By on April 5, 2013

In 1995, Subaru rolled out the Outback, which was tremendously successful at fooling New Englanders into believing that they were driving an SUV. Seriously: Subaru took a Legacy wagon, raised it an inch, painted the bottom part gold, and – for the first time in its history – became incredibly popular, even among people who don’t consider “granola” acceptable for a restaurant menu. (Let the record reflect I have now completed an entire paragraph about Subaru without making a lesbian joke.)

In 1998, the Subaru Outback range added a sedan model, called the “SUS” for “Sport Utility Sedan.” Unfortunately, the presence of a trunk meant New Englanders were no longer fooled, though some people from Colorado apparently were. Nonetheless, sales were dismal no matter how many times Subaru tried to remind shoppers that driving on a dirt road doesn’t mean you need to carry a lot of stuff. Eventually, they gave up and cancelled the Outback sedan, then redesigned the wagon to compete with a milk truck. (Seriously, why is it so big?)

 

But today’s article isn’t about the Subaru Outback sedan. Instead, it’s about the process that created the Subaru Outback sedan.

You see, just as the Outback was just starting to gain sales momentum, a Subaru dealer wrote to the brand and suggested they make a sedan version. After all, it would only take a new part here and there, and maybe a few dozen buckets of gold paint. Genius! And did Subaru laugh in the dealer’s face? Did they say: “Shouldn’t you be advertising at the local softball games?” (You knew it wouldn’t last the whole article.)

No. They actually built it. How cool is that?

Whenever I think about this story (which is whenever I see an Outback SUS, so every two years), I always consider how exciting things would be if we could simply write a letter to our favorite automaker and ask them to build the car of our dreams. Of course, some people actually have this ability. In fact, I think this may have been Bob Lutz’s job during his last six years at General Motors.

If I had the power to write a letter and make any car so, I promise I would use it judiciously (unlike Lutz). To minimize costs, I would only ask automakers to build cars on existing platforms. I would only suggest vehicles that have an appeal beyond the limited scope of my brain. And I wouldn’t ask Ford to bring back the Crown Victoria.

I can think of two letters I’d write immediately:

First, I would petition Mercedes to create an AMG version of its GLK compact SUV, which would be the very first performance SUV that makes sense. Imagine it: take the CLA’s dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive and 355-horsepower turbo four. Stuff it in the GLK, which is more practical than a sedan and nimbler than an M-Class. How can Mercedes create the R63 AMG and not give us this?

The next letter would go to Porsche, requesting a turbocharged Cayman with four-wheel drive, a stick shift, and a targa roof. This would be the perfect sports car: mid-mounted turbo power, three pedals, and Cayman styling with an open roof. Of course, people would stop buying the 911. But it would look damn good parked next to my GLK AMG.

While we’re writing letters, I guess I should write one to my bank.

The problem with all of this dreaming about variations of existing platforms is that it doesn’t always work out. Of course, the Lutz-era GM lineup is the best example of this. During the early 2000s, people at GM actually said each of the following things: “Yes! An Envoy with a retractable roof over the cargo area is a good idea!” or: “Who wouldn’t buy a retro-themed convertible pickup with a bed cover?” or even: “Our research indicates the market for a Solstice coupe is huge.”

But GM isn’t the only guilty party here. For example, the Jaguar X-Type station wagon didn’t create itself. Neither did the Dodge Rampage, which was – truly – a front-wheel drive pickup based on the Omni. And we can’t forget the Lexus IS 300 SportCross, or the Honda Crosstour, or the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. (The general rule seems to be: avoid the word “Cross.”)

Indeed, each of those failures must’ve been devised by product planning, approved by a board of directors, penned by designers, created by engineers, tested over millions of miles, and, finally, built by line workers. Maybe they should’ve just asked a dealer. Or me.

So, TTAC: what letters would you write?

Doug DeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, road-tripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute lap time on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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257 Comments on “Dear Automaker, Please Build Me A…...”


  • avatar
    Robstar

    Diesel, Hybrid, Stick, hatch/wagon for $25k or less. Make sure the maintenance & parts are affordable, the torque is strong & smooth and give an option of awd/rwd. Gas mileage should be 30+/40+ (city/hwy).

    Styling should be modern but conservative. 0-60 in less than 7 seconds.

    Sign me up!

    In all reality, I think the mazda6 diesel/skyactive is pretty close. I really want to take a look at it once it’s out.

    • 0 avatar
      Sammy B

      Yup….Mazda6 Wagon would be pretty simple I would think. Same with a possible Camry/Accord/Fusion (Mondeo) wagon. Make it a special order. The incremental cost to develop wouldn’t be significant. The main problem seems to be that the “real” cost is lost profits on the entry CUV line. Every Mazda6 wagon they sell is one less profitable CX5 or CX7 [in their theory at least].

      The Jetta wagon seems to sell in reasonable numbers even with the Tiguan and Golf in the mix. Why is that they’re one of the few automakers willing to do this?

      • 0 avatar
        Robstar

        I think the CX-7 has already been discontinued.

        That leaves you with the CX-5 and CX-9.

        I still haven’t understood the attraction of the CX-9 with only 5 seats…?

        • 0 avatar
          moorewr

          CX-9 has seven seats..

        • 0 avatar
          Sammy B

          Oh that’s right…either way. Eats into CX5 sales. I would bet this holds for Toyota as well. Camry wagon would eat into Venza/Highlander/RAV4 sales. All of which likely at a higher profit margin than Camry.

          • 0 avatar
            Wacko

            Sammy B
            I hope you know that the Venza and highlander are camry wagons, they are both based on the camry. Ony the rav4 was based on a crapola sorry I mean corolla,

            I have a feeling that the new rav4 has more in common with the camry.
            So I don’t think toyota will make a wagon camry, since they basically have 3 camry wagons now!

        • 0 avatar
          Willyam

          I bought a 2011 CX-9 in Gray Whale, or Slate, or “not just silver” or whatever. We wanted a 3-row people-carrier that was decent to drive. The Mazda 5 was choice one, but we would have had to butter everyone to get it loaded. It was nearly impossible to replace our 2006 Rav4 with a three-row Rav4 (hen’s teeth unless you order new), and the exclusion of that option on the latest version says that it must not have sold that well I guess. Wonder what the take rate was?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            The third row in the RAV4 wasn’t all that comfortable to begin with, and certainly no more accessible than that of the Mazda5. They did you a favor.

            I think they should forgo third-row seating in things that aren’t at least the size of a Mazda CX-9. That includes such nonsense third rows as the BMW X5, Acura MDX (although the new one will be larger) and the new Range Rover Sport. The Lexus GX also qualifies for abysmal rear-seating, because the live-axle takes up so much space, and it isn’t that accommodating of a car to begin with…

          • 0 avatar
            Rental Man

            Mitsu had/has a tiny 3rd row in the Outlander. So did/does Subaru with the Tribeca. Just as bad as the RAV-4

          • 0 avatar
            allythom

            We had an 07 Rav4 V6 with the 3rd row. It was occasionally useful for carrying those rare extra passengers (visiting parents and neices etc), but the seats were cramped and not particularly comfortable, as well as difficult to access (impossible once there were 2 child seats in the middle row). We got it from a large discount dealer in the Maryland area who had none in that configuration in stock, so had to do a swap with a smaller dealer 100 miles away from them. I believe they were not common.

            Had a similar hard time trying to find its replacement in 2011. Sienna XLE AWDs with just navigation and no rear entertainment were available in theory. In practice, there was one, 200 miles from me. Ended up with no NAV and no RES and stuck an aftermaket nav unit in myself.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I would like to see the 6 wagon sold here. I think the judgement of the 6 wagon competing with the CX-5 is correct. Mazda is small and desperately needs to be profitable, and they don’t have the volume of sales that VW has.

        I have a different suggestion for Mazda: They need a sports car in their line up that’s larger than the Miata & more refined than the Speed3. Reintroduce the Speed6, but make it the wagon body style. Like the Speed3 & Miata, it won’t have big sales, but like those models, it may not need them. I believe the folks who want the Speed6 are the same ones who want the wagon, so this kills two birds with one stone. A Speed6 won’t cannibalize CX-5 sales. They just need to make sure it doesn’t get too sucky of gas mileage.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        The problem with this strategy is that it assumes customers are walking into a given automakers dealership with the intention to buy … something. My thought is that if Mazda makes the wagon, it could cost other automakers CUV lines sales too. I know there once were people who set out to buy “a new Ford” without knowing which one, but do they still exist in meaningful numbers? There sure are a lot of car comparison tools and multi make auto sales outfits in buisness.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        Mazda already sold a good looking 6 wagon from 2004-2007 in the US, but it was only purchased by around 12 people and was discontinued for the second generation. The 2014 6 wagon, which will be sold internationally, looks quite fetching, but there are no plans for it to be sold in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        colin42

        Can someone explain why a 6 wagon would be less profitable than the CX5?

        • 0 avatar
          Rental Man

          6 Wagon failed. Might be bacause it could be had only as a 6 CLY. Most of Mazda’s sales are with the 4 cly. The 6 also cost much more. I went from the Mazda 6 6 CLY to a newer 4 Cly. Power is OK with the 4. The 6 cly was weaker then expected.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          1) Yes, in order to make money from something, people have to be willing to buy it.

          The CX-5, in comparison, is something like 1/6 of Mazda volume in the US.

          2) I suspect CX-5s also cost more at retail as a proportion of what it costs to make them vis-a-vis a 6 Wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      moorewr

      Yes, dear automaker, sell me that diesel, manual wagon you already sell in Europe.

