QOTD: Ready to Give Thanks?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd ready to give thanks

We don’t normally ask questions on the weekend, but in the spirit of the holiday, coupled with the fact that too much excitement could aggravate your already elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, we’d like to know what you’re thankful for in the automotive realm. Hardly original, sure, but bear with us.

There’s one caveat here: this question only pertains to contemporary OEM products and features, not bygone equipment or aftermarket upgrades. There’ll be no giving thanks for three-speed manuals or the Oldsmobile brand today.

With bitching now the top-ranked pastime, let’s speak from the heart and pin down something automotive that makes being alive in 2019 great.

For one, yours truly is thankful that silver paint is continuing its rapid decline in popularity, though that sort of goes against the feel-good spirit of the question. No negativity today! Or at least, less of it.

In this week of giving and thanks and pointed questions from cousin Brayden from Williamsburg, I think many of us can agree that choice is something to be thankful for. And choice is something we still have. Sure, there may not be much on the dinner plate for lovers of cheap FWD coupes, nor a cornucopia of riches for those who harbor a love of wagons, but think of it a different way.

Right now, on this very day, a red-blooded North American can waltz into the dealer (or to their computer) and order a cheapish electric car. They can order an expensive, massively swift one, too. Or one capable of hauling cargo and engaging in some off-pavement antics.

There’s still a rear-drive, gas-powered roadster on offer that doesn’t come with a Germanic price tag. A triad of muscle-bound pony cars still awaits those who never plan to use a backseat, but like the idea of having one back there. Dodge has a family sedan topping 700 horsepower. SUVs and trucks in a dizzying number of trims and configurations tempt millions as you read this. Looking for a thousand foot-pounds in your daily driver? Ram has you covered, and Ford would like your vote in 2020. Hyundai feels it’s about time for a unibody pickup/SUV for the kids.

Regardless of your needs, interests, or personal ideology, there’s a vehicle out there for you. Maybe it’s not perfect, maybe it’s not priced exactly as you’d like it, and maybe there’s not enough selection to satisfy your particular kink, but choice remains. If compact cars are your thing, you needn’t worry about the Detroit Three bowing out — Japan and Korea are more than happy to sell you one of theirs. They’re practically begging you to come take a look.

We can gripe all day about what’s fading from the scene, what’s nearly extinct in today’s market, and what the ongoing eco push, cash-saving consolidation, and tech takeover is doing to the vehicular landscape, but this writer, at least on this day, can see the glass as half full.

It’s a broad, all-encompassing view of things; perhaps you’ve got something smaller and more specific in mind. A model, a solitary feature, a bit of content that you find particularly appealing. It could be import (or domestic) build quality that excites you, or even a cheap four-cylinder that returns gas mileage and performance. Maybe you just love wagging your foot under the liftgate and having it magically open on its own.

Let’s have it B&B — what are you thankful for?

[Images: Mazda, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan]

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  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Dec 02, 2019

    I am thankful that VW offered an extended warranty on a few cars I'm thinking of getting used in the next year. Looking at you GLI, you little tart. I am thankful that Toyota decided to make the Avalon with some style. I now want an Avalon? What next, I like Buick? Yeah, I like the freaking Regal GS Sportback. Dammit. Still think GM sucks, but the GS does not. ...... aaaand I like the stupid CT6 too. After driving back from Vegas this weekend, thoughts of the car driving itself danced through my mind. Still won't spend any more on BMW though. They're dead to me. Even though I like the 340i. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, can't get fooled again.

  • MrIcky MrIcky on Dec 02, 2019

    I'm thankful I got my snow tires on before the snow hit instead of after like an idiot (like I did last year).

    • Bunkie Bunkie on Dec 02, 2019

      You and me both. I got mine on last Wednesday and they got a good workout today. They are magical. Combined with AWD, I had no issues getting up some steep hills.

  • AKHusky L2 charger at home. My wife’s workplace has a couple of chargers and she is able to use one about half the time. Our town also has a number of free chargers and I use those occasionally if I’m going to be parked in that vicinity for at least an hour anyway.
  • Jkross22 That's a great looking shifter. Reminds me of the old school late 70s BMW manual - BTW TTAC, that would be a cool article to run - Best looking shifters in the last 30 years. My vote:Audi gated shifter from the R8. Should've offered that on every RS model and let people special order.
  • Ajla Maybe they should not have released several special edition Broncos when they couldn't even get regular trim orders out within a year?I'm not sure who is in charge of Ford's production but they deserve to be very fired.
  • ToolGuy "Removing them saved 16 pounds, according to Dodge. Snazzy optional two-piece lightweight carbon fiber wheels are also part of an overall SlimFast program shedding 157 pounds compared to a Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody."From a different writeup: "The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 shaves weight with the addition of lightweight front brakes, hollow sway bars, passenger and rear seat delete, trunk trim, noise, vibration, harshness pad delete, and lightweight interior carpet with a minimal audio system."• Did Dodge consider any lightweighting efforts with the lead-acid starter battery? Because Group 94 LiFePO4 saves 35 pounds of mass vs. standard lead-acid.(If Dodge already did this, Old Guy apologizes for being mired in the past and slinks back to his cave.)
  • Mattwc1 I grew up as a Datsun/Nissan fanboy. I cringed when the lineup (early to mid 2000’s) was a large amorphous blob of uninspired design. However, I think Nissan is starting to turn the corner in design and engineering. Let’s face it, the Rogue is the moneymaker for Nissan and as such it is well positioned in the market. I like the refreshed Sentra, Frontier, Pathfinder. I bought my daughter a Kicks to replace her trusty but rusty Vibe for a very good price.She essentially wanted the Vibe features in a newer packNow if they could do something about the public perception of the Altima driver…..