By on November 11, 2010

When I was younger, I never thought I’d ever say “I don’t understand young people these days”. But sure enough, the other day I said the exact phrase when a friend’s daughter was explaining why X-Factor (American Idol) is the greatest show on TV. Maybe I won’t understand music matters (I think Golden Earring and Mike and the Mechanics is trendy) but at least I’ll know what young people find fashionable in the car world. Erm…not quite…

USA Today reports that Auto Pacific has conducted a survey to find out what car brands Generation Y likes. Generation Y is defined as those born around 1983. So, I bet you’re expecting a brand like Subaru to be number one, right? Nope. They came tenth. So if Subaru is number 10, what car brand do youngish people like the most?

Toyota. That’s right. Young people look for reliability and vanilla designs in the cars they buy. But I bet you think that was a fluke? Well, guess who came in at number 2? Honda. I give up trying to understand the youth of today. Honorable mentions were given Hyundai and Kia who jumped to places 6 and 8, respectively. They helped knock brands like Mazda and Jeep out of the top ten. Two brands you would have expected to be high on this list. “The fact that Generation Y has a bigger footprint in brands like Hyundai and Kia than in past years means these brands are definitely doing something right to gain Gen Y’s attention,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. The top ten of Gen Y brands go like this:

1. Toyota.

2. Honda.

3. Ford.

4. Chevrolet.

5. Nissan.

6. Hyundai.

7. Volkswagen.

8. Kia.

9. Dodge.

10. Subaru.

Did you notice something? Where is Scion, Toyota’s supposed “Youth” brand, on that list…?

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97 Comments on “The Kids Are All…Boring?...”


  • avatar
    postman

    Generation Y looks at cars as appliances – just a way to get from here to there. They get their thrills from other sources; games, phones, texting.
    Possibly the over-regulation of driving that’s occurred over the last 20 years or so may have something to do with it. Cars are part of the adult world, with all the rules, charges, fees and taxes that go with it. Kids like to be under the radar, and a driver in today’s world is anything but invisible.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The problem is part cost, part requirements.  Cost is obvious: fuel isn’t cheap, and insurance on young folks is really really not cheap: for an eighteen year old, one month’s insurance will pay for an iPhone.
       
      From Gen X onwards, cars have been less essential for socliaization.  it started when phones became cheaper and thusly omnipresent (remember when you had one phone in the kitchen and long distance was crushingly expensive? I can, barely…) and ramped up further with cellphones (remember when they came in a bag, cost a thousand dollars, lasted forty minutes and you were billed at a rate that would make a $4/gal gas look like heaven?), the internet and social networking.  

      Back in my parents’ day, you have to cruise around to find out what was on. When I was young, it took a flurry of phonecalls. Now it requires Facebook and some text messages and, in half an hour or less, everyone has all the logistics worked out, where as grandpa would have taken three hours or cruising to do the same, and me an hour of arranging.
       
      “Back in the day” cars were a requirement to socialize, and saw associated boosts in interest.  Now they’re not really essential at all and, honestly, a Toyota Yaris will get you to where you want to go, while a good mobile phone will tell you where you’re going, who is going there, and whose parents are (or aren’t) where.  You still have car enthusiasts, but you’re no longer required to be an enthusiast in order to get anything done.
       
      Times change, and rather than harp on kids for being overprotected, narcissistic, superficial and such, just accept that the tools change and that, honestly, human nature doesn’t.**
       
      ** I was listening to an archives program on the radio yesterday, talking about teenagers and freedom and so forth.  Other than a conspicuous lack of “like” and some casual sexism, boomer teens sounded a lot like Gen-Y teens than either party probably wants to admit.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinx

      Money – the few Gen Y’ers that have jobs don’t have job security, and are loaded with all kinds of debt.  And the manufacturers at the top of this list all have compelling offerings at the lower price points.  It is all very well to talk about WRXs and Evos and Mazdaspeeds – but unless you are willing to spend 25K or more on a new car, the _other_ trim levels in the Subaru and Mazda line-up are pretty much as ho-hum as anything in Toyota’s or Honda’s or Nissan’s.
       
      Reliability – as others have already observed, you can’t just take a screwdriver and a rock to fix your car these days.  Repair-shops (like everything else these days) have turned into full blown upsell and cross-sell shops that soak the customer everytime they can get their hands on her for even the most basic task.  And that goes double for the dealerships.  So you can’t blame the customer for seeking a car that promises to minimize the need to deal with this crap (toyota) or something that can be fixed more cheaply (i.e. the domestic brands)
       

    • 0 avatar

      @psarhjinian–
      Bingo. Among the many wise things I’ve read from you, this was one of the most insightful.
       

    • 0 avatar
      EChid

      As usual psar, I agree with you. Being in precisely the situation spoken about, it is mostly true.
      Cars these days are nearly unattainable, or at the very least, a stupid idea except in most basic format. With the repair costs, insurance, gas prices, general maintanence costs etc., they cost massively (put it this way, owning a car outstrips all of my other living costs combined, and almost matches the cost of my university education).
      With better public transportation, and all the things psar mentioned, there is no pressure for people to want something they can’t afford.
      Profile? 21 year old, driving a stick 2.3 Mazda 3, and getting rid of it soon. Why? Repair costs mostly, the car has had enough that I need something dead reliable : CR-V, Accord, Matrix. Despite its pluses, I can’t even afford the less reliable Japanese brands!

  • avatar
    Patrickj

    Methinks they spent too much time strapped into the back of minivans to like cars as adults.

    • 0 avatar
      twonius

      Methinks the insurance rates on the cars they’re supposed to desire are completely out of reach. I bite the bullet because I’m an enthusiast but it’s absurd what I pay so i can’t blame those who opt instead for something that’ll get them where they’re going without a hassle.
      Add in student debt and the ability to get where you’re going and back becomes a lot more important than 300hp. 

      What are they going to do with these “exciting” cars anyway? Drop $800 on a trackday? How many 20 somethings do you know who can really swing that.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Methinks (might as well join in) cars like I used to own won’t be back any time soon! Maybe the kids get more satisfaction polishing their IPhone screens and cleaning off facial grease rather than waxing a beautiful car. Just a thought!

    • 0 avatar
      blau

      or maybe cleaning off facial grease *with* their iphone screens…

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      When I first got my license at 19, I was paying about $100-something a month just for BASIC car insurance. 10 years later, I’m paying $38 a month.
      Even though I’m not horribly into debt, I’m not interested in taking on more debt of any kind, hence my insistence on buying used. Do I wish I could have a newer car? Sure. Will that day ever come? I’m not so sure.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    I’m surprised to see that Mazda isn’t #1, let alone not even on the list!
    What was the last boring Mazda sedan? The 626?
    I guess Canadians have better taste in cars than Americans.