      I’ll take an A4 Avant quattro TDI manual. TYVM.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Mazda used to make a wagon AND a hatchback 6 not too long ago. Nobody bought them….

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Funny, I see an awful lot of them around for a car “nobody” bought.

        • 0 avatar
          Richard Chen

          I read that the Mazda6 wagon sold about 200 per month, and the 6 lineup was 50% fleet back then.

          FWIW, the BMW X6 averaged just over twice that sales rate in 2012.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          krhodes1, are you sure you’re not seeing the outgoing Mazda 6, which looks like a hatchback but is not one? The first generation Mazda 6 really did have two hatchback body styles, but they were rare even when new. Last time I saw one was when a desperate Mazda salesman was trying to convince me that his Mazda 6 wagon was the same length as a Mazda 3 hatchback. He told me that he was a golfer, so he was good at pacing out distances. It was enough that we went to another dealer and bought something else. That was a few years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Mazda6 wagons. They are all over the place here in Maine. Lovely car, I rather like them. Cramped inside though.

            Hatchbacks? Who cares? I can see why those didn’t sell but the wagons sure did here. I’ll take a hatchback if there is no wagon, but otherwise it is a rather poor substitute. If they sold 200/mo they must have all been in Northern New England.

            Why are cars salesmen often such idiots? Seriously?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Interesting. They’re very rare in the places I roam. Pretty much any version or edition of the Mazda 6 is rare here though.

            I was shopping for a small, late model car for a friend at the time. The next dealer had a Mitsubishi Lancer he was pushing. It had about 15 degrees of negative camber in one rear wheel. It was obvious the second I saw the car. I pointed it out to the oblivious salesman. He told me he had a clean Carfax for the car that he’d show me, that it had never had a collision repair. I was thinking, no doubt, but it sure needs one.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            IIRC, total sales for all model years of the 6 wagon were around 6000. All of them must have ended up in the northeast because the only place I have ever seen one is ebay.

        • 0 avatar
          moorewr

          pre-facelift Mazda6 Wagons – I do not see them around much anymore, but I used to see almost as many wagons as sedans.

          When I was young my dream car was the 626 fastback. Alas, never made one mine.

    • 0 avatar
      Wade.Moeller

      Why do people think the need to make a Diesel Hybrid? A hybrid gas engine makes sense because at idle, the gas engine makes no torque but an electric motor makes all of it’s torque. A diesel makes gobs of torque down low and thus doesn’t need the hybrid power.

      Diesels redline at low speeds, being a hybrid won’t help that. Gas engines can rev to plaid and the electric motor will be happy to add it’s horsepower to the party.

      If you want a diesel, get a 10 speed gearbox behind it and you’re good.

      • 0 avatar
        moorewr

        I disagree with your reasoning.

        Diesels are extremely efficient when allowed to run at a fixed rpm – this is why their highway MPG is so good, especially if you are running at say 55 mph on a back road. And this is why diesels make for a superior hybrid – the batteries handle the stop and start low-speed driving, and the diesel runs at a fixed rpm to either charge the batteries or maintain speed on the highway.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Cadillac: Build a large RWD luxury sedan based upon the SS/Caprice PPV platform. It’s plenty large enough. And you already sort-of did it once with the Daewoo Statesman/Holden Caprice/Daewoo Veritas.

    http://forum.avtoindex.com/foto/data/media/31/daewoo_veritas_2009_7.jpg

    You need a large car because of what you are, and the XTS is just a gap filler, and you know it. And for god’s sake offer a V8.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I believe a Commodore variant is already being produced and sold as a Buick Park Avenue in China.

    • 0 avatar
      chas404

      rear drive caddy boat or buick electra 225 boat. 2002 lincoln continental concept suicide doors. lengthened mustang chassis for a personal luxury coupe aka Lincoln Mark IX. that caddy XTS looks kinda nice actually.

      build a lightweight basic rear drive sportcar with a common 4 cylinder no turbo or better yet v6 aka decontented datsun 280z. but super basic. have saturn style plastic panels or owner removeable aka citroen DL cant remember the model. maybe additional rear wagon top aka Nissan Pulsar NX.

      basic= not fancy suspension. not super duper lightweight alloys. no run flats. 4 airbags not 10. no steering wheel controls. such as double DIN for aftermarket stereo. no convertible. no sunroof. maybe targa. no fancy engine no turbos. just a strong econo box big four or a v6 with relatively lightweight. i realize we are talking kinda basic 300z or mustang here but more more basic and lighter. like that subaru silly thing but more power and not flat 4 please.

      For the love of all that is holy if I see another Subaru is SAFE whiny soundtrack commercial i am going to commit hari kari. 20 years ago I had a gfriend where her entire family was in love with subarus are SAFE (and they weren’t back then) as I piled her into my 1992 Jeep Wrangler with no top and doors. please why can’t cars be cool?

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        Because we’ve become a nation of scared little wimps. Being safe matters above all. Hell, you can’t even ride a bicycle anymore without body armor.

  • avatar
    joneill1955

    Dear Ford: Please take the design for the Ford GT, replace all customized expensive parts with lower cost standard parts (e.g. no carbon fiber), use the 5.0 liter coyote V-8, and sell for less than $40k.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    …VW GTI Wagon in brown. Also, …Beetle Turbo in brown with the dog dish wheels (a configuration that is available in Europe.)

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      They had a Jetta wagon with the 2.0 turbo but killed it in 2009. The $27K+ starting price probably didn’t help. Or its unavailability in brown.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    My first letter would be to Audi to build a hatch version of the S5 (think shrunk down A7). The void in the market between the hot hatches like the GTI, Mazda3, Focus ST and cars like the Panamera/A7 is nothing short of amazing.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Dear Auto Industry,

    Three pedals, please.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      yes

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      Dear Auto Industry>

      First off: Teach your salespeople to DRIVE stick. The last car I went to test drive, I had to wait 10-20 min until ANOTHER salesperson was free because mine couldn’t bring the car up to the front!
      Seriously, it isn’t that difficult. (Encountered @ Kia dealership)

      Second: Please offer MORE THAN THE BASE STRIPPED MODEL in stick. (Multiple manufacturers)

      Third: Of the available base models in black/white/grey/silver/red, PLEASE HAVE MORE THAN ONE COLOR for the stick shift version (Encountered @ Toyota). The Toyota dealer I went to had 30-40 Yarii models and only about 5 in stick — all identical/RED with exactly the same configuration.

      Fourth: When searching for a car on a dealership website, “Transmission” should be an option to search by!

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Dear Honda:

    Please take the Fit platform and design a(n attractive!) 2-door lift back. Perhaps make an Si variant with the motor from the existing Civic Si.
    You could call it the CR-Y … or not.

  • avatar
    bziko98

    The Simpsons – Season 2 Episode 28 – Herb decides that Homer, being an average American, is the perfect person to design a new car for his company…

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    FR-S sedan (or take the bells and whistles out of an IS to get it more into the $24-26K range). Shooting brake also welcome

    Miata shooting brake/clown shoe (like the old M Coupe)

    Add a 6MT to the TSX wagon!

    Fusion/Mondeo wagon

    All would be incremental style changes….mostly just transferred engineering and legalization. The FR-S sedan would probably be the hardest

    • 0 avatar
      Dave56

      +10 on the Miata clown shoe. That I would buy.

    • 0 avatar

      I can see FR-S happening, but stripping IS down is impossible. The nature of the business does not permit it. Actually we hit it before with GS, when it hit the refresh. Toyota execs said they thought about it, but once a car baseline is established, it is heavily resistant to cost-cutting without extreme decontenting. That’s why they had to sporterize GS and make it a 5-series fighter: since it could not be made cheaper, it had to be made better. The new IS is the same story all over again.

      In this famous book Christiansen called it “northeast migration”. Happens to every product, not just cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      Also would be very interested in a Miata with a hatch that could keep a couple of folding bicycles or a couple of small suitcases, so one could pick up a person at the airport. My demands for utility are very reasonable.

  • avatar
    Fonzy

    Hey Lincoln – Please make a big convertible sedan like the old Continentals with the suicide doors. I want to cruise around 6 deep with the top down.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    It would be cool if VW opened up some sort of self configurator based on the MQB and had a standard price on customer 3D printed body panels that you upload a design for or select from template. you could create your own homermobile if you want. They would at least capture the advertising car market, replacing the redbull MINIs and Oscar Meyer mobiles. It should play well in Japan too, with some speedracer replicas popping up. I would make an elongated aero body for a TDI equipped mile muncher.

  • avatar
    scrubnick

    Take the CR-Z, add the engine from the Civic SI, keep the hybrid motor and the 6-speed gearbox. Oh, and put the freakin’ back seat back in! Make another version with the turbo RDX engine and make it E85 compatible.

    Take the Solstice platform, add 4.8L truck engine. Won’t step on Vette’s toes and would still be a bucket of win.

    Take the FR-S and throw the current engine in the scrap melter where it belongs, fit proper turbo inline 4. Maybe a derivative of the old 2ZZ engine.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I like your thinking. Except the CR-Z doesn’t need a back seat and FR-S should be a hatchback. The truck engine works perfectly in the Solstice as it comes with truck transmission already.

    • 0 avatar
      JD23

      Assuming it fits in the engine bay, all Subaru needs to do is stuff the 2.0T from the new Forester, which is a turbo version of the BRZ engine, into the BRZ.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Dear Auto Industry:

    Bring back usable trunks, useful green houses, styling that isn’t bizarre, longer hoods, north-south engines, and please offer something without a center console taking up a quarter of the space up front.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      Ryoku75,

      “styling that isn’t bizarre.”

