By on November 20, 2014

1. Dodge Dart Albuquerque 2The Dodge Dart is the hero in town in Albuquerque NM

You can see all my USA Coast to Coast Reports here! *

After detailing the history and highlights of the Old Route 66 from Oklahoma to New Mexico, we now pause in New Mexico to analyse the vehicle landscape in Albuquerque and Gallup. This, a special feature on ethnic car buyers’ preferences and state-wide sales data below.

2. Ford F-250 GallupFord F-250 in Gallup NM

First a bit of trivia about New Mexico: this state is the 5th most extensive (121,589 sq mi or 315,194 km2), the 36th most populous (2.1 million inhabitants) and the 6th least densely populated of the 50 United States. Inhabited by indigenous peoples of the Americas for centuries before European exploration, New Mexico then belonged to the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain, then part of Mexico, a U.S. territory before finally becoming the 47th state in 1912. During World War II, the first atomic bombs were designed and manufactured at Los Alamos NM.

3. Ford F-150 GallupFord F-150 in Gallup NM

New Mexico is often mistakenly believed to have borrowed its name from the nation of Mexico. This couldn’t be further from actual facts: New Mexico was originally given its name in 1563 by Spanish explorers who believed the area contained wealthy Indian cultures similar to those of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire. It was only centuries later in 1821 that Mexico, formerly known as New Spain, adopted its name after winning independence from Spain. Interestingly, the two developed as neighbouring Spanish speaking communities, with relatively independent histories.

4. Chevy GallupVintage Chevrolet in Gallup NM

Population-wise, among U.S. states New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics (47%), including descendants of Spanish colonists and more recent Latin American immigrants. We will see a little further that this has an impact on new car sales in the state. It also has the second-highest percentage of Native Americans after Alaska, and the fourth-highest total number of Native Americans after California, Oklahoma, and Arizona – notably Navajo, Apache and Pueblo tribes.

7. New Mexico License plateNew Mexico licence plate

As a result, New Mexico’s culture is unique in the United States for its strong Hispanic and Native-American influences, both of which translated into the state flag: the red and gold colours are inspired from the flag of Spain, while the ancient sun symbol comes from the Zia, a Pueblo-related tribe. Last bit of trivia more closely related to my Coast to Coast Photo Report: we have now driven 4.000 miles since departure from New York City… That’s it for the trivia, now let’s get into the car landscape in the state, with a focus on its largest city Albuquerque as well as Gallup, further down the Old Route 66.

5. Albert AlbuquerqueMy Ram 1500 ecoDiesel Albert in Albuquerque NM

The best-selling models in New Mexico over the Full Year 2013 were as follows:

Pos Model 2013
1 Ford F-150 4,757
2 Chevrolet Silverado 3,601
3 Ram Pickup 3,368
4 GMC Sierra 2,214
5 Ford F-250 Super Duty 1,837

Source: JATO

8. Ram Pickup AlbuquerqueRam Pickup in Albuquerque NM

These figures make New Mexico the second state only so far along my Coast to Coast trip to crown 5 pickup trucks as its Top 5 most popular vehicles, after Oklahoma. Again this can be attributed to the relative rurality of the state but is still a remarkable achievement. At some stages during our crossing of New Mexico in remote areas towards the border with Arizona, up to 60% of all vehicles in circulation were pickup trucks. In Albuquerque, the Ford F-250 lifts its game to almost come as high in popularity as the F-150 as it has sometimes been the case in a few towns so far in this trip. In Gallup NM, the Chevy Silverado seems even stronger than usual and the Ram Pickup’s most popular variant is the Tradesman base model like the one I have been driving (Albert), and this for the first time in this Coast to Coast adventure.

5. Ford Econovan AlbuquerqueFord Econoline in Albuquerque NM

Onto real-life observations in the busy streets of Albuquerque and Gallup. The age of cars is stuck at a much older level than I have been used to during this crossing of the nation, only difference is in New Mexico a lot of these vintage items reach levels of cool unheard of before. Cue 1970s Ford Econovan, 1980s Ford F-150, and a plethora of souped up older generations Dodge Ram Pickups and Chevy Silverados. They say New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment, I say it’s the Land of Car Coolness.

