Here is the latest reader Question – along with my reply!
Craig writes: Your review of the new Subaru Crosstrek (here) will cause me to order one. I will inform the dealer/Subaru of this as well. I’ve emailed you before. I own an Audi R8V10 and TTRS. Both manual; manufacturers think people order manuals to save money. No! We order manuals because we like to drive, not just steering. IYHO do you think it could handle a minor 3 inch lift? I have my Audis for sports car fun. This will replace a 2005 Tahoe Z71. I want better ground/water clearance if needed and transporting my two husky’s. No women, as white females don’t really want decent white males anymore. I’ve ordered your books from Amazon and will continue to support your site!
How about a guest/user review section of cars? I would love to extol the wonders of high rev motors!
My reply: As you probably know, manual transmissions are becoming harder to find in vehicles generally. Part of this is due to declining interest in them (unfortunately) but a bigger factor is the pressure exerted by the government’s fuel economy mandatory minimums, aka CAFE. A given vehicle with an automatic transmission will usually score slightly better on the EPA’s mileage tests and while the individual gain is small (about 3 MPG overall is typical) this matters a great deal when factored out over thousands of vehicles – which is how Corporate Average Fuel Economy numbers are calculated.
I personally do not grok why the government has any business dictating fuel efficiency mandatory minimums. It’s your car – and you’re paying for the gas. It is exactly like the government imposing taxes on people who eat “too much” food – which is probably coming.
Anyhow, I am glad Subaru still offers the manual in the Crosstrek – and with AWD. That is pretty much impossible to find in the $25k-ish price range. And the Subaru has other good qualities in addition, such as the ground clearance.
Speaking of which: I suspect you could raise the vehicle up a bit without causing the Usual Problems (these days) with an unhappy computer. But I’d check with Subaru first, especially if you order the EyeSight package, because altering the height might affect the cameras and sensors, etc.
You might find the stock ride height gets the job done. These things are very capable as is.
Some knobby-style M/S tires might get the job done and give you an additional bit of clearance as well.
I like your idea about reader reviews. The problem – for the moment – is the generic WordPress template we’re using. It limits what’s doable. At some point, I hope to have the resources to launch a custom redesign that will include features such as a Reader Reviews section as well as a better way for readers to post/comment, both in reply to what I’ve written as well as among themselves.
Finally – I hear you in re white females. After 15 years out of the market while married, I am stupefied by how the landscape has changed – by how women have changed. I ranted about this a couple of months back, but the synopsis is: A majority are significantly overweight; almost all seem to have tattoos everywhere. Probably a third have a nose ring or some other such atrocity. It seems that almost all of them in the 25-35 range already have at least one kid and Drama I am not interested in.
It makes me want to save up for a Japanese sex robot. I hear they are making great strides!
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