem to be selling well, even though I too think their cars are some of the better ones. The only thing I can complain about mine is when it does have an issue, Saturn wants to rake you over the coals to fix it (I solved that by going to an independent mechanic).

The car that has caught my eye lately is the Venza. But getting into a car payment is not something I can do now.

Jeff, March 8, 2009, 3:49 PM #

The fuel economy on that thing is really bad. It's a nice looking car, but I'm not sure what Toyota is thinking. The "cross over" category to me seems like an opportunity to have a room vehicle without SUV gas guzzling, but so far, no one is doing that.

CPLady, March 8, 2009, 4:10 PM #

Seriously? I thought it was supposed to be fuel efficient, but I haven't really done much research since I can't afford one anyway. My next car has to have at least as much room as my L300 (I can put the back seats down for lots of cargo space), good gas mileage, and one Gordon can fit in. That always seems to be the biggest drawback...Gordon doesn't fit in many fuel efficient cars.

draegs, March 9, 2009, 10:46 PM #

Jeanine and I hit up the show yesterday. She's looking at buying a car this summer once she's working and has some money coming in. The show seemed very toned down from previous years and I agree with your comments on the Big 3.

The car that impressed me most was the Civic Sedan Hybrid. You can get a nicely-equipped, four-dour vehicle that gets 40/45mpg for under $25k now? That's impressive to me. I thought hybrid prices were much higher still, based how much whining I've heard.

Jeff, March 10, 2009, 12:54 AM #

There's still a slight premium for Hondas, and I'm not sure what that gets you, especially since the designs are getting uglier the last few years. I don't understand why anyone would buy a Fit in particular.

A loaded Prius will be under $25k, so that's my target!

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