      Thank you.

      Guess I’m not the only one who thinks modern designers use weird surface geometry to try to disguise the fact that the car is shaped like a shoe.

      • 0 avatar
        chas404

        yess…..

        all the small UTES look like sneakers to me. some are more pleasant than others but they look like Nike sneakers. I like square older Ford Escape etc for a small ute.

        • 0 avatar
          Wacko

          I thought i was the only on who hates the new Escape,
          I try to like it, but every time I see one, goes back to being ugly.
          Everything just looks odd to me.

          I think the cigerette lighter is replaced by a lipstick holder, I think they call it the F-series…..

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Escape, Cherokee, I don’t really like the styling behind any of todays smaller SUVs.

            The Bronco 2 on the other hand was nice.

          • 0 avatar
            Pig_Iron

            I was really blessed to see so many concepts up close in the early 2000s. I thought the 2004 Bronco concept was really handsome in the flesh, as was the GR-1 I mentioned above, but I don’t see Ford going that way under Mulally.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Modern car designers look to many inspirations for styling, almost none of these inspirations are from other cars but instead are things like a jacuzzi (Nissan Cube), a neat pair of sunglasses (Dodge Avenger), a yacht (Lexus SC430), and random “sporty” things (Nissan Juke).

        The end result is something that often doesn’t really look like a car, isn’t practical, and often has pretentious nonsense to justify the styling “enveloping curves of a jacuzzi to promote a comfortable and social atmosphere”.

        If carmakers want to save money I say to fire these clowns and replace them with rulers and pencils.

  • avatar
    Dave56

    How about a reasonable sized pick up with a small diesel in it.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I second this idea as well, provided the truck is about the size of Dakota.

      Also give it paddle shifters so I can pick the correct gear for the situation. The worst thing in a truck with a limited RPM range is having the automatic upshift right before a big hill thus killing all your momentum.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Dear Ford Motor Company:

    Please lop the ass end off of a Transit Connect and sell a proper little mini-pickup!

  • avatar
    Dyl911

    Sammy B hit it.

    Dear Mazda,

    PLEASE sell me a Miata (note I didn’t say MX-5) shooting brake or hatch that will fit four racing tires, a jack, some tools, and my lunch.

    Thanks in advance.

    • 0 avatar
      Sammy B

      Thank you sir. Without the RX8, this wouldn’t be seen as poaching another model’s sales (as I alluded to in another post). It really can’t be that hard to engineer this!

  • avatar
    jco

    Honda- sell us the 2015 Type R that’s already been confirmed for production

    Toyota- that FR-S sedan is a really good idea!

    Nissan- follow through on the new rwd 240SX. as long as it has 4 seats. that way maybe there might still be the possibility of finding a used S13

    Chevrolet – that small RWD platform thingy looks like fun

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I’m with Doug on the giant Outback…and the Forester, too, for that matter.

    Can you imagine the conversations that led to those upsizings?

    “Well, we have these tall-wagon niches all to ourselves – so I think we should abandon them and upsize the Outback and Forester so that they directly compete with a dozen very popular cute-utes/crossovers.”

    “Yeah! We’ll sell a million…or at least a couple thousand!”

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Actually, I can see why they upsized them. As someone with car seats in the back, the previous Foresters and even Outbacks were a bit too tight. Cross shopping against other CUVs, if rear seat room were any kind of priority, the Subies lose the sale. Now why they made the new Outback so UGLY is another conversation.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        Ummm…but there are loads of people who don’t put car seats in the back. What if Mazda made the Miata into a Corvette competitor? Yeah, everyone agrees the Miata could use more power…but why would you abandon a niche you have all to yourself to compete with entrenched favorites in another niche?

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Subaru didn’t have that niche to themselves anymore. AWD CUVs from every other manufacturer are Subaru competitors. There’s a reason big backseats sell in the family car category and the Outback is a family car.

          Beyond your or my personal needs & wants, you’d have to ask the Subaru people why they did what they did. I’m sure there is marketing data showing that more interior room was wanted. Doesn’t seem to be hurting sales in my area, I see tons of new biggie-sized Outbacks and Foresters.

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            Nothing new, really – their marketing data tell them to make the Forester into what the old Outback was, make the Outback into what the Tribeca was, etc. And Honda’s market research tells them to make the Civic into an Accord.

            Same thing with ugly – ugly/aggressive sells in the SUV space, and when the Outback moved from tall wagon the SUV, it had to become ugly and aggressive-looking.

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            @Fordson:

            Clearly it works! During the 20~30 years of turning Corolla into Camry and Civic into Accord, Toyota/Honda gained a lot of market share.

            Only if GM’s Cavalier were good enough to turn into a Crown Vic, GM wouldn’t suffer the bankrupt.

      • 0 avatar
        Skink

        The 2014 Forester is about an inch bigger, more or less, in each outside dimension, as compared to its predecessor which was unchanged for several years prior. Big deal.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    How about simply streamlining our ridiculous certification process so that anything that is allowed on the road in Europe or Japan is allowed here and vice-versa?

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Hey Toyota,
    You made a great product with the 2005 Tacoma. And you’ve let yourself get freaking arrogant about it. That was 8 years ago, and you have the gall to raise the price every year without updating it. It gets the same mileage as V8 full-sizers. It still costs $30K for a double cab without the TRD hardware.

    Redesign it. Squeeze a few more mpgs out of that V6 and give us the diesel that you already have in the Hi-Lux. And don’t you dare jack the price on us.

    Hey Toyota customers,
    Stop letting Toyota rip you off. Stop buying that thing until they properly update it so it’s worth the asking price.

    • 0 avatar
      MR2turbo4evr

      I’d say scrap the Tacoma alltogether and just sell us the same Hilux that’s available in Europe. Done!

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “That was 8 years ago, and you have the gall to raise the price every year without updating it.”

      Why, it’s almost like the cost of labor or parts might have changed, or the value of money itself!

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I’d buy that argument if the vehicle were getting redesigned every five years like most vehicles, thereby incurring substantial development costs. Yearly increases in price then seem appropriate to keep up with the factors you mention.

        The current Tacoma has been around for 8 years. Other vehicles can be sold profitably in a five-year cycle, so the Tacoma has been paid off for 3 years longer than the typical vehicle. Annual price increases make little sense in that situation. I’m guessing Toyota is reaping big bucks in profit off of these old rigs, selling them at inflated prices to a substantial niche demographic strangely willing to pay it.

        • 0 avatar
          akitadog

          I’ll tell you who that demographic is:
          Immigrant latinos who grew up on Toyotas, who work construction, and HAVE TO own a Toyota pickup in order to show their co-workers that they’ve “made it.” They’re also paying 10%+ interest on that new truck loan. But Toyota knows it has a built-in market for the Tacoma who will buy, no questions asked. Why mess with a gravy train?

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Boy you’ve got that right. Since the mid-nineties I’ve wanted an extra-cab (not even a double) four-cylinder 4×4. The prices for those with six-figure mileage are still out of the budget. Gotta go on dreaming like Marty McFly…

  • avatar
    ezeolla

    Bring back the K-5 Blazer and Bronco! But not as the concept Bronco is. Make it like the old ones (80’s). Just extend the cabin of the Silverado/F-150. Also, no deal unless the back window rolls into the tailgate and the back roof can come off (it can have a roll bar if that’s needed to get past IIHS)

    And of course, no sale without a stick shift

  • avatar
    Sky_Render

    Dear Ford,

    Please convert all those awesome, kick-ass rear-wheel-drive sedans and “utes” that you sell over in Australia to left-hand drive and sell them here in America.

    Love,
    Sky Render

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    I’m going to go slightly against the Miata hatchback letters:

    Dear Mazda,

    I love the Miata, but having a little girl means that I need a back seat ensure she can share in the fun (also, this will dramatically enhance the daycare run). Please take your wonderful Miata platform and make a 4 door sedan with it. Please try to make it look as much like the Shinari as possible, although with a roofline for the real world.

    Thank you in advance.

    P.S. The sooner, the better, as if Toyota beats you to the punch with a 4-door 86, then I’ll take what I can get.

    • 0 avatar
      Sammy B

      AS the father of two (soon to be 3), I would love that as well. My initial thought on the Miata hatch/shooting brake was mainly from the standpoint of smallest engineering/cash outlay. Similar to the Outback sedan vs wagon. It wasn’t a big undertaking. Granted a Miata platform sedan wouldn’t be a massive project, but still.

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        It might be a bit of a project, but it would be awesome. It wouldn’t even need the restyle I mentioned. I’m picturing an MX-5 with a hard top stretched out to 4-doors, and really liking the idea.

        • 0 avatar
          qa

          +1 on a “sedan” version of the Miata platform. I need a reasonably priced reliable replacement to my 24 year old E30 sedan. This daily driver has 253k miles.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    The Rampage was silly, but I always kind of liked it. I’ll have one of those Jag station wagons in my garage some day.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Sadly it was the one L-body platform which was not fitted with the factory turbomotor; simply adding that option would have kept it going for several more years. Definitely a good time machine request.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    “requesting (of Porsche) a turbocharged Cayman with four-wheel drive, a stick shift, and a targa roof”

    Don’t think I could afford it, but I’d love to see how they would route the front driveshaft through the engine.

    RWD turbo 4 would be nice, though.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Thus far I’m seeing a 100% ratio of Subaru owner generalizations in any Subaru article written ever, including this one. Barf.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve learned two thing in my short time writing for TTAC: one, any article about Subaru stereotypes will be met with anger. And two, any article about anything will be met with love for the Ford Crown Victoria.