  • avatar
    nichjs

    I am a GenY from 1982.  I started driving asap passing my UK driving test first time in 1999 when I was 17 and 5 months (driving age is 17 here in England).  I used to race go-karts in my youth, and loved driving fast and maintaining the engine, brakes, steering, chassis etc.
    I love cars, I talk about them endlessly to my wife’s chagrin, and have been an avid reader of TTAC since 2005 (every sodding lunchtime, TTAC, you owe me, like, 6 months lost time now!).  I’ve driven hundreds of cars in all sorts of countries, including the states, I had a Stratus for 6 months when I lived in Detroit (“I hate that citeeeeh”).
    All that said, Cars have become so computerised and impossible to fix yourself (I used to maintain my Volvo 340 I passed my test in) that there’s little or no understanding of what makes them work anymore.  I’m an engineer, I get a mechanic to do all my maintenance!  My generation do not engage in the mechanics of the vehicle, which is where teh romance came from back in “the day”.
    So cars become little more that a styling ststement, and you need a styling statement to be operationsl to show it off.  Hence reliability takes top honours.  Kia and Hyundai have developed a rep for reliability (by putting their money where their mouth is), and are now getting the style thing right.  little wonder they’re doing well with my peers.  For the record, I drive a Mazda6 diesel 2.0, 143hp.  Best car ever. :-)
    </longest post I ever wrote. appologies for any typos>

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      My generation do not engage in the mechanics of the vehicle, which is where teh romance came from back in “the day”. -
       
      Well said………… 99% of car owners are now dependent on technicians for routine maintenance. So, it makes sense to buy a car that is rated the most trouble free – even if it is boring.

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      I don’t know crap about fixing cars either but that doesn’t stop me from admiring them, even if they’re on a webpage. I went to a few vintage VW shows a few years ago and they really turned me onto older cars. I’ve been reading up as much as I can ever since.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      @carguy

      I’m a lot the same way. I’m learning to do basic things like brakes, suspension and the like, but otherwise I do enjoy talking about them with my limited knowledge.

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      I bought tires for my car and had some major repairs done related to the tires/suspension. Other than that, I barely know how to check the fluids and top them off. I could probably change oil but the problem is, I live at an apartment complex and the landlord frowns upon that.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      If you ever knew how to fix and maintain a car, you’d still be able to do most of that.  The mechanical stuff is basically the same and requires the same mechanical aptitude to fix.  The electronics are quite reliable and usually aren’t difficult to deal with.  I’ve never paid someone to work on my cars yet.

  • avatar
    Garak

    As an European born around 1983, I have seen what most people my age want in a car. And guess what: they want inexpensive, dependable vehicles. FWD station wagons mostly. Those few who want sportier cars buy used BMWs, but most want cars to be trouble-free and simple to use appliances. Despite recent reliability problems, Toyota is still number one. Volkswagens and Skodas are also quite popular, as they’re built much better here than in Mexico.
     
    Of course, there’s the small minority who race old RWD cars in the snow: Ford Sierras, 240 Volvos, Ladas and such. But as costs of driving go up, the availability of cheap rwd cars dwindles, and traffic policing gets tougher (your license is suspended if you do a real-wheel slide in the snow), even they are going to be an extinct breed.

  • avatar
    PeregrineFalcon

    Gen-Y’er here, and part of that tiny minority that actually enjoying driving cars for the sake of driving them. We’re not all “lol i txt 2 u” twiddling cellphone jockeys and Mountain-Dew guzzling Halo players. Just the majority, I’m sad to state.

    I shudder to think what kind of cars we’ll end up with when my generation starts designing them; or maybe we won’t even care enough to enter the industry.

    • 0 avatar

      I often think the same thing as I sadly watch coupes and manual transmissions disappear from the roadways.  I Rust Check my car, and wash and wax it constantly, cause it looks like I’m going to be keeping it a long, long time.  I steadfastly refuse to buy an automatic transmission or drive a low-powered econobox compact (i.e. the car of the future).

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      @Jason.

      If it makes you feel any better we are not all lost. I just learned how to drive a 5-speed semi-successfully last year and fully intend to buy one when I’m in the market for a new car (hopefully I can kill that bug that causes me to get bored.) It took me 6 years from getting my license to learn, but  that’s how long it took me to find somebody who was willing to teach me. My dad wouldn’t take me out in his car because it was apparently too nice (it was a 1999 Escort with no options – but I digress). I finally learned and now I need to practice so I can do it well, but that will come when I buy my next car.

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      In regards to manual vs automatic, it really doesn’t matter to me. It’s about admiring the car for what it is. I love the way a car sounds when it starts up. I love hooning my ’97 Escort on curves. Hell, I even love winter driving and powersliding that son-of-a-bitch whenever the opportunity comes up. Cars can be fun, even if they have a slushbox. I want to drive a manual though one of these days.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      @carguy

      I agree that Escorts can be fun to beat the crap out of. I had a 93 that was pretty gutless, but was really fun around corners and got an honest 25 mpg even when I was hauling ass.

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      @ tankinbeans
      My Escort is actually a rebuilt vehicle, having survived a rollover. It’s been pretty reliable as of late (knock on wood) with the only issues being the tires/suspension and timing belt replacement. My mother owned an Escort from the same year (hers was tan, also with slushbox and I believe more options?) and it was mostly trouble-free.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      @carguy

      Escorts are indeed tough little cars, and yours having survived a rollover is evidence of that. If mine hadn’t had a minor transmission leak I would proably still have it. I lent it to my brother and a day later it lost first gear and reverse. I was sad.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I dunno, I was born in 1959 – grew up in the 70′s and suffered through the worst crap to come off the line – that being anything from 1974 to 1977. At least you could buy older Chevy’s like the Camaro or Chevelle for dirt cheap prices ( now they sell for more than my first house on Barrett Jackson). The 25 to 30 year old folks in my office tend to be focused on other stuff, not cars. They can’t even wash the damn thing, which gives me my second job as a detailer, change oil – you kidding me right.

