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The What’s With…Thread
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ghporter
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Jun 20, 2022, 05:07 PM
 
I’m starting with this: what’s with buying extra wide wheels and tires, so your tires stick out WAY past your fenders? I see this mostly on pickup trucks, but not only on them.

If it ever rained here, they’re asking for making a big mess of the vehicle, and splattering EVERYBODY else in traffic around them. So what gives?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 20, 2022, 05:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I’m starting with this: what’s with buying extra wide wheels and tires, so your tires stick out WAY past your fenders? I see this mostly on pickup trucks, but not only on them.

If it ever rained here, they’re asking for making a big mess of the vehicle, and splattering EVERYBODY else in traffic around them. So what gives?
Penis anxiety, paired with stupid.*

Next!

*) I have a feeling this reply is going to work for a number of posts in this thread…
     
subego
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Jun 20, 2022, 05:23 PM
 
I assume it’s some weird fashion statement usually, but I think the actual theory is spreading out the weight of the tire surface over the ground, so less likely to get mired.

Think snowshoes.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 20, 2022, 06:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I assume it’s some weird fashion statement usually, but I think the actual theory is spreading out the weight of the tire surface over the ground, so less likely to get mired.

Think snowshoes.
No, the idea is to have a larger surface making contact with the ground, for more grip. Aided by the wing pushing down the chassis at higher speed, for additional tracktion.
     
subego
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Jun 20, 2022, 07:41 PM
 
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 20, 2022, 08:37 PM
 
The fact that pickups are the most popular motor vehicle in the US tells you that they are no longer built using the “form follows function” paradigm, just like SUVs became less good at offroading when more and more people used them as station wagons on stilts.
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Brien
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Jun 20, 2022, 09:07 PM
 
I think a lot of the SUV/truck explosion has more to do with car companies avoiding EPA regulations, though. Last time I went car shopping, had to drive way out the way to find something in the ‘not a truck/crossover/SUV’ category.
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 20, 2022, 10:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brien View Post
I think a lot of the SUV/truck explosion has more to do with car companies avoiding EPA regulations, though. Last time I went car shopping, had to drive way out the way to find something in the ‘not a truck/crossover/SUV’ category.
I think that more of an enabling move, because owners don't have to pay a price for the increased costs these vehicles have (e. g. in terms of road surface degradation and environmental damages). Taxing them appropriately would have been (and I reckon is) very unpopular.

I reckon many people just like “big things” and the idea of driving something “big and robust”. If you look at proper offroad vehicles from, say, the 1980s and compare that to SUVs now, it is a huge difference. Many like that they sit up high above others.

Personally, I hate how SUVs/crossovers/whatever-you-want-to-call-them drive. Last year I rented three cars, one was a “proper” SUV, one was a hatchback-on-stilts and the last one was a Japanese K-car. Much to my surprise I liked the last one the best, because it was much more honest and optimized for the purpose.
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Face Ache
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Jun 20, 2022, 11:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I’m starting with this: what’s with buying extra wide wheels and tires, so your tires stick out WAY past your fenders? I see this mostly on pickup trucks, but not only on them.
Vehicular manspreading.
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 20, 2022, 11:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Face Ache View Post
Vehicular manspreading.
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Brien
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Jun 21, 2022, 09:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I think that more of an enabling move, because owners don't have to pay a price for the increased costs these vehicles have (e. g. in terms of road surface degradation and environmental damages). Taxing them appropriately would have been (and I reckon is) very unpopular.

I reckon many people just like “big things” and the idea of driving something “big and robust”. If you look at proper offroad vehicles from, say, the 1980s and compare that to SUVs now, it is a huge difference. Many like that they sit up high above others.

Personally, I hate how SUVs/crossovers/whatever-you-want-to-call-them drive. Last year I rented three cars, one was a “proper” SUV, one was a hatchback-on-stilts and the last one was a Japanese K-car. Much to my surprise I liked the last one the best, because it was much more honest and optimized for the purpose.
Maybe. I must not fit the bigger-is-better ‘Murica mindset. All these new homes rhey’re building are 4,500+ sq. ft. I wouldn’t know what to do with all that space!
     
reader50
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Jun 21, 2022, 01:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brien View Post
All these new homes rhey’re building are 4,500+ sq. ft.
There's a distinct lack of starter (small) homes being built. Every builder wants to build big ones, because they're more profitable. But the shortage is of affordable homes, for people to escape the rental trap.