      • 0 avatar
        grzydj

        The buff books do it, Youtube video reviewers do it, internet bloggers do it, everybody does it, and so you’re not alone. I don’t think it draws the ire of the commentariat the way you think it does, it’s just nauseating and incredibly unimaginative and makes people cringe when they read the same nonsense regurgitated for the ten thousandth time.

        I hope you can do better than that.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          You have a good point grzydj. Doug usually your commentary is insightful, some generalization that we hadn’t though of before, the Subaru stuff is typical, so perhaps you can do better than that, we expect new ideas at TTAC not the same old crap.

          • 0 avatar

            Allow me to explain. I’m from Colorado, where EVERYONE has a Subaru. I didn’t even know there were stereotypes until I moved to Georgia.

            So I’m making up for lost time.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            Yeah, my mom has my old Escape in Colorado and was feeling like she stuck out.

            “But, mom, it’s a Ford Subaru Forester!”

            She’s actually quite happy to have it, since it’s a well maintained cheap car that does what she needs. Considering! :-)

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        Not angry, but dumbfounded that you still haven’t ‘learned’ about stereotyping owners. This is 2013, not 1998. Have you been to a Subaru dealer lately? In my region, the folks who shop Outbacks also shop Camrys and Accords. I don’t own one, but I gained a lot more respect for the Outback just as a regular road car when Hertz rented me a 2005 version in Los Angeles.

        Lately, even Toyota had taken to stereotyping the Outback owner in their Venza commercials. Short, round, unshaven, baggy denim shorts, sandal-wearing Outback owner versus neat, taller, trim, stylish Venza
        owner. C’mon people(yes, you too, Doug) get with the times.

        • 0 avatar

          No, I haven’t been to a Subaru dealer lately because I don’t grow hemp. However, I do agree with Toyota’s characterization of Venza owners as neat, taller, trim and stylish. That’s precisely the demographic I think of when I think “Venza.”

          Remember: the Subaru I was describing came out in 1998. For the time, my remarks were quite accurate, which is unusual for me.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      In his defense its pretty much all true…Subarus are very regional, appeal to lesbians, and the Outback is master stroke of styling and marketing. None of that is a secret.

      You only go off the rails when you say jacking up a wagon is “fooling” anyone, though I know it is for editorial effect. Americans are suckers for jacked up anything these days.

      Our Outback XT has more ground clearance than most any SUV it would compete with (8.7″) *and* it will run figure 8s around any of them on the road. And no two tone paint job.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        I live in Vermont, which may be the Subaru capitol of the US, and the stereotype is pretty damn accurate. I would say two out of every three Outbacks that I encounter are plastered with “Buy Local”, “Obama/Biden 2012″, “Think Green” or similar bumper stickers.

        • 0 avatar
          AFX

          “I live in Vermont, which may be the Subaru capitol of the US, and the stereotype is pretty damn accurate. I would say two out of every three Outbacks that I encounter are plastered with “Buy Local”, “Obama/Biden 2012″, “Think Green” or similar bumper stickers.”

          Subarus- treehugger bumper stickers, ski resort parking pass on rearview mirror, blasting Melissa Etheridge or Phish on the stereo.

          Panther based Fords- AARP or veteran bumper stickers, handicapped parking pass hanging from rearview mirror, blasting Paul Harvey on the stereo.

          Pontiac Sunfire- Tinkerbell bumper stickers, dreamcatcher or Mardi Gras beads hanging from rearview mirror, blasting Pink on the stereo.

          Volvo wagon- “My other car is a bicycle” bumper sticker, university employee parking pass hanging from rearview mirror, NPR blasting on the stereo.

    • 0 avatar
      kosmo

      100% is not a ratio.

  • avatar
    missmySE-R

    MazdaSpeed5 (Heck even C&D slapped one together)

    Regal Turbo Wagon (Exists in Europe as an Opel)

    Mazda6 Hatchback (like 1st gen, almost indistinguishable from the sedan)

    Dodge Journey SRT-6 (surely Chrysler has a turbo Pentastar in development that could exist outside of Maseratis)

    Caravan R/T (same turbo Pentastar; direct Ecoboost Flex competitor)

    Equinox SS (same turbo 3.6 as in the upcoming CTS)

    Chevy Nomad (use the ’04 concept as inspiration for a re-bodied Cruze; ie, pseudo 2nd gen HHR)

    Volvo S60R

  • avatar
    Mykl

    An RX-8 with the turbo four from the Mazdaspeed 3.

    Call it an MX-8, or whatever (irrelevant), because I want that car with an engine that doesn’t suck.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      Oh man what a legendary car that would be, just give it up on the Rotary and put something with some usable torque in there and instant classic…

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      Yeah, that is definitely the biggest missed opportunity of the last 15 years. The RX-8 was nearly perfect. A very good conventional engine would have been the final touch. I still see more RX-8s than Nissan Z’s, Honda S2000’s and Ford Mustang GT’s of the same vintage put together. But with the MZR…

    • 0 avatar
      George Herbert

      Mykl writes:
      An RX-8 with the turbo four from the Mazdaspeed 3.

      Call it an MX-8, or whatever (irrelevant), because I want that car with an engine that doesn’t suck.

      It won’t fit into the body tunnel the rotary is slid back into. It’s not only a heavier motor, but the weight will shift forwards… I’d guess 12 inches, though I’d have to have a motor and a RX-8 bare chassis to play with to tell for sure. Not going to take my RX-8 apart to answer the question.

      That’s assuming there’s enough space between the body rails in the engine compartment to fit the alternate engine in.

      To keep close to 50-50 balance you’d probably have to go to a transaxle, moving a couple of hundred or so pounds of transmission aft. But that would require new body stampings and finding space in the centerbody at the rear axle. Possible, but it’s going to reach into interior space.

      There exists an off the shelf transaxle for that; the Corvette models will do. But this is not so much an RX-8 anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        Somehow Mazda fit an inline-4 in the NC Miata, despite the Miata being based on a shortened, lightened version of the RX-8 platform, and still kept the NC Miata incredibly balanced without a transaxle.

        • 0 avatar
          George Herbert

          I know there are NC / RX-8 connections but I’m not sure how far they go structurally. I thought there was different track, but apparently not, just checked and they appear the same other than the slightly wider RX-8 tires. The quarter panels on the NC are obviously less highly strained but that’s not underlying chassis.

          I’m in the SF Bay Area, if anyone around here with an NC wants to set up a meeting a couple or three weeks from now we can do a side by side detailed comparison, take measurements and photos and the like…

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        The aftermarket has figured out how to stuff a GM V-8 in the RX-8. I’m sure Mazda could figure out how to fit a DOHC I-4 into a car that’s bigger than the MX-5 and make it handle well.

        I used to drive RX-7’s so I’m very much aware of just how sensitive rotory enthusiasts are concerning the idea of powering their beloved with pistons. But the engineering hurdles here seem to be trivial compared to the task of figuring out how to make the rotary engine competitive in horsepower, efficiency, and consumption.

        • 0 avatar
          kvndoom

          Most of the “rotary enthusiasts” would honest to god rather see Mazda fail and go out of business than put the DISI in the RX8 chassis, even if that would have kept the company with a halo car.

          Much like the same people who call Mazda “the enthusiast brand” out of the left side of their mouths while calling its only available sports car “a girly man’s car” out of the right.

        • 0 avatar
          George Herbert

          The aftermarket V8 mods may not pass crash testing… There are limits to what manufacturers can do, that we do not have to obey once it’s been sold the first time…

          • 0 avatar
            Mykl

            You’re probably right, a V-8 in the RX-8 is totally impractical from a manufacturing point of view (for a number of reasons, not just crash testing). Getting that to work right wouldn’t be easy.

            I’m just throwing it out there that if the aftermarket (a bunch of hot-rodders in a garage with welding skills) could squeeze a V-8 into the chassis and make it work, surely a manufacturer with teams of engineers could get an I-4 into it. I understand that a DOHC I-4 is significantly taller than a rotary, but the RENESIS sits so low in the car that there’s tons of room between it and the hood (if you remove the plastic).

            If anything the weight distribution f:r wouldn’t be impacted as much as the center of gravity. They can tweak the weight balance between the front and rear of the car, but a taller engine with more weight up higher is going to be more difficult to compensate for.

            Still, it’s Mazda, they know how to build a good handling car; they could figure it out.

          • 0 avatar
            George Herbert

            Yeah, I know how it fits, I’ve gone under my car plenty (just crawling, up on lift, etc) and looked at it from above from every angle.

            I know how much space is above it, but it’s also nestled back into the tunnel between the two front seats’ legs. Not that much space above and around it. Without shifting it forwards (and there goes the weight balance / longitudinal CG…).

          • 0 avatar
            yaymx5

            “I know how much space is above it, but it’s also nestled back into the tunnel between the two front seats’ legs.”

            Hmm, maybe that’s the reason that the NC’s passenger footwell is significantly smaller than the driver footwell.

          • 0 avatar
            George Herbert

            Yaymx5 writes:
            Hmm, maybe that’s the reason that the NC’s passenger footwell is significantly smaller than the driver footwell.

            I’ve only (tried) to sit in the driver’s side in a NC; I was in the passenger side on friends’ NA and NB models over the years. From passengering in my wifes’ RX-8 from time to time, there is a stark difference in the footwell size from passenger to driver side. I am suddenly sharply curious about the pedals configuration for the Japan/UK etc right hand drive models of the RX-8. I have plenty of driver footwell space on my standard US spec 2004 model year RX-8. It’s uncomfortable riding as passenger.