    I fully believe that if we ever had a nuclear attack, and they exploded a bomb high up in the sky which fried all the electronics, most of that generation would be still staring at their now useless car a week later.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      I’m a few years younger than you, so I get lumped in at the tail end of the “boomer” generation.  Don’t know why as I have nothing in common with post war anything, but I digress.  There is some hope out there;my nephew drives a modified (not riced) Civic with a JDM engine in it.  He has limited mechanical skills, and an even more limited budget, but he at least gets it; there is a connection with him and his car.  I take full credit for that as when he was young I took him for some serious rides in the sweepers.  Cars like this are the canvas of today.
      However, this is probably the exception.  All of my other nieces/nephews have shown no interest in cars at all.  I fully blame my brothers for that.  Those kids grew up in Honda minivans and their father has no interest or any mechanical aptitude at all.  A check book and Consumer Reports is all that was used in their household.  He had a deeper wallet than most and touching tools was viewed with disdain.  If this is a typical household, well its no wonder that today’s kids are more interested in connectivity and red dots.  Sad.  I hope his kids marry into money. None of them can even deal with basic household maintenance and repair. Years ago I did home improvement work on the side to save enough to put down a 30% down payment on my house, I loved people like this.  Zero knowledge and a big bank account.  I was always honest, but boy did I make piles of cash.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I’m a Gen Y’er (why do we have to be a letter?) or a millenial (unless that started later) who was born in 1988. I don’t make a lot of money and can’t afford much for insurance, but I like cars. I’m trying to learn about them from friends who are more mechanically inclined than I am. With all of that being said I enjoy driving for driving’s sake, but can’t stomach dropping all of my disposable income on it. I don’t do the gaming thing and I barely text. I guess I have other priorities. This coupled with the fact that my dad’s only piece of advice when I was buying any of my vehicles (I’m on my 6th and no they weren’t smashed I just got bored) was to get a 4-cylinder because they would save gas. Trying to learn about cars is not easy in a family that doesn’t like to open the hood, but it’s better to learn late than never. I currently drive a 200hp Pontiac and insurance is $90 a month full coverage. It could be better, but it could be a lot worse in all respects.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    I finally own a house that has a garage, and I look forward to weekends when I have an excuse to get out there and work on my cars.  It’s a pleasant experience – a couple of beers, music, and tools.
     
    I’m a gen X’er.  I suspect we are the last generation that are somewhat passionate about cars.  I look at my sister (gen y) and her friends – they only care that their cars are comfortable and reliable.  The last thing they care about is if their vehicle has “soul”.
     
    I plan to teach my young son and daughter how to work on their own cars, and hopefully they will enjoy their cars – driving them as well as maintaining them.
     
    -ted

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Ted, don’t bother buying them tools. Just buy them a diagnostic code reader and teach them how to reflash their cars’ computers. They’ll still have their hand-held devices, and there will probably be an app for that. Forget everything else – the mechanicals will all be sealed by order of theEPA, or TSA or some other alphabet soup government agency by then.

  • avatar
    VespaFitz

    Question 1: We’re surprised that kids like the cars their parents drove why, exactly?
    Question 2: Why is it that you’ve missed the one surprising piece of data on this list: That Chevrolet and Ford score #3 and #4? That’s shocking to me. It tells me that whatever Hyundai and Kia are doing right, Ford and Chevy are doing righter.
    Question 3: Why is it that old farts are so quick to jump on stuff that they saw on MSNBC.com last week?

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      It’s because old people think they know it all. They always have.  Don’t judge an entire generation just because there’s a few idiots within it to ruin it for everyone else.

  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    Two days ago I’m in the garage with my 17 year old looking at the new set of wheels I put in my car, and here comes his 16 yr old friend from across the street.

    16 yr old asks my son, “Dude, weren’t you going to GameStop to buy Call of Duty Black Ops? You need to be in line early”.
    17yr old, “I was going to but I have to buy tires for my car”.
    16 yr old, “That sucks. When I get my drivers license, I don’t even want a car. All you guys with cars are like, always broke”.
    17 yr old, “Ok, you buy Black Ops, we’ll play at your house and I’ll drive you around”

    These two were born in 93 and 94, and although my son shows some interest in cars, it’s not as exciting as a new blackberry, laptop, or video game.

    • 0 avatar
      jpcavanaugh

      Sounds like my kids.  My oldest (92) has no interest whatsoever.  His younger brother (94) has more interest, but not anywhere near where I was at that age. 

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “All you guys with cars are like, always broke”.

      Well, that was so true of me when I was in the service in Northern California 40 years ago, too, but look what I drove, washed, waxed, fixed, maintained and spent my money on! (see avatar above)

      Being “broke” pretty much, I managed to buy a record now and then, hang out with buddies, date, go to movies, own a stereo and cruise incessantly and burn all the 25¢ per gallon gas I wanted!

      Different time, different world. Wouldn’t go back, though, one must always look to tomorrow for the next great adventure, but too many young people (and older ones, too) are missing out on too much by enveloping themselves in too small of an electronic, gadget infested world and forfeiting truly living and enjoying life.

      For better or for worse, an automobile can expand one’s horizons if for nothing else for getting out of the house once in a while, even if it is only to drive to a friend’s to play a video game IN PERSON, not on-line!

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      too many young people (and older ones, too) are missing out on too much by enveloping themselves in too small of an electronic, gadget infested world and forfeiting truly living and enjoying life

      I don’t think this happens as much as people say it does.  To whit: this story.

      Communications devices are a means to an end, not the end in and of itself.  I suspect enthusiasts fail to understand that when they see their younger counterparts tapping away on a phone, just as their own parents failed to understand why they spent three hours driving around town “doing nothing”.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinx

      Smart kids.  “All you guys with cars are like, always broke.”  Ain’t that the truth, brotha.
       
      Registration fees, taxes, insurance, fuel, maintenance, parking fees/fines, speed trap scams, red-light-camera scams, … a never ending source of BOHICA, courtesy of your local government and your friendly neighborhood stealership.

    • 0 avatar
      pgcooldad

      These two will play Call of Duty online, in a team, at their respective houses!, against kids from the side of the world! They don’t even have to walk across the street to play with the other.

      I will have to say both are in sports teams in High School and get plenty of exercise. My son ran the Detroit Free Press Marathon and had a district final soccer game the next day a couple of weeks ago. Johnny across the street plays baseball and basketball.

      As far as Johnny not getting a car; living in the northern suburbs of (or anywhere around) Detroit where there’s virtually no public transportation, he doesn’t have a choice if he want to get around freely. Plus I’m sure he will change his mind as soon as he starts hunting “two legged deer”.