Later in life, after finances improve, people can upgrade to the big homes. But going big from the start just leads to debt problems, defaults, and homeless people. Build starter homes, please.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jun 21, 2022, 03:24 PM
 
Oreo, I really like “station wagons on stilts.” It does work. And Face Ache, “manspreading” seems to be very apt in this case. It’s usually “guy trucks” I see with the overly wide footwear.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 21, 2022, 10:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brien View Post
Maybe. I must not fit the bigger-is-better ‘Murica mindset. All these new homes rhey’re building are 4,500+ sq. ft. I wouldn’t know what to do with all that space!
Not just that, this is a recipe to build homes that are out of financial reach of people.
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Oreo, I really like “station wagons on stilts.” It does work. And Face Ache, “manspreading” seems to be very apt in this case. It’s usually “guy trucks” I see with the overly wide footwear.
It's weird, as if station wagons are for pansies, SUVs and trucks are for men!
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ghporter  (op)
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Jun 22, 2022, 09:51 PM
 
They’re usually “high ground clearance station wagons,” and anyone who thinks differently is deluding himself. That’s exactly what we thought of our first CR-V, and exactly how we used it.

By the way, the CR-V qualifies as a “compact” SUV, because there’s no compensation going on here. It’s a machine we use to do a task, not part of my (or my wife’s) identity. It’s also quite maneuverable, downright peppy, and fun to drive. I love seeing the kid who stares at me at a light, gunning his (badly modded) engine in my rear view mirror. My vehicle has a peppy turbocharger too. It helps with mileage, but it leaves crapmobiles (and crap drivers) in the dust.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
andi*pandi
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Jun 23, 2022, 10:35 AM
 
Go ahead, call a subaru owner a pansy.

(cannot find my pansy graphic I made long ago. )
     
MacNNFamous
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Jun 23, 2022, 11:31 AM
 
Older trucks = mexi poke. Idk why but they just run whatever they can find and often times they're too wide.

New trucks, also jacked up, brodozers = idk. Dumb. I hate most trucks in the midwest, people modify them all stupid and non functional. I hated trucks until I spent more time in the mountains and saw what they were supposed to look like.
     
subego
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Jun 23, 2022, 11:37 AM
 
I want to give you full credit for pulling me away from SUVs and onto station wagons.

The only reason I didn’t get one was I decided to go max capacity, which pushed me into the cargo van.
     
andi*pandi
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Jun 23, 2022, 12:58 PM
 
Well you actually need a cargo van.
     
subego
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Jun 23, 2022, 05:23 PM
 
But I totally didn’t need an SUV, which was my original plan. I was pretty solid on an Outback or a Volvo (T70?).

There was a big enough crack in the dam I started to eye minivans, and then was thrilled to discover euro intra-city cargo vans, which were still pretty new here in 2015.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jun 23, 2022, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
But I totally didn’t need an SUV, which was my original plan. I was pretty solid on an Outback or a Volvo (T70?).

There was a big enough crack in the dam I started to eye minivans, and then was thrilled to discover euro intra-city cargo vans, which were still pretty new here in 2015.
The T70 is a station wagon. The XC40 and XC90 are SUVs. And they are extra comfortable. Which makes them less “cargo worthy” than a Transit Van. By a long shot. The Outback is a better choice, but it’s still got more station wagon cargo space than a van. Long, hard to access cargo space is just asking for back problems…

For your application, you need volume, accessibility, and efficiency. Comfy seats in front is a plus, but you don’t need the automatic nose wiper, or for the vehicle to phone the dealership when it thinks it needs an oil change.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 23, 2022, 11:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The T70 is a station wagon. The XC40 and XC90 are SUVs. And they are extra comfortable. Which makes them less “cargo worthy” than a Transit Van. By a long shot.
Are the SUVs really more comfortable, though? In my experience, the manufacturers have to deal with the increased weight in two ways: they either have to make the suspension firmer to mitigate body roll or to keep comfort at the same levels, suspension needs to be softer (relatively speaking), which means you get more body roll.
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The Outback is a better choice, but it’s still got more station wagon cargo space than a van. Long, hard to access cargo space is just asking for back problems…
The original Outback was a station wagon with a taller ride height. That vehicle made sense for certain applications, but the new ones are small SUVs, aren't they?
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subego
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Jun 24, 2022, 02:01 AM
 
When I was looking at them in 2015, Outbacks were definitely still station wagons in my mind. Not lifted enough to be an SUV or a crossover. Same with the T70.

