By on September 9, 2014

3. Ford E-Series New York 1Ford E-Series in Times Square, New York City – September 2014

You may remember my Trans-Siberian Railway series that took us from St Petersburg through to Mongolia. This time we are crossing the United States of America from the East to the West coast, departing in New York and arriving in Los Angeles. Last month the US new light vehicle market rebounded back to levels not seen since January 2006, so what better timing than now to explore it in detail, observing specificities in the automotive landscape as we go through various cities, States and regions.

Full report below the jump…

2. Times Square New York 2Times Square, New York City – September 2014

RAM 1500

What will I drive during this trip? I wanted a quintessentially American vehicle that also made sense under a sales performance angle – let’s not forget my specialty is sales statistics – and the folks at Chrysler have been kind enough to lend me a RAM 1500 Tradesman 4×4 Crew Cab EcoDiesel for the trip. It will be a great opportunity to describe the ride from my perspective: someone living in Australia where pick-up trucks are also very popular but much smaller – and born and raised in France where roads are tiny and petrol is (almost) pricier than gold. The RAM Pick-up is the biggest gainer in the US Top 12 so far in 2014 with a 22% sales increase over the first 8 months of the year. We’ll try and find out whether this is justified. Regular impressions about my RAM 1500 will pepper these reports all the way to Los Angeles.

1. Toyota Camry Nissan NV200 New YorkToyota Camry and Nissan NV200 in Times Square, New York City – September 2014.

The starting point of this Coast to Coast Road Trip is New York City. Data published by JATO shows Honda at #1 here, followed by Toyota, Nissan, Ford and Hyundai. Model-wise, the Honda Accord leads the way, ahead of the Honda CR-V, Honda Civic, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry. A very non-American ranking indeed! And my observations in the streets of the crowded megapolis confirms these figures: the Honda Accord is definitely king, while the CR-V is so frequent that it becomes ‘transparent’: one at every corner across all generations. The Honda Pilot is also way more frequent in NYC than its national ranking should lead me to believe.

4. Nissan Sentra BrooklynNissan Sentra in Brookyn – September 2014

The Toyota Camry is one of the taxis of choice in NYC, if not the #1 taxi, so it is logical that it comes up high in the ranking, as it is also popular with private buyers. Note also the popularity of the Toyota Sienna with taxi companies. However the new generation Toyota Corolla is only as popular as the new Mazda3 – meaning, not very popular at all. And yes, Nissans are everywhere, especially and surprisingly the Maxima, but also the Altima, Sentra and Versa, as well as the new official New York taxi: the awkward-looking NV200.

Ford E-Series New York 2Ford E-Series in New York City – September 2014

In each city/State I visit I will nominate a few Heroes in Town, models that I was surprised to see a lot more often than their position in the US sales charts would indicate. The Hero in New York City is the Ford E-Series. This is an observation I remember already making the last time in was in town almost a decade ago. Pick-up trucks are not popular in New York, perhaps because of their big dimensions. Instead, vans like the E-Series and the Chevrolet Express/GMC Savanna rule the roost. Although based on the examples I saw, the E-150 looked as big as a F-150, let alone the E-250 and E-350! It would therefore have more to do with a usage habit, a little bit like vans are more popular than pick-up trucks in Europe, and also the fact that vans don’t need any modifications to lock and secure their load, left in the open and theft-prone bed of a pick-up truck.

3. Toyota Highlander New YorkToyota Highlander in New York City – September 2014

Other surprisingly frequent vehicles in New York include the new generation Toyota Highlander, seemingly way more popular than the previous gen, and already ramping up numbers in the taxi fleets. I also spotted a lot of Ford Fusion and Buick LaCrosse models, as well as an impressive amount of new generation Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon and quite a few Jeep Cherokee. There were also some minicars I potentially will only see here in the entire trips: the Smart Fortwo and Fiat 500 in good numbers and my first BMW i3 , spotted near Battery Park.