    • 0 avatar
      Daanii2

      Growing up, two out of the three of us brothers loved cars. My brother bought a ’67 Mustang convertible and rebuilt the engine. I was not that ambitious, but did get my driver’s license and motorcycle license the day of my 16th birthday. I’ve loved cars and driving ever since.
       
      I have two sons. One, now 18, just got his driver’s license before he went away to college. He got it because I pushed him to get it. He does not want to drive. Doesn’t see the need. Could care less about cars.
       
      My other son is 16. He wants his driver’s license so he can join a hockey league that practices and plays 30 miles away. I won’t drive him that far. If I had not balked at that, he would be glad not to have a license.
       
      Most of my sons’ classmates are the same. No car? Don’t care.
       
      Times change.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    1982 here.  The first car I had that I was able to choose was a 2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS.  I couldn’t afford the recently released WRX so I went used and got most of the way there.  My second car was a 2007 VW GTI.  Lovely car… until I realized it was in the shop every 6 months and warranty was quickly going to be up.  I now drive a midsize SUV.  I get far more joy camping, biking, hiking, canoeing, and other outdoor activities than I ever did autocrossing or driving down a windy country road.  Having a sporty car with a taut suspension, little ground clearance, and general fragility when it comes to getting off the beaten path makes little sense considering what I do for fun.  I’m definitely happier with the number of times I have unscheduled maintenance.  So, yeah, I love my Toyota.  When I want to drive something sporty, I can always hop in my wife’s MINI S.  For doing what I need to do, my Toyota is better than my sporty cars ever were.

    • 0 avatar
      zerofoo

      I’m not sure the discussion is about “sporty-ness” vs “non-sportyness”.  What we’re talking about here is car culture.
       
      You are a “car-guy” because you understand and appreciate the benefits of that car (or SUV in your case).  Many of your peers simply look at cars as disposable, cost-centers – a necessary inconvenience to be minimized.
       
      I have a 2008 GTI (which has been pretty reliable thus far) and a 2004 Grand Cherokee.  Even if I only owned the GC, I would still call myself a “car-guy” because I love cars – including my GC.
       
      -ted

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      @zerofoo

      So can I be considered a “car-guy” because I enjoy cars a lot, even if I can’t quite do all of my own maintenance and couldn’t care less about racing or powerslides or 0-60 times (since in real life if you try a sub-15 second 0-60 you’re asking for a ticket). I do however like cruising when I have extra money to spend on gas.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Ted – I guess I was illustrating that I traded my “non boring” GTI for a “boring” Toyota SUV and it fits my lifestyle better.  The title is “The kid are all…boring?”, afterall. 

      I still consider myself a car guy because I love driving them and working on them.  I really loved my GTI.  That car was simply fantastic to drive, the plaid seats were great, and it was just a cool car.  It just didn’t do what I needed it to do.  I do intend on buying a Miata or S2000 (very used) within a few years, though. 

  • avatar
    stryker1

    Kids adopt brand loyalty from mother’s milk, just like politics and religion. Once they reach the age of reason (24 or later in some cases) and more importantly, get an income, fun cars can become more of a reality.

  • avatar
    The Wedding DJ

    My nephew was born in 1990 and somehow got the car bug.  He’s working on an interesting project car – he bought a clean, solid 1980 Buick LeSabre 2-door last spring and the crappy 4.1 V6 blew in 2 weeks.  So…he’s building a mild SBC 350 from scratch.  Started with a bare block bored .030 over and now the engine’s almost complete.  Has serpentine belt drive, an Edelbrock 750 cfm carb, a mild cam w/double roller chain/gears, headers, Edelbrock Performer intake, MSD ignition system.  Also has a rebuilt Turbo 350 trans and a limited-slip rear end from a ’95 Caprice cop car.  Drivetrain will be installed soon, then, of course, there will be bugs to work out.  He’s done all the work himself, and I’m really looking forward to seeing this thing run.
    So yeah, they’re not all uninterested in things automotive.

    • 0 avatar
      stryker1

      Dang, respect.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Wow that kid’s living my dream and I’m 33.  I better get on the ball.  “Buick, go fast with class…”

    • 0 avatar
      sitting@home

      My nephew was born in 1990 and has played car video games since probably before he could walk. Every Christmas we’d get him cars/car books/car posters/car video games and as a teenager his bedroom was littered with all things automotive. He has never learned to drive;  he lives with his girlfriend (no need to find a secluded country lane), college is a simple bus ride away (no need to find and pay for parking), video car racing is more fun (no traffic tickets) and he is fluent at conversing with his friends in text and facebook (no need to ever actually see them).

    • 0 avatar
      The Wedding DJ

      Yeah, I had to talk him out of some crazy ideas he had by reminding him that this drivetrain was going into a full-size Buick, not a Camaro or Nova.  For instance, he wanted to go nuts with the torque converter and cam until I made him realize that this engine would probably never see six grand, not to mention that he’s retaining the air conditioning.  So he went with a 2250-rpm stall speed converter and a 270/270 cam (or something close to that), about right for the application.
       
      He still got a few silly things, like trans and oil coolers with built-in electric fans, and a 160-amp alternator (he’s planning a brain-melting sound system, so I guess that one makes sense).  He busts his ass daily as a roofer for $15/hr and buys what he can on payday, so i guess he can get whatever he wants.  Now he’s got me wanting to do the same thing, except my project would have the Mopar stamp of approval…

  • avatar
    sean362880

    ’84 here.  This seems fishy, in a “Damn kids!  Get off my lawn!” kind of way.  TTAC’s readership is probably a decent sampling of automotive interest, at least among the web-literate.  Refer to question 19:  What is your age range?
    http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/07/surveysummary.pdf
    Gen Y is TTAC’s biggest demographic at 33%, followed closely by Gen X.  It’s not like the boomers, who according to conventional wisdom lusted the mostest for all things automotive, are leading the charge here, at a measly 10-15% of TTAC’s readership, depending how you slice it.
    Also, what did we expect?  The top 10 list to include Maserati?  Gen Y-ers are poor!  18.5% youth unemployment.  Mountains of college debt.  Mountains of government debt that we’ll end up paying because of the previous generation’s excesses.  I’m looking at you, boomers.
     
    Damn kids!  Get off my lawn!

    • 0 avatar
      Neb

      Tis true. Gen Ys are considerably poorer then their boomer equivalents were. Berating the poor bastards for not being interested in cars is a bit like berating poor inner city people for not having enough interest in travel and gardening.
       