The suspension on my van is far from the smoothest ride, and it’s tippy as all fuck, but it’s one of the most comfortable vehicles I’ve driven because the absence of safety features means my body has room it doesn’t get in other cars. For reference I’m 6 foot (183cm), 170 pounds (77kg), so not small, but not some giant either.

Along those lines, I rented an X3 about five years ago. Apart from feeling super-cramped inside, holy shit… the lack of situational awareness caused by those tiny windows drove me up the wall. I knew I’d be much safer in the X3 if I got into an accident (which was why I rented it, precious human cargo), but I felt the likelihood of an accident was vastly increased because of how little road I could see.
     
subego
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Jun 24, 2022, 02:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
For your application, you need volume, accessibility, and efficiency. Comfy seats in front is a plus, but you don’t need the automatic nose wiper, or for the vehicle to phone the dealership when it thinks it needs an oil change.
Overall, I’m extra happy with the lack of frills. Especially the no “infotainment” part.

One of the big reasons I didn’t want to go fleet vehicle at first is everything I’ve had previously was 4WD, and assumed going 2WD in Chicago winters was best avoided.

If I had to park overnight on the street all the time, that’s probably correct, but since I have a garage, it’s a lot more workable. Especially with snow tires, which Shortcut (correctly) insisted I get.
     
Laminar
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Jun 24, 2022, 08:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The original Outback was a station wagon with a taller ride height. That vehicle made sense for certain applications, but the new ones are small SUVs, aren't they?
Subaru fans have to make weird random distinctions to call the Outback a wagon, like it has to have front fenders that are common with a sedan version of the same vehicle or something. They've always been crossovers - if it's as tall as a crossover, as long as a crossover, as heavy as a crossover, and gets bad mileage like a crossover...well, it's a crossover.
     
subego
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Jun 24, 2022, 11:33 AM
 
Well, one reason I consider it a station wagon is when I looked at the “we review every goddamn station wagon on the American market in a single article because there are only 7 of them” articles, they would include the Outback.

I’m not saying that’s conclusive, but it’s not me personally giving it the designation either.
     
andi*pandi
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Jun 24, 2022, 11:57 AM
 
The clearance is not as high as an SUV, certainly.

My family has had subarus since you had to get out and pull a button on the tires. My mother used to call hers "her little truck." Sure it was smaller than today's outback, but still had better clearance than a typical sedan. The outback is just branding - very successful branding - based on that platform.

me:
1983-4 Subaru GL?
1989 Subaru DL ?
1998 Subaru outback (fancy trim, Croc Dundee ads, a little bigger, much better comfort/style)
2010 Subaru Outback ( cargo capacity increased 2009)

Should be classed w a volvo wagon, audi wagon, etc. Not a ford escort wagon.
     
Laminar
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Jun 24, 2022, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
The clearance is not as high as an SUV, certainly.
2002 Outback: ground clearance 7.9", weight 3700lbs, height 63"
2002 CR-V: ground clearance 8.1", weight 3300lbs, height 66"
2002 Chevy Blazer: ground clearance 7.5", weight 4100lbs, height 64"

2022 Outback: ground clearance 8.7", weight 4000lbs, height 67"
2022 CR-V: ground clearance 7.8", weight 3500lbs, height 66"
2002 Chevy Blazer: ground clearance 7.4", weight 4300lbs, height 65"

It's always been in the realm of similar-sized crossovers, it was just marketed as a wagon and people ate up the hype.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jun 24, 2022, 07:11 PM
 
My 2013 BMW X3 had great visibility. And expensive maintenance, which is why we traded it in on the 2017 CR-V. I have to say the CR-V has a bit more inside volume and cargo space than the X3.

