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Cars that just don't make sense to me...

marc.noordeloos marc.noordeloos
User | Posts: 174 | Joined: 10/06
Posted: 04/24/08
06:47 AM

I was out in a BMW M3 yesterday and saw an M6 convertible. It got me thinking. There are a handful of cars on sale today that just don't make sense. So, here is a (incomplete) list out of my brain on the subject:

BMW M6 Convertible (actually, the whole 6-series family)
-The car isn't good looking, it's heavy, and, despite its size, the interior space is less than you find in a 3-series. Plus, I don't really like the way it drives.

Audi RS4 Convertible (do you see a trend here?)
-The RS4 sedan is fabulous so why kill the structural rigidity, add weight, charge more money, and ruin the looks just for some sunshine. I just don't like performance convertibles based upon sedans/coupes.

Chevy Impala SS (FWD and a V-8 has to be questionable)
-Why would you want a heavy V-8 sending over 300 hp through the front wheels? Enough said.

Ford Focus (past its sell by date)
-I loved the 1st gen Focus until it lost its funky front-end and interior with the first face-lift. At least it still drove well. Now, the newest Focus goes from impressive handler to unattractive and soft econobox. Plus, what happened to the hatchback utility? Sorry, I'm not sold. At least rumors say the next, all-new Focus will once again be a world car.

Jeep Patriot and Compass (they aren't really Jeeps)
-Sorry, this is pushing the limit on the Jeep brand too far. I don't mind spreading the brand to include cheaper and more efficient models but at least make them decent to drive. Looking ahead, other off-road focused companies like Hummer and Land Rover are going to have to decide how to push ahead with rising fuel prices and increased concern over CO2 emissions. Just don't go the Jeep route.

Maybach -all models (a mega-expensive S-Class)
-Sorry Mercedes, Bentley and the Rolls-Royce models look special while your Maybach just looks like an unattractive S-Class. Your cars need to be better looking and have the curb appeal of their British competition.

Mitsubishi Eclipse (lost its course)
-What happened to the brilliant all-wheel-drive turbo Eclipses of the past? Mitsubishi lost their tuner audience and the newest model (actually, quite old now) just doesn't drive that great. Take a cue from Hyundai and build a new one with an EVO motor and rear-wheel-drive. If you don't want to go that far, at least fit all-wheel-drive.

Saab 9-7X (I think we all know the issue here)
-Nothing really to say, we know the problem with the Saab Trailblazer. A console-mounted key doesn't make a Saab.

There are others and maybe next time I'll come up with a list of cars that I'd love to see on sale in America.

Either way, let me know your thoughts on your "cars that just don't make sense"...


Phil Floraday Phil Floraday
Administrator | Posts: 121 | Joined: 03/08
Posted: 04/24/08
08:29 AM

BMW X6 - who asked for this thing?  

f430shift f430shift
New User | Posts: 22 | Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/24/08
12:47 PM

Maybach, definitely. the Found On Road Dead focus is now  junk as well. The bugatti veyron: ugly, very fast, and one of the least fuel-efficient cars since ford in 1970.  

david.yochum david.yochum
New User | Posts: 36 | Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/24/08
02:23 PM

If we are talking about cars that don't make sense, I don't see how the Focus could be included. Ford needs to milk what they have for all it's worth, and the Focus was a good economic decision. As an auto journalist and car critic, no, you don't like to see what they did to the car. But as a bean counter, yes, it does make sense.  

bigtime bigtime
New User | Posts: 29 | Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/24/08
03:12 PM

Your way off with the BMW 6 series. I think its gorgeous. I of course haven't had a chance to drive one because I work for a living, so I am not sure if I agree with you on how it drives. : )

Everything else you listed I agree with, especially the jeep compass/patriot. I hope the guy responsible for those, sold his shares and got out before he got the ax.  

marc.noordeloos marc.noordeloos
User | Posts: 174 | Joined: 10/06
Posted: 04/25/08
01:08 PM

I stand by my issue with the 6-series. I just chatted with a handful of editors in the office and we all agree, the 6-series isn't good looking and isn't cool.