      One small factor that has contributed to this lack of interest in cars, I think, also has to do with demographics. Due to the boomers having virtually all the money (and thus being virtually all the market) any maker developing a new sports car is going to target the people with money, and not Generation Y. Thus, no entry level sports cars, with the exception, I think, of the new Mustang. This is especially pronounced in Canada, where thanks to price gouging even a Neon SRT4 commanded a price close to 30K.
       
      All of the motorheads back in my early twenties coveted old Japanese sports cars, simply because 1) new cars were simply not in the offing, and 2) they were avalible used at reasonable prices. In a way, I suppose, it was a bit like growing up in the seventies: the used market was where all the fun was. Though any boomer I think can take heart in that car people in the next generation in roughly the same ratio that previous generations have. It’s just that this new gen is far poorer right now, so there’s less they can do about it.
       
      If I was in charge of Honda and I wanted to start Honda’s comeback with a bang, I think I’d make a Atom ripoff and sell it for as cheaply as possible.
       

  • avatar
    DubTee1480

    1980 here… I think that technically still qualifies me, though I seem to be the exception.  I’ve always changed my own oil, brakes, etc and usually at least attempt to diagnose my own problems before taking the car to a mechanic.  I’ve only done that twice, both for AC related issues.  When I was 15 I was helping my father tear down and rebuild Chevy 350′s for our racecars.  Right now I’m building a 3.4 Camaro V6 to swap into my 1993 GMC Sonoma.  My biggest enemy is time, not lack of interest, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to do anything to my cars.  I guess the torch still burns bright with some of us (obviously the kids entering trade schools to work on cars and particularly a 20 year old I know that works in a breaker shop I sell to in Texas) but the majority of the population seems apathetic.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Interesting project, but I’ve got to ask: Why not a 3800V6 from a slightly newer rwd Camaro?  I actually have wondered what my old Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme would have been like with a full on computerized fuel injected 3800 to replace the quadrajet 307V8.  (The 307 only made about 140hp while the 3800 from rwd applications made about 200hp.)

    • 0 avatar
      DubTee1480

      I’m going with a 3.4 because the cylinder bank angle is 60 degrees, just like the 2.8 that’s in the truck now.  Swapping a 3.8 or a 4.3 (another stock option) would require either a different transmission, a bell housing swap (not sure if it’s possible) or an adapter plate because those engines have a 90 degree cylinder bank angle.  Plus I’d have to swap computer controls, accessories… at that point I’d have enough money involved that I’d just go ahead and invest a bit more and swap a V8 in (V8 swap requires 2.8 motor mounts anyway…).  With the 3.4 I can use the same heads and accessories and use a bored out intake manifold and Holley TBI unit I already have on hand to compensate for the increased displacement.  The computer adjusts to it just fine.  It’s actually a pretty popular swap for older S10′s with 2.8s, so much so that GM did (does?) offer an HT3.4 crate engine.  I looked at other options, bought the V8 swap manual and ultimately decided it wasn’t for me since, with some tuning, the 3.4 can be made to produce power similar to the 4.3 and is much easier and less expensive to pull off.  I’ve decided that I’d much rather have a hotrod car than a hotrod truck and am just updating the truck to keep it instead of buying a new one.  I can do about anything I want within reason with that little truck that I could do with a fullsize and the bed height is ideal for solo work… can you imagine wrestling a fridge, washer and dryer in and out of a fullsize by yourself?  I did with the Sonoma.  I’ll save the fun engine swap for a weekend driver :).

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Props to you kid.  I can imagine wrestling a fridge (actually a washer and dryer) out of a full size.  I own an F150 with a 4.6.  Very basic truck with an aftermarket flatbed.  When it comes to trucks I’m a “the simpler the better” sort of guy.  But definitely props to you.
       
      It’s interesting to know that GM offered a 3.4 option.  I know that in the late 80s early 90s they offered a “factory repowering” (yeah that’s what they called it) option for any truck or SUV with the 2.8.  The new engine?  The 3.1V6.

    • 0 avatar
      DubTee1480

      I know you can stroke a 2.8 to 3.1 with a crank swap.  Ha, I wonder if that’s what they did – I’d never heard that.  I don’t think the HT3.4 came out until the late 90′s, it was developed as a racing engine but cleared for use in 49 states in carbureted only trucks.  Didn’t stop a lot of people with TBI trucks, they just couldn’t have the dealership do the work and it voided the warranty.  My “secret” to loading and unloading the appliances involved a hand truck and a ratcheting tie down, in the case of the fridge it was more of a “controlled drop”.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I’m a Y from ’84 (our generation has also been called the Millennials, Generation Next, the Net Generation, and the Echo Boomers). My favorite brand is Honda. I say this knowing they haven’t had a good decade, and I don’t like the direction they’ve taken things. Their cars have grown too big, heavy, bloated, and boring.

    That said, I’m still loyal to the brand, and hopeful they’ll turn things around (the fact they sent the Civic back to the drawing board was encouraging. The CR-Z and Crosstour…less-so). IMO the older (and smaller) the Honda, the more fun and engaging it is. Hondas make great appliances because they don’t break (in my experience), but they’re also fun to use…like OXO Good Grips.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Lots of good points about other entertainment options, the cost of gas now, as well as upkeep.  But there is one that is missing, this generation grew up in cars that were no fun, and were not even capable of fun.  The first car I got to drive regularly was a 77 Cougar XR7.  A huge two door barge, sure, but RWD and a 351 Windsor under the hood.  It would do wonderful donuts in a little bit of snow.  These kids don’t even conceive of such things, since they have only FWD cars, Siennas, Civics and Highlanders at their disposal.
    As some have pointed out, you can’t make sense of a modern car by opening the hood either.  In the older cars you could easily add chrome air cleaners, or fiddle with the carb, and so on.  Now you see a big sheet of plastic with a logo.

  • avatar
    skor

    There are two primary reasons that Gen X/Y aren’t interested in cars like the boomers were:
    A) Economic realities
    b) Technologies that didn’t exists back in the day the offer other (cheaper) diversions.
    Mostly, it’s about economic reality.  I know a man, now retired, who got out of the Army in 1967.  After he left the Army, he took a welding course that was paid for by Uncle Sucker.  Less than a year later, he obtained a job as a welder.  His first welding job paid $10/hr with benefits.  $10 back in 1968 is equal to about $50 in today’s debased currency.  By the time he was in his mid twenties, he was married with two kids.  His wife was a stay-at-home mom.  He owned his home, purchased with a 50% down payment.  He owned two cars both paid for.  All this from working as a union welder.  Compare and contrast that with today’s reality.  A twenty something kid graduates from college, with a monster amount of student debt, and can’t find a job that pays enough to cover the rent, so most end up with roommates or back at home with mom and dad.  Is it any mystery why they’re not excited about getting a shiny new metal box?