5. Ford F-250 New York 2There are still some pick-ups in New York: Ford F-250 in Brooklyn

11. Ford C-Max New YorkFord C-Max in New York City – September 2014

The Ford C-Max is starting to point its bonnet relatively frequently as a New York taxi, seemingly more popular than the Toyota Prius V.  One last New York specificity: the Lincoln brand is extremely strong: I spotted all generations of MKS and MKT with its trademark extravagant back lights in surprisingly high numbers.

8. MV-1 Minicab New York 2

9. MV-1 Minicab New YorkMV-1 Minicab in New York City – September 2014

Finally, an oddity: the MV-1, a vehicle I had never seen before. This is a wheelchair-accessible minicab produced by the Vehicle Production Group from October 2011 to February 2013 and by AM General, the company best known for having built the Humvee for the military, since March 2014. I did not see a flow of them but enough to pick my attention and wonder what the heck that car was – still a very exciting albeit rarer and rarer feeling!

RAM 1500 Pic 2

I took delivery of my RAM 1500 in Uptown Manhattan, Inwood to be precise. Coming from countries where such large vehicles are extremely rare and having had not many opportunities to install myself inside a typical American pick-up truck before, I won’t lie to you, it was a big shock when I hopped up onto the driving seat. Huge. Everywhere. Inside and out. It made me a little nervous when trying it out for the first time. If somebody happens to be double parked, then navigating New York’s streets becomes quite challenging.

6. Ford Fusion New YorkFord Fusion in New York City – September 2014

But surprise: only a couple of minutes after powering it on, it actually feels almost like driving a nimble little European car thanks to very responsive commands and efficient power steering. In a way, it’s simpler: the automatic gearbox has become a volume-like button placed just under your right hand. Fun. Now to remember not to actually use it to amp up the volume on the radio. The RAM 1500 (as any other rare pick-up here) does not feel in its element in New York though, high perched and way above the line of sight of most vehicles. New York is the kingdom of taxi drivers. Time to leave.

7. Lincoln MKS New YorkLincoln MKS

To say a worthwhile goodbye to this fascinating city, I thought I’d drive down the entire length of Manhattan from North to South via Broadway. Big mistake. If the first 60-odd blocks are surprisingly quiet and fast, it gets very messy below 100th street. Repeated and disrupting roadwork, endless one way streets making it excruciatingly difficult to get back on track once you get sidestepped, single lanes, the notorious metal panels on the ground that sound like the entire street has crumbled down a sink hole under you, traffic so slow you could almost manage a power nap without anyone noticing and pedestrians getting frantic if you dare to actually drive when your light is green. It all sounds iconic when you walk around taking tourist snaps, but when driving a 6 by 2.5m truck that hardly fits in one lane while not being able to see the cars below you, it’s definitely not.

Dodge RAM New YorkBlack RAM 1500 Express

Now to extricate oneself from the island via the ridiculously cramped two-lane Holland Tunnel (where are the 6-lane highways when we need them?) and off we go to Washington DC, a mere 3 hours drive from New York – the same duration it took me to get out of New York in the first place. A Baptism of fire for my valiant RAM.

Matt Gasnier is based in Sydney, Australia and writes a blog dedicated to tracking car sales around the globe: BestSellingCarsBlog

5. Jeep Cherokee BrooklynJeep Cherokee in Brooklyn – September 2014

10. Honda Accord New YorkHonda Accord in Brooklyn – September 2014

12. Ford F-350 New YorkFord F-350 in New York City – September 2014

BMW i3 New YorkBMW i3

Dodge Dart New YorkDodge Dart

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

78 Comments on “Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – New York City...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    A very base-looking Tradesman trim Ecodiesel RAM? I like it.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Glad to see that I’m not the only one to point out that the modern full-sized pickup truck is TOO BIG.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      He didnt say it was too big, he said he wasn’t used to it.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        That’s it exactly. Most drivers of small cars think they need more room to maneuver than they actually do. As I make a left turn in an intersection, I may cut in close to the 1st guy waiting for the arrow to make a his left turn. I’ll accelerate by at about 6 feet away (or more) and he’ll have the look of panic, like I’m about to crash into his little car.

        And how do city buses get around?