            Does anyone have a right-hand-drive RX-8? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    • 0 avatar
      George Herbert

      On the other hand… Go ahead and re-stamp the aft chassis to let you put a Corvette transaxle in back, and instead of the Speed 3 motor, bolt a pair of 6-port 13B-MSP Renesis together to get 4 rotors up front.

      Probably about 3,450 lb curb weight when you’re done, so it will need slightly wider tires, but 475-500 HP and 320 lb-ft and 50-50 balance and…

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      And, the round radio face is a bit weird…so update the interior a bit like the new 6…I would SO want to own that.

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        Could you imagine if Mazda applied the RX-8’s formula (small sports car chassis, 2+2, suicide doors, lightish weight) to their new design language with a solid engine? Heck, offer multiple engines…. a basic 170-190 hp naturally aspirated I-4 and a Mazdaspeed version with the turbo engine.

        The RX-8 was a fairly popular car and seemed to sell well; at least I still see them all over the place, and that car certainly had some polarizing styling. Priced at the Toyobaru up to basic Mustang GT point and I don’t see how the car wouldn’t be competitive.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Even if there is an RX-8 with the turbo four from the Mazdaspeed 3, it’s not necessarily better than a turbo BRZ. So, why go through all that trouble or writing a letter?

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        Because the 4 doors and larger back seat open the car to a MUCH larger audience. I love the Miata, and I love the Toyobaru, but I’m married and have a little girl (and possibly another on the way in the future). It is a lot easier to make the argument for such a car when the whole family can use it.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    Dear someone, anyone (Mazda?)

    Please buy the stampings for the Saab 9000 Aero and the blueprints for the B234 2.3 turbo, bring it up to FMVSS, and I’ll buy two. All the car anyone would ever need – performance car, luxury car, SUV and economy car, rolled into one.

    Thanks

  • avatar
    ijbrekke

    Could we please have a light weight, RWD, 4 door, affordable hatchback/wagon? I still can’t believe no one makes one in America.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Dear entire auto industry,

    Some of your customers are tall. Please build me a whatever it is you’re already building WITHOUT A BUNDLED SUNROOF SO I CAN ACTUALLY SIT UPRIGHT IN IT.

    More in the theme of the original post, I would like Ford to bring the Panther back and put the Coyote V8 in it. What the Marauder teased us with but wasn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Dan – I’m 6’3″ and am impressed with the sunroof headroom in the CR-V and Forrester.

      Life is too short not to have a sunroof.

    • 0 avatar
      Scout_Number_4

      +1 Dan, I have to recline the seat in most cars so that my head doesn’t hit the roof. Notice I said ‘cars’–Don’t have that problem in my truck or the wife’s CR-V…..of course, it’s not problem in a Panther, either.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    North American manufacturers: Ute please. 2000lb load capacity, roughly 5000lb towing capacity.

    Thank You.

    PS: Forget it. I’ll just lower the suspension on my standard cab bench seat F150

  • avatar
    onyxtape

    Bring back the mid-2000s (Gen 3?) Legacy GT wagon. But without the head gasket issues this time, please.

    • 0 avatar
      gessvt

      The NA 2.5 had head gasket issues, not the 2.5 turbo. Burnt valves and leaky injectors? Now we’re talkin’.

      But, to quote someone else on here, I’ve never loved a car that hates me just as much as my LGT.

  • avatar
    George B

    Dear General Motors, Please adapt the Holden Ute to the US standards and sell it here. I don’t care if you call it a Chevrolet or a Holden or where you build it, so do whatever makes financial sense for the company. I would prefer an aluminum block V8 engine with displacement on demand.

    Dear Mazda and Volkswagen, Please offer either leather seating surfaces or high quality woven cloth on your mid trim level Mazda6 and Volkswagen Passat. Plastic pretending to be leather is very uncomfortable in hot climates. Mazda, please offer a “sport” mode button to disable the maximum fuel economy sluggish throttle mapping and make the interior look a little more upscale on the higher trim Mazda6 models.

    Dear Ford, please build an upscale looking sedan on the Mustang platform. Use an E38 BMW as a guide to proper RWD sedan proportions, continuous character lines to emphasize low-long-wide, and generally timeless styling. I would prefer to purchase it at a lower price as a Ford, but would consider it as a Lincoln.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    1) For the love of God, please bring the Zeta platform sportwagon to the United States. Take the SS and give it the Buick nose and a bit more cushion, and offer both as your flagship cars for Buick.

    2) My favorite car of all time remains my 1989 Ford Probe. Passed the torch on it at 186K miles. I drove it like it was stolen. Be relatively gentle and you could easily get 36 to 37 MPG highway. The engine bowed at the altar of torque. It actually fit four adults, as a coupe. The cargo area was amazingly versatile. The overall content with power every, trip computer, sunroof, etc. etc. etc. was very high for the era, and the car was well priced. If something Ford “Probe-ish” came along color me very interested.

    3) More diesels – seriously – darn interested

    4) Take the Volt and build something with more backseat room and cargo space

    5) Toyota – PLEASE bring back something truly cool, with a Toyota badge, that is Celica All-Trac or Supra in nature.

    6) Honda – put the feckin’ Si engine in the CRZ – it is SUCH A NO BRAINER. There are many of us who grew up in the 80’s who are moving into that prime car buyer age of late 40’s that remember our glory days – and would love to have a son of CRX in our driveway.

    Those are my four wish list items

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      #6… Japanese pride is a BITCH, no?

    • 0 avatar
      AFX

      Back in the early 90’s we had a coffee table for sale in the local bargain flyer. A woman came to look at it and bought it, and she was driving a 1st gen Probe. I took it outside and looked at the car and told her “This thing is never going to fit in there”. She said to me “You’ve never seen how much one of these can hold”, and she flopped the rear seatback down. I was like HOLY CRAP !. The coffee table fit right in with no problems. Now if it had been a Camaro, Firebird, or a 3000GT/Stealth instead she’d have been calling for a pickup truck.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    GM, please sell the Orlando in the US and add the Cruze’s 2.0L diesel. If you could also make it AWD and a stick, that would be great.

    Or, Mazda, put the new 6’s diesel in the new Mazda 5. Either would be great. Thanks.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    My request would be simple. Dump all these CUV/SUV/Crossover vehicles and simply may wagon versions of your cars. Done properly they can be a hoot to drive and practical. I have a TSX wagon and it’s perfect.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    What I would like to see is a manufacturer sell against CUVS . . . but of course, they all make them, so they won’t.

    But it’s nice to imagine, e.g. “Compare the cargo room in your X3 with the 328 wagon. You’ll actually find more room in the wagon, with the second row of seats up. You’ll also find that the wagon handles better, gets 3-5 mpg better on the highway and is a little quicker as well. Ask yourself: when’s the last time you really needed 4-wheel drive? For an extra $800, we’ll even throw in a second set of wheels with snow tires mounted on them for the winter. . . and we will gladly mount those wheels on your car for $20 every Thanksgiving and take them off every Easter for another $20.”

  • avatar
    MeaCulpa

    Telling companies what to build seems way too hard. So I’ll tell them what to not build.

    Dear mercedes, stop this fuck!ng AMG nonsense, just STOP. Nobody buys an AMG for any other reason than it being the most expensive version of whatever model they’re looking at. Also, they are ugly, super super ugly. Just make some other model ridiculously expensive and I’m sure that the oligarchs, sheiks and american housewives will buy that instead. Come on you know I’m right, ruining the ride doesn’t make a a car with an automatic “sporty” it makes it sh!t, in this case tacky expensive shit.

    Dear BMW have you seen the 6 series, whatever series GT, the X6 or the 1 series? I have, I’m now depressed and my eyes are red from the required repeated bleach eyewash. Clearly you have no clue about designing anything but sedans and station wagons so lets just stick to that, mkaaaay.

    Dear FIAT/Chrysler, Lancia, just kill Lancia. Pretty please with cocain on top.

    VW, I know you’re on top, I know that you spend more money on sausages than GM made last year. And that’s all fine and dandy, but, SEAT…

    Audi. Build a R8 V12 diesel, while you’re at it the A8 could need some V12 diesel power as well. Oh and cancel all the Q models, they look like rolling abortions.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “Audi. Build a R8 V12 diesel, while you’re at it the A8 could need some V12 diesel power as well. Oh and cancel all the Q models, they look like rolling abortions.”

      Ironically, the car with the V12 diesel (in Europe at least) was the Q7. However, they’ll disagree with you there — if anything, there will be even more Q models — the even numbers will start getting filled in, and the Q9 is coming soon.

  • avatar
    replica

    Honda,

    Please offer an option for the CRZ to have the motor from the Fit in it, and price it at like $15k. I’ll buy one. Today.

    Mazda,

    I really like the Mazda2, can you please offer an option to have the base Mazda3 motor in it? The 1.5 in there sucks. Also, make a coupe Miata. Call it the Miator. Because.

    Ford,
    Why is the Fiesta ST so expensive? Stop it. Also, bring the Ranger back. With a diesel.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    One more.

    Dear Auto Industry,

    Stop packaging features!

    Stop making me buy the GPS, navscreen, club grade system, 24-way heated seats and whatever else in one big chunk, just so I can get the wheels and tires I actually want.

  • avatar
    Bored383

    I just want to say that the current outback is the best version of it yet – it is a great station wagon, and the urge to slap fake wood paneling and AMC Eagle badges on the one in my household is tempting.

