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Ultimate Geek
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# 208202 31-Jan-2017 20:41
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Seems to me cars are getting more mediocre each year. All car buying threads I read are mind numbingly boring:

 

"Should I buy the automatic 1.3 litre with 37KW or the 1.2 litre turbo diesel with black bumper"

 

Once the wreckers run out of bits are we all doomed to this:

 

 

or this:

 

 

 








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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1713522 31-Jan-2017 20:50
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I think honestly we're spoilt for choice in the mid-range market, if you have 10-20k burning a hole in your pocket you can pick up traction control, leather seats, reversing camera, upgraded sound system, 4x4 2l+ with a car that hasn't done very many km's in really good nick.

 

 

 

Buying a $70,000 is just not attractive unless you either a) genuinely buy into the marketing crap, or b) feel the need to splurge on a new toy in which $70,000 will feel like your version of $10-20k 

 

We've really plateaued in terms of what a new car can bring to your life in terms of safety features etc.. Especially as the vast majority of 2005~ cars have at least 150+ HP and can comfortably carry 5 adults. 


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  # 1713535 31-Jan-2017 21:14
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If I was loaded, I'd buy a new BMW, but I'm not, so I love my 21 year old car.... Built back when they looked good.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1713538 31-Jan-2017 21:20
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Overall I think the range of cars available is good, and they're getting better all the time. Better safety, better features, better ride.

 

My father in law isn't complimentary about the engines cars have in NZ. He says the engines in the UK have lower displacement but similar power, because they use things like turbochargers. My Qashqui has a 2L petrol engine which develops 106kw and 200nm torque. The base UK engine is 1.2L which develops 85kw and 190nm, or the 1.6L engine which develops 120kw and 240nm. Seems a bit odd.


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  # 1713569 31-Jan-2017 21:52
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But if everything is moving to economy then of coyse they'll get "boring".

Thoygh that said during the news tonight were ads for Audi, Mercedes and BMW. Not the usual Kia, Hyundai, Toyota and Mitsubishi




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  # 1713571 31-Jan-2017 22:04
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My BMW 550i disagrees with this post :-)  But in general, with the environmental, eco and size push the cheaper range of cars across all the manufacturers is generally quite boring.


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  # 1713572 31-Jan-2017 22:07
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Cars are getting heavier (more speakers, more airbags, more stuff), and the engines are getting smaller and fitted with turbos to meet emission requirements. 

 

About ten years ago I had a 91 Honda Civic SiR. Just over 1000kg, no abs, airbags, traction control, well anything.

 

But it was 1600cc and made around 125 kW and revved to 8500 rpm. And 157 Nm

 

The new Civic RS is a 1500cc turbo and makes 127 kW. And maybe revs to 6000. But 220 Nm. And a bit over 1300 kg. Obviously the torque is better for general driving, and I would much rather have an accident in the new one. But it kind of sums cars up for me now. Fatter and slower. But greener. 

 

The old one was great fun to drive. It made a lot of noise and you could hit the rev limit in second and look down and you still weren't doing 100. So I think any enthusiasts out there, and I've mentioned this in another thread, get your hands on a high revving NA screamer while you can. Honda S2000 (getting really hard to find NZ new ones), E46 M3 (I have a real soft spot for those), actually virtually anything Honda, certain Porsches, the list goes on. I really like the first VTEC CRX's, but again hard to find, and delicate. Plus I have a work car and nowhere to put a second. So it's moot for me at present!


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  # 1713587 31-Jan-2017 22:21
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Benoire:

 

My BMW 550i disagrees with this post :-)  But in general, with the environmental, eco and size push the cheaper range of cars across all the manufacturers is generally quite boring.

 

 

 

 

My 740iL (and the Mrs X5) agrees with you... 

 

 

 


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  # 1713589 31-Jan-2017 22:25
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What's pretty sad is how manual transmissions are nearly non existant (in entry level new cars). So many cars now I've read all about, see they come in manual, go to dealer, sorry we don't import manuals, or sorry we just discontinued the manual.

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  # 1713590 31-Jan-2017 22:26
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There are still a ton of fun cars around, however there are fewer at the lower range of pricing these days, relative to similar aged vehicles. There are fewer vehicles that fill the spot that the japanese sports brigade filled in the 90s - of the Celica GT4, MR2, Supra, 300zx, WRX, Evo, Integra Type R vein. These vehicles are mostly very old now, and there was a long time with no equivalents to depreciate into the price bracket. Combined with generally stricter saftey and emissions requirements, it's become more expensive to have a 'fun' car without significant compromise or cost. Not impossible, but far less available and accessible than 10 - 15 years ago in my opinion. Perhaps, too, I have different priorities in a vehicle now, or rather, additional priorities, which also narrow the choice band.