The 2013 X3 was (though it wasn’t labeled as such) a “partial zero emissions vehicle” as it defaults to shutting down the engine when at lights, etc. It had a HUGE battery, that made its CG much lower than comparable SUVs, so much so that it did not need a “tip over/roll over” warning placard on the passenger’s sun visor. It drove like a dream, but BMW’s marketing and design strategies made it a pain to keep up.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 25, 2022, 12:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Subaru fans have to make weird random distinctions to call the Outback a wagon, like it has to have front fenders that are common with a sedan version of the same vehicle or something. They've always been crossovers - if it's as tall as a crossover, as long as a crossover, as heavy as a crossover, and gets bad mileage like a crossover...well, it's a crossover.
I think you misunderstand my point: crossovers derived from “regular cars” and station wagons drive and handle differently, because of their heritage. Plus, they often have more cargo space than a similarly sized station wagon (sometimes based on the same platform). E. g. my dad’s Range Rover had way less cargo space than his E-class station wagon even though the Range Rover was way bigger. It was also way slower even though it had a 4.2 l (?) V8 rather than a 3.2 l inline 6.
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The Final Shortcut
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Jun 25, 2022, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The 2013 X3 was (though it wasn’t labeled as such) a “partial zero emissions vehicle” as it defaults to shutting down the engine when at lights, etc. It had a HUGE battery, that made its CG much lower than comparable SUVs, so much so that it did not need a “tip over/roll over” warning placard on the passenger’s sun visor.
Got to say, not too sure what you’re talking about here Glenn. Shutting down the engine while the vehicle is stopped is a relatively common trick to marginally lower fuel consumption ratings but it certainly isn’t partial zero-emissions anything—it’s a way to squeeze an extra half-MPG out of the ratings. (It’s also annoying IMO as that’s the moment when you most notice the engine turning on/off.)

I hadn’t heard that the battery was so unusual compared to other vehicles, but it definitely drove really nice.
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 25, 2022, 08:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Shortcut View Post
Got to say, not too sure what you’re talking about here Glenn. Shutting down the engine while the vehicle is stopped is a relatively common trick to marginally lower fuel consumption ratings but it certainly isn’t partial zero-emissions anything—it’s a way to squeeze an extra half-MPG out of the ratings. (It’s also annoying IMO as that’s the moment when you most notice the engine turning on/off.)
Yeah, it is mostly a ploy to meet emission standards. It does reduce emissions, yes, but it is a design solution that avoids the actual problem: vehicles have become larger, heavier and more powerful. And in real life, the “optimistic” consumption figures are not remotely realistic.
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MacNNFamous
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Jun 25, 2022, 09:22 PM
 
That's why I drive shitbox 90s hatchbacks for the most part. Less mass, less weight, more mpg, more fun. And you can actually drive them hard on the street.... if you have anything fast you can barely use it most places.
     
subego
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Jun 26, 2022, 02:51 AM
 
Can’t stand the engine shutdown. The X3 I rented had it and I started giving myself extra room at stoplights so that I could slow-roll it to keep the engine on while I was waiting.

It even annoys me when I hear other cars doing it.

Fuck you, Earth.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jun 27, 2022, 01:18 PM
 
I didn't know this was a relatively common feature. I first saw it in 2013 with my 2013 X3. Not burning fuel at stop lights is a logical thing to pursue, I think.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego
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Jun 27, 2022, 02:38 PM
 
It’s a perfectly reasonable idea, I just hate it. I hate the noise, and I hate the lag.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 27, 2022, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It’s a perfectly reasonable idea, I just hate it. I hate the noise, and I hate the lag.
The "lag" is just shitty implementation.

On all recent cars that I've driven/ridden in that use it*, the engine starts up immediately as soon as the brake is released. There is no lag by the time your foot reaches the gas pedal.

*) regularly: Mercedes Vito/Vaneo (V-Class) and Sprinter vans, recent-generation Smart ForFours, and some others I don't remember
     
subego
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Jun 27, 2022, 06:05 PM
 
It’s been long enough my memory is foggy, but I didn’t remember getting the same “idle roll” off releasing the brake.

I like to drive smooth, so calculating that roll into my acceleration is a thing.
     
Brien
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Jun 27, 2022, 11:13 PM
 
Buy a stick. No auto shutoff.
     
reader50
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Jun 28, 2022, 01:10 AM
 
That could be difficult if you're buying a new car. I haven't found figures for last year, but if trends have held, sticks should be below 1% of new sales. According to Edmunds, even some very sporty cars come only in automatic now.
The 797-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is only offered with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Both the highly rated Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Coupe and the Chevrolet Corvette C8 are sold without a manual gearbox option. Finally, Ferrari and Lamborghini no longer offer any vehicles with a clutch pedal or gearbox.
     
subego
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Jun 28, 2022, 01:40 AM
 
A manual also acts as an excellent anti-theft device, but me learning stick at this point would be a huge drag.

Way back when I was an intern my boss offered to teach me, but it was so he could get me to drive his POS truck for him. Hard pass.
     
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Jun 28, 2022, 09:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
That could be difficult if you're buying a new car. I haven't found figures for last year, but if trends have held, sticks should be below 1% of new sales. According to Edmunds, even some very sporty cars come only in automatic now.
You could get an EV. They don't even have transmissions—one speed does it all. You just hit the pedal, and pow, you're suddenly moving at full speed. It's useful, because in the place where I currently live, a bunch of the on-ramps to the freeway have stop signs at the end of them, so being able to instantly jump to 60 MPH goes a long way towards making merging less terrifying.