        Parking an F-150 “rig” in a big city is no problem. Any extra effort is completely worth it.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          The easiest way to learn to drive is in a full-size: Pickup truck, SUV, or old car. Once you know your limits in that, you can downsize. One of the perks of living in a rural area, too, is that most everyone ends up driving in, or at least understanding the driving dynamics of, a full-sized vehicle.

          My father has been a school bus driver for nearly 20 years, but still people don’t understand that when a cab-forward bus makes a turn, it comes out _then_ turns. More than once a driver has come to a panicked stop because they thought he was about to hit them–which has never happened.

          And that whole “hur durr modern trucks too big durr” thing should really die now. Yes, the wheelbase is noticeably longer, and the height (mostly due to more customers choosing 4×4 over 4×2), but the one thing that really affects drivability–the width–has not increased. The only reason width numbers get larger is because modern measurements are required to include mirrors, which were not usually included in measurements before the mid-80’s. The mirrors have gotten significantly larger, too, but I don’t think anyone’s calling for a mirror downsize, or complaining that they can see too much out of the mirrors.

          As for the wheelbase, pretty much all of that increase has been due to 1.) rear wheels being pushed farther back in the bed so assembly lines can use the same wheelbase on all models, and 2.) larger cabs. And the wheelbase also affects drivability–in a positive way. Longer wheelbase generally equates to smoother ride. Who wants to go back to a rear overhang of 4 feet, or a cab that only fit 6-foot-tall passengers with essentially no storage (57-68 IH cab, I’m looking at you)? That’s what I thought.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The problem with your argument, Doctor, is that in one aspect you are wrong. Yes, I do fully understand that _in a rural environment most people drive full sized–for a while_. BUT, it is not the width that directly affects drivability–it is the LENGTH. The average car on US streets and highways come out at around 160 inches more or less with a wheelbase of around 120 inches. The wheelbase alone of a full sized pickup truck–especially a crew cab model, is almost 50% larger. That long wheelbase makes it much more difficult to maneuver in tight places and a simple U-turn for an average sedan becomes a complex series of backing and turning for a full-sized truck. If you don’t drive a full-sized truck all the time then the difference in length and agility is concerning at best and downright frightening for some.

            Sure, width is an issue too, and modern pickups are notably wider than their predecessors at over seven feet even BEFORE adding mirrors while many older trucks needed the mirrors to achieve that width.

            You are right about one thing–well, half right. The longer wheelbase offers a more STABLE ride, but not necessarily a smoother one–the suspension, wheels and tires control how smooth that ride is. On the other hand, unless the bed has at least some weight over the wheels, it’s far too easy to have a truck spin end-for-end as evidenced by a full-sized crew cab that killed three teenagers and a 50-some year old man mowing his lawn in Georgia a couple weeks ago. The driver lost control of the truck because it started fishtailing and he didn’t have enough experience to know how to get it back under control. The driver is one of the teenagers who died.

            No, Doctor, while you have the right idea, your argument fails because with the exception of full-sized pickup trucks, everything else the typical consumer drives is much, much smaller and far, far easier to drive. You see, I tried to teach my wife how to drive in a 25-year-old Ford F-150; now she’s absolutely terrified of driving it because she let one wheel fall off the shoulder on a narrow road while meeting a much newer full-sized truck coming the other way. She handled the situation perfectly, but refuses to get behind the wheel of that truck ever again.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            If the wheelbase of a fullsize truck was 50% larger than the supposed average (I’m assuming by average car you’re including SUVs/CUVs, which is perfectly logical, since the average car is a CUV now), it would be 180 inches. Not even a crew cab long bed model reaches that length.

            The 1981 Ford F-Series brochure lists the width of the SRW pickups, excluding mirrors, as 77 inches. The 2014 F-Series brochure lists the width excluding mirrors as 79.2 inches. 2.2 inches? Gee, that’s a pretty big increase. Only the Raptor (not a representative of the average full-size truck) breaks 7 feet wide before mirrors, and that’s only because of its fender flares.