    As for what I would ask for from manufacturers? A return to real trucks – not the damn living rooms on wheels they sell. Simple trucks. Oh, and Ford needs to bring the 300/6 back. And Dodge needs to ditch 2 doors on the new dart and then rename it the neon

  • avatar

    Geez, all I want is to make sure GM offers the Vette’s 7-speed manual in the third-gen CTS-V.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Buick: received an “incomplete” grade for the Regal GS. Say it with me: manual, turbo, all wheel drive.

    Ford: swoopy rear drive sedan based on the Mustang. AWD Focus RS.

    VW: Microbus. Not the Bully, not a Chrysler. A modern Microbus. Westfalia optional.

    Subaru: sorry about the Baja. How about a simple BRAT, with a turbo manual version? BRZ STi too.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Dear GM,

    Build the GMC Granite concept and put it on the Voltec drivetrain.
    The Volt rules, and those hamsters at Kia are cleaning up.

    Dear all automakers,

    Please name your cars with NAMES. It’s not hard to do. I can provide you with a free naming service if you can’t find somebody to name a car.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    -Miata with hard top installed (the removable hard top, not the folding hard top) but no soft top, for soft top Miata money or less
    -Dodge Charger Pentastar 6MT
    -Resurrected Dodge Magnum Pentastar 6MT
    -Subaru Impreza Wagon with RWD only and BRZ 6MT drivetrain (this basically may come true as part of the expanded FR-S family)
    -MINI Paceman 6MT with RWD only
    -Ford Fiesta ST Panel Van
    -Two door 6MT version of the new Jeep Cherokee (for DeMuro)

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      One more. Cadillac Escalade with a trunk. Kind of like the EXT, but a straight-up trunk, and no flying buttresses. Call it the Fleetwood Brougham.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Dear Ford: your Panther platform deserved a wagon variant, along with a V10 option and a heavy duty towing package. A rear facing 3rd row would have been good, but quad side by side seating would have been better. And for your new cars, use nothing but one-touch window switches in every single socket from now on – and give the driver an “all up/down” command switch.

    Dear GM: Reinstitute the custom RPO for factory orders. Allow anyone who wants to pay the extra $20K for it have an LS9 fitted to any of your V8-capable automobiles. Allow for mix-and-match when combining powertrain options.

    Dear Toyota: Don’t worry if you aim for the youth market and hit the empty nesters instead; chalk up a sale as a sale and bank it.

    To every automaker besides the few who do: give us paint-to-sample for our factory orders, as many of us like to show the world how much we love our rides. Do not question our sense of style, or exclude vibration-prone combinations. And rear seat passengers like to hang their arms on window sills, too: if your rear glass doesn’t roll all the way down, go back to the drawing boards and keep trying until you get it right.

    • 0 avatar
      yaymx5

      Re: Panther Wagon
      How about the Ford Flex? AWD instead of RWD, and perhaps not the old-school character of the Panther platform. But, I think the Flex has some interesting character of its own. I once rented a Flex and hooned it from SF to LA and back, and I quite enjoyed it.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        As a matter of fact, I’m currently driving a Flex and finding it worthy as a modern take on the station wagon. It’s worked out much better than I had imagined, and the turbomotor version tames the mountain passes with ease. I look forward to my first hop into UT to visit friends, as the elevation changes along the way tend to make NA motors wheeze just a little bit.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      @Felis Concolor “Panther platform deserved a wagon variant, along with a V10 option and a heavy duty towing package. A rear facing 3rd row would have been good, but quad side by side seating would have been better.”

      Wow, now that’s free thinking, and I totally second it. If we’re down that route… How about a stretched Mustang called a Torino or Milano with a six speed as standard? Plus the V10 of couse for the Cobra option.
      :-)

  • avatar
    7402

    I’m about to write my third letter (2002, 2009, and now in 2013) to Subaru explaining why I am NOT buying a Forester despite really liking the things. I have a couple of issues: 1) why must I have a two-pedal experience if I want a nicely optioned vehicle? and 2) when will they get rid of that Soviet-era cloth interior and use real vinyl appropriate for a very capable off-road/all-weather vehicle? Subaru never followed up with me the first two times, so I’m not hopeful this time. I’m guessing they survey people who bought their cars rather than people who researched and test drove then just wept and bought something else.

    At the very least, let me spec the car my way (bundling factory options that I want), pay MSRP for it, and wait three months for it to arrive. Hell, I’ll even pay for it up front.

    For all manufacturers, some options should be single-choice that are never bundled. These include: 1) transmission, whether auto, 3-pedal-manual, or DSG; 2) sunroof–I’m tall and true luxury is being able to sit straight while driving; and 3) fabric choice for seats–some people love old-school vinyl like MB-Tex, some love leather, and some like that mouse-skin cloth.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      Not that I’m in the market myself, but I’m annoyed that the new Forester is unavailable in the U.S. with both the sunroof and a stick. This was NOT the case two generations ago (our ’06 Forester X with premium package is a stick). With respect to seating choices: Even the first generation of Forester through ’02 had leather interiors in the upper option levels, and it’s not so supple that it couldn’t have served as a vinyl substitute…

  • avatar
    CdP

    1. American-built 3 series sedan competitor with no chrome on the exterior, no shiny wheels, and no piano black on the interior.

    2. American-built mid and large SUV, which when loaded to the gills, would have no chrome on the exterior and no piano black on the interior.

    3. For both above, no complete words (real or made up) can be read on the exterior (i.e. Vortec, Flex Fuel, Duramax).

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    Turbo FR-S. No need to ditch the boxer engine — the flat 4 gets you lower center of gravity than a typical inline 4. It’s already got DI, which means happy turbo funtime. It just needs the turbo. And a badge which reads ‘Toyota Supra’

    The Subaru twin, on the other hand, needs an awd drivetrain, with a WRX turbo variant, and an inch or two lift like the Outback. So basically the modern version of the AMC Eagle, without the downsides of having been lashed together by AMC. Or maybe mainstream Rally Fighter.

    I’ll second non-hybrid CR-Z. Or maybe Fit Si — a lower roofline for sure, possibly 2 fewer doors, a bigger engine and/or 4 wheel disc brakes. The CR-Z, Fit and Insight all share DNA, it should be really easy to take what’s great about the Fit and make a great CR-Z. Most of that is just the light weight, which means no heavy hybrid battery pack.

    EDIT: Oh, and Mazda need to start making brand new $2000 used Miatas, they’re getting a little scarce on Craigslist.

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    I would really like to see a FJ Cruiser with Toyota’s 1KD-FTV turbodiesel engine from the Hilux. And while we’re at it, why not a Nissan Xterra with the Renault V9X?

  • avatar

    A kickass track-special Mustang that’ll shame an M3 for half price. Preferably free of Shelby nostalgia.

    A V6 Mustang with decent power and a non-Hertz spec chassis.

    250-300hp AWD hot hatch in the mid $20ks.

    A Jeep that’ll hold my family on a camping trip that already has the first $5k in aftermarket upgrades from the factory.

    A Cadillac wagon with a 550hp engine and 6 speed manual transmission.

    A RWD sport coupe on a truly modern chassis for $25k.

    Oh…wait…

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Stop it with your truth about how the current automotive market offers better, cheaper cars, including rear wheel drive manual transmission cars, than at any point in history.

      We are currently in Malaise II because the Miata has gained 100 pounds since the pre-’94 NA and something about compact pickup trucks and about power windows putting the cost of cars beyond reach.

  • avatar
    Les

    Dear General Motors,

    Please import the Lada Niva. Oh don’t play dumb with me, I know all about your little dalliance with Russia letting Chevrolet get frisky with AvtoVAZ.

    Just if you do, remember one thing. Do not, I repeat, Do Not market it as a ‘Lifestyle’ vehicle thinking you can get some hipster money with it.. Hipsters HATE being marketed to, if they have any resonance with this thing at all they’ll throw all their money at you even if it’s marketed towards suburban divorcee cougars badly over-estimating how much they’ve ‘still got-it’ after they’ve finally fobbed the last of their kids off on collage.

    Don’t market at suburban divorcee cougars by the way.

    No, marketing should not position the Niva to compete with any SUV like the Wrangler or FJ-Cruiser, they should position it to compete with the likes of the John Deere Gator or the Polaris Ranger.. think less ‘very-small SUV’ and more ‘large (and road-legal) side-by-side UTV’.

    • 0 avatar

      A U.S. spec Niva would be very cool, but very niche market. Remember that it’s rather small, about the size of TJ Wrangler. It is a unibody, so you cannot pop the top off. Vehicles like that are sold in other locales, see e.g. Daihatsu/Toyota Rush, although modern Rush grew a 4-door version. Might as well start by adapting one of those asian SUVs. But then we’d just end with Suzuki GV.

  • avatar
    Rosso

    I saw two variants on what I would like already mentioned but I’ll throw in my two cents. I would like Lincoln to bring back the LS and do it right this time. V8, stick shift and not sharing a platform with anything jaguar. And THEN bring out a Ford variant with a little less luxury and different sheet metal. Classic sixties muscle combination.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I’d write to Sergio to put a bench front seat in the 300, cut off the back right behind it and put in a cargo box, and turn it into a competitor to the no-longer-existing Ranchero/El Camino. I’d call it the El Rancherino. The market is ready for another car-based light duty pickup, but this would be a luxury-car based one – blazing a new trail, what Sergio does best. I don’t expect him to do it, though – he didn’t do the tall-roof camper van version of the 300 I suggested a couple years ago. Maybe the tall-camper would have been better as a FWD Dodge Journey version?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    1. A new Civic Del Sol SI based on the current chassis.
    2. A crossover with the dimensions, sightlines, and cargo capacity of the Trooper. Make it a 6-spd turbo hybrid diesel and get all the PATs.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    Speaking of Subaru, here is a company that could build a terrific small pickup if it would only see the possibilities. Imagine a truck based off the forester platform with AWD, six speed manual, maybe a turbo option, or just bring their boxer diesel! Heck, keep the Baja name just do it right this time.