6. Hyundai Elantra AlbuquerqueHyundai Elantra in front of the legendary Frontier Restaurant in Albuquerque NM

In a fascinating turn and in complete contrast to the Top 5 best-sellers state-wise, the most striking element of the car landscape in Albuquerque is the strength of smaller passenger cars, both in numbers and diversity, to a level that I had not seen since Washington DC. I will advance a very simple reason for this phenomenon:  the high ratio of students in town, which houses the University of New Mexico. I saw the first two Fiat 500L of this entire trip in this city, as well as very healthy numbers of Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra, Versa, Kia Soul, Toyota Corolla and VW Jetta.

8. Albert New MexicoAlbert on the New Mexico state line

But 3 passenger cars stand out even more, and on top of them a complete surprise: the Dodge Dart. A failure since its botched “manual only” launch 2.5 years ago, the Dart has struggled to break into the 50 most popular vehicles in the country. In Albuquerque however, it is as common as the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic, up there among its competitors in its segment. This is also supported by a very strong heritage of Dodge Neon which was the predecessor to the Dart, discontinued in 2005. So we have an Albuquerque community clearly fond of compact Dodge sedans here, which is an extremely rare feat!

15. Dodge Dart AlbuquerqueMercury Sable and Dodge Dart in Albuquerque NM

Decades of precise vehicle landscape observation in hundreds of cities around the world have given me a solid experience at estimating the best-sellers based on their frequency in traffic, and I rarely get it very wrong. I would see the Dart snapping up a spot in the overall Top 10 Albuquerque best-sellers, at least for a few months since launch. I was not able to confirm nor infirm this observation with hard figures, and if in fact the Dart is at its best in the USA in Albuquerque, this is the most well-kept secret in US car sales statistics as both Melloy Dodge and Larry H. Miller, the two Dodge dealerships in town, repeatedly refused to comment on this (positive) anomaly. Bizarre. If one town has unlocked the Dart’s sales potential, I’d have assumed they’d show off about it. I’m still making the Dodge Dart the Hero in Town in Albuquerque.

9. Toyota Tacoma AlbuquerqueToyota Tacoma in Albuquerque NM

The second passenger car standing out in town is the Chevrolet Impala, and although it is notorious that a large part of Impala sales are to fleets and rentals, Albuquerque is among the towns I have visited so far where it is the most popular, and being neither the most touristic nor the more corporate town of them all, a boost from ‘real’ private sales has to be in order. The third one is a new entrant in my long list of successful cars in various states, regions and cities along this Coast to Coast trip: the Ford Fiesta sedan. Very discreet up until now, a whole herd of them is bustling through the streets of Albuquerque as I write these lines. Here again a perfect student car which could explain its popularity in town.

14. Fiat 500L New MexicoFiat 500L in Albuquerque NM

These last 3 models were the most striking standouts compared to their national ranking, but a large majority of passenger cars are Japanese, with Toyota, Nissan and Honda the most common. I have already covered the fact that as we get closer to the border with Mexico where it is #1 overall with a world-best 26% market share, Nissan’s popularity rockets up. This is also true in New Mexico and Albuquerque, and a recent study of new car sales to ethnic buyers by IHS Automotive confirms it all.

Most ethnic brands - USABrands with the highest rate of ethnic buyers (Source IHS via Autonews)

According to IHS, new vehicle consumption among ethnic consumers, defined as African-American, Asian and Hispanic buyers, is up 8% year-on-year over the first 6 months of 2014 vs. 4% for the overall industry, with Hispanic consumption up an even more impressive 10%, in effect lifting the overall US car market up. Ethnic population growing faster than the national average, this is a very important trend in the U.S. new vehicle market as the share of ethnic buyers in the overall market is bound to become more and more prominent. The side-effect of this is manufacturers doing well with ethnic buyers have great chances to see their national market share outperform the market in the next decade. There should be a red flag here for the Detroit Big 3 as ethnic buyer patterns show a strong preference for foreign brands – albeit most of the cars they purchase still being made in the U.S.

13. Nissan Versa AlbuquerqueNissan Versa in Albuquerque NM. Nissan buyers are 36% ethnic, the highest of any brand.

Unsurprisingly based on our observations during this Coast to Coast trip so far, Nissan is the brand with the highest share of ethnic buyers in America at 36%, followed by Mitsubishi (35%), Toyota (33%) and Honda (31%) while Dodge is the only American brand in the Top 13 brands with the highest rate of ethnic buyers in 5th place with 30%. Could this partly explain the tremendous success of the Dodge Dart in Albuquerque? Notice the exceptional strength of premium marques such as Lexus, BMW both at 29% of ethnic buyers, Mercedes at 28%, Acura at 28% and Maserati at 27%.

