Sunday, July 15, 2012

New Carmakers Edition

Okay, now you're 
starting to piss me off...

This post is a little different...mainly because I have questions rather than answers. 

My questions stem from Fifth Gear, which I watch and enjoy. Not as much as Top Gear, but Tiff and Vickie are still fun as they ham it up on and off the track.

Let me back up for a moment and explain something about my misunderstanding of European cars. 

I thought the British, Germans, the French and the Italians knew something we didn't here in America....

Picture above is the Volkswagen Bluemotion, a three-cylinder diesel we don't have in the U.S. Well, why the hell not? 

The Bluemotion gets 70 mpg, so why aren't Americans screaming for this car?

Above is the European version of the Volvo S60. From watching Fifth Gear, I learned that it got 45 mpg. Why the hell isn't that car for sale here? I said to myself.

Then I learned what a true idiot I really am.

You see, in Europe, their measurements are quite a bit different than ours. Their gallons are bigger, and their miles are shorter. That S60 pictured above? Its actual mileage is 25 mpg.

So yes, I am stupid.

But that raises another question that has been bothering me. Maybe you can help.

That's my personal car, a Volvo S90 that gets about 25 - 26 mpg on the highway. I like this car very much. 

It is comfortable and quiet and has handling far above what you'd expect in Volvo luxury sedan. 

But here's what's bothering me. 

My Volvo is getting the same mileage as a brand new car. 


Car companies can't eek out better mileage than my old Volvo, even though computers and engine technology have moved forward by leaps and bounds?

I mean, seriously. A turbo-diesel in the 2012 Volvo gets the same mileage as my old beater? What's going on?

This is the new Lexus RX 450 Hybrid. It will cost you about 60 grand, and has all the bells and it's a crossover hybrid with an electric motor to help you save gas.

Care to take a wild guess on the gas mileage of this technologically advanced wonder car?

60 mpg? 50 mpg? 45 mpg? On a 750-mile trip, the Lexus RX 450 averaged 26 mpg.

26 mpg....sigh.

What is going on? If car companies want to attract buyers like me, then why aren't their cars advancing in the gas mileage department? 

I must admit, I am somewhat in the dark on this issue. I've never owned a brand new car, because I enjoy buying fixer-uppers and restoration projects.

But I have been thinking of purchasing a new car lately. More than likely a Volvo wagon. 

And I am really astonished that 2012 - 2013 cars are getting to same mpg as the 12-year-old car that I'm driving right now.

Maybe some of you can write in and help me understand what the hell is going on.

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