    • 0 avatar
      mr_muttonchops

      So basically a modern BRAT? I’d be all for that. I don’t feel a truck that size needs RWD, given it’s modest intentions. Most of the world gets by with tiny FWD pick ups based on cheap car bodies. Not exactly glamorous or masculine by any means, but they’re certainly more of a pick up in ideals than a F-150 nowadays.

  • avatar
    jco

    Doug, your theoretical targa 4wd cayman will literally outweigh any benefit granted by the turbo.

    a turbo manual-trans 2wd Cayman GT would be great and totally not make Baruth go crazy at all.

    that being said, if I was fortunate enough to have a choice between 911 and cayman I would always choose 911. I feel like if you want a 911 you won’t just buy a Cayman instead if your finances allow the 911.

    oh, btw, the suggestion that Honda does a Fit Si is right on. yes please x100

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Dear GM, please make me
    A real Cadillac that can compete with the likes of Rolls-Royce Phantom and Bentley Mulsanne:

    RWD
    Body-on-Frame
    Column Shift Automatic
    2 bench seats
    V12 (2 3.6Ls ala duratec style)
    Trunk space for 6 bodies
    Standing Hood Ornament
    Horn that bellows
    Perforated Leather seats
    real wood trim

  • avatar
    ehaase

    I really only want the Ford Focus or Chevrolet Cruze wagon. I love the Panthers and GM B bodies, but CAFE prohibits those cars from being built again.

  • avatar
    340-4

    Dear Cadillac,

    Please expand upon the fantastic new CTS by offering the following:

    A two door sedan (true hardtop) version.

    A two door convertible. It’s time. It’s long overdue.

    A four door wagon, AWD optional, a la Mercedes.

    I’m a 44 year old professional and I would *aspire* and *work* to own either the coupe or wagon version.

    Celadon green with a white leather interior on the coupe, please. Returning to your 60’s color palette would set the world on its ear.

    Yours,

    Almost bought a previous gen CTS

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    I thought for much of the afternoon about this question…I’m really having trouble coming up with something. Most of the suggestions are not marketable except to a few people and will not sell by the millions, or even thousands on an annual basis. But what do I know, I own a Honda Accord and two Cannondales.

    I’d like something that is designed for longevity, ease of maintenance, my wife will approve (since she is the primary driver), cargo capacity, cheap to own and operate. The Accord hits them all, in sedan fashion, with excellent visibility and since it’s used for it’s intended purpose as a family sedan, I have no qualms with being FWD or AT (EX-L).

    I thought our Outback would have handled all those items with ease, it was too narrow and a headache. It has fun with the stick. Maybe if Honda still had an Accord wagon available, the TSX is great but again a bit tight with a carseat and boosterseat. An AWD TSX is a CRV. Just remembered the Crosstour, I guess that is an Accord wagon. I do agree though, CUVs are not really replacements for wagons but people prefer the seating position and that is why they sell…it’s not only a US thing, they’re popular in Europe (and so are automatic transmissions, outselling manuals now).

    I think there is some great product variation on the marketplace. Oh, I’d like to see highland green available on the Mustang every year. Screw special editions.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      “Most of the suggestions are not marketable except to a few people and will not sell by the millions, or even thousands on an annual basis.”

      And the Murano Crosscabriolet will?

      • 0 avatar
        TEXN3

        Thank you for proving my point. All the vehicles that have low sales and look funny come from the Internet forum predecessor: market studies. Except those people usually had money unlike most Internet commentators… The Best and Brightest, here, has dimmed over the past 4 years.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          Can someone direct me to their opinion of “Best of” columns from the heyday of the “Best and Brightest” stuff? Were there more people with engineering and economics knowledge then and fewer people who pretended to be experts by reading Wikipedia? If that was the case, where can I find these people now?

  • avatar
    ajla

    Dear GM:

    3800 Series IV.

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    Dear Honda circa 2013,

    Here are instructions on how to make a time machine. You only have 3 settings/times to go to outside of 2013: around 1990, 2000, and whenever there is a cure for AIDS. Firt, I want you to go back to 1990. Study the CRX, Prelude 4WS, and NSX. After that I want you to go to 2000 and study the Integra Type R, S2000, original Insight, and Civic Si. I then want you to go to whenever there is a cure for AIDS, go back to 1990, and administer it to Freddie Mercury (this is a personal errand, but you owe me a solid for the time machine.) Using what you’ve learned in your magical time travelling adventures, go back to 2013 and clean up the boring mess you’ve made.

  • avatar
    kjb911

    Dear GM:

    A New Pontiac Fiero Please

  • avatar
    TW4

    …..a rugged man sedan.

    I’m sick of vanilla sedans for the soft-handed, androgynous, middle-aged, middle-management herd creatures found only in marketing research data.

    I want a Chrysler 300 with a bomb-proof Chevy V8 small-block cranking out about 300hp-350hp. Manual locks, manual mirrors, manual windows, analog climate control knobs and such. Heavy steering, braking, and clutch like an air-cooled Porsche. Manual 6-speed transmission and manual 4-wheel-drive handle engagement like a Jeep Wrangler. I don’t want any flat-screen TV BS in the dash. I’ve got a smart phone. Do give me a rugged sporty cloth interior like a Nissan Xterra or Frontier. Something you can hose down after the dogs or kids ruin it every week. Make the carpets easily removable and put drains in the floor pan. None of that 22″ chrome wheels malarkey, either. I want 18″-19″ brushed aluminum Bullitt wheels with high profile tires that do hand to hand combat with crappy American roads.

    After you’re done with with my man sedan, build me a man compact sedan for the city. A miniature Ford Taurus with the agricultural, downspeeded 2.5L I-4 Nissan engine found in the Frontier. Same controls and manual 4-wheel-drive engagement as the fullsize man sedan.

    Why do I want a man sedan and a man compact-sedan? b/c I’m tired of paying for the terrible aerodynamics of a truck or SUV. Now get busy or kindly refund my bailout money.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    Dear BMW,

    Stop. You no longer make the Ultimate Driving Machine. You employ armies of software engineers who design systems that attempt mask the fact that you appear not to have retained any competent hardware engineers. Overweight, overwrought turbo-whistled electrochariots with synthesized engine sounds piped through the eleventy-seven speakers are not Ultimate Driving Machines. The unreliable Lexus-alikes you offer now are not compelling. Please build me a sports sedan that DRIVES BETTER than the one that came before.

    EDIT: If you could do this in such a way that the whole shebang does not vaporize itself in an acrid puff of failed electrics on the day after the warranty expires, that’d be awesome.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Ford
    Please make a version of the 5 litre Coyote global Ranger you are racing in South Africa under Ford Racing.

    Send it to Melbourne, Australia and let them upgrade it with the supercharged Coyote fitted to the Falcon GT.

    Oh, and some suspension mods, make it into a Raptor violator.

  • avatar

    I need a Lamborghini Aventador Carbonado with enough space for an American male 6’7 350 pounds.

    I’ll also need a Veyron SUPER SPORT the same size with a top speed of 301 MPH – tires made of carbon nanofibers.

    Also a Chrysler 300 SRT8 with AWD and 2000 RWHP/Torque and carbon nanofiber ties.

    If I ever made a billion dollars, you can bet these projects are on the top of my list.

  • avatar
    Scout_Number_4

    Dear Ford & Chevy,

    Please bring back the manual tranny for your full sized trucks. I want a 1-ton diesel dually with a 6spd. If you git-r-dun this year, there’ll be at least a snowball’s chance of me finding a good used one when I’m ready to upgrade in 3-4 years.

    PS–I don’t want to hear any whining about how they don’t sell. If you don’t believe me, have your marketing boys put out a few Craigslist ads for used 6spd Dodge 3500’s and watch the phone ring off the hook.

  • avatar
    Skink

    I’d like a Chevy Avalanche that’s eight inches narrower, six to eight inches lower, and a few inches shorter from the a-pillar forward.

    Somebody build International Harvester Scout 80s. Just because we’d like to start with no rust.

    I share an earlier writer’s desire to see a new Trooper with a diesel engine. Heck, the characteristic lifter noise makes them sound like diesels anyway. Maybe with a split tailgate/liftgate and a spare under the cargo floor instead of the current 70/30 sidehinged doors and door-mounted spare..

  • avatar
    nrd515

    A Camaro that looks good, and doesn’t have a bizarre interior? You know, one that looks like a ’67-’69, or a ’70-’72? A new Mustang that isn’t going to be a squished egg with a whale shark mouth on it. At least try to make a decent looking car so I have choices in a couple of years!

    Optional engines and options period not tied to trim level would be nice too. A Challenger R/T with the 6.2 or whatever would be great.

  • avatar
    kablamo

    Dear Honda,

    Bring back the Prelude, RWD.

    Many Thanks,

  • avatar
    340-4

    Dear BMW,

    I’ve seen your ads lately.

    The thrill of victory. The agony of…

    Might I suggest ‘long term ownership’?

    Or how about ‘being the second owner out of warranty’?

    For the price, pedigree, hype, hoopla, mystique, and gallons of ejaculate from Motor Trend each year spilled across the hood of the 3-series, your vehicles should offer the luxury of peace of mind to go along with the performance.

    Build me a BMW that exceeds the reliability of a Honda or Toyota.