Top 10 brands to Ethnic buyersBrands with the highest volumes to ethnic buyers (Source IHS via Autonews)

In terms of market share, Toyota holds almost 18% of the 1.6 million new vehicles ethnic consumers have bought over the first 6 months of 2014 vs. 12.2% share of the overall national market, followed by Honda at 12.2% vs. 8.1% and Nissan at 11.1% vs. 7.9%, Chevrolet at a timid 4th place with 8.6% share vs. 12.6% nationally, while Ford is at an even more unimpressive 8.4% share, that’s almost half the market share it has with the entire American population at 15%.

This is it for New Mexico, next stop is Monument Valley at the border of Arizona and Utah, so stay tuned!

Many thanks to David Curry for the photos in this report.

Matt Gasnier is based in Sydney, Australia and runs a car sales statistics website and consultancy: BestSellingCars which just celebrated its 4th anniversary.

10. Chevrolet Silverado AlbuquerqueChevrolet Silverado in Albuquerque NM

11. Toyota Prius AlbuquerqueToyota Prius in front of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque NM

12. Ford F-150 AlbuquerqueFord F-150 in Albuquerque NM

16. Ford F-250 AlbuquerqueFord F-250 in Albuquerque NM

17. Albert Nissan Versa Note GallupAlbert and Nissan Versa Note in Gallup NM

Chevrolet Silverado Albuquerque 2Chevrolet Silverado in Albuquerque NM

Toyota Corolla AlbuquerqueToyota Corolla in Albuquerque NM

Chevrolet Impala New MexicoChevrolet Impala in Albuquerque NM

Albuquerque street 3Street scene in Albuquerque NM

Hummer AlbuquerqueHummer in Albuquerque NM

Albuquerque street 1Street scene in Albuquerque NM

Nissan Sentra GallupNissan Sentra in Gallup NM

Albuquerque street 2Street scene in Albuquerque NM

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

54 Comments on “Coast to Coast 2014: New Mexico...”


  • avatar
    sproc

    Great article! But all that history and you couldn’t sneak an Aztek wisecrack in around that Sable/Dart photo?

  • avatar
    SayMyName

    As hinted at in the article, the Dart phenomena around Albuquerque is simple: New Mexico is a very poor state, dominated by native populations with extremely low incomes and credit. Fiatsler is only too happy to embrace those that Honda and Toyota wouldn’t touch, and from a socioeconomic standpoint Dart buyers likely are among the lowest of this low tier.

    • 0 avatar

      SMN, Having worked on the Navajo Reservation twenty some years ago I would have to agree with your take on the Dart phenomena, and I’m saddened how little has changed in the lapsed time.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Yes everything in the NW corner of NM sells on price.

        Tate’s Dodge/Chrysler/Ram/Jeep in Gallup, NM was the largest volume seller of Avengers and Patriots for many years running.

    • 0 avatar

      Matt is being dramatic for no reason. Sure, there are Darts. But where are all the Calibers? The whole generation between Neon and Dart is gone. Also, ABQ is full of Lancers, and he apparently never noticed them. Or Jeeps.

      He just saw 2 or 3 Darts around the university area. Big deal. He should see all the Monteros on the west side of the river.

      The amusing part is that B&B believe his observations and then rush to conclusions.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Look at that blue wide open sky! So Santa Fe is lots better than Albuquerque, right? The town here in the pics looks stuck in the 60s and very worn out.

    “Ethnics” buy Nissans around here in SW Ohio too (seemingly black women in particular). They love some Altimas and Rogues. Sometimes an Armada, but usually not the bigger or more expensive models.

    • 0 avatar

      Santa Fe is full of people who complain about those darn whites who moved in and now live in our adobes and chew our chili yak yak yak. Plus, the seat of the government. The predictable result is crazy architecture, narrow roads that go anywhere except where you need to go, and unpaved streets right next to imposing government buildings just across the “river” from the plaza complex. Even the temple of hippies, The Whole Foods, is better in Albuquerque than in Santa Fe, the latter is apt to sell a stale almond roll that is good to drive nails.

      But! Santa Fe is the place where you can find Nissan Leaf and Lexus IS-F (not F-sport), so there’s that.

    • 0 avatar
      StephenT

      Matt took these pictures in an old part of town that honestly isn’t the greatest. The street scene area is near a place that used to be call the War Zone by the PD (now known as the international district). The rest of the city looks newer, but about 10 years older than you would see in Phoenix or Denver. Part of this is due to the slower development (not a top 20 market for retail establishments) and also the weather that does not wear out infrastructure fast. Add to that the native american/spanish influence of abobe everything and it will look older.