You do have to be sure to warn any passengers who might be in your car, though, because otherwise they are going to be all "what the hell just happened???"

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andi*pandi
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Jun 28, 2022, 10:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
2002 Outback: ground clearance 7.9", weight 3700lbs, height 63"
2002 CR-V: ground clearance 8.1", weight 3300lbs, height 66"
2002 Chevy Blazer: ground clearance 7.5", weight 4100lbs, height 64"

2022 Outback: ground clearance 8.7", weight 4000lbs, height 67"
2022 CR-V: ground clearance 7.8", weight 3500lbs, height 66"
2002 Chevy Blazer: ground clearance 7.4", weight 4300lbs, height 65"

It's always been in the realm of similar-sized crossovers, it was just marketed as a wagon and people ate up the hype.
Thx for that. The older blazers were much bigger in my memory. Surprised at CRV going down.

Guess that's why I managed to drive down a rocky pitted road to the beach this weekend.
     
subego
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Jun 28, 2022, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
in the place where I currently live, a bunch of the on-ramps to the freeway have stop signs at the end of them, so being able to instantly jump to 60 MPH goes a long way towards making merging less terrifying.
That sounds awful. We have flow control lights (the proper name escapes me), but those are only on when the expressway is jammed to begin with, so no fast acceleration needed to merge.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jun 28, 2022, 03:56 PM
 
I've recently noticed a new, small truck, the Hundai Santa Cruz. It's a 4-door, short-bed, unibody vehicle. Hundai calls it a "sport adventure vehicle". It reminds me a lot of the Outback pickup model. So far all I've seen have been stock vehicles, but I wonder when I'll see one with a "wider, more aggressive stance."

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reader50
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Jun 28, 2022, 04:30 PM
 
I use a pickup now and then. And whenever I pick up lumber, it has to stick out the back. 6-foot bed in this case. Some short-bed pickups seem to be down to 4-feet. No doubt, we'll eventually see a fashion-statement pickup with a 3-foot bed.

If you need to actually pick up things with a pickup, an 8-foot bed is more practical. With a 2-door cab, to keep the parking length (and turn radius) within reason. So you don't have to waste half an hour tying off and tagging the overhang. Just close the tailgate and drive home.
     
subego
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Jun 28, 2022, 04:54 PM
 
Along those lines, my van would be so much safer if I installed a wall between the cargo area and the front, but then I can’t fit 8’ lumber, or do the thing where I wedge a 6-step over the passenger headrest.
     
Chongo
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Jun 28, 2022, 06:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I didn't know this was a relatively common feature. I first saw it in 2013 with my 2013 X3. Not burning fuel at stop lights is a logical thing to pursue, I think.
We test drove a 2022 Silverado. It had the turbo four cylinder. The salesman showed me the “auto stop override” button on the console. We went with the six cylinder Colorado, no auto stop. (Both crew cab models) It packs more horsepower than my 1994 z28 (300hp vs the LT1 350’s 275hp.)
45/47
     
Laminar
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Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
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Jun 29, 2022, 12:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I use a pickup now and then. And whenever I pick up lumber, it has to stick out the back. 6-foot bed in this case. Some short-bed pickups seem to be down to 4-feet. No doubt, we'll eventually see a fashion-statement pickup with a 3-foot bed.


34.7"

Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
We test drove a 2022 Silverado. It had the turbo four cylinder. The salesman showed me the “auto stop override” button on the console. We went with the six cylinder Colorado, no auto stop. (Both crew cab models) It packs more horsepower than my 1994 z28 (300hp vs the LT1 350’s 275hp.)
If a manufacturer makes the auto-stop enabled at every vehicle startup, they can use the mpg numbers that include the function of the auto-stop system. So most vehicles will make you manually turn it off every time you start the car.

There are other ways around this. With a Ford you can use free Forscan software to change a lot of the option programming, including disabling start/stop. Also, many trucks will disable auto-stop if you have a trailer hooked up, so you can buy a little adapter to plug into your tow plug that simulates a trailer and makes the ECU disable the auto-stop.
     
subego
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Jun 29, 2022, 05:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
2002 Outback: ground clearance 7.9", weight 3700lbs, height 63"
Google says 58”-63” for 2002.

The CR-V has 8” on the low model. 8” is nothing to sneeze at.

Or so I am told.
     
 
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