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @skor: +1

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Also, the world has changed and education is far more important then it used to be in getting ahead in the world.  Many kids are just too busy with their education to deal with working enough to pay for a car.  The days when you could still get into a decent state school with a B- average are over. You can’t be spending every night working some job to pay for a car, you need to be home working to get into good school.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Wild story about your welder friend.  I went to college, earned degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering (summa cum laude), and was fortunate enough to find a great job right out of school.  I’m not making $50/hr, though.  I also wasn’t able to put 50% down on my rather modest house, either.  Something something death of the middle class something.

      I was reviewing some wealth distribution graphs recently.  The trends are shocking. 

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      skor,
       
      You’re also suffering some pretty significant selection bias.  You recall your friend because he was being paid an unusually large amount of money.  $10/hr is equal to 120k a year now.  I can pull the statistics for blue collar labor, but $10/hr was hardly typical in 1968.
      I certainly know people who are in their early 20s making between 150k because of data center experience they got in the Air Force – in 30 years I won’t claim that it was typical for 2010.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      @jmo Back in 1972, my mother, who never completed high school, was earning $300 per week as a QC inspector at an electronics manufacturer.  That’s $1,300 a week in today’s money.  $1,500 per week is what the average college grad earns today.  Fact is that deindustrialization, and the rise of the Wall Street kleptocracy has destroyed the middle class in this country.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      my mother, who never completed high school, was earning $300 per week as a QC inspector at an electronics manufacturer

      Again, selection bias.  You’re dealing with anecdotes not statistics.  Here are the numbers for 1972:

      http://www2.census.gov/prod2/popscan/p60-087.pdf
       
      Your theory that the median income for a working women in 1972 was $300 is totally not accurate.
       

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      @jmo I never said anything about averages.  The fact remains that there was more opportunity in this country 30 years ago for someone who was resourceful and willing to put in the hours — irrespective of sheepskins. Here is some more of my anecdotal, non-statistical observations.  My grandfather came to the US in 1940.  He served 3 years in the US Army.  In 1945, he got a job as a dock worker.  In 1953, he managed to save enough money from working on the docks in NY/NJ to buy a 4 unit building in Jersey City for cash.  At the same time he was supporting a stay-at-home wife and 4 children.  In 1960, his oldest son was married, as a wedding present, my grandparent’s bought him and his new wife a two family house in Jersey City for cash.  In 1973, that same uncle bought a large single family house in Fort Lee, NJ for cash.  My uncle worked as a mechanic at a coffee packing plant in the NYC area. How many college grads can purchase homes for cash today?  I’m sorry if what I’m relating to you doesn’t fit in with your Ayn Rand, Friedrick Hayek version of capitalism.

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      I have to disagree with that assessment of college students. I’m a part-time college student and full-time custodian. I’ve put myself through community college and I am currently finishing up a bachelor’s degree at a highly popular state college in VT (guess it). Sure, I will have student debt to pay off. However, I have learned a lesson from credit cards and don’t currently use any. I only have to worry about student debt and a few older bills that I will have to eventually pay to fix my credit.
      I could probably buy a better car but it would require making more money and becoming better at fiscal management in order to pull it off. $13-something a hour can only go so far when you have rent, cable, internet, insurance and so forth.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      The fact remains that there was more opportunity in this country 30 years ago for someone who was resourceful and willing to put in the hours — irrespective of sheepskins.

      Now education is more important – which is a good thing, as I don’t see how we can compete with the rest of the world with an uneducated workforce.

      Also, we need to deal in statistical reality not with your wildly unrepresentative anecdotes.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      My uncle worked as a mechanic at a coffee packing plant in the NYC area. How many college grads can purchase homes for cash today?

      So, the typical coffee plant mechanic was able to buy a home for cash? Do you have some statistics on the number of blue collar workers who were able to buy homes for cash in the New York area at that time? Your examples seem totally implausible.

      You’re arguments amount to nothing more than nonsensical and wildly unrepresentative anecdotes.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      You are using one metric – housing prices – to show that we are worse off today than 30+ years ago.

      Only problem is that, during the timeframe you mentioned, real estate was relatively cheap in the New York area because it was not a “hot” market. New York was a declining area at that time.

      Today housing prices in the New York metropolitan area are MUCH higher relative to the rest of the nation than they were in the 1960s and 1970s. That is because of increased demand (revival of Manhattan has spread to other areas) and increased requirements placed on new construction (new fees). That has nothing to do with free-market theory run amok…quite the opposite, in fact, as many of those fees are designed to SLOW DOWN construction.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      @geeber
      “Today housing prices in the New York metropolitan area are MUCH higher relative to the rest of the nation than they were in the 1960s and 1970s. That is because of increased demand (revival of Manhattan has spread to other areas) and increased requirements placed on new construction (new fees).”
      Sorry, no.  Housing prices in the NYC area have ballooned (relative to wages) for the same reason housing prices have ballooned in most of the rest of the country.  The housing bubble was driven by Fed policies that were intended to drive demand that was necessary to stave off the effects of America’s deindustrialization.
       
      @ jmo,
       
      You’re arguments amount to nothing more than nonsensical and wildly unrepresentative anecdotes.
       
      They also happen to be true.  70 years ago, immigrants could come to this country with nothing, and through frugality and work could make something for themselves.  Today the native born start with nothing and end up with a lifetime of debt slavery.   If you don’t want to hear the truth, all you need to do is turn up the volume on Mush, Insanity and Dreck over on the Fux Network.  I’m sure they, and their Wall Street masters, have your best interests at heart.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      They also happen to be true.

      So, the fact that they are true in no way reduces the fact that they are highly unusual.  And as a side note:

      In 1953, he managed to save enough money from working on the docks in NY/NJ to buy a 4 unit building in Jersey City for cash.

      I seem to recall a huge mob presence on the docks of New York back in the 50s.  Be interesting to look at wage rates of dock workers vs. cost of living in 1953 vs. the cost of buying a 4 unit building for cash….

      70 years ago, immigrants could come to this country with nothing, and through frugality and work could make something for themselves.  Today the native born start with nothing and end up with a lifetime of debt slavery.