      Grew up in NM and went to school in ABQ. Miss it – weather, food, easy living lifestyle, outdoors – every. single. day.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Weather sounds great, and I’m glad to hear the whole city doesn’t look like that. I need to visit, as the furthest west I have been is St. Louis (with which I was not impressed).

      • 0 avatar
        carve

        Not to mention the 5000′ elevation and intense sun. Infrastructure and buildings last a long time, even if unmaintained, but any artificial color is faded by the sun in no time. There are some pretty nice looking areas not a block away from where many of these pics were taken though, and parts of town look like anywhere USA.

        Outdoor life is awesome here- skiing and heavy forests a half hour away, 300 days of sun per year (with only a few days above 100 degrees due to the altitude), world class skiing 2.5 hours away, wilderness area that begins a mile from my nearest movie theatre, amazing hot springs and mountains and decent tech-area employment from the bases and Intel. Tesla was going to build their factory here until they picked up the Fremont factory for a song.

        All that said, if you’re not working for the bases, university or medical field, there’s a good chance you’re not doing so well. It’s very stratified. Parts of southern ABQ have houses that belong in a third world country…no indoor plumbing even.

        All in all, I like it here and chose to stay here vs. moving back to Portland when I got out of the Air Force: Much lower cost of living, much better weather and outdoor recreation opportunities, and better employment options.

        Santa Fe is nice, but they’re trying to make it into a bit of a socialist fantasy. It’s higher altitude and a bit better maintained, but other than that Albuquerque is the better place to live.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Some of the crime maps for ABQ are quite bad. Lots of assault and theft, B&E. Housing looks pretty cheap – hard to see big houses with no lawn though, everything is scrub! Why does everyone have fences, coyotes?

          I don’t think there are any big insurance companies out there though.

          • 0 avatar
            carve

            Yeah- due to the stratification, crime is higher here. If you want to see the nice neighborhoods, the far northeast corner of town at the base of the Sandia Mountains has some great areas. Awesome views- I have city and mountain views from my place

            https://www.google.com/maps/@35.19087,-106.479401,3a,75y,240.52h,75.04t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sRLvVmS1laq0AAAQYNxJP_Q!2e0!3e11

            https://www.google.com/maps/@35.0860407,-106.4866825,3a,75y,280.1h,80.73t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s8eps_QwA81DdTcHWS7sc9Q!2e0

    • 0 avatar

      As StephenT said, most of these pictures are in an old part of town, probably because the author wanted to stay on and near Old Route 66 (which is Central Ave. in Albuquerque). Most of the city is much nicer and resembles most any other modern American city. Hell, there’s a country club a bit west of these pictures. Nearby Rio Rancho is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.

      • 0 avatar

        Rio Rancho is the pits. Speedcams on every corner. No freeways. It used to be a posh bedroom community, but not anymore. Now it’s Corrales for poorer people.

        • 0 avatar
          carve

          Yeah- one of the great quality of life issues of ABQ is not having to deal with traffic. Even when it’s bad…it’s not bad…unless you live in Rio Rancho. You get a lot more house for your money that way, but it’s not worth it!

  • avatar
    James2

    I could look it up but… how many states don’t require a front license plate?

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      Iirc about a third of the states. The most populous single-plate states would be Florida, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        North Carolina doesn’t and I’m glad so, ruins a perfectly good (symmetrical) front end, especially when your running a winch.
        And drilling holes in a new car, especially on these new plastic bumpers, or worse, painted plastic, ridiculous.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I’ve only been to NM once, but it’s a pretty cool place. Something suprnatural about the desert. Not to mention the food kicks some serious butt.

    Cars have longer lives down there because they don’t rust. No road salt.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Amarillo, TX to Cloudcroft, NM through Clovis, Portales, Roswell, and Artesia (I27 South, Highway 60 West, Highway 70 West then South, Highway 285 South, and finally Highway 82 West) is a terribly depressing drive save for the final 1/2 to 1/3 of the drive on Highway 82 as you reach the mountains and the Lincoln National Forest.

    The last time I was in in Albuquerque, I found nothing to recommend it.

    New Mexico has some breathtaking natural beauty which breaks up the boredom of the desert and stands in constrast to the hard-scrabble towns and cities comprised of derelict and decaying quonset-style buildings ringed with rotting machinery of every sort.

  • avatar
    bill h.