As for Mr. Yochum who works just down the hall from me, there is no excuse for the newest Focus. Sure, Ford tried to do what they could with an old platform but the end result is worse than what they started with. Yes, sales are strong due to its decent fuel mileage but there are far better, especially better looking options, from other companies. Driving the newest Focus, you feel like there is a good car buried in there somewhere but someone engineered out all the fun and built a boring, (as you say) bean counter car. I just loved the first Focus and miss it dearly, That car showed that Ford can indeed build a good world car (the Contour—except SVT—and the Merkur products didn't cut it) and hopefully they will go back to this theory in the near future. Sure, the early Focus has quality issues but it became a very good car a couple of years into the cycle. Unfortunately, the weak dollar makes it very, very difficult to make money in the USA on a world car right now. Plus, Europeans are just willing to pay for quality, even in small cars.


marc.noordeloos marc.noordeloos
User | Posts: 174 | Joined: 10/06
Posted: 04/25/08
01:12 PM

One more point on the Focus...

In some ways, a car like the Focus has to be the best car Ford makes. It's a car that young people will buy due to its price point. If the car isn't great, the likelihood of that buyer coming back to the Ford dealer for their next car is slim. You need to impress and keep customers coming back. The new Focus isn't that car and when your best feature is SYNC, then you've got a problem.  

JoeDeMatio JoeDeMatio
New User | Posts: 42 | Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/25/08
04:21 PM

Well, I'm one editor with whom Mr. Noordeloos works, and I'm not completely on the same page with him in regards to the BMW 6-series. I see where he's coming from, as it's not an attractive car, and I struggled to review this car properly when it was first introduced (I went on the first drive in Spain). But it still somehow commands attention on the road. Just last weekend I saw a black one in Ann Arbor driven by a very good looking young guy, and it totally caught my eye. My initial reaction to whomever was with me in my car was, "How in the world does that young guy afford that car?!?"  

Deutsch.car1 Deutsch.car1
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/25/08
05:19 PM

I test drove the M6 coupe and I thought it was odd. BMW has one of my favorite steering wheel (fat), seat set-ups, but I could never make myself comfortable without feeling like my head was against the ceiling (6'2, not of freakish proportion). The inside felt tiny for such a large car. The front is actually quite nice I think, but the rear..... Ford is just annoying. I read a few foreign car mags and they actually LIKE Ford products, like the S-Max and Focus RS for example. The annoying part...Ford doesnt sell the nice Fords in the US.  

calvin400 calvin400
New User | Posts: 45 | Joined: 12/06
Posted: 04/25/08
07:32 PM

Do you know which cars don't make sense to me?

All gasoline powered cars.

Its incredibly stupid to have to pay what we pay for fuel to move our bodies around the city.

All of the car manufacturers need to invest more heavily in research and development of electric vehicles or hydrogen powered cars and stop making gasoline powered vehicles, the sooner the better.

Think for a minute.  If there was a monumental movement to stop buying new cars because of their cost and hazards to our environment, manufacturers and governments would have no choice but to really push alternative vehicles to the point the engineering would make them all drivable and the day will come when we can all say "to hell with buying gasoline at diamond prices." Yeah!

Step 1.Gather the best mechanical engineers in the world together.
Step 2. Lock them up until they design something entirely green for us to drive.
Step 3. Give all the engineers a zillion bucks for their efforts.

The world is well as our pocketbooks and our peace of mind.  

interfacemob interfacemob
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/26/08
08:09 AM

I must disagree with the ‘pointless M6' opinion. Can you think of any other 4-seater 500 horsepower drop top with a sequential/manual transmission? Only the Audi RS4 Convertible (your other favorite car) could prove comparable. Further more, the M6 is the only V10 powered roadster, unless one can afford the Gallardo Spyder or stomach the beastly American SRT-10.  By my book, that equals differentiation.  

david.yochum david.yochum
New User | Posts: 36 | Joined: 04/08
Posted: 05/01/08
12:17 PM

It's official — the Ford Focus does "make sense".

According to Automotive News sales reports, the restyled Focus is the second best-selling car in its class (behind the Honda Civic) through the first quarter of 2008.

Ford was smart enough to realize that with minimal new investment (and help from current fuel prices and inflation), the company can profit from an old product. And while I agree with Mr. Noordeloos that the car is an "unattractive and soft econobox," it does not deserve a place on the list of cars that do not "make sense."  

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