      Yet, strange how all those Asian immigrants who’ve come since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 have done so very well in comparison to the native born.  Perhaps it’s the anti-intellectual cultural values and poor work habits of the native born that are to blame for their “debt slavery”?

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      @jmo, Yeah, you got me.  My grandpa’s name was Guido Soprano, my daddy was known as “Johnny Boy, and I’m Tony.  Listen, dimwit, I’m not even Italian, my family came here from Eastern Europe.  Wanna know how grandpa could buy a building for cash in only eight years?  He worked sixty hour weeks.  Grandma made her own clothes.  They took one vacation in 10 years.  Taxes were reasonable back in the day — cops and teachers weren’t millionaires.  Ambulance chasing lawyers didn’t prey on the productive.  Wall Street was years away from taking over Washington.
       
      As for Asian immigrants today, yes many have a higher net worth than the native born.  Having worked in finance, I can also tell you that many are in debt up to their eyeballs, and lots of them end up in bankruptcy court.
       
      You just can’t accept the fact that there are only two classes in the US today: The uber wealthy oligarchs and everyone else.  The American oligarchs are offering you the same deal that oligarchs offer the peons everywhere: Heads I win, tails you lose.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo


      He worked sixty hour weeks.  Grandma made her own clothes.
       
       
      Is that what they told you?  How cute.  Here is the reality – dimwit:
       
      In the early 1950’s, public hearings documented the pervasive corruption, extortion, racketeering and organized crime in the Port of New York-New Jersey. The conditions in the Port exposed by articles by Malcolm Johnson in the New York Sun and dramatized by Elia Kazan in the 1954 film, On the Waterfront.
       
      http://www.waterfrontcommission.org/news/WCNYH_PUBLIC_HEARING_PRESS_RELEASE.pdf
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      Kind of PO’ed ain’t you, jmo?  You don’t own your house, and you never will.  You’ll spend your life as a debt slave… as will most Americans alive today.  Got news for you, it wasn’t only Jersey longshoreman that could buy their own houses back in the day for cash.  The elderly man that lives across the street from me paid off his house in 1961.  The elderly woman that lives up the street also paid off her house over 50 years ago as well.  Neither worked on the docks.  The widow’s late husband worked as a CPA and old guy across the street was an aerospace engineer.  You just can’t admit that modern Americans are screwed.  You leave school with a huge debt. You spend decades in a house that has a never ending cycle of mortgages and home equity loans.  You finance or lease all your cars.  You carry credit card balances, and you can’t even image that there was a time in this country when being in debt was something that was considered shameful.  When you die, you leave little or nothing to your heirs.  Meanwhile the Wall Street thieves you worship laugh at you as they read their latest profit projections while sitting on their solid gold toilets.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Kind of PO’ed ain’t you, jmo?

      I’m not the one who based his politics on the convenient lies of a 1950′s gangster.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Just like the recession in the early-90′s… money is the real culprit here.
    A lot of folks here forget that cars have been intimidating for the majority of folks for nearly 30 years now. Most folks do not change their own oil… then and now. The same goes for maintenance and troubleshooting. That’s what a ‘mechanic’, friend or family member is for.
    I’ll tell you one hidden issue that didn’t exist in that last recession. Used car prices. It’s amazingly difficult to find a cheap vehicle these days. Even the junk at the auctions seems to go for $1500. That used to be the beater barrier. Now it’s at least $2000 and with that you’re often getting a far crappier vehicle.
    In a lot of cases, mom and dad are driving the beater. The Gen-Y is either sharing the car or simply doesn’t drive at all. Welcome to the new economy.
     
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      True Steven, the core reason is that the country has been declining economically for 35 years.  I believe they recognize that they will never be able to (or even want to) afford the car-dependent lives of their parents.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I was born in ’78 and I don’t understand the Y-generation. I do own a PS3 and I like some car games like Gran Turismo and GTA, but I don’t understand why anyone would want own a blackberry or Iphone, since most of those cost more than my cars, and are more expensive to maintain. Even my own younger (born ’80) brother seriously believes fwd cars are as good or better than rwd cars. On the other hand I have seen some ways to combine the generations, like a BMW M-app for I-phone that you can use as a G-meter to test your cars accelleration and power, and people are using carpenter-apps to check their suspension alignment and steering ratios. There will always be some gearheads left in the world ;)

    • 0 avatar

      Right with you. I was born in ’80 and worked with college kids two years after I graduated. The students even 2-3 years younger were just…different. It was shocking.
      I wish I had IM, text messages and FB in high school–it would have made things a lot easier!

  • avatar
    John R

    Full disclosure, I was born in 1981, maybe I’m a bit too old, and I purchased a Hyundai Sonata and admittedly please as punch with it.
     
    However, for what it’s worth, I take exception to this list. Toyota. TOYOTA?? You know, I can understand Honda being high up this list. Sporting pretensions across the range…well, it used to be that way. Some of these guys and gals still have fond memories of the Prelude and the Integra GSR, Type-R, and NSX.

    For some reason I thought Nissan and Toyota would be in the other’s position. The 300ZX and the 350Z were pretty bitchin’.

  • avatar
    Lemmy-powered

    Kids want freedom.

    They ain’t feeling “free” in CUVs stuffed with nannies, nags and GPS monitoring, while travelling on boring suburban roads dotted with speed cameras.

    Motoring is dying. There’s little adventure left in it.  

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Imagine going back to, say, 1970, on your way to the Bay Area in my avatar in August with 4 of your buddies, seat belts front seats only, top down, windows down, radio blasting AM, 85 mph on I-80 out of Sacramento, in almost bumper-to-bumper traffic (yes – true) and having the time of your lives and actually enjoying the experience, even those in the back seat! Now, that was a much different world with a much different reality. Most others on the road also had their windows down, too – A/C wasn’t as widespread yet.

      Although I enjoy remembering and relating experiences, I’m no fool, and at almost 60 years of age, I enjoy the reasonably carefree cars out there now, but do miss the past styling, even though my car was at the top-of-the-heap and not representative on most cars on the road back then. Hardtops were pretty much the rule, though, but lots and lots of 2- and 4-door sedans, as well, so all was not glamorous as one might think through the soft-focus of memory.

      For the record – I didn’t enjoy working on cars as much as I had to out of NECESSITY!

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I think I am quite lucky to have been born far from any major city, in a country like Norway with no decent form of public transportation, far away from everything, and with winding beatiful dangerous roads everywhere :)

  • avatar
    car_guy2010

    Eww. I hate Toyota and refuse to ever buy one. I was born in 1981 though (the last of Generation X?).
     

