Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bad cars, good commercials

(Or, "adverts" to those UK folks.. cheers to you, readers, and your Euro downgrade yesterday, just like us, thanks to socialism and the upcoming Bolshevik Revolution part Deux).  Oui.

Have you noticed exciting car commercials for boring cars?  Here's one for the fairly new Mazda "2".


Here's a few things about the "2".  Firstly, it doesn't have a name like an American car, such as the Firebird, the Corvette, the Mustang, the Cougar, etc. etc.  No, it's a soul-less designation of "2".  It can't be an animal of coolness or something awesome like that.  Even Britain got on the board with the Jaguar.  If anything, the "2" could be the "Fat Ass Sloth" or perhaps the "Snot Cow" or the "Manatee F*ck Sh*t by Four".  I think the car is probably geared for the gas-frugal or the "I'm too broke to buy sh*t" crowd.  The horid magazine Car & Driver aka Ford & 3 Series BMW Bribed magazine (in the same way Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times newspaper was getting Disney kickbacks in the late '90s.. Hunchback of Notre Dame best movie of the year indeeeeed...n't.) suggested that the Mazda "2" and Ford Festiva, it's exact clone, were not great on-paper but got a lot of "fun" and "cool" marks in the positive.  Arbitrary scores Car & Driver uses to even the playing-field so Ford can win shoot-outs against far more credible cars.

Let's look at some facts.  Mazda in the commercial above was orgasmic that it was for a cool-ass guy in a faux motorcycle jacket (motorcycle jackets make guys cool apparently, though they have to be open and tailored, and the guy can't ever own a bike it seems).  It's also required to look "cool" to have not bothered shaving that day and also wear girl's jeans and order a latte in an impossibly near-vacant coffee shop with his "cool" laptop (in which he's looking at a Mazda 2 btw).  Personally, I would have swiped his cheap-ass laptop while he was going for vanilla sprinkles and extra gay.  Oh, wait, I digressed again. 

The stats for the Mazda 2.. see if this sounds "fun" to you:
  • Acceleration:  0-60..... 10.3 seconds.  (this makes this the slowest car in America currently)
  • Acceleration:  0-100 .... 33.2 seconds (A Toyota Prius which peters out at 30mph can do this in 30 seconds)
  • Lateral Gs:  aka body-roll .....0.84  (this makes this the worst handling car in America, worse than the ill-fated Suzuki Samurai that toppled over constantly)
  • Tires: 185 55R-15 ..... (15 inch tires that have a truck-like sidewall and as thin as a Geo Metro's)
  • Gas economy: 28 City / 35 Highway (Corvettes currently get better gas mileage).
So, you get the worst of all worlds.  How is it this car gets rave reviews?  Ever notice Corvette doesn't get any commercials?  It's because it's a good car.  It sells itself.  You have to trick people into buying shit.  Fancy it up.  Put a nice iPod low-qual-audio device in there.  Some flashy colors and a cool commercial and the as-a-joke as the Rock-n'-Roll Hall of Fame's selection (Abba?  Really?) comment of "Zoom Zoom" that hasn't been relevant since the death of the RX-7 (the RX-8 was shitty and the engine life was 60k miles before a complete rebuild).  Zoom Zoom my ass.

Take a gander at car commercials of mini-vans skidding on tarmac water or some cute little car zipping along seemingly quickly.  Nope.  They're all shit.

If you're not an ACE in determining what a good car is, and you just go for looks, THIS is what you should be looking at for a STANDARD, not a GREAT car but an average and shouldn't go UNDER these figures for 2012:

  • Acceleration: 0-60 ..... 5 seconds or quicker
  • Acceleration: 0-100 ..... 13 seconds or quicker
  • Lateral Gs: ..... 0.90 or higher
  • Tires: 255 45R 18 or wider (and NOT All-Weather (aka NO-Weather) Radials [unless it's a luxury car in which case you probably don't have a choice)  Don't get me started on the laziness of shitty no-weather radial tires, the worst of both worlds.
  • Gas Economy:  30 City / 40 Highway (This is pretty average these days except for trucks and V10 engines thanks to Direct-Injection engines and Turbochargers, even in sport cars which get very close or exceed this figure)

Good luck and happy shopping!  And don't get suckered!

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