            Of course, I’m probably not an unbiased source, since every pickup we’ve had since about 1995 has been dwarfed in at least one dimension by at least one tractor on the place.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Dr. Z: Ok, you got me. I was off by 30″ in wheelbase Then again, the crew-cab long bed Ford comes out to 256″ overall length and even my own 1990 long bed Ford comes out to 216″ in length. My long bed is a massive 18 feet long while the modern crew cab stretches to 21.5 feet long; my ‘shorter’ model just barely fits in my available parking slot while neighbors are having to parallel park their crew cabs on the street because they otherwise hang over both street and sidewalk–susceptible to getting hit by passing vehicles if their drivers aren’t paying attention.

            My Jeep Wrangler’s (Unlimited model i.e. 4-door) overall length is a full 3.5 feet SHORTER than my pickup with a wheelbase of only 112″, 44″ or nearly FOUR FEET shorter than a crew cab pickup’s.

            I guess what’s best about your rebuttal is the fact that you stated yourself that a full-sized truck is dwarfed by your tractors–well, try driving your tractor in a city and then tell me how it feels compared to driving your truck in that same city. It’s a matter of scale and when the average driver is used to driving something significantly smaller and more agile (I think even YOUR tractors have a tighter turning radius than a full-sized truck) then maybe you will understand the argument.

            Sure, living out on a farm or ranch you don’t have the same tight quarters you do in a city or other urbanized environment so size doesn’t really matter, but with urban and even newer suburban environments, size DOES matter–the bigger it is, the more difficult it is to maneuver. I live in a suburban town dead center between two MAJOR cities. This town is not-so-affectionately called a ‘bedroom community’ despite being older than our country itself; George Washington himself slept in an inn in this town during our first war for independence. Even so, housing is so close together in subdivisions that a mere 6″ of wall separates me from my closest neighbor and a mere 15′ of grass from the next closest. My entire property consists of 0.08 acres of land upon which the home occupies about 0.06 acres. Farther down the street are “carriage houses” that in most places would be called duplexes that sit on roughly a quarter-acre and even farther down are some single-family homes sitting on a similar quarter-acre. And you wouldn’t imagine the cost of land here–you’d be a multi-millionaire if you subdivided at local land prices. My point is that despite being a ‘less urban’ environment, space is still tight where I live and a full-sized truck is simply too large to serve as an everyday vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Fair enough.
            FWIW, almost any non-4WD tractor can literally turn on a dime, since they have independent brakes for each wheel, both operated by the right foot. It’s a bit harder to do on a modern machine than it would be on, like, an antique Farmall or John Deere, but if you’re going slow enough and don’t mind making skid marks, it can be done.

            Probably the worst thing about living out in the country is that you become acclimated to wide-open spaces, to the point of mild enochlophobia–not fear, just discomfort. Case in point, we took a trip to Japan to visit a former exchange student and my father was visibly uncomfortable and anxious in some of the more crowded areas. Next time we’re going to Hokkaido.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      That picture of the Ram in front of a Chevy S-10 makes it look like the Ram could eat the S-10 alive.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, yeah, a full size crew cab pickup is probably too big for NYC, but then again, hasn’t that always been the case?

  • avatar
    SC5door

    That’s not a souped up RAM 1500, it’s just the Black RAM 1500 Express group option.

    To be honest, those headlamps MAKE that truck. Glad that Chrysler offers it. I’d take one with the trailer tow group, spray in bed liner and “delete carpet” option please.

  • avatar
    lightbulb

    Well as you drive west through the great plains, and the rust belt you will notice the % of domestic cars and trucks increase to the foreign cars. Though Japaneses cars are still popular in the heartland. Then as you head over the Continental divide into the Pacific coast, foreign cars will once again be dominate. Granted in major cities it will more a mix than in the rural areas where domestics rule. Even in Massachusetts a small state, the western part there are many more domestic cars than in the urban Boston metro area which is dominated by the Asian and European brands. European brands are not that popular outside of major metro areas. Even VW has a tiny market % compared to the major players.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Don’t be so sure, Lightbulb. I’ll be you haven’t really stopped to look at what’s on the roads around you. Odds are high that half or more of the cars even through the “heartland” are imports.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        He’s right to a degree. Going to visit family in rural WI, the farther one got from civilization, the less imports one saw.

