The Truth About Cars » Commuter The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Commuter Question Of The Day: Will There Ever Be A Successful Two Seat Commuter Car? Fri, 07 Sep 2012 14:29:39 +0000

The first generation Insight was a commercial failure. Eight years yielded fewer than 20,000 unit sold and a lingering doubt about the genuine interest in two seat commuter cars.

Honda tried again with the CR-Z, and apparently George Orwell’s early Animal Farm analogy about ‘four being better than two’ may be all too true for the American automotive marketplace.

Nobody wants an uber-frugal commuter car with two seats. It’s either four or no sale.

A lot of other two-seat vehicles have been unqualified failures as well. Chevette Scooters. Metro Convertibles. The Suzuki X-90 and the Pontiac Fiero. I’m sure that nearly every mainstream automaker has tried to sell some type of two seat commuter car with nary an Escort of sorts to be had.

This isn’t the only market where the fewer than four seat idea is struggling. Pickups have gone from three across as a near universal standard to an increasing exception. The Mazda Miata, a car that fetched price premiums and dozens of awards over the years, has experienced an avalanche of declining sales since the glory days of the early 90′s and now only averages about 10,000 units a year. In fact, last month it was one of the ten worst selling models in the United States… with the CR-Z performing even worse.

Even sporty icons like the Corvette and Nissan Z have little more than the crumbs of consumers past. The exotic and high end sports car markets may always have enough of a market to sustain themselves. But how about everyone else?

Is the two seat commuter car destined to be a historical footnote of automotive history? Will the Miata and Corvette ever be successful again? What says you?


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New Or Used: The Weekend Warrior Edition Thu, 21 Jan 2010 19:20:03 +0000

Anonymous writes:

I’m in my early twenties, and I’m looking for a car that I can efficiently commute in (about 20 miles round trip) but also take to skiing and camping on the weekend. Efficiency is more important than price, but AWD is a must because I hate messing with chains. Also, I only need room for two people and gear, so no need for a big SUV.

Steve Lang: Most vehicles in the Northern country are not All-Wheel-Drive. In fact, today’s front wheel drive models come with a long list of safety and ‘grip’ features that make them just about as safe as the all wheel drive models of the prior decade. Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control….
We’re going to assume that you can’t buy new being in your early 20′s. If you’re looking for something that’s about five years old, all wheel drive, and affordable, my top choice would be the Mitsubishi Outlander. I regularly see these vehicles with 150k+ at the auctions and I’ve yet to find one with an engine or tranny issue. The powertrains are excellent and owners have routinely rated them as just as good or better than the Subaru Forester at owner review sites (Edmunds, Carsurvey, MSN). You can also buy them about three grand cheaper than the overhyped Subie and parts cost should be far lower over the long run as well.

Sajeev Mehta: Stick with small CUVs in your price range, that’s the best way to have your cake and eat it too.  Finding a low-mile RAV4/CRV/Escape/Equinox with four-corner, four cylinder motivation is the best for your lifestyle.  Drive them all and see which ones fit in your budget. I’d avoid a used Outlander because reselling an old Mitsubishi (versus a Honda, Toyota or even a Ford) as an individual is like pawning a set of WalMart’s finest silverware.  You might as well set it on fire instead. That wasn’t an endorsement of insurance fraud, even if it sounded so.

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