    I fell in love with NM from the first time I spent a summer there working at Sandia Labs as a soon-to-be grad student. Definitely, the overall feeling of the place is what I would call the “anti-Scottsdale”, to contrast with the state next door. Learned to live with driving around in an Albuquerque summer in a VW Rabbit withOUT air conditioning. The altitude in some of the higher places will definitely tax a car’s breathing when climbing those mountain roads, but I loved the scenery anyway. Even if the condition of some of the towns (as has been mentioned) was not always the best, as someone who is not an “Anglo” I didn’t feel as out of place as some of the areas of the Midwest where I grew up.

    Some of the best drives I can remember could be had in that area, like the Turquoise Trail (Hwy 14, from Albuq. up the east side of Sandia Mountain to Santa Fe). Then a circuitous route from Santa Fe, up US 84 then through to Los Alamos, then Hwy 4 taking you past the magnificent Valle Grande caldera, the Jemez Springs and Pueblo areas (and the Bandolier National Monument as a stop) where the dirt turns as red as the Sangre de Cristos at twilight, then back down to the south towards I-25 and Albuquerque. It can all be done in a few hours.

    And nowadays, when everyone has a Big Gulp or some huge water bottle in their cars, when I first explored those areas I didn’t even think to take any sort of liquids with me at all, having full faith in being able to find fluids and the Rabbit to not break down on some of those roads. How naive I was then…

    Land of Enchantment indeed.

  • avatar

    What is amazing to a foreign observer in Matt’s pics of street scenes, any pic of almost any American city (except New York) is the absence of pedestrians. Seems like people really don’t walk there.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      Here’s a nicer area probably a 2 minute walk from where he took the pics

      https://www.google.com/maps/@35.0804087,-106.6208056,3a,75y,351.69h,66.6t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sYqjBCRG5U1kmfKE2wrRjSw!2e0

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      US development discourages walking for several reasons – I can’t get them through the comment filter, though.

      • 0 avatar

        Would love to read your insights, try again in a bit, I’m sure it’ll get through.

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          4th attempt!

          Zoning laws separate residential areas from commercial and industrial areas – creating additional space in our towns and cities.

          Detached single family homes predominate rather than multi-family apartment blocks.

          Commercial and industrial areas require minimum amounts of parking – which is almost always surface parking rather than garage/underground parking integral with commercial buildings – creating additional distance around businesses.

          Many developments don’t have any sidewalks or provision for pedestrians.

          NYC is an exception (esp. Manhattan) because the land area available is finite and it’s one of the oldest western settlements on the continent.

          The rest of the US is s p r e a d out! And very pedestrian unfriendly.

          • 0 avatar
            jimbob457

            I dunno if zoning laws are that big of a causative factor. Houston has no zoning laws at all. It also has no pedestrian traffic to speak of either. Also, you can zone in favor of pedestrians as well as against them.

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          I tried 5 times without success. The short answer is “zoning laws”.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            319583076, sometimes I break my posts down by paragraphs to see what gets rejected where.

            That’s how I found out that the s – i – d combo was not the only thing causing rejection.

            So, I post one paragraph at a time until I find the one I have to rewrite if I can’t find the reason for the dump, like when there is no s – i – d combination in the paragraph but the post is still marked as SPAM and flushed down the ttac toilet.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Thanks, I’ve been getting caught a lot this week. I’ve tried to truncate my rants, but haven’t had much success. I can’t take the hint to stop posting!

          • 0 avatar

            319…. you know what, pls don’t. I tried to have a meaningful debate with Lie2me today but was flustered in my attempt. This is almost the only place where significant exchanges on cars are, well, exchanged.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Persevere, Burger Man. I love your comments.

          • 0 avatar

            See 319….., some of us really like you!

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Tried and failed some more. Maybe they’ll show up tomorrow or the day after and then we can laugh about the similarities and differences of my multiple posts!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            319….., maybe your OS and browser contribute to this comedy of errors.

            When I use an iPad Air running Safari in the iOS 8.1.1 environment, I often get drastically different outcomes than if I post on a Dell XPS27 PC using Opera running over Win8.1. Even mundane things like the edit option disappears with iOS.

            You may have to resort to posting just a paragraph at a time. That has worked for me in the past.

            One thing for sure. We should not look for a a rapid fix. This has been worked on for a while now and if they could have fixed it, it would have been fixed. So for now, all of us have to find work-arounds, if we want to comment.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Well, you could add “redevelopment” and “urban Renewal” that viewed vibrant mixed neighborhoods with shops for everything you need as “slums”. Look at older pictures of cities, and there are people and cars and traffic, but after urban renewal, blank walls replaced the shops, doors, and windows that attracted people.