        I suspect the main reason for this is that in some places an import dealer/service center is 100 miles away and a GM/Ford store is 25.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Implying the rural areas of WI/MN/IA/SD/wherever are somehow less civilized than the cities.

          You are right about dealer networks, though. Our town of less than 5,000 has a Ford dealer, a joint GM and FCA dealer, and several mom-n-pop-type used car lots, mostly selling used pickup trucks and SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          bosozoku

          The farther one gets from civilization, the fewer cars one sees, period.

          But you’re right about dealer saturation. Brands that came to prominence in the US more recently are less likely to have a legacy of dealers in shrinking or stagnant rural communities, as it makes little business sense to build a dealership to serve such a small audience. Still, I remember seeing a surprising number of Suzukis on the roads of eastern Iowa a few years ago, and eventually discovered that a dealer had sprung up in one of the “cities” in the area and was offering to finance anyone with a pulse into a new [insert unmemorable re-badged econobox here]. Turns out the lower-income (i.e. most) local residents took them up on the offer in droves.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      +1

      Some years ago my grandmother wanted a Honda CR-V since my parents had great luck with theirs. But at the time the nearest Honda dealer was over an hour’s drive away and there was a Ford dealer just down the road in their small rural town. End result: they now drive a Ford Escape which I am pleased to say that they have had luck with.

      Since then a Honda dealer has opened 30 miles away from them so who knows what choice they would have made had that been there when they were shopping. Still, the import dealers are pretty focused on cities leaving the domestics almost the only game in town once you get into the country side.

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    This article could use a “jump”. As it is, it’s taking up nearly two-thirds of the front page.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I currently have some yellowjackets in my side yard, and they kind of look like that Dart – except they’re faster.

    Also, in the MKS pic, looks like it’s been crying and is having some makeup problems. Ha.

  • avatar

    Awww…that MKS is maybe a shade off from the naturally-aspirated ’13 MKS all-wheel drive in Smoked Quartz Tintcoat that’s my demo right now.

    If it isn’t a beat livery car, I’ll probably end up buying it when it comes off FoMoCredit lease. I got the one I’m driving now out of Bordentown for $23,200 with 24k miles, hard-loaded except for the EcoBoost and radar cruise/Active Park Assist.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      They really aren’t a bad value (used) I don’t think, unless you don’t like the looks. They just depreciate so fast!

      I’m interested in hearing your opinion of it – ride and handling, quietness, mpg, power, interior quality! When I checked them out I couldn’t deal with the light wood ones.

      • 0 avatar

        Great car. I really can’t say enough about it, especially for the money. ’13+ all have Lincoln Ride Control which does have a firmness effect on the suspension but really tightens up handling on the electric steering if you prefer it. I don’t; I dig the big Lincoln float (float in comparison to the harsh grocery-cart-on-dubs ever so en vogue today). Even with 20s, ride quality is great, visibility isn’t an issue, and the interior is nowhere close to being as cramped as the Taurus.

        Power is never an issue, even without the twin turbos. Gear changes are fluid, and you can always tap down on the paddle shifters to hold it in a lower gear if you want to cuckold a fellow twenty-something with his girlfriend in his G35 coupe. Yes, bro, you just got beat by grandpa’s brunch cruiser.

        All-wheel drive is great; I’ve never been able to break traction with this thing, even coming out of a slippery car wash exit with asphalt soaked with years of soap residue. Its great in the wet Summer Florida weather we’re getting now. Though, I assume FWD would be equally adequate (in fact, I know it would be) and unless you have a serious climatological or psychological reason for choosing it, I’d just get the front-driver and gain a few MPG. I’ve been averaging 20-21 according to the computer in 60/40 urban/highway driving.

        No major gripes. The side storage ‘pockets’ on the side of the transmission tunnel are too shallow and misshapen to be useful for anything. And the info center is a bit counter-intuitive for scrolling until you get the hang of it. No software issues. MyLincolnTouch rebooted once for no reason and it once started in MyKey mode with limited volume/speed for no particular reason, but reset itself.

        Again, I’d highly recommend it used. Great value. Don’t see why I’d bother with a Camry or Altima for the money. This car looks like somebody is driving it, isn’t found at every parking spot (unless its at Perkins on a Sunday afternoon), and has a helluva warranty. I’d get the N/A FWD version and save the EcoBoost money on getting all the tech toys.

