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Economy Cars are the new sexy

Old 02-04-2008, 05:40 AM
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Default Economy Cars are the new sexy

No they aren't. I have owned economy cars almost exclusively (exclusively if you consider a minivan to be such, arguable), and they aren't sexy, they are practical, and don't try to sell them as sexy, because it's disengenuous.

On my Top Ten list of all-time favorite things, cars fall somewhere between Penelope Cruz and cookie dough.

But I wouldnít say Iím obsessed with cars. I canít drive a stick shift and my repair expertise is limited to changing oil ó messily, at that. As much as I enjoy cruising around in my beloved Mustang, I still feel oddly inferior to the Priuses and Focuses (Foci?) I pass. Sure, my car is sexier, but those consume far less fuel and have less of a negative impact on the environment.

Al Gore would be proud. Honestly, Iím a little jealous.

Car nuts everywhere collectively drooled when General Motors unveiled the Chevrolet Camaro concept car back in 2006, then decided to make the Camaro available to the public in 2009.
The joy continued when Dodge brought out its retro-styled Challenger and announced it would be on sale this spring.

Even a loyal Ford guy like me couldnít help but notice how sharp the Camaro and Challenger looked, and the thought of trading my Mustang for one of them has crossed my mind more than once. The Camaro concept was so popular, it was even used in the Transformers movie last summer as Bumblebee ó who was a Volkswagen Beetle when I was a kid.

As awesome as the new Camaro is, I would venture to guess itís quite thirsty for fuel. Any car with a 6.0-liter V8 engine pumping out at least 400 horsepower has to suck down some serious gas. Chevrolet hasnít officially released the data on the Camaroís fuel consumption, but Iím guessing it has to average somewhere in the 15 to 20 miles per gallon range.

According to, the Challenger guzzles an average of 16 miles per gallon, about the same as a Ford Explorer. Though my V6 Mustang is nowhere near the Camaro or the Challenger in terms of performance, it manages a pretty decent average of 19 mpg, the same as a 2008 Corvette Z06, Chevroletís very own world class sports car. The Toyota Prius and Ford Focus, by the way, average 46 and 28 mpg, respectively.

I drove a friendís Prius recently and was surprised by how quiet ó and fast ó it was. It actually accelerated quicker than my car, while still being more than twice as efficient as the Mustang. I doubt the Prius would win any races against most cars on the road, but it gets you from point A to point B rather comfortably, which is really all the average driver needs.

With all the talk about global warming and Americaís dependence on foreign oil, carmakers continue to churn out vehicles that have a ridiculous appetite for gas. Yet cars keep coming off the assembly line that canít manage even 20 miles per gallon and thereís no end in sight to their popularity.

Americans have always been in love with their cars, but do we really need them to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 5 seconds? Do drivers really need 500 horsepower? I canít recall a time in over a decade of driving when having near-NASCAR power under my hood would have come in handy.

So, take heart, economy car drivers. While you may not own the sexiest car on the road, you can rest easy at night knowing youíre doing your part to cut back on emissions.

I doubt weíll see James Bond trade in his Aston Martin for a hybrid, but maybe in the Transformers sequel, Bumblebee will be a Prius.
Andy Comer is a copy editor for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956) 683-4469.

~) 69.5 SuperBee

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Old 02-04-2008, 03:12 PM
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Default RE: Economy Cars are the new sexy

This guy sounds about as convincing as someone who says turnips taste better than French Fries. First of all, if his V6 Mustang is actually getting out run by a Prius, it is because something is wrong. The Prius is ssslllooowww. People who count the number of times they burped and buy carbon credits are going to tell you this because they are brain washed. This guy cannot be a car enthusianst, he is just trying to make us live the lifestyle he wants us to live where we do MORE damage to the environment by their own standards by trying to save it than we would with driving what we like.
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