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  # 1713607 31-Jan-2017 23:47
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Given the basic constraints for a car driven for consumer expectations (size, cost, economy, capacity etc) and regulations (lights, safety etc) are relatively fixed, it is predictable that car designs trend towards an "optimal design" over time.

The inherent similarity between models makes the styling somewhat boring. For example, we can't have the cool classic bonnet shapes (upright front) anymore due to areodynamic and pedestrian safety requirements.

 

 

 

Also I think that performance, handling etc has improved to the point where basically any new car on the market would be adequate if you didn't have high expectations.

Consider the following:

 


The Holden HZ was introduced in 1977.

It's base engine (a 3.3L 6 cylinder) produced 81kW, with a 0-100 time of 19.3 seconds
Its top spec engine (a 5.0L V8) produced 161kW, with a 0-100 time of 11.9 seconds

 

 

 

Compare this to say a base Skoda Fabia from today. $20,990 gets you a brand new car with a 1.2L engine, 66kW Power and a 0-100 time of 10.9 seconds. 

The low cost economy car with a tiny engine outperforms Holden's Hero V8 from 50 years ago... I know that more power is really nice, but how much is actually needed for everyday use.

 

I have never driven one, but what does somebody actually use 445kW in an Audi RS6 as a street car for other than boasting at the bar, or the odd show of excessive speed at ramp signals?

I think the boom in popularity of SUV's and Utes has to do with a generally willingness to give up Performance & handling in return for other perceived benefits (looks, utility etc) given that basically all vehicles have adequate performance nowadays.


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  # 1713609 31-Jan-2017 23:52
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Scott3:

 

Given the basic constraints for a car driven for consumer expectations (size, cost, economy, capacity etc) and regulations (lights, safety etc) are relatively fixed, it is predictable that car designs trend towards an "optimal design" over time.

The inherent similarity between models makes the styling somewhat boring. For example, we can't have the cool classic bonnet shapes (upright front) anymore due to areodynamic and pedestrian safety requirements.

 

 

 

Also I think that performance, handling etc has improved to the point where basically any new car on the market would be adequate if you didn't have high expectations.

Consider the following:

 


The Holden HZ was introduced in 1977.

It's base engine (a 3.3L 6 cylinder) produced 81kW, with a 0-100 time of 19.3 seconds
Its top spec engine (a 5.0L V8) produced 161kW, with a 0-100 time of 11.9 seconds

 

 

 

Compare this to say a base Skoda Fabia from today. $20,990 gets you a brand new car with a 1.2L engine, 66kW Power and a 0-100 time of 10.9 seconds. 

The low cost economy car with a tiny engine outperforms Holden's Hero V8 from 50 years ago... I know that more power is really nice, but how much is actually needed for everyday use.

 

I have never driven one, but what does somebody actually use 445kW in an Audi RS6 as a street car for other than boasting at the bar, or the odd show of excessive speed at ramp signals?

I think the boom in popularity of SUV's and Utes has to do with a generally willingness to give up Performance & handling in return for other perceived benefits (looks, utility etc) given that basically all vehicles have adequate performance nowadays.

 

 

My 270ish KW 550i has no real practical use for all that power on my drive normally.  Sure, I can do a really good green light grandprix and I have enough power to get out of trouble but really, I cruise at 50KPH on local roads and 100 on the motorway in Auckland... Same for the S4 we have, 249KW from the v6 supercharge but don't actually require the power.


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  # 1713610 1-Feb-2017 00:03
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Geese: What's pretty sad is how manual transmissions are nearly non existant (in entry level new cars). So many cars now I've read all about, see they come in manual, go to dealer, sorry we don't import manuals, or sorry we just discontinued the manual.

 

 

 

There's just no market in NZ for manual cars.


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  # 1713611 1-Feb-2017 00:06
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lNomNoml:

 

Geese: What's pretty sad is how manual transmissions are nearly non existant (in entry level new cars). So many cars now I've read all about, see they come in manual, go to dealer, sorry we don't import manuals, or sorry we just discontinued the manual.

 

 

 

There's just no market in NZ for manual cars.

 

 

Nope there isn't, we spent months looking for a premium car in manual for my partner as she prefers them... Finally found a good 2010 Audi S4, the reason it wasn't already sold... It was a manual and no one was interested!


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  # 1713613 1-Feb-2017 00:46
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Your average car is certainly getting more boring. They seem to be moving to CVTs, with very few with manual transmissions. Maybe that has something to do with emissions and CVTs being cheaper to produce? But some of the tech that is going into cars is pretty cool, and is improving safety. But that does make it more expensive to maintain when things go wrong, and means that the deals service department often needs to be used, which can be pricey. Personally IMO nothing beats a manual


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  # 1713628 1-Feb-2017 07:16
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I have one older car with a manual gearbox and one new car with a CVT auto, which lets it do cruise control. I prefer the CVT by a large margin. My aim is to get from A to B safely, the CVT makes that easier.


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