      • 0 avatar

        The back of the newer ones is nice, but the front is really fugly.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      You really ought to fill the void left by Steve Lang and get some articles into TTAC.

      • 0 avatar

        I’d love to if you guys actually care to read about retailing cars, going to the same dumb auctions every week, buying, reconditioning, and driving 1-10 year-old cars.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Steve’s articles always generated a good amount of interest and most readers genuinely appreciated his insight. You could offer much of the same unique perspective that’s rarely found on other sites.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Flybrian, this might be the perfect time to write such articles with more and more people interested in buying ‘1-10 year-old’ cars to get away from the mandatory data recorders and all the EPA and CAFE mandated crap found on new cars.

          I know that in my area, the Great Southwest, older cars go for a premium because they generally are rust-free.

          But at the same time, potential American buyers have to beat Mexican buyers to the punch for these cars because the Mexicans haul them off to South of the Border, if they are 10 years-old or newer.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Eh, looks to be Tuxedo Black.

      They offer Ebony (non metallic) for the livery crowd now. Don’t build many of those.

      The one that looks sharp is Darkside, looks metallic black until the sun hits it and then it’s a deep metallic green.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Why no recognition of the Escape Hybrids that still seem to roam New York in larger numbers than some of the cars mentioned?

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      They are best left unmentioned. Took one home from JFK Sunday night and, as with every other example I’ve been in, it felt well on its way to rattling itself to pieces. The ride is downright terrible, as if it had no shocks and weak springs. Awful.

  • avatar
    Tonto

    You will trash that truck before you are through. You will trash it in Noo Yawk already. It is too big to point of being undrivable. You don’t want to trash it, hire a Mexican to drive it for you.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      It’s so undriveable that he … drove it. And got out of New York without trashing it.

      “But surprise: only a couple of minutes after powering it on, it actually feels almost like driving a nimble little European car thanks to very responsive commands and efficient power steering.”

      That means “undrivable”, right?

      • 0 avatar
        Tonto

        But can it shrink to get into a parking lot slot? You see in those pictures – it spills right over. In city driving, it’s only a matter of time before it gets hit,scratched or keyed by a testy pedestrian trying to get around it onto the pavement.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      First sentence: You don’t know that.
      Second sentence: He’s left New York already, if you’d bothered to read to the end.
      Third sentence: The fact that he’s driven it proves that wrong, along with the several million other full-size Rams, Silverados and F-150 that have been sold since the year…what’s your cutoff for “too big”?
      Fourth sentence: What?

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I saw my first i3 today. Photos don’t really prepare one to see it on the street. It makes a Leaf look like an S-class.

    Driving a crew cab, full sized truck for the first time in Manhattan really is a baptism by fire. My company recently bought a double cab Tundra with an 8-foot bed. Parallel parking it is a crime against society. The owner that bought it regularly cuts corners with its right rear wheel. When I was in college, I used to deliver fitness equipment in an 18-foot UD box truck. I consider myself to be a decent truck driver, but when Penske ‘upgraded’ me to a 26-foot box truck on a Topkick chassis to move to Manhattan many years ago, I drove it around the block and then brought it back. No way I wanted to navigate the West Village in something bigger than necessary.

    • 0 avatar

      Glad to hear your view on full-size pickups in Manhattan CJinSD! While driving there I was wondering whether it was just me or all things around me had suddenly become much smaller…

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Matt Gasnier,
        From my memory of New York it is like a European City with grid patterned narrow streets, it would be a nightmare driving around there with a 1/2 ton. Noticed a lot of the delivery trucks are Cabover small Japanese Trucks with very tight turning circles quite appropriate for the narrow streets of the city

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          That’s true from downtown up to about 16th street. From there on up, the streets and avenues can accommodate pretty much anything. Traffic and parking are another matter though.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            CJ in SD,
            Agreed, One thing that did catch my eye, in I do not know what suburb it was in , was a small depository for WW2 Naval Fighters. About 5-10 planes off the main Freeway, it was an unusual and pleasant surprise
            Actually the Taxi Driver drove like he was training for of an Al-Queda suicide mission. Not a pleasant trip.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Matt,
        The Tundra is in San Diego. I live in a beach community with unlined street parking broken up by dozens of driveways. There’s nothing like a pickup for turning two spots into one or a badly parked crewcab for turning three spots into one. The Tundra also turns my two-car driveway into a one truck driveway. The crewcab Tacoma that was here before fit with another car, although it’s driver couldn’t parallel park it to save his life.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Cool, glad to see a US trip.