    Yours,

    A guy who didn’t buy a 320i because he saw how it was leaking

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I just wish all the crazy people could stop writing letters to BMW(including it’s Roller and Mini-lines)….
    And, for myself, I wish manufacturers would offer a special order ‘stripper’ car for people who would want stuff like that. Not that my 2nd gen CR-V is very posh, but it was the last of it’s kind.

  • avatar

    Dear Subaru,

    Please make me a 5-door version of the WRX you showed last week. Something like – well – the Advanced Tourer you showed last year…EXACTLY like that, actually…and with an STi spec. I promise I’ll buy two!

    http://s2.blomedia.pl/autokult.pl/images/2011/11/subaru_advanced_tourer_concept_3.jpg

  • avatar
    vaujot

    Dear BMW, please keep on offering small inline sixes without turbo.
    Dear Porsche, please offer the GT3 with a stick shift. And while you’re at it, please also offer the GT3 motor in the Cayman (again, with stick shift).
    BTW, Doug, I think a turbo, 4wd, targa Cayman is pointless. Porsche already builds an open version of that platform. It is called the Boxster. Turbo and 4wd can be had in a 991, thank you very much.

    • 0 avatar

      But that’s the point: you have to get a 911 for turbocharging and all-wheel drive. I don’t want a 911. If I wanted to drive a land yacht, I already have my Land Rover.

      By the way: on the subject of “Porsche already builds an open version of that platform.” As you may know, I used to work for Porsche. Once, at an employee meeting, we were doing a Q&A with the CEO and someone asked: “When are we going to build a Cayman convertible?” The room fell silent.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Dear BMW,

    Please build a 5-door hatch version of your lovely 128 coupe. Retain the NA I6 engine and M6 trans.

    Or just bring us the one you’ve been selling in the EU for about, well, forever.

  • avatar

    Dear Honda and Toyota
    Stop flooding my streets with ugly cars.

    Thanx.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    I want Mitsubishi to bring a new EVO, but build on the current powertrain. Have a Ralliart now and am itching to pull the trigger on an Evo…but I do not want a dead-end car, or some diesel/electric/cow poo/solar powered pile of complication.

  • avatar
    redav

    Please, stop foisting touch screens on us. I don’t care if others are fooled by their similarity to cell phones. I want to always have the option to get a regular stereo.

  • avatar
    Camber Gain

    I want a no frills, fairly neutral handling mid to full sized four door wagon with a 5 or 6MT and a large 4cyl engine (~2.5L) or a mildly turbocharged 4. I’d prefer 2 wheel drive, front or rear doesn’t really matter to me.I don’t care if it’s slow, but I want it to get reasonable mileage, be able to swallow a 4×8′ sheet of plywood and be able to tow 2K lbs. 150 horses ~180 torques would be fully adequate but more would be nice. Utility, economy and versatility, that’s what I want.

    Of course this is basically a Subaru outback with an I4 as opposed to the H4 and 2 wheel drive and less numb steering, so I’m never gonna get it.

    • 0 avatar
      yaymx5

      Miata with a trailer? :P

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Your plywood requirement is rather laughable. Name a car that can hold a 4×8 sheet of plywood with the tailgate closed. The full list of reasonably common non-pickup truck vehicles is below:

      Suburban
      Expedition EL (regular Expedition, no — hang out 6 inches)
      several minivans
      B-body wagon if you’re short and move the driver’s seat up or have the tailgate open

      All of these cars would have much more powerful engines than you’re describing.

      You’re better off getting a utility trailer rather than wishing for a unicorn. A Subaru is too narrow.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    The Rampage was not a stupid idea at the time since the VW Rabbit pickup was selling in reasonable numbers and the Rampage was a direct competitor.
    Moving on to what I want, it’s the car that I need which is either a Transit crew van, or something with 6 seats cheaper than a Mazda5. In Europe I would have had a Citroen Berlingo or a used Multipla ages ago, but here I’m still holding my breath and wondering if I can find a good deal on Sprinter built on a Wednesday.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I remember Car and Driver’s test of the Rampage. They liked it just fine, and it was quicker than pretty much any other small pickup at the time. I don’t think it was actually that bad payload wise, but it wasn’t going to tow much. I also remember a Chrysler official discussing its cancelation by saying that once all the pool cleaners had theirs, the market was dead.

  • avatar
    benders

    A FWD hybrid with an electric motor to drive the rear axle for more traction (when needed) and stability control.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Dear automakers, please hold a competition for stylists who actually have a sense of form. The vehicle world is in drastic need of real taste and needs a new paradigm.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Just bring back real two-door coupes and pillar-less hardtops. Thanks

  • avatar
    Demetri

    Mazda – Hot hatch/coupe based on the Miata for 20k or a Mazdaspeed 2 for 18.5k.

    Honda – Bring back the CR-X. Have a base model for 17k, and an Si for 19.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    “…The general rule seems to be: avoid the word “Cross.””

    Oh. Yeah.

    http://www.wildtoys.com/vehicross/VX_MyPics/VX3quarter2007_600.jpg

    At any rate, I’ll chime in with another vote for more small stick-shift wagons/hatches (I know RWD isn’t necessarily feasible) that don’t limit you to one undesirable trim level. If the Focus wagon came here – something about the hatchback seems off to me – it’d be nearly perfect.

  • avatar
    AFX

    I can imagine all the foreign car company executives reading these posts through a bad internet translator and giving the responses here to their product developers.

    What we wind up with:

    A diesel Cayman with a vinyl bench seat.

    A full sized pickup with a Mazda RX-8 rotary engine.

    A convertible VW Microbus.

    A rear wheel drive Wrangler with an SRT Hemi V-8 (AKA Wild Willy).

    A stripper Audi R8 with manual windows, manual seats, no AC, no Sat/Nav and three-on-the-tree transmission.

    A Honda CR-Z with AWD, third row seating, and more ground clearance.

    A Westfalia camper edition Miata with stow-on-the-go seating.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    A pick em up truck version of the Jeep Patriot, with AWD, a Ridgeline-like trunkette, and, a Tundra type drop down window behind the seats. It can have a Dodge crosshair on the front if there is fear of incessant grumbling from middle aged, ex-Jeep Jamboree participants. A hose out interior would be an invaluable bonus…or…a stripped down H3T in a single cab with a Chevy badge and a useful (modern) power plant and drivetrain.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    2 things. I’ll take a small pickup based on the Jeep Wrangler, but let Dodge do a version for the masses so those of us who just want a small 4×4 pickup can avoid the Jeep tax. Of course give it the Diesel and the stick.

    And to Toyota, screw the Tacoma, and screw the Hi Lux…Go all in an give us the 70 series Land Cruiser pickup and I would skip the above truck. Maybe even a 4 seat version for the win. Also if you could give me one of those Hi Ace 4×4 vans that’d be pretty cool.

    And what the hell, Kawasaki, give me a KLR with the body of the pre 2007 (less plastic crap), a real suspension and brakes and the 650 twin with a 6 speed and a rear subframe not made out of overcooked Barilla.

    And Ford, I am thinking I want you to turn the clock back to 1988 or so and build me an Aerostar with the running gear and solid front axle from a similar vintage Ranger. I’ll take it in Vinyl with, a stick, and locking diffs. please and link up with the Westfalia folks who did the pop up on the VW vans. I’ll take either a Diesel from the overseas markets or if we want to stay period correct a 2.9 with non warping heads or perhaps an SHO motor with a power adder to give it a little bottom end. Yep, went there.

  • avatar
    340-4

    Dear Chevrolet,

    How about a Camaro V-6 with a performance package?

    The Mustang comes with one; it can be had for the mid-20’s. There are even Recaro seats.

    Know what would be really cool? A turbo 4cyl. performance model that could get 35 on the highway. I hear the 3.6 can get 34, BTW, at moderate speeds. Well done.

    Also well done: the new Impala. Although it needed the tail lights from the Traverse to really knock it out of the park; as it is they look squinty and sloped like a VW. I will test drive this car.

    If you are the first to market with a really good new small truck you will rule the segment. Toyota has dropped the ball with the Tacoma. Pick it up and run before Ford, or even Dodge gets wise and puts out a new Rampage or, Jeep does something first.

    Your trucks are just getting too tall. I see no reason for this. Stop making the 1/2 ton into a 3/4 ton.

    Yours, a 14 year Chevy driver far in the past who would consider a new Caprice if it should ever happen.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    I’ve finally given up on the dream of a brown diesel manual wagon with a 1200lb towing capacity (not kidding at all), I’ve jumped the minivan chasm, and I’m not going back.

    Now, I want a hybrid, plugin, or diesel minivan. Extra points for mixing two or more of these properties.

    (I really liked the C-Max Energi, but the misstated gasoline MPG goals and its stated inability to tow my Harbor Freight trailer have dampened my enthusiasm a bit. I loved driving the hybrid, though, so I’m going to drive the Energi as soon as my local ford dealer gets one. But a real minivan that could be a drop-in replacement for my Sienna would be even better. The C-Max is really competing to replace my Prius, and that’s a high bar.)

  • avatar
    Numbers_Matching

    Full-size diesel SUV that can tow upwards of 10,000 lb and still break 28 mpg (unloaded) on the highway, yet with sufficient ground clearance for some occasional off-roading.
    So there ya go GM – you know what to do with the baby Duramax.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    A modern update of the old Mitsubishi Galant Lambda/Dodge Challenger/Plymouth Sapporo, with a nice V6 replacing the massive and cantankerous Astron engine.

    It seems like only sports cars can be rear wheel drive any more…but front wheel drive can be so…dull.


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