            Cars at the curb and on the street have been banished by no parking signs and traffic diverted into or out of parking lots and multi-story parking garages.The bigger the city, the rarer the instances of a streetscape hospitable to human comfort and interaction.

        • 0 avatar

          My comments get held too. But in short – don’t believe those pictures. At time pedestrians are so thick at that place that cars are having trouble turning right.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        One of the major reasons for buying a house at a particular price point is to exclude potential neighbors that can’t afford that price. People buy “insulation”. Streets are arranged to make driving or walking through a neighborhood inconvenient. People who travel through a neighborhood where they don’t live are viewed as somewhat suspicious.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Carve, I’m not knocking it. From my third world eyes the city looks nice enough, no problem, and the fact it is different from other American cities can only be a plus. You guys have it better than anywhere else in terms of city living, rest assured.

      Now, where are the people? (thanks for the link!)

    • 0 avatar

      It’s just the time and aiming of his pictures, also carefully selected moment. See the restaurant in the background of the picture with black Sentra? It’s The Frontier. That place is effin mobbed every evening. In fact I’m sure there were dozends of people on the sidewalk at the front side right when he took that picture. However, you can’s see anyone. Same with his truck. The green area behind the truck is Johnson field, and it’s always full of people excercizing and playing. Not in the picture, however! It’s almost like he photoshopped everyone away.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    My first experience in N.M. was driving a new 100LS at 4 a.m. going into Farmington in a driving snowstorm. Later, as I pulled into Tucumcari, the pre-dawn twilight with those blue-pink hues were spilling all over that wide sky. Beautiful. That morning I was introduced to Texas kangaroo court courtesy a local with a waiting Justice of the Peace. A day of contrasts on a trip to Mardi Gras.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I don’t entirely agree with the idea that Dodge enjoys popularity because of price; Dodge still has the ‘Powerwagon” image in that part of the west. Like Jeep, only more so. Also, in a place like New Mexico, passenger sedans will likely see a few miles on a dirt road now and again. A perceived ‘tougher suspension” is a selling point, as is size. The Dart is much bigger than anything near its price. That’s a very big issue in the wide open spaces.

    Many years ago, I drove the two lane road that runs parallel to I-40 from Gallup to Grants, 40 miles west of Albuquerque, on a whim. Late afternoon, Blue sky like in the picture, empty two lane road. Red rocks. Then ‘Conciero de Aranjuez’ came on the educational radio station……

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Hey Marcelo! Everything is too spread out, usually. Especially in smallish towns to medium cities. About impossible to live mere steps from work, shopping, friends, family, schools, restaurants, hot spots, gym, etc. Or all the places you hit on a daily/weekly basis. Mass transit is pitiful, except big cities. Plus goods and groceries are typically bought in bulk.

    It’s a car culture, no doubt, and urban sprawl is just compounds it. It’s tough to get away with not owning a car, but I’m not sure we’d want that. It’s 100% mobility, anytime, anywhere.

  • avatar
    Lack Thereof

    The pictured Ford is an Econoline, not an “econovan”.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    New Mexico is very nice .

    I love the wide open spaces and great food .

    You cannot possibly imagine the sun rises and sunsets until you’ve seen them in person .

    One issue is the amount of ‘ impaired ‘ drivers after sun set , anywhere in the entire State ~ look it up , I am not kidding nor wrong .

    I had to show my buddies the drive up liquor stores before they’d believe me , I even asked the Clerk for ” A freeway bag please ” to hold my bottle of Schnapps , he said ‘ of course Sir ! . ‘.

    Lots of old vehicles there too , always a big plus for me .
    Visit there , you won’t be sorry .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    If you think you don’t like NM, go to the Santa Fe Opera sometime. Arrive a little early. Have a couple of cocktails. Ignore the opera. Just take in the view. That is the reason why that neck of the woods has been a major artists’ colony for almost a century.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • jalop1991: “I’ve had two cases of the infotainment not booting up, and when that happened the last time the...
  • conundrum: Bought Mazda steelies for winter for my 6. Instead of solid black crap, they look like cheap alloys and...
  • conundrum: Exactly what I did. Went over mine before delivery and it was physically flawless so far as I could tell...
  • Kenn: “And major props for non-turbo motors and regular old automatics.” Along with Toyota’s...
  • nitramaj: I’ve been driving for 22 years now, and I’ve only had three Hondas during that time. My experience is that...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States