    I guess all of the MV-1s are in New York, never seen them down the coast from there. Made in the factory built for the H2, by AM General.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s a bunch down here in Tampa Bay. Fitzgerald Hyundai-CJD-Subaru is an MV1 retailer in Clearwater.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      The VPG vehicles look like they were designed by a government committee…and they are fairly common on the streets of NYC…

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        I think I saw one in Chicago once.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Yea, I never really understood the thought process behind that. Aiming a vehicle solely at taxi services is a very poor business plan, which, no surprise put the company in bankruptcy, it only made sense for AMG to pick up the ashes and basically have an entire vehicle design created and already in production with no testing/design costs.

        Maybe the handicapped want something that doesn’t draw attention, ever thought of that automakers?

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          My guess is the wheelchair users who want to blend in are more likely to opt for a conversion, rather than a purpose-built vehicle.

          That said, the purpose-built design has a number of functional advantages compared with conversions — I think this is the only design on the market where the wheelchair user can position their chair in the front passenger location.

          To be even remotely economical to produce, they had to use a lot of off-the-shelf parts in the design; aesthetics were something of a secondary concern. That said, I have seen these on the street in “civilian” colors, and they are fairly inconspicuous.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    I’m confused, but maybe not as much as you were. Last time I looked Inwood was still in Queens, SE of JFK airport. Unless your cab driver took you from JFK to Inwood via Manhattan, which they have been known to do.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Matt Gasnier,
    Would you be able to keep track of your FE during the entire trip?

    I would be interested in seeing what the fuel consumption is for a 4×4, crew cab full size 1/2 ton, diesel.

    • 0 avatar

      @ Big Al from Oz

      Absolutely. This is one of the most interesting parts of this trip and I will keep you updated on my FE all along. Was no point talking about it in the first update as I basically stood still for 3 hours… I can already tell you that it’s good news (for a full-size pickup)…

  • avatar
    skor

    Yup, pickups are not popular in NYC and for the reason you noted: It’s not possible to secure cargo without adding a cap, box, or cover of some sort. For that reason the van is the most popular vehicle with tradesmen, and people who need to haul bulky items. Once you get out into the suburbs around NYC, the pickup becomes fairly common….mostly with posers who think they are in Texas.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “I spotted all generations of MKS and MKT with its trademark extravagant back lights in surprisingly high numbers.”

    I’m sure that most of them are livery vehicles. It’s not a typical US city, given its high dependence upon public transportation and almost complete absence of affordable parking.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    Willing to bet most of those vehicles (such as the Fusion and the Cherokee you photographed) are rentals. No dealer plate frames, no dealer badges, and some bar code stickers on the window should tell you it’s a rental. This is why I’m so against taking off the dealer badging (no matter how horrible the experience); I don’t want the car to look like a rental!

    Nice gallery, but I’m not a fan of cities, especially ones up north. As ghetto and run down as Atlanta may be, I still enjoy it, mainly because it’s my local big city. But even the metro area has some places I don’t like.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’d take you up on that bet. Not everybody uses those dealer frames and along the NEC (until VERY recently) those bar-code stickers were for unrestricted access through toll booths without having to stop (for most areas, EZ-Pass has replaced those bar code stickers).

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        Rental barcodes and toll barcodes look *very* different. As a frequent car renter, I can recognize them a mile away, and even pick out the company most of the time.

        In the NEC, the biggest hint that’s something is a rental is often that it’s painted white.

        A minority of non-rentals have dealer badging up here — though MA is in an odd position since most license plate frames are illegal.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Seth Parks, United States
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States