Posts from ‘Suzuki’
General Motors wasn’t having an easy time getting the buying public to take its small-car offerings seriously in the 1980s. Its J-Car lineup, launched for the 1982 model year, provided all five retail-car divisions—including Cadillac—a modern entry into the subcompact arena. Sadly, the little front-drivers were plagued by quality issues and often dismissed by younger shoppers.
Perhaps because it’s the first major auto show of the season (and perhaps because it’s set, of course, in California – the tail that wags the fashion dog), the Los Angeles Auto Show often establishes trends later followed at the other major shows.
Class: Midsize Car
Miles Driven: 248
Fuel Used: 12.4 gallons
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so we’ve been told. Odds are that a parent or guardian first presented this tired adage to us, likely on the occasion of our honest appraisal of an unwanted Christmas sweater, hand-me-down bike, or nerdy cousin.
Based anecdotally on conversations I’ve had recently, a good number of people believe that many American-brand vehicles are built by foreign companies. I actually heard one person claim, “They’re all built by the Chinese now anyway.” Sadly, I was related to this person.
By Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the April 2015 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
When a small automaker comes up with a niche product, there’s an excellent chance something unusual and unexpected will result. Or maybe something that is just plain odd. For this installment of Cheap Wheels, let us suggest such an automotive oddball, the 1996-98 Suzuki X-90.
No less a luminary than Mark Twain once noted, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Yet, despite Mr. Clemens’ call for deeper consideration of the things we appreciate, Americans have always put a premium on size. We like our TVs, BBQ grilles, and fountain beverages extra large, and, based on the popularity of Kim Kardashian, we tend to prefer select elements of our popular icons on the generous side as well.
Okay, maybe they’re not “newly” classic, as all hit that mark back on January 1 of this year. But who would be looking for a convertible then?
Of course, the same might be said for mid October. But although summer is waning, fall is a perfectly good time to enjoy a top-down drive – particularly if you live in the Sunbelt. And while any convertible will do for this, one of these classic convertibles might not only draw more attention, but may also be much cheaper to license and insure; in many cases, insurance for a classic car (one at least 25 years old) costs a fraction of what it does for a “normal” car.
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
We Americans like our pickups. In fact, we like them so much that we purchased about two million midsize and large examples last year. But, it seems, we’re pretty picky about who we buy our pickups from. We’re open to buying our big trucks from Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram, and we’re pretty happy with the midsize trucks from Nissan (Frontier) and Toyota (Tacoma), but after that, things get murkier. Toyota and Nissan, for example, sell large pickups, but neither maker has met with anything like the sales success of Chevy or Ford.