  • avatar
    chaparral

    I’m wondering why motorcyclists get older year after year.
    You’d think as cars got more complicated, expensive and boring, people, especially those who care about green transportation, would choose the two-wheelers.
     
    How much material goes into a Ninja 250? A Fazer? An SV650? Gotta be a tenth of what goes into a modern car, and they all get 50+ MPG on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Motorcycles require more maintenance, can’t work well in inclement weather, can’t carry anything, etc.  They’re also not appreciably cheaper than a decent used car.
       
      Oh, and then there’s insurance.  Call up an insurance agency, tell them your eighteen years old and ask for a quote on insurance on your first bike, say a Ninja 250 or GX-R 600. For what you’d be charged it would be cheaper to keep a 3-Series.

      There is a reason why bikes, in North America, are the province of rich old guys and trust-fund babies.

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      That’s precisely why I jumped and bought an ’84 Honda V30 Magna. I picked the wrong time to buy it but it’s in winter storage for when the weather improves. I need to actually get a permit, insurance and all that jazz before I can use it. However, when I got on it, I felt like I connected with it. I can see myself enjoying it. If only I had more free time now.

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      I digress. If anything, I could learn to maintain my bike on my own. It can’t be much harder than running a car. In the case of inclement weather, there are special clothes that can be worn in cold, rainy weather. Ditto on insurance. I don’t know about the newer, sportier bikes though but I am sure that they cost more to insure and maintain than an older Honda 500cc motorcycle (V30 Magna).

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Oh, and then there’s insurance.  Call up an insurance agency, tell them your eighteen years old and ask for a quote on insurance on your first bike, say a Ninja 250 or GX-R 600. For what you’d be charged it would be cheaper to keep a 3-Series.
       
      No.
       
      I’m 27 now, and have been riding a motorcycle since I was 21.  My insurance coverage in the US has always been insanely cheap.  I think I pay ten bucks a month now.  When I started riding it was closer to twenty.  The bikes have all been standards or dualsports, which admittedly have much lower rates than supersports, but you can absolutely insure a bike for next to nothing.
       
      The easy solution to this is to not buy a supersport if you’re a young guy.  This combination seems to be the root of all the horror stories about “motorcycle insurance is crazy expensive”.  Just get something else.  Problem solved.
       
      There is a reason why bikes, in North America, are the province of rich old guys and trust-fund babies.
       
      Again, no.
       
      The same time I’ve been riding I’ve known dozens of similarly-aged people who were avid motorcyclists and paying their own way for everything.  There were even plenty of college undergraduates, myself included for a couple of years.
       
      Bikes are insanely cheap transportation as long as your climate and passenger/cargo situation allows for it.  You can get a good runner for a grand, no problem.  I’ve done it multiple times.  For double that you can have your pick of nice machines in near-new condition.
       
      A brand new 250 Ninja is $4k or so, gets 60+ mpg, and is more fun than about 99% of cars on the road.  They are also about cheapest to insure bikes on the planet.
       
      How much direct experience do you have with motorcycles?  I’m guessing not much.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      How much direct experience do you have with motorcycles?  I’m guessing not much.

      When I was twenty I went to get a quote on one for the reasons most people do: they’re cheap to buy and fairly cheap to run. I had one not-at-fault car accident and one “moving violation” under my belt and three years insured.  I was quoted, no kidding, between $5000 and $8000 per year for a bike versus $3000 for a car.

      Maybe it’s different where you are, but the insurance costs for a bike are backbreaking for young men here, largely because young men on bikes are more likely to be idiots (even moreso than young men in cars) and the insurance companies take no chances.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    Progressive.com gave me the following results. 18 years old, male, 0 years riding experience, has taken MSF, personal use, Bryan, Texas, 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R, $998/year (86/month) for body injury, liability, collision with $500 deductible. This is less than what I pay for a car.
    I think a lot of kids get turned off by the impracticability of carrying passengers, you’d need them to have their own helmets, gloves, jackets etc.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Here’s something for people to chew on. I’ve had kind of a mixed-bag with my automotive history and have never had a car that I truly disliked. Some I liked more than others, but they were all decent, and I had admittedly low expectations. The vehicles that I have owned up until now are as follows: 1993 Aerostar Eddie Bauer Edition (got rid of it because gas was $2.50 and I was lucky to get 10 mpg), 1993 Escort LXi (transmission had a minor leak lost first and reverse), 1991 Buick LeSabre Limited with the much loved 3800V6 series I (kept this for a while and got rid of it after I got my first Accord), 1995 Accord EX (long story about that one), 2003 Accord LX coupe (bored) and I currently drive a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix base with 3800V6 but it has the options I like – power everything and a sunroof.

    As you can see none of my cars were exciting per-se, but they did what I needed them to do and I never spent more that $750 on a car until I bought my 1995 Accord the loan for which was gotten as a graduation present because I was the only one to complete high school. Notice I said loan. I’ve not had anybody give me a car or pay any of the bills for any of my cars. This coupled with the fact that I don’t make a lot of money (who does anymore?) may be coloring what I think of as a great car. Hondas are high on my list, but I’m open to others now considering I now drive a Pontiac (which is really fun for what it is).

  • avatar
    teasers

    I was born in 1985.
    My first thought is the realization I’m a gen Y kid and being lumped in with all the kids who have thumbs of iron from playing xbox. *Shudder*
    My second thought is how the heck did dodge get above subaru?
    I don’t personally want a toyota. I want my fiance to have a honda so I don’t have to work on it.
    I do however understand the desire. Head on over to craigslist and see what you can find for a couple of hundred dollars. Say, 1000. Anything interesting or fun has a blown transmission or engine. Anything running is a ford taurus. It isn’t easy to get passionate or excited about either option.
    This said, kids who are fortunate enough to get a decent car bought by there parents usually are getting a toyota because the parents want them to have something safe and reliable.
    For those that do get a cool car, eventually they will have to repair it. Parts aren’t cheap. A bottom end junky battery is 75 dollars. Increasingly cars are requiring spark plugs that cost 10 dollars a plug. And these costs are endless.
    A phone or Xbox however, for these kids is a one time cost. Mom and dad provide the internet and/or the phone service. So an Iphone4 once purchased is done! No thirty dollar oil changes. No hundred dollar tune up.
    When you consider the realistic options most young so called Y gen kids face, it is little wonder they prefer the electronic medium